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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! :)

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29 comments so far

Rivallien, Czech Republic
This is just great! :)
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zomertje, Netherlands
Fun fact to know!!!
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aberline, Australia
Cool! The Cocos Island had barrel mail too...


http://www.shipsonstamps.org/Topics/html/bottle.htm
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sudeshna, India
This is very interesting to know.
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
Incredible!
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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!
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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
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geminiscp, Portugal
Nice!!! I really wish to see it with my eyes one day (it's difficult but I keep dreaming! ;) ).
Thanks for sharing! :)
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Prima_Murasakibara, Germany
wonderful story
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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?
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dogfan, United States of America
I have always wanted to go to see the wildlife. Now I want to go to mail a letter!
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JntDxn, United States of America
Cool
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rosenbusch, Germany
interesting story
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cydfarrell, United States of America
I love this! It personifies this statement, "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty".
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alexanyan, Armenia
Super :)
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Tetsuko, Germany
Thank you for the story - I wonder if it still works :D
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ConstantGardener, United States of America
Isn't that AWESOME!!!!
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kcisek, United States of America
Wonderful story!
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edo, Spain
Awesome !
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Vitor_Luiz, Brazil
sooooooo nice!!!!!
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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.
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LaternaMagica, Austria
This is really interesting and somehow really cute! Humans are amazing ^^
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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.
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mounten, Italy
Wow what a nice story!!!Thank you a lot!!!!
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shadowkeeper, India
Simply amazing!!! Very interesting to know about these unique post concept. :)
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Knerq, United States of America
So cool
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Lakisha, Belarus
it's so good
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emoffdayz, United States of America
Awesome so cool :) :)
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moonlight24, United States of America
This was so awesome to read! How interesting. If I'm ever there ...
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