July 11, 2017

For many travelers, the Galápagos Islands — a remote archipelago 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador — are at the top of the bucket list. After all, this is where you come to see blue-footed boobies, rare penguins, and the famous giant tortoises.

Every year, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe in our annual World’s Best Awards survey. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

The Galápagos’ wildlife certainly helped propel this destination to the top. Divers can swim with hammerhead and giant whale sharks, while small expedition ships can access popular sites like Black Turtle Cove, Darwin Bay, and the Wall of Tears.

About 25,000 people live on the Galápagos’ five inhabited islands, and travelers are always struck by the incredible hospitality of the locals. Residents take pride in preserving the natural wonders of their home.

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