The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. These Islands are located in approximately a 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador and are distributed on either side of the Equator. The Bishop of Panama Fray Tomas de Berlanga first discovered the Galápagos Islands in 1535, by chance.
Why they are special: The Galápagos Islands are known the world over for their extensive flora and fauna. These islands are one of the top tourist destinations for wildlife viewing. The rich plant and animal life found on these islands is not found anywhere else in the world. These islands are famed as the land of the Galápagos giant tortoise, which is the largest living species of the tortoise. In total, there are 18 main islands of the archipelago, each covering a total area of 1 sq.km at least.