Supporting Sustainable Tourism in the Galapagos Islands

Supporting Sustainable Tourism in the Galapagos Islands

As one of the most unique places on the planet, the Galapagos Islands attract thousands of nature lovers each year, who come to explore the diverse landscape and experience wildlife encounters. Anyone who embarked on the Galapagos wildlife voyage, or indeed seen in any capacity, has a responsibility to help maintain its gentler ecological system.
Traveling with Responsible Operators Supporting Sustainable Tourism in the Galapagos Islands

Supporting sustainable tourism in the archipelago begins by choosing a reputable carrier for travel. It is important to check the background and operator’s “green credentials” to ensure that their Galapagos wildlife travel voyage promotes responsible practice.

Follow the National Park Rules

The archipelago is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, and the National Park Directorate has set 14 rules that everyone who visits the Galapagos wildlife shipping area is asked to respect.

The rules include provisions such as traveling only with authorized operators and guides, and reminding visitors that the law actually protects the local wildlife. However, outside of legality, it is up to individual individuals to follow up and understand that their choices and actions while in the archipelago have far-reaching effects. Supporting Sustainable Tourism in the Galapagos Islands

Food, herbs and animals: This is very important for the balance of eco systems where no foreign food, plants or animals are brought into the area. Visitors must commit to fully cooperate with quarantine officers during any inspection or inquiry of any information.

Souvenirs: Unfortunately, some unscrupulous sellers can try to sell souvenirs made of forbidden substances. These include items made of lava stone, animal parts, clamshells, black coral or real wood. Under no circumstances should this be purchased, as the practice is illegal. Visitors are obligated to report any incident if they are approached to purchase such items.

Leave No trace: This is one of the most basic sustainable travel rules, and this is even more important in this pure and isolated environment. This requires aspects such as throwing or recycling garbage and smoking or fire prohibition.

Wildlife: Garden governance encompasses not only the environment, but also the wildlife of the inhabitants. The rule states that humans should keep at least six feet of animals at any time, even if they approach it. Giving wildlife is strictly prohibited and flash photography is not allowed. (Photography and professional videography must be approved by the garden directorate.) While animals can be very brave and curious, it is important to keep in mind that the wildlife, and must remain wild.

Keeping the environment clean: Any marine tourism practices are not allowed (although diving and snorkeling are permitted in designated areas). Air activity is also prohibited in this region. Supporting Sustainable Tourism in the Galapagos Islands

Vision for the Future

Over the past decade, the conservation of the islands has been supported by various strategies to extend the protection of terrestrial and marine landscapes, including the ban on commercial fishing and the creation of Marine Reserves. In addition, the authorities have amended the law to prevent nonresident residents from spotlighting: it is now required that a person stay on the island for five years before being allowed to apply for residence and start a tour business. Another warning to set up a touring business is that “half of all the money gained by the local tourism industry must be reinvested into conservation initiatives.”

Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility

For anyone lucky enough to enjoy the journey of a lifetime in a wildlife cruise in the Galapagos, it’s important to understand and appreciate this amazing place: the most unique place on the planet and a virtual life lab that must be preserved at all costs

Author Plate

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance writer with special interests in the Galapagos Islands. For those interested in the Galapagos wildlife voyage, Marissa recommends travel plans organized by Naturetrek, which brings unforgettable sightings of various species in one of the most spectacular areas on Earth.

Humboldt Current: blood from the Galapagos Islands

Humboldt Current: blood from the Galapagos Islands

The uniqueness of life on the Galapagos Islands is well documented and, for nature lovers, a visit to this region can be an inspiring and life-changing experience. For those who embark on the Galapagos wildlife voyage, understanding the reasons behind its extreme diversity can contribute to a deeper appreciation of this remarkable part of the world.
Natural phenomena Humboldt Current: blood from the Galapagos Islands

There is one natural phenomenon that can take great credit for the abundance and diversity of marine and terrestrial animals in the archipelago. The cool Humboldt now comes from Antarctica, driven by strong winds to flow to the west coast of South America and push the cool waters toward the path through the Galapagos Islands. It brings with it the nutrients it collects from dead and rotten objects on the seafloor, and when mixed with the warm Southern Equatorial currents, these nutrients rise from deep to maintain the plankton that form the basis of the food chain on the island. .

This current affects every aspect of life, both on land and around the ocean.

Water Temperature: Some people who visit Galapagos wildlife voyage are stunned by the cold water temperature, due to the Humboldt current. June to December is when the ocean is the coldest, because these months are marked by rising currents. From November to May, the flow is still there, but significantly weaker, allowing warmer waters to reach the islands. Humboldt Current: blood from the Galapagos Islands

Weather Pattern: The current is also responsible for two different seasons experienced in the archipelago: cool winters and warmer monsoon seasons. In the dry months (from June to October), strong trade winds cause currents to rise. Because the waters around the island are cooler, less evaporation, and therefore fewer rain clouds are formed. While Galapagos wildlife cruises can be enjoyed at any time of the year, two seasons can offer a very different experience.

Wild Animals: Even beyond these remote islands, Humboldt’s presence can be felt and credited as “the world’s most productive sea eco system” – responsible for 20% of the world’s amazing marine catch. Every single species – reptiles, mammals, birds, invertebrates or marine – on every single island, including the surrounding waters, is influenced by and dependent on this strong current. Nutrient waters that are brought directly or indirectly provide a source of food that supports large wildlife populations. Humboldt Current: blood from the Galapagos Islands

El Niño Effect

Current current effects may be most clearly visible when nonexistent. During a weather phenomenon known as El Niño, it is attenuated by warmer winds and decreases in air pressure. During these times, which occur cyclically every two to seven years, there is a marked decrease in the activity of local wildlife breeding. There are much fewer fish, and therefore a very large source of food in the archipelago, resulting in large numbers of animals starving to death.

The complex and definitive role played by these cold ocean currents in maintaining the rich biodiversity of the islands is an interesting aspect of one of the most interesting places on the planet. Humboldt Current: blood from the Galapagos Islands

Author Plate

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance writer with special interests in the Galapagos Islands. For those interested in the Galapagos wildlife voyage, Marissa recommends travel plans organized by Naturetrek, which has brought its unforgettable sightings of the various species in one of the most spectacular areas on Earth.