From Quito and the mainland, the Galapagos Islands are about 1,00km due west (or directly toward middle-of-nowhere, the Pacific Ocean). As some of the youngest landmasses on Earth, they were formed by a tectonic hot spot on the Earth’s Nazca plate. The hot spot stays in one place relative to the Earth’s core, but as the Nazca plate is slowing shifting southeast, new areas of surface ocean are always occupying the area over the hot spot, which resulted in the archipelago of islands the Galapagos is today (if you’re really keen you can check out some more info here: http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/galsite/research/projects/leonard/Geospot.htm).
The beginning of my trip brought me to one of the oldest islands of the bunch, San Cristobal (the patron saint of seafarers).
Each of the islands is home to some of the most unique collections of wildlife inhabitants on the face of the planet.
Since the islands were never connected to the main land at any point in history, all of the animals that currently reside there needed to have made the long 1000km on their own.
Birds flew and fish swam, but land animals like tortoises and iguanas has to put their hardy natures to creative use and float their way over (both tortoises and iguanas can survive for months on end without food and tortoises have enough air in their shells to keep them afloat).
Since only a select few species of animals could pass the migration test required to call the Galapagos home, very few animals on the islands face threats from natural predators.