Where are the Galapagos Islands located? Everything You Need to Know
Where in the world are the Galapagos Islands and what makes them such a unique place? Well, the simple answer is that the Galapagos Islands are a one-of-a-kind archipelago that rests in the Pacific Ocean about 620 mi (1000 km) due west of Ecuador’s coast. They form part of the biologically diverse nation of Ecuador.
The Galapagos are often featured in nature documentaries, movies, and news, thanks to the rare animal species that inhabit the islands, such as giant tortoises, various iguanas, and some of the most remarkable birds in the world!
If you are getting acquainted with the Enchanted Isles for the first time, let this be a brief introduction to the location of Ecuador’s magical insular region—the Galapagos Islands!
First Thing First: Where is Ecuador?
Ecuador is one of South America’s smallest countries, and also one of its most fascinating. As its name would imply, it straddles the equator: latitude 0°. Packed with amazing landscapes and shaped by history and culture that go back millennia, Ecuador has tremendous a diversity of flora, fauna, landscapes, and people. There is something for every visitor to enjoy!
Immerse yourself in its rich Andean lifestyle, and discover the amazing sites by train, car bus, or even on foot! Adventure seekers and ecotourists will delight in the incredible natural surroundings that include, rivers, lakes, beaches, mountains, valleys, and forests—so many forests!
You can also simply sit back and relax with a glass of wine as you admire urban landscapes from any number of exciting hotels and restaurants in Ecuador’s handful of modern cities, including the capital of Quito, whose Historic Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Because of its superb location along the equator, Ecuador is blessed with relatively constant spring-like weather in the highlands, and a warmer, tropical climate along the Amazon basin region and the coastal and inland rainforests ALL YEAR LONG! It might get rainier or drier depending on the time of the year, but the weather is always agreeable!
Ecuador is located along the northwestern region of South America’s Pacific Coast, between the countries of Colombia (to the north) and Peru (to the south). Due to its compact size, from Quito, you can drive to the beach in about 4 hours, you can reach Colombia in roughly 5 hours, and Peru in approximately 15 hours.
Just a couple of hours away from Quito, is one of the most stunning and biologically diverse places on the planet—the Andean Choco rainforest! About 6 hours away from Quito, you’ll find the ever-impressive Amazon basin, not to mention the incredible snowcapped mountains of the Andes! Talk about being able to see some of the most varied landscapes in just one go and getting acquainted with the country’s people in very little time!
Where exactly are the Galapagos Islands located?
The amazing Galapagos Islands are located in Ecuador’s Pacific Ocean. A 2-hour flight from Quito and voilà! You’ll have arrived at that exotic location you’ve read about in books and travel magazines!
The Galapagos archipelago is a group of volcanic islands that are spread out across an area of 17,000 mi2 (45,000 km2) in Ecuador’s Pacific Ocean. They are located roughly 620 mi (1000 km) due west of Ecuador’s coast and they are their own province. Coordinates: 0.37°S 91.55°W.
They are also a National Park and Marine Reserve, which is a hint of just how wonderful the place really is. The equator goes through the archipelago, so you’ll find islands on both hemispheres, but most of them are located just inside the southern hemisphere.
The archipelago is located on the Nazca plate and atop the Galapagos hotspot. These features are responsible for the creation of its 19 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 islets. Because the Nazca Plate moves under the South American Plate, volcanic activity is a recurring feature throughout the archipelago!
In the Galapagos, life evolved millions of years ago, but life is continuously being born every day!
Now that you know where the Galapagos Islands are, add them to your bucket list and book your flight now! It will be a transformative experience!
Nathalie Moeller is of Ecuadorian and German descent. As a child she spent her summers in the Galapagos Islands, where her mother grew up, and from a very young age learned to love the beauty and uniqueness of the archipelago. She studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, after living in Madrid and Germany for a couple of years. This gave her a culturally broader view of the world, which is reflected in everything she does. Blogging gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for travelling and writing.