Responsible Travel in the Galapagos: Our Pledge
One of the reasons the Galapagos Islands has remained one of the most pristine natural environments in the world despite welcoming over 200,000 visitors every year is because of the commitment we make as tour operators to provide the most responsible tours to Galapagos visitors. Over-development, pollution, and overfishing are major threats to the Galapagos Islands, which is why we strive to protect this fragile environment while we excitedly share it with you.
Does Tourism Help or Hurt the Galapagos Islands?
Every visitor who comes to the Galapagos Islands must pay a $100 National Park Entrance Fee, which alone brings in more than $20 million to help sustain this expansive National Park and Marine Sanctuary. Plus, the more people visit and explore the Galapagos Islands, the more they can share their stories and the importance of conserving the Galapagos Islands and the ocean as a whole.
On the other side, the tourism business does require a big local infrastructure- more people must live in the Galapagos to staff the shops, hotels, and restaurants, which means that more housing must be built, more water systems must be installed, and more trash is generated. On top of that, since the Galapagos Islands are so isolated, it also means that all products must be imported on large cargo ships and all garbage must be shipped out, which implies more large ship traffic and higher fuel consumption.
In order to play our part in promoting responsible travel in the Galapagos Islands, we pledge to uphold the values of sustainable tourism. We do our best to implement “green” practices when possible and limit our impact on the local ecology. We believe that sharing the Galapagos Islands with like-minded, eco-conscious adventurers and explorers is the best way to protect this precious archipelago, and we strive to do that in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
How can you help keep the Galapagos Islands pristine?
The number one way you can help keep the Galapagos Islands in their pristine condition is to travel responsibly. Only book your vacation with operators that have made a pledge to practice sustainability, protect the environment, and contribute to the Galapagos Islands’ growth.
You can also follow the Leave No Trace policy, leaving each site just as it was when you arrived. The Galapagos Islands National Park has strict rules that you will become familiar with as you explore the Galapagos Islands, but the biggest advice is to always stay with your guide - never go off-trail or beyond the path designated by your guide. Other rules restrict campfires, littering, and fishing, and no visitor is allowed to introduce any foreign organic matter or take any natural item from the Galapagos Islands.