Galapagos Marine Reserve

Natural Patrimony of the Humanity "Galapagos", being the first marine reserve in Ecuador. Get to know this sanctuary of marine life, its location, extension, climate, flora, fauna, attractions.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve, with an extension equivalent to half of the terrestrial surface of Ecuador, is one of the largest in the world. First Marine Reserve of Ecuador, created on March 18, 1998.

The strategic location of the Galapagos Islands, in the consequence of several marine currents, generates a mixture of cold and warm waters that has allowed the arrival and the establishment of species coming from different zones of the Pacific Ocean.

This makes the reserve an important marine life sanctuary. The presence of seamounts and nutrient outcrops caused by Cromwell's underwater current generates an incredible abundance of plankton (small floating animals) that sustains seabirds, sea lions and species difficult to observe in other parts of the world such as whales, sharks and sea turtles.

The reserve includes some famous diving sites where you can observe groups of hammerhead sharks, giant whale sharks and manta rays, coral reefs and fish of all colors.

Declared by UNESCO as Natural Patrimony of Humanity on December 13, 2001, based on the unique characteristics of the Marine Reserve, such as the marvelous mixture of tropical, subantarctic and marine outcrops ecosystems, as well as its high percentage of unique genera, its dramatic changes during the El Niño and La Niña cycles, and the proliferation of other species such as sharks, sea lions, fur seals, sea turtles, rays, among others.

Galapagos Marine Reserve - Santa Cruz

Galapagos Marine Reserve location The Galapagos Marine Reserve is located 1000 kilometers from the Ecuadorian coast.

Galapagos Marine Reserve Extension It has an area of 138 000 Km2

Galapagos Marine Reserve Climate Presents 2 seasons: the dry and garúa season from June to December with temperatures ranging between 18 and 20 ºC and the hot and rainy season from January to May with temperatures ranging between 24 and 29 ºC.

Galapagos Marine Reserve Fauna

  • In the Galapagos Marine Reserve we can find corals, sharks, and other species of vegetables and animals, typically tropical, living together with penguins, sea lions, furriers and other species of cold water, this environment is a product of its special location.
  • In certain sectors it is possible to make surface and deep diving and have contact with the impressive aquatic species that live under the sea like rays.

Galapagos Marine Reserve Flora

  • In the Botanical Reserve we can mention the following: lichens, which are small known plants live on the bark of trees and even on clean rock.
  • As a result, records of the staggering number of 300 new species for Galapagos are now stored in the herbarium of the Charles Darwin Research Station, among the more than 4000 samples collected during the study.


Galapagos Marine Reserve Attractions

  • The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and land finches, sorcerers and herons inhabit the area and have sometimes been seen pachay.
  • Diving in Galapagos has increased remarkably in recent years as it is one of the few places on the planet where marine species still do not fear humans or attack them (the possibility of diving with shoals of sharks is a special attraction); for this reason and those mentioned above, Galapagos has been declared one of the seven wonders of the underwater world by the prestigious oceanographic organization Cedam International.
  • Additionally, there are an infinite number of species of rays that glide majestically over the bottom of the ocean, none of them being dangerous, with the exception of stingrays, which in some beaches rest under a layer of sand in shallow waters and could inflict a painful sting if stepped on.
  • Also in the islands we will find the Galapagos sea lion, their young are incredibly adorable and playful, they swim around the divers and have fun with them, even staring at them through the mask and making them see that they charge against them just before turning to one side, the old males, on the other hand, defend their territory very jealously and can become aggressive. Sea bears are hairier than sea lions, which are smaller and very shy so they prefer to live in colonies on distant cliffs. Malaria dolphins are often spotted as they traverse the bow wake of boats.