Ecuador

Galapagos: Evolutionary Travel Adventure

The famed Galapagos Islands of Ecuador are truly a sight to behold. Home to a number of rare plants and animals that live nowhere else on the planet, the islands were declared a World Heritage site in 1978 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1985. It was here after witnessing the amazing behaviours of such unworldly creatures as the salt-snorting iguanas, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies that Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural section. There are nineteen islands in total but only a select few are accessible for tourists. The main ones include Santa Cruz, Isabella, San Cristobal, Fernandina and Santiago.

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 Full name: Republic of Ecuador

 Population: 15.22 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Quito

 Largest city: Guayaquil

 Area: 283,561 sq.km. (109,484 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Spanish, Amerindian  Languages

 Major religions: Roman Catholic, Other

 Monetary unit: U.S. Dollar

 GDP per capita: US $8,300

 Internet domain: .ec

 International dialling code: +593

 Source: CIA World Factbook