by Maurice André

May 21, 2010
When in 1535 the bishop of Panama stepped ashore on one of the islands of this archipelago, he thought he’d reached the end of the world. He stumbled with his crew across the jagged volcanic landscape in search of fresh water, but all they found were dragons munching cacti.

What was like barren land to one man, was fruitful soil to another: Charles Darwin planted the seeds for his theory of evolution right here.

A visit today is no less fascinating than it must have been back then. Nowhere else in the world exists a place where you can witness such a variety of wild, on often unique, animals in a pristine environment, oblivious to your presence – at barely an arm’s length.