The Galapagos Islands: By the Numbers

Sep 17, 2020Blog

The more you know about the Galapagos Islands, the more you will enjoy your Galapagos Island vacation.

How many islands are in the Galapagos Archipelago?

There are 13 main islands and 6 smaller islands, plus more than 100 tiny islets. 

The names of the 13 primary islands are:

  1. Baltra
  2. Espanola
  3. Fernandina
  4. Floreana
  5. Genovesa
  6. Isabela
  7. Marchena
  8. Pinta
  9. Pinzon
  10. San Cristobal
  11. Santa Cruz
  12. Santa Fe
  13. Santiago

When did the first explorers visit the Galapagos Islands?


“The first European to visit the Galápagos was Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Spaniard recently named the bishop of Panama. He accidentally reached the islands in March 1535 after his ship was carried off course, according to Cornell University,” Live Science reports. “De Berlanga opined that there was little value to the islands due to their difficulty in locating fresh water sources, and the limited plant and animal life deemed valuable for humans.”

When did Charles Darwin visit the Galapagos Islands?


Darwin was serving as a naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle when he sailed to the Galapagos Islands. He didn’t publish his groundbreaking work – the Origin of Species, which was inspired by that visit and which introduced the concept of natural selection – until 1859, however.

How many different kinds of finches are found in the Galapagos?


“The 13 species of finches found on the Galapagos Islands inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection,” the experts at the World Wildlife Fund report. “Subsequent scientific research supports the theory that finches of a single species arrived and dispersed to different islands. The beaks of each of the species evolved over time to best take advantage of available food sources and were most likely to reproduce and pass on their traits. This process of evolution – called adaptive radiation – continued until each group of finches developed into a different species.”

How many giant tortoises are now living in the islands?

15,000 to 20,000

The World Wildlife Fund says, “Around 250,000 giant tortoises are thought to have lived on Galapagos before the arrival of humans. Today only 15,000-20,000 survive.”

If you are traveling to the Galapagos Islands for a marlin fishing trip, then the most important numbers to you may be the number of strikes and bites you log. For information on how to get the kind of numbers that will make you happy, contact our marlin fishing experts.

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