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.
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! :)