The history of the discovery of the Galapagos Islands is full of surprising facts, pirate adventures and a lot of imagination.
Galapagos was discovered on March 10, 1535, by the Spaniard Fray Tomas de Berlanga, on a voyage aboard with the Bishop of Panama, heading for Peru, which by mistake the destination arrived was a desert land, full of marine iguanas, giant tortoise, and sea lions.
The islands appear for the first time on a geographical map in 1570 and were baptized by the sailors Abraham Ortelius and Gerardus Mercator as “The islands of the Tortoises”.
Richard Hawkins was the first Englishman to visit Galapagos in 1593.
Over the years, Galapagos became a refuge for English pirates who sailed the seas in search of gold and treasures and anchored their galleons on the islands to feed on the animals that inhabited these
The comments of the buccaneers about the richness of the flora and fauna on the islands caught the attention of all the navigators around the world and in 1793 the English James Colnett drew a route for the islands to be used as a port of embarkation in the Pacific Ocean.
This route was taken advantage by the Irish sailor Patrick Watkins, the first human to reside on Floreana Island in 1807, who found a route to Guayaquil for grocery exchange.
On February 12, 1832, the archipelago was annexed as part of the Ecuadorian territory, thanks to the management of the heroic General José de Villamil who also brought to the island hundreds of convicts
from the prisons of Ecuador.
In 1835, the naturist geologist Charles Darwin arrived on board the HMS Beagle to the islands. Impressed by the number of craters of volcanic origin, birds and unique animals that inhabited the islands, he started a scientifically study for decades, creating the famous theory known worldwide as The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.