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Travel Secret #1028: The Island Where You Can Post Letters for Free

We all know that the Galapagos Islands are rich in flora and fauna. But amidst the exotic wildlife, there is a little post office. Pigeon mail services? No, it was a secret little establishment made by humans to drop off letters, in the days of yore.

Floreana Island is where you’ll find this historical mailbox, which dates back to the 19th century when whalers would stop at the island to pick up food and water. The whalers were often homesick and had limited means of communication. To combat this, they came with an ingenious solution: they started to leave letters in a barrel on Floreana, and whenever a ship was passing by, the sailors would pick up the letters destined for that place and would deliver them personally (without postage stamps). The place where the barrel stands, came to be known as Post Office Bay. It’s also one of the few man made sites on the island.

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This system still works and each year tourists continue to drop off letters and post cards. Other visitors headed to any of the destinations, pick up the letters and take them to the addressee. And keeping with the tradition, the letter needs to be delivered in person, so that you can share the story of how it got there!

 

 

 

 

 

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