Why should I visit the Galápagos Islands? Is there something special about them?

Ooh, it’s hard to know where to start because there’s so much to see! I think these islands are just about the most exciting place in the world. The only problem is that they’re too hot for me because they’re almost on the equator. But the sea is cold, so that’s good – and because of this cold sea some rare penguins even live there. I know because I met some – and so can you!

Mockingbirds like this one live on these islands. They mimic other birds’ songs.

The islands are really the tops of volcanoes sticking out of the ocean. Some of these fiery mountains are very active and regularly erupt red hot lava which flows for miles down their flanks and builds up the islands. You don’t hear about these volcanoes because they are the sort which erupt quietly. Other better known ones, like Mt St Helens (USA) or Krakatau (Indonesia), are often very violent and deadly.

Marine iguana sunbathing on a warm rock

Marine iguana sunbathing on a warm rock

But it wasn’t volcanoes I went to see. It was the incredible and very special animals which live and breed on or around the islands. I’ve made some slideshows so that you can meet them too. I’ll come to those in a minute. But first, why not play around with my special map of the islands? Scroll down a little to see it. Click that button on the top right which says ‘Satellite’. Suddenly, the Galápagos Islands spring to life! There are the islands, the deep blue sea, the volcanoes with their craters, little fluffy clouds… But there’s more; much more. You can move around using the controls on the left. Zoom out to see where the islands are on our planet. Even more exciting is to zoom in on a big volcano like Fernandina Island – that’s the round island on the left. You can go right into the crater where you’ll find a blue lake. Then you can ‘climb’ up over the crater walls and move down the slopes and see all the brown-coloured lava flows that have come out recently. You can zoom in so far you can even see trees and boulders!

For a map with the names of the islands and their volcanoes, click here.

When you’ve had a good look at this smart map, click here to continue.