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When we think of penguins, we immediately think of them waddling around on the ice sheets of Antarctica. But in reality, they live throughout the Southern Hemisphere – and one, the Galapagos Penguin – is even found north of the equator.
There are 17 species of penguins. They live in Africa, the South Atlantic islands, Australia, New Zealand and South America. They get their name from the Welsh, who first saw these birds on the Atlantic coast of South America. They called them pen (head) and gwyn (white).
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The most famous giant tortoise of the Galapagos Islands – Lonesome George – has returned to our midst.
Lonesome George – called Solitario Jorge in his native Ecuador – was the last full-blooded Pinta tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdoni). He was found alone on that island in 1971 and brought to the tortoise breeding center on Santa Cruz Island.
Most people know that the Galapagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site but what does that mean exactly?
UNESCO declared the Galapagos a Natural Heritage Site for Humanity in 1978, and the Galapagos National Park a Biosphere Reserve in 1984. Later in 2001 UNESCO extended the World Heritage Site designation to include the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
UNESCO cites four reasons for declaring the Galapagos Islands a World Heritage Site, all of which you will experience during your stay here.