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Galapagos > History

Galapagos history


Galapagos Islands, girl see the sea lionsIn March 10, 1535, Fray Thomas de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama, sailed to Peru to settle a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his lieutenants after the conquest of the Incas.


The bishop's ship stalled when the winds died and strong currents carried him out to the Galapagos. The islands were uninhabited, although Thor Heyerdahl in 1963 reported findings of pottery of South American origin that suggested earlier contacts, a theory that appears to still be controversial.

The archipelago was used as hiding place by the English pirates that pilfered the Spanish galleons carrying gold and silver from South America to Spain.

Fray Thomas de BerlangaThe islands first appeared on maps in about 1570 in those drawn by Abraham Ortelius and Mercator.

The islands were called "Insulae de los Galopegos" (Islands of the Tortoises). The first English to visit Galapagos was Richard Hawkins, in 1593. From that time until 1816 many famous pirates visited the archipelago.

The man after who's adventures in Juan Fernandez Islands inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, visited the Galapagos in 1708 after he was picked up from Juan Fernandez by the privateer Woodes Rogers, while Rogers was refitting his ships in the islands after sacking Guayaquil. CONTINUES...

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