Safari New Blog

by Jon Jared

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A fragile eco-system hangs in the balance every time a plane lands or boat anchors in the Galapagos Islands. Like any hard to reach destination worth its salt, the archipelago struggles to keep up with the demands of its guests. Commodities like freshwater are in short supply, and supplies arrive daily from the mainland to augment the growing divide between what's readily available and what's needed.

This gap presents a challenge for those who travel to the Galapagos and begs the question: What is a responsible way of visiting the islands?

On one side of the coin is the allure of making the most of your high-end vacation, on the other lies the duty to protect the islands for posterity. Far too often a luxury trip in the islands means that the costs of travel are paid in the wrong place, taxing the environment instead of experiencing it.

At their heart, the Galapagos Islands are a national park and one of the first additions to UNESCO's World Heritage sites. When making travel plans, the need to be aware of where we are going and manage our expectations accordingly; protecting and respecting the diverse environment is everyone's job.

Vetting a tour operator or place to stay doesn't stop at finding the right fit for your travel style. It goes a step further and includes finding those people who make the choice to work in harmony with the natural boundaries that make the islands special.

Consider for a moment that the animals on land have adapted to the lack of freshwater. Giant tortoises can go for months without a reliable source of water, sea lions depend on the fish they eat for their daily intake and Darwin's finches wait until the wet season to mate.

In this setting, being mindful of where a property gets its water, and how it uses it is just as important as its amenities. Most of the islands depend on treated water from brackish reserves to supply tap water. When these resources are strained, rain water is collected and put to good use. Although a viable solution, the islands' rainfall pales in comparison to similar tropical settings, making conservation a priority.

Power is another imported commodity. Traditionally, diesel generators power the islands' hotels and restaurants. While strides have been made using solar and wind resources, the majority of the grid is still tied to fuel that is shipped in on cargo ships. Unfortunately, these ships have the risk of running aground, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel and causing damage that lasts for years.

In these circumstances, wasting water is an affront and expecting lavish amenities like air conditioning is out of place and inappropriate to the setting. Large pools, whirlpool baths and even big screen TVs use up resources without merit, substituting creature comforts for the real jewels of the Galapagos, the creatures and the environment.

Keeping in step with these issues while traveling in the islands should come naturally; the diversity of the land and sea is everywhere you look. Its protection inevitably takes precedence over the traditional trappings of luxury, leading way to a genuine adventure seldom found elsewhere.

The trick to bridging the gap presented by the Galapagos Islands is to adjust your vision to allow for the opportunities that lie within their borders. Travel is an active engagement and when considered as such, takes into account the differences of the surroundings and uses them as a launching point. Once you set aside notions of ordinary opulence and consider the unique nature of travel in the Galapagos, new horizons open up that have inspired travellers for centuries.

Forgoing air conditioning in lieu of experiencing an outdoor sunset from a rare vantage point is a worthwhile trade off. Snorkelling with sea lions trumps Twitter and taking the time to reconnect with nature instead of checking Facebook brings a much needed balance back into the picture.

Sir David Attenborough suggests that tourism is a necessary evil in the Galapagos Islands. Without it, the livelihood and protection of the people and creatures would wither. His point is valid, traveling in the archipelago doesn't need to compromise the environment or put its creatures at risk. When done with consideration for what's appropriate given the surroundings, a new light shines on the extraordinary, natural riches of Galapagos. One that reconnects those who take the journey with an often, overlooked perspective on the world we live in.

For more information about traveling in the Galapagos responsibly, send us an email. Our camp prides itself on respecting the natural resources of the islands by collecting rain water, growing the food we serve and utilizing solar power where possible. Combined with first-class service and amenities that highlight the stunning setting that we've chosen to call home, we strive to show you the archipelago while placing a priority on the environment.

 

 

 


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Galapagos Tourism for An Exciting Getaway to These Islands

Galapagos tourism has progressed to the point where the multi-faceted medley of conservation efforts are at odds with the many options for exploring the archipelago.


Read Galapagos Tourism Blog To Stay Updated

This blog is to keep you informed about our efforts towards positive Galapagos tourism, and the ground-breaking projects that others are involved in. We cover the issues that hit close to home, and invite you to discover the latest developments at the camp, in the national park, and beyond each month through our articles.

The scope of Galapagos tourism is such that it has permeated every aspect of the islands. While there are safeguards in place that include limiting the number of people who can visit each site, there is a need for more responsible travel practices in the islands.

Using the classic African safari as our model, we strive to combine conservation with discovery. We grow plants that replenish the land while conscientiously conserving water out of a commitment to preserve the fragile eco-system of the Galapagos.

Plan Galapagos Tourism with Us for Peace of Mind

Our priority is to show our guests the wild beauty and breathtaking grandeur of the Galapagos from an informed perspective. Using this philosophy, we aim to make Galapagos tourism a positive force; giving back to the islands instead of intruding on the environment.

In addition to our work at the camp, we are involved with efforts elsewhere in the archipelago that have similar goals that protect the environment through Galapagos tourism. We partner with organizations that are making a difference through innovative practices that foster community involvement towards a positive impact.

It’s important to know your options and the pros and cons that Galapagos tourism has on the islands when planning a trip. If you have a question about how your travel plans can help protect the environment or would like to know more about the people, places, and projects that we cover in our blog, please contact us through this site for more information.