The Galapagos Islands' most famous visitor, Charles Darwin, was not impressed with the landscapes that greeted him upon his arrival, writing in 1845 that, "Nothing could be less inviting..." Neither were later writers such as Hermann Melville (see quote below). Modern visitors seem more enlightened. This is a windswept, sun-burned place. Its stark wild beauty is infinitely appealing in a world increasingly pervaded by urban growth and the spread of lifestyles far from nature. We gaze upon this remote land and look upon strange scenes: rocky shores of black lava, vast lava fields shimmering in the heat, scrubby hills of rust-colored rock dotted with cacti the size of trees, a rich green flora capping the high slopes of larger islands. So despite Darwin's first impressions, the Galapagos Islands scenic variety draws you irresistibly...
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"Take five-and-twenty heaps of cinders dumped here and there in an outside city lot; imagine some of them magnified into
mountains and the vacant lot the sea; and you will have a fit idea of the general aspect of the Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles."
Herman Melville, 1854