Galapagos Islands Ecotourism

Nature

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Tourism is a great opportunity to expand the outlook and get tons of unforgettable emotions. There are so many beautiful places on Earth worth visiting and the Galapagos Islands are among them.

Every year about 170 thousand tourists visit this wonderful place. There are no doubts that this is one of the most attractive destinations nowadays. Besides, these islands have a unique ecosystem and that’s why it’s important to protect the environment of this place from the destruction. Fortunately, you’ll know how you can visit this place without causing a negative impact on it after reading this article. Besides, it’ll provide you with the necessary information about Galapagos ecotours and sights.

Ecotourism Attractions in Galapagos

You definitely need to visit Galapagos Islands if you want to relax and have fun together with your family members. In addition, take into account that this place was noted by Darwin for its unique flora and fauna. There you can see giant turtles, frigate birds, and iguanas. It’s no-brainer that nature is the main attraction of the Galapagos. 

Orange iguana from Galapagos islands
Orange iguana from Galapagos islands

At the same time, don’t forget to visit Galapagos National Park that is the center of ecotourism in Galapagos island San Cristobal. It’s a great chance to see the wonderful nature of the islands without causing any damage to it. The park’s administration introduced several rules that help develop ecotourism in Galapagos Islands. It’ll be a great idea to get acquainted with them before visiting this place:

  • You’ll need to pay the entrance fee. The administration uses the received money to develop various conservation projects.
  • Tourists aren’t allowed to explore the islands independently. It’s necessary to hire a licensed guide who will show you the most beautiful places.
  • The park’s administration set limits for the number of visitors of particular areas. What is more, sometimes it may reduce the number of tourists who are allowed to visit this or that place, if there is a risk for the environment.

In addition, the park helps establish the urban development zones and provides visitors with important information about the islands’ ecosystem and local culture. Besides, don’t forget to visit the amazing Charles Darwin Research Station if you want to discover more interesting facts. And don’t miss your chance to see the islands’ volcanoes, enjoy sandy beaches, taste local sea-food and meet cute seals at Darwin Bay.

Ecotourism Examples in Galapagos Islands

Galapagos National Park Bartolome island
Galapagos National Park Bartolome island. Img Via: cuyabenolodge.com

You’ll be definitely amazed by the wonderful views and amazing animals while visiting the islands. And it’ll be a good idea to choose one of the different Galapagos ecotours if you want to enjoy your adventure and ensure that you won’t cause any damage to this beautiful place.

For example, you can choose Yacu Amu Experiences. This operator was the first to promote ecotourism of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Besides, it’s even certified by the Rainforest Alliance. What is more, take into consideration that you’ll be asked to stick to the following rules:

  • You can go fishing only with the owners of authorized boats.
  • It’s forbidden to feed the animals as it may cause various health problems. 
  • You won’t be allowed to use flash while taking pictures of wild animals.
  • Tourists should drop litter only in special rubbish bins and baskets.
  • You may be fined if you buy souvenirs made of the animals or plants from the islands.
  • It’s not allowed to deface the rocks.

Following these simple rules will help you become a true eco-friendly tourist. Additionally, you may relax and have a good time at one of Galapagos eco-resorts on Santa Cruz. You certainly should visit Finch Bay or Galapagos Habitat, luxury eco-hotels that attract thousands of tourists every year.

History Of Ecotourism In The Galapagos

Galapagos national park sign
Galapagos national park. Img via galapagostravelplanner.com

The Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism and the Galapagos National Park constantly ask the tour operators to make their business more eco-friendly. They need to conserve water and energy as well as recycle waste materials. In addition, the operators hire local people and provide them with special training necessary to handle their job duties successfully.

However, the history of Galapagos Islands ecotourism began in 1978 when they became the first UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Due to this event, the GNP rules appeared. They provide the tourists with the opportunity to enjoy the marvelousness of the islands in an eco-friendly way.

Also, Galapagos Conservancy was founded in 1986. This is the US organization that focuses on the protection of the unique ecosystem of the islands. The GC conducts various researches and uses conservation management methods to reach its goals. Furthermore, it informs visitors and locals about the importance of the building of a sustainable society and the development of ecotourism. Additionally, such organizations as Maquipucuna Foundation and Charles Darwin Foundation also support these ideas.

Besides, in 1998, the Ecuadorian government put through a Special Law aiming to promote the economic development and environmental preservation of the islands. Plus, it expanded the institutional power of such organizations as Galapagos National Park.

What is more, IGOTA has developed the Galapagos Traveler Funding Program recently. It provides the tourist with the possibility to support important scientific researched and sustainable development of the islands. At the same time, the program aims to raise awareness about this magical place among the other visitors.

Conclusion

Galapagos is truly one of the most wonderful places in the world. Its breathtaking landscapes and unique fauna will allow nobody to stay indifferent. Due to the number of eco-friendly organizations and rules, any traveler will adopt ideas of ecotourism after visiting this place. 

Right now, the Galapagos ecotourism is flourishing. Although there are a lot of strict policies and systems, thousands of travelers visit these islands annually. Besides, different guidelines created by such organizations as GNP protect the cultural, environmental and ecological integrity of this amazing place.

And don’t forget that the promotion of tourism helps develop various sustainable projects. Plus, it’s the main source of income for locals. But still, you should never forget about the environment and follow the rules written above if you want to be an eco-friendly tourist. Remember that the future of our planet depends on us.

Environmental consultant

Kate is an environmental consultant specializing on green technologies and nature preservation techniques. She has more than 3 years of experience and worked with several non-profit organizations to save our nature from disruptive influence of people.

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