When it comes to ecotourism, a vacation in Galapagos Islands are among the most popular representatives of sustainable travelling. Every year, over 150,000 guests come to visit this island paradise.
Located about 1000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, this group of islands is famous throughout the world for its enormous diversity of different plant and animal species. During an ecotour on the Galapagos Islands you will have the opportunity to observe animals that are found nowhere else in the world.
But how does this archipelago, so popular with travelers, manage to provide sustainable tourism despite its high number of visitors? You’ll find out in this article.
How laws guarantee a sustainable vacation in Galapagos Islands
The Ecuadorian government has enacted various rules and regulations to protect the unique nature of this paradise destination. In this way, all guests visiting here are encouraged to take care of their environment and travel sustainably.
Especially on the islands that are not populated by humans, there are strict laws regarding nature conservation in the Galapagos Islands. When you consider that humans live on just four of the more than one hundred islands formed by volcanic activity, that’s quite a statement.
On the islands that are uninhabited except by animals, you are only allowed to walk on the special paths created for travelers. In addition, there are also some places on the Galapagos Islands, which you are only allowed to visit in the company of an officially certified naturalist guide. But even here, the trails run along appropriately marked routes, which no one is allowed to leave. In case of a violation, you have to expect high penalties and fines. Furthermore, the prices for a trip to the archipelago are deliberately quite high.
The question why a vacation in Galapagos Islands is so expensive can be answered quite easily with a little background knowledge. The islands are quite isolated in the Pacific Ocean, and it is over 950 kilometers to the Ecuadorian coast. All goods have to be transported from further away to the islands either by plane or by ship. In addition, there are only a few companies that make shipments to the island, which means that they also have little competition and can charge higher prices for their services. Ecuadorian Air Force the most imports, they charge $1 per kilogram. This results in higher costs, which are of course added to the prices. Furthermore, the entrance fee to the Galapagos Islands National Park alone already costs $100.
How you protect fragile nature through sustainable vacation in Galapagos Islands
Ever since the first humans set foot on this island, the natural balance has been completely upset. Because with the first visitors, completely foreign animals came to the Galapagos Islands., too. These have not only disputed the habitat of the already endemic species, but in some cases have also taken over their food sources.
This has had an impact until today. Numerous animal inhabitants got threatened with extinction due to the influence of humans. Species, such as the Galapagos sea lion, are even on the Red List for endangered animals.
In order not to further fuel this decay of the ecological balance, you should consciously think about your vacation in Galapagos Islands. Above all, do not bring your pets, if you have any. For example, when the first people settled the island, they also brought goats to the archipelago, moreover, rats often came to the island with the ships. Both species that stole food from the native animals in particular.
But there are numerous actions to restore the islands to their original state. For example, all animal species that are not part of the actual population on the islands got banned from the islands. To prevent new invasive animals from unintentionally entering the islands, there are strict controls on the luggage of all travelers at the two departure airports on the mainland.
Of course, such comprehensive environmental protection also costs a lot of money. This is undoubtedly the crux of the matter. On the one hand, massive tourism destroys nature, but on the other hand, various conservation organizations operating on the archipelago depend on the income generated by the tourism industry. This is why there are so many rules, so that the high costs of restoring nature can still be covered.
It may sound ironic, but if more travelers visit the Ecuadorian archipelago, it will indeed help to continue protecting the archipelago. The only important thing is that you follow all the rules in force, then nothing will stand in the way of a sustainable visit to the archipelago.
Eco-friendly activities during your vacation in Galapagos Islands
During a vacation in the Galapagos Islands you can do different activities together with a local tour guide. All the activities you can do during your visit are nature-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about harming the environment. Nevertheless, you should definitely use your common sense when exploring the wonderful archipelago.
You can, for example, explore the beautiful landscape on the various hiking trails across the Galapagos Islands. With a little luck, you might even come across a giant tortoise or a few sea lions.The group of Islands are also popular with divers and snorkelers. In case you like diving, during your vacation in Galapagos Islands you will have the opportunity to explore the underwater world of the archipelago. During the dive you will also come into contact with numerous sea creatures, from fish swarms to rays and sharks.
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