The Galapagos archipelago consists of 13 major islands, 6 minor islands, and approximately 60 smaller rock formations and reefs spread out over 17,000 square miles (44,000 Square kilometers) of ocean. These equatorial islands, above the surface of the Pacific Ocean 600 miles (approximately 1,000 kilometers) west of Ecuador, are volcanic mountains that erupted. Isolated from other landmasses, the Galapagos are bubbling with volcanic activity today. They first broke through the ocean floor, 7-9 million years ago

According to geologists, the eastern islands are significantly older than the Western Islands. Isabela and Fernandina, the youngest islands, date back to less than 1 million years ago.