The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, 926 km west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part. The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000. The islands are famed for their vast number of endemic species.