Visitors in the Galapagos
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The Galapagos Islands are a world-class visitor destination, and the rich and famous are not immune to their attraction!

Many famous visitors have come from around the world to see the Galapagos Islands and to enjoy themselves just like any other visitor.Visitors in the Galapagos The same rules apply to the rich and famous: they can only go ashore on the visitor sites, they must be accompanied by a certified Galapagos naturalist guide, etc.

Here are just a few of the most famous Galapagos visitors!

Tomas de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama

How appropriate that the Galapagos’ first visitor should be a celebrity. In 1535, Berlanga was on his way to Peru to put an end to a civil war among the conquistadors when his ship was blown off course.

Thus were the Galapagos Islands first discovered.

William Dampier

The famous pirate and explorer visited Galapagos in 1784.

He was particularly impressed by the tasty tortoises, writing:

“The land-turtle are here so numerous that 5 or 600 men might subsist on them alone for several months without any other sort of provision: they are extraordinary large and fat; and so sweet that no pullet eats more pleasantly.”

Charles Darwin

Darwin was a young naturalist on board the HMS Beagle when it visited Galapagos in 1835.

Years later, the samples he had collected led him to an epiphany. He realized that the Galapagos Finches, unique to each island, had all evolved from a common ancestor, leading him to develop his Theory of Evolution, and stunning the world.

They’re still naming streets, buildings and more after him in the Galapagos Islands.Visitors in the Galapagos

Herman Melville

Melville was a young sailor in 1841 when he visited the Galapagos Islands. His greatest work, Moby Dick, was still ten years in his future.

Once he was an established writer, he did a magazine article about Galapagos where he focused on the harshness of the islands:

“Another feature in these isles is their emphatic uninhabitableness… Man and wolf alike disown them. Little but reptile life is here found: tortoises, lizards, immense spiders, snakes, and that strangest anomaly of outlandish nature, the iguana. No voice, no low, no howl is heard–the chief sound of life here is a hiss.”

Bo Derek

The movie bombshell visited the Galapagos in 2007, where she fell in love with the sea lions.

She was distressed to learn that the playful animals are sometimes used as bait by illegal shark fishermen and has joined with action star Jackie Chan to try and reduce Asia’s appetite for illegal shark fins.

She has even served on the board of the Galapagos conservancy.

Richard Gere

The famous movie star visited Galapagos in 2009 with his family and was so impressed with the islands that he has offered to speak out publicly in support of conservation efforts.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

The heir to the throne of England visited the Galapagos Islands with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in March of 2009.

The Prince and Duchess were impressed by the wildlife and the need for conservation efforts.Visitors in the Galapagos

Chevy Chase, Glenn Close, Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah and Edward Norton

These five stars, as well as several others, visited on board the Endeavor in April, 2010 as part of a conservation conference. Leonardo DiCaprio went even further, offering to help preserve Ecuador’s Yasuni Nature reserve. While in Galapagos, they met with Ecuadorian vice-president Lenin Moreno.

These are just a few of the many celebrities who have come to the Galapagos Islands. So on your next trip, keep an eye on the people at the table next to you: they might be more famous visitors!

Want to travel to the same place that Darwin made famous and Princes and celebrities alike continue to visit? Start planning your exotic Galapagos vacation now! Our expert trip advisors can help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.
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Written by Galapagos Travel Center
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