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Charles Darwin began his research in the Galapagos when he disembarked on San Cristobal in 1835. Today, travelers flock to this Pacific Ocean paradise for the outdoor adventures, exceptional wildlife and gorgeous scenery. Along with numerous shops and restaurants, the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos province, is home to an interpretive center that explores the archipelago’s volcanic origins, conservation efforts and more. It also is a jumping off point for excursions to a sea lion rookery; Frigatebird Hill, which boasts outstanding bird-watching; and Kicker Rock, the 485-foot-tall tuff off which you can snorkel and scuba dive among manta rays, sea turtles and sharks. Hike past tortoises big and small at a reptile reserve, or swim in sapphire waters off the Punta Pitt peninsula, the only place in the Galapagos where you can see all three species of booby birds—red-footed, blue-footed and nazca—nesting together.
Currency: US dollar (US$)
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