Set along the equator, some 600 miles off the South American coast of Ecuador, is a crown jewel of the natural world. The Galapagos Islands live up to dreams of a sheltered place far removed from the usual worries of the world. The skies are almost always sunny, and the sea breezes create that perfect air temperature that instantly relaxes the body. The ocean is an ever inviting turquoise blue, matched by long sandy beaches of crystal white, pink, black and looking-glass green. There are crystal coves and sheltered mangrove lagoons.