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Be an Ecotourist while on Holiday in Galapagos

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Giant male tortoise and person, Urbina Bay, Galapagos

 

The Galapagos Islands are a very fragile environment and feel symbolic of a sea change in people’s attitudes to responsible and sustainable tourism.

Every year more and more people visit. Some to get there ‘before it’s gone’ and most want to minimise the impact of their visit.

Our handy guide gives lots of travel tips on how to visit and enjoy the Galapagos while helping to protect for further generations.

Because if we can’t save Galapagos from ourselves, what can we save?

 

Land iguana Dragon hills Galapagos

Land iguana

 

More on Galapagos Eco-Tourism

Around 40% of your USD 100 Galapagos park entry fee is spent directly on conservation efforts, helping to protect more than 95% of the islands’ original biodiversity.

Successful projects include the eradication of invasive species like goats and dogs on certain islands, and the repopulation of giant tortoises throughout Galapagos.

This just goes to show how important travelling can be in helping to protect the planet. A ban on single use plastic products is also in progress on the islands.

 

Giant-tortoise-family-Galapagos

Giant tortoise

 

How to travel responsibly in Galapagos

Here are some top things you can do before, during and after your trip:

  • Take short showers and flush your toilet sparingly
  • Discard of rubbish responsibly and don’t accept plastic from shops, cafes etc.
  • Take a refillable water bottle
  • Use a waterproof, reusable drybag
  • Leave toiletries that contain microbeads at home
  • Pick up litter or do a beach clean if you see rubbish
  • Taking batteries back home with you to be recycled
  • Save energy by switching your lights off when you leave the room. Electricity on the islands and on the boats comes from a generator, fuelled by petrol.
  • Please think about whether you really need to use your air conditioning

 

Sea Horse Tangus Cove Galapagos

Sea horse

 

As well as the produce you consume, your behaviour also helps protect the environment and wildlife. Below is a summary of the important Galapagos National Park (GNP) rules.

 

How to behave responsibly in Galapagos

All cruises and day trips into the GNP must be accompanied by a licensed guide who ensures that tourists respect the GNP rules:

  • Take only photos, leave only footprints.
  • Do not use flash photography
  • Do not leave the marked trails at any point
  • Keep your distance – please keep at least two metres away from all animals and NEVER touch them no matter how tame they appear
  • Don’t feed the animals
  • Buy responsibly – when purchasing souvenirs, do not buy anything made from the flora, fauna or rocks of the Islands. This includes black coral, marine tortoise shells, sea lion teeth, seashells and lava rock
  • No smoking
  • No camp fires
  • No fishing (unless on an organised tour)
  • No water sports (unless on an organised dive or snorkel)
  • Do not introduce alien food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.

 

Sunken Crater Bartolome Galapagos

Sunken crater, Bartolome, Galapagos

 

How Andean Trails helps promote ecotourism in the Galapagos Islands

Here at Andean Trails, we want to do our bit, too, and so we employ local staff and use small groups, to minimise impact.

We make a donation to the Galapagos Conservation Trust for every Galapagos booking we receive, carbon offset all our travel with a donation to Rainforest Concern and attend industry workshops on sustainable and responsible tourism.

With blogs like this and on information we send to our travellers, we also encourage people to reuse towels, water bottles and minimise plastics as well as use bio-degradable shampoo, gels and sun creams.

 

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