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Blog > The Post Office in Galapagos Islands


The Galápagos islands are known for their diverse wildlife, studied by Charles Darwin on his trip around the world. Every year, many people visit the archipelago to get a glimpse of the giant turtoises, penguins or unique bird species… but also to send and pick up mail!

It all started a couple of centuries ago, back when the island was regularly visited by whaling ships. The ships stayed at sea for long stretches of time, often years, and so communication between the fishermen and their families was difficult. To solve this problem, in 1793, Captain James Colnett established a post office of sorts in Floreana island — a simple wooden barrel where mail could be left to be picked by other visitors. Ships often stopped on Floreana island to do repair works or pick up water and food, so sailors started taking the mail which was destined to their home ports with them, hand-delivering the missives to their intended recipients by hand.

6115186004 bef9b1b707 z Photo by claudiah on Flickr.

The place became known as Post Office Bay and to this day, visitors still rely in the kindness of strangers to bring their letters and postcards home (mailing items with stamps is considered cheating!) — and to tell the story of how these missives made it home! :)

27 comments so far

Rivallien, Czech Republic

This is just great! :)

zomertje, Netherlands

Fun fact to know!!!

aberline, Australia

Cool! The Cocos Island had barrel mail too...

Luziaceleste, Brazil


ravioli22, Germany

That is really interesting to know. There are so many unexpected, funny and strange things in the world, and such great ones. Unbelievable that strangers will pick up the mail and deliver them personally. A great gesture, now and then :)
Makes me believe in the goodness of mankind, yay :D

Thank you for sharing this!

Kilona, Finland

Damn I was there just couple of months ago and I didn't know anything about this postbarrel. I need to go there again :D

Geminiscp, Portugal

Nice!!! I really wish to see it with my eyes one day (it's difficult but I keep dreaming! ;) ).
Thanks for sharing! :)

SannyMelon, Germany

wonderful story

franhunne, Germany

Makes you wonder what this means
" visitors still rely in the kindness of strangers to bring their letters and postcards home (mailing items with stamps is considered cheating!) —"
Is using stamps only cheating for the sender? Or also for the middle man who could take those things home and apply home stamps to the letters and cards?

dogfan, United States of America

I have always wanted to go to see the wildlife. Now I want to go to mail a letter!

QueenJane, United States of America


rosenbusch, Germany

interesting story

cydfarrell, United States of America

I love this! It personifies this statement, "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty".

alexanyan, Armenia

Super :)

Tetsuko, Germany

Thank you for the story - I wonder if it still works :D

ConstantGardener, United States of America

Isn't that AWESOME!!!!

kcisek, United States of America

Wonderful story!

edo, Spain

Awesome !

Vitor_Luiz, Brazil

sooooooo nice!!!!!

chacmool, Germany

Last year I went there, it was an amazing experience!
There is also a book called "Floreana", it tells the history and interesting facts about social life there! I would recommend it to you, if you are interested in the story of that island.

LaternaMagica, Spain

This is really interesting and somehow really cute! Humans are amazing ^^

mfchang, Ecuador

OMG! I am from Ecuador, I´ve been in the island but never knew about this, it is so nice!
Thank you for sharing this post with us.

mounten, Italy

Wow what a nice story!!!Thank you a lot!!!!

shadowkeeper, India

Simply amazing!!! Very interesting to know about these unique post concept. :)

Knerq, United States of America

So cool

Lakisha, Belarus

it's so good

emoffdayz, United States of America

Awesome so cool :) :)


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