Have you ever seen photos of giant tortoises and land iguanas roaming freely on a beach? That's the Galapagos Islands for you!
Made up of 13 major islands, 6 smaller islands, and scores of islets and rocks, the Archipelago is famously known to have inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Just imagine a place where more than 80 percent of land animals and 30 percent of plant species are endemic (only found in that particular location) and have had very controlled and regulated human and external interaction over the years. It almost guarantees you an experience very similar to what Charles Darwin may have seen during his first visit to the Galapagos Islands nearly 200 years ago.
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, read on!
Simply because it’s like nowhere else in the world and believe us we don’t use that statement lightly. It’s nature’s playground where you and your kids can witness evolution in its purest form.
No matter where you travel, there are concerns about how tourism can impact the destination. While experts argue that tourism can damage Galapgos’ pristine environment, tourism has also had a positive impact on the area. The tourist money has been helping fund the conservation projects like the eradication of invasive species like goats and dogs on certain islands and the repopulation of giant tortoises throughout the park.
And while the islands have been seeing a lot of travelers lately, what’s also important to consider is the perspective people gain after visiting the islands themselves. It brings them face-to-face with their actions on how seemingly small things back home can have a massive impact on these far-off islands, turning them into advocates for life.
As a responsible business, we have sustainable measures in place to ensure our visits have a positive impact on the environment we are visiting
1. Small groups, less impact
We ensure that we only operate a small group to each of our destinations at any given time. This both reduces our travelers’ impact on the land as well as increases how much time they get to spend with their guide to know more about the wildlife.
2. Working with Local guides
We’ve read about the Galapagos’ furry residents but did you know the island also has a small native population? Having grown up and lived most of their life around the environment, they know the land and have a fair bit of understanding on how to make our visits transformative for all. To top it all these handpicked and carefully chosen guides are the best storytellers. English may not be their first language but they can still keep you wanting for more.
3. Authorized Boat operators
Our small boat cruising offers a very authentic and eco-friendly way of visiting the islands. These vessels are self-sufficient and easy to regulate and adhere to eco-friendly standards.
4. Adhering to the rules
The National Parks in Galapagos do a great job of keeping the balance between visitors and the inhabitants of the island. They have set guidelines for visitors which are strictly followed by all of us during our visits. From the minutest of details like maintaining a safe distance from each of the animals to ensuring our feet are sanitized before we step on the island each time. In fact, we even request our travelers to not get any seeds or nuts along on the trip (yes, believe it or not, your granola bar really could be a threat to the environment).
Like we always say, the answer is never to ban tourism but convert our negative impact to positive. Your impact can range from overwhelming and funding a small business to damaging the natural environment - our trips chose the former. We know it is a work in progress and we keep trying to get better with every trip. Always open to hearing thoughts on how else we can do better. So feel free to drop in a line and let us know what you think.