The Galapagos Islands, long before becoming a famous national park and one of the most desirable tour destinations in the world, served as a welcome rest stop to whalers and other seafarers who would spend months at a time on the ocean. They would stop on the islands to rest and collect water, as well as gather the giant tortoises, which offered fresh meat to the sailors.
Sometime in the 18th century, though the exact dates will never be known, homesick whalers came up with an unconventional way to get letters home. A barrel was set up, where sailors would place their letters addressed to loved ones, and anyone who would be going to that region next would take the letters and deliver them themselves! Letters were left with nothing but an address and a little bit of hope, yet it seems that they almost always made their way to their destination.
To this day, tourists continue the tradition with souvenirs and postcards addressed to friends and family that live in other parts of the world. When you stop by the “post office” you can check to see if anything is addressed to someone that lives near you, and you can carry on this centuries-old tradition by hand delivering letters, postcards and souvenirs to your neighbors for a fellow tourist. In turn, leave your own letter to be delivered by the next batch of visitors. And just like that, the tradition lives on!
The fascinating history of Post Office Bay is just one of the many incredibles tales awaiting you as you traverse these islands with our expert guides aboard the M/C Petral. Get in touch with us today to start planning your next adventure!