The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The islands are quite remote and isolated, lying some 1000 km (620 miles) west of the South American continent, and the archipelago is bisected by the Equator. The Galapagos archipelago consists of 13 main islands and 6 smaller isles, which together embrace some 50,000 km2 (19,500 sq mi) of ocean.
The Galápagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. The islands are therefore very popular amongst natural historians, both professional and amateur. Giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and different bird species can all be seen and approached. The landscape of the islands is relatively barren and volcanic, but beautiful nonetheless. The highest mountain amongst the islands is Volcán Wolf on Isla Isabela, 1,707 m (5,600 ft) high.