Most Galapagos sites are known primarily for animals, geology or natural beauty. Who can argue? The Galapagos Islands are home to many fascinating animals and birds, including sea lions, blue-footed boobies and the remarkable Galapagos Penguin.
However there has always been a human side to Galapagos as well: not all of the history of the islands is measured in geologic time. Floreana Island is where you’ll find some fascinating local history: not only was it the site of the famous Galapagos Affair but it is also where you’ll find Post Office Bay.
The history of the postal barrel
The whalers were often homesick, but communication was a problem. They devised a clever solution: they left letters in a certain place on Floreana, and when passing ships stopped there on their way back to England, the USA or wherever their home port was, they would pick up all the letters destined for that place and deliver them. In some cases, letters would take years to deliver! The place on Floreana where the letters were left became known as Post Office Bay.
he most amazing part of this historical tale is that the system is still working! Every year, thousands of Galapagos visitors drop off letters and postcards in Post Office Bay. Other visitors headed close to an addressee will pick up the letters and take them home.