Santa Cruz

San Cristóbal


Santa Fe



Welcome to a special edition of Explorer magazine! Through these pages, you’ll travel to a place unlike any other: the Galápagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands

The islands were given both Spanish and English names by early visitors.

Early Spanish sailors called the islands “Las Encantadas.” It means “the enchanted.” How perfect for a place that almost disappears in the mist!

The islands were discovered in 1535 by Spaniard Tomás de Berlanga. His ship was bound for Peru. But, it was carried off course by strong currents.

From the 1500s to the 1800s, pirates sailed to the Galápagos, looking for gold and silver. Whalers sailed to the islands, too.

These islands teem with life. Frigatebirds soar. Sea lions call to their young. Giant tortoises lumber along.

Take a closer look at the map above. It helps tell the tale of how the islands came to be. You will learn the natural history of the place. You will read about a famous visitor, Charles Darwin. And you’ll learn about the islands’ most memorable species, the giant tortoise.

We hope this issue will inspire you to learn more about the Galápagos!

Brenna Maloney,
managing editor, Explorer