Countless fine sandy beaches abound, but the Galápagos Islands' fauna and flora steal the show. About two hours from Quito by plane, this unique ecosystem spreads over about forty volcanic islands. Expect birds, sealions, sharks, insects, ray fishes, sea and land iguanas as well as giant turtles – in Spanish, “islas de los Galápagos” means “islands of the turtles”. Some 9,000 species live here, and many of them are endemic. The national park (97% of the territory) and the Galápagos marine reserve have therefore been listed by the UNESCO. Day and night, dive with dolphins and sunfishes, or follow in the steps of adventurer biologists (like Charles Darwin, who theorised the origin of species by means of natural selection right here). And after, why not walking or riding a bike looking for carnivorous plants and penguins!