In geological terms, the Galapagos are relatively young volcanic islands. The Name “Galapagos” comes from the Spanish word “galapago”; a riding saddle. The term was coined by the first visitors when the saw the giant tortoises whose shells resemble the saddle shape and it was used to name the tortoises and the islands.
On top of a virginal and unique environment; the islands also have a captivating human history. The Bishop of Panama, Tomas de Berlanga, was the first person on the islands in 1535. He arrived after his ship sailed from his country of origin towards Peru. Later on, English whalers arrived at the islands and for that reason some of the islands received English names. In 1832, the islands became part of Ecuador.
The well-known English Naturalist, Charles Darwin, visited the Galapagos Island for the first time in 1835 on board of the Beagle. He observed and recorded the magnificent adaptations the species had gone through on every island, which became the basis of his theory of Natural Selection on his famed book “The origin of the Species”.