Galápagos National Park was inscribed as the very first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978—and since that milestone, it’s continued to garner an array of other accolades from the organization. It’s not surprising this unique archipelago, which once intrigued and entranced Charles Darwin, was the first to be recognized. Galápagos has long been a bright, shiny example of what enlightened and dedicated conservation can achieve. Today, Galápagos is one of the world’s largest biosphere reserves, covering hundreds of square miles of ocean. Between the fascinating native flora and fauna, the incredible geology, and the rich undersea, these islands are a truly exceptional place that are truly worthy of protecting.
Situated in the Pacific Ocean and straddling the Equator roughly 600 miles from the Ecuadorian coastline in South America, these 19 major islands and nearly 100 minor islands, along with the surrounding marine reserve, have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution.’
Check out this visual timeline for more.