The Galapagos Islands have long been famous for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution and survival of the fittest through natural selection. The unique ecosystems of the archipelago, which sits almost 1,000 kilometres off the coast of mainland Ecuador and hovers right on the equator line, mean the animals that inhabit each island are often endemic to it.
This Ecuadorian national park has its own border security, and strict rules regulate what tourists can and can’t do—because of this, the wildlife is essentially left alone to thrive without predators. The sea lions, finches, seabirds, and iguanas that roam freely are not afraid of humans. The result? Some thrillingly close encounters, and the photographs to prove it.