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40th Anniversary of Quito and Galápagos Islands inscribed into UNESCO

9 October 2018

The Embassy of Ecuador hosted a Photo Exhibition for the Fortieth Anniversary of the Declaration of the city of Quito as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the Galápagos Islands as a UNESCO Natural Heritage of Humanity.

Photo: Ms Maria Soledad Cordova Montero, Ambassador of Ecuador to South Africa (left) opening the exhibition

The city of Quito and the Galapagos Islands were the first places in the world to obtain this category from UNESCO, which confers a solemn consecration to this universal value, said Ambassador Cordova Montero.


Quito, Ecuador's capital, sits high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 2,850m. Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city, it’s known for its well-preserved colonial center, rich with 16th- and 17th-century churches and other structures blending European, Moorish and indigenous styles. These include the cathedral, in the Plaza Grande square, and ultra-ornate Compañia de Jesús Jesuit church. Quito was inscribed into the UNESCO list in 1978. The entire protected area spans 320 hectares in land area.

The Galapagos Islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast. This archipelago and its immense marine reserve is known as the unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Its geographical location at the confluence of three ocean currents makes it one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual plant and animal life – such as marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, giant tortoises, huge cacti, endemic trees and the many different subspecies of mockingbirds and finches – all of which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.

The Galapagos Islands were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978 for its exotic flora and fauna, unique in the world.



November/December 2019











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