Did you know that the Galapagos Islands were a booty for pirates and an important air base during the Second World War, besides having an extraordinary flora and fauna has a lot of history to tell. So it is the ideal place for those who want to combine nature adventure and history. Next we present you the most interesting episodes of the islands.
The discovery of the “Enchanted Islands”.
There is no exact date for the discovery of the archipelago, many people attribute to the Incas who arrived before the Spanish colonization. Also several sources mention that they were discovered of 1735 by Tomas de Berlanga, who when being dragged by the strong currents arrived at the islands and later would be baptized like “Enchanted Islands”, by several of its crew by the difficulty that exists at the moment of navigate and the ease to be lost.
Galapagos a booty for pirates.
Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, there were many English pirates in the Galapagos Islands. They used the islands as a place of refuge for their persecutors (the Spaniards) and were located in a strategic position in the Pacific Ocean to attack the American continent.
One of the islands with the largest number of pirates was Floreana, because of its abundant water in addition to the caves that exist and were used as a refuge. In one of them, a face is sculpted, local people assure that it is the tomb of a famous pirate.
Another place you should not miss is to visit the Bahía postal office, besides having one of the best beaches on the islands there is a mailbox that was installed by a crew at the beginning of the 20th century.
The whale hunters in Galapagos.
During the nineteenth century, piracy diminished, but a new business appeared, such as the hunting of whales and turtles, which depredated considerably the population of these animals. It is estimated that during that period about 15 thousand turtles were taken from the islands.
The Second World War.
The USA and several European countries looked for the way how to lease the islands, to watch the Panana channel thanks to its geographical situation they became an ideal place. That is why in the decade of the 1940s a US military base was established on Baltra Island.
The dark side of the Galapagos.
After the Second World War the Ecuadorian government decided to establish a penitentiary colony in the Isabela. Where thousands of prisoners were banished to Galapagos in very deplorable conditions and with little food. In 1959 it was decided to close the penitentiary colony to declare the islands in a National Park that would later be declared a World Heritage Site, the only vestige you can find from the prison is a wall of volcanic rocks called “the wall of tears” that It was built by the prisoners.
Organizing a trip can be very complicated, so the Responsible Travel experts will guarantee that your experience is unforgettable, because we are experts in Ecuador & Galapagos.