Before You Visit the Galapagos Islands

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We believe that planning for a vacation is part of the fun, especially when your next destination is the Galapagos islands.

The islands are home to numerous endemic species, unique landscapes and a fascinating history that you don’t wat to miss out on. Reading about the history before you arrive will prepare you to ask better questions and have a deeper understanding of the Islands history.

We’ve highlighted a few of the most recent books, articles and media available, so you can begin exploring what the islands have waiting for you. A more comprehensive list is on our suggested reading page, simply Click here. No matter what you interests are – natural history, wildlife or adventure, you can find it in the Galapagos!

For History Buffs:

galapagos islands - anaturalhistory

A Natural History, THE GALAPAGOS

Henry Nicholls
2014, 195 pages, science writer Nicholls offers a lively natural and human history of the archipelago, charting its course from deserted wilderness to biological testing ground and global eco-tourism hot spot. He draws vivid portraits of the life forms found in Galapagos capturing its awe-inspiring landscapes, understated flora, and stunning wildlife. He also reveals the immense challenges facing the islands, which must continuously balance conservation and ever-encroaching development.


For Bird Lovers:


40 Years of Evolution, Darwin’s Finches on Daphne Major Island

Peter & Rosemary Grant
2014, 417 pages, the authors turn their attention to events taking place on a contemporary scale. By continuously tracking finch populations over a period of four decades, they uncover the causes and consequences of significant events leading to evolutionary changes in species.

Don’t like to read? Watch this documentary:


The Galapagos Affair, Satan Came to Eden

2013, Zeitgeist Films, Dan Geller, Dayne Goldfine producers (the Real World), Darwin meets Hitchcock in this true-crime tale of paradise found and lost. This fascinating documentary portrait of a 1930’s murder mystery with characters fleeing conventional society, a Berlin doctor and his mistress, a self-styled Swiss Family Robinson and a gun toting Viannese Baroness and her two lovers. Personalities clash and when some of them disappear, suspicions of murder hang in the air which remain the subject or local lore today.

More on Darwin:

Darwin-in-Galapagos-Footsteps-to-a-New-World-200x300Darwin in Galapagos

K. Thalia Grant & Gregory B Estes

2010, Princeton University Press, Grant and Estes meticulously retrace Darwin’s island expeditions, taking you on an unforgettable guided tour. Drawing from Darwin’s original logs from the Beagle, the latest findings by Darwin scholars and modern science, and their own intimate knowledge of the archipelago, offering a rare insights into Darwin’s thinking about evolution in the context of the actual locales that inspired him. You can order this book here:

For the kids:


Galapagos George

Jean Craighead George
2014, 40 pages, age 4-8, Harper Collins from Newbery Medal winning author. Watercolors fill the pages of this brief story of the Pinta Island saddleback tortoise and how they came to be millions of years ago and why the species became extinct in 2012 with the death of the 100-year old Lonesome George (by Sawyer at dress head inc). Includes a list of key terms, a time line, and a page of helpful resources encouraging further research.





These are 5 options to get you started, but we suggest before you visit to pick one of the books or magazines on our list, and begin to learn more about the mysterious and historic Galapagos Islands.

What books do you recommend before you travel to the Galapagos Islands?