Taking sustainability in the Galapagos seriously

Since its inception, the Galapagos Safari camp has sought to implement best practices when it comes to sustainability in the Galapagos. It was part of the founders’ ethos, a manifestation of their visions and what they pursue and believe in. And, it has to be said, simple common sense.

The Camp’s sustainable approach was developed from the owners’ shared instinct to preserve the natural splendor of the pristine environment of the Galapagos Islands and its wildlife. Their aim? To offer a distinctive and genuine experience, grounded in environmental sustainability that has the least impact possible on the archipelago’s fragile ecosystem.

Sustainability in the Galapagos means responsibility with the destination. The Safari Camp takes this burden very seriously. Our philosophy of ‘appropriate luxury’ reduces negative environmental impacts to a minimum, while ensuring that guests are always supremely comfortable.

With concerns about climate change growing every day, more and more people are pursuing experiences in tune with our exemplary form of travel.

What do we do to ensure sustainability in the Galapagos?

  1. Infrastructure and travel choices
    With distinctively- and stylishly-designed constructions in harmony with the surrounding environment, the tents, main house and all other facilities at the Camp are all built to generate as small a footprint as possible, while merging seamlessly into our inspiring setting in the highlands of Santa Cruz.With regards to plastics, we were pioneers in excluding single-use plastics from our operations. We have used bamboo straws and cloth bags for many years. We warm-heartedly cheered when the Galapagos’s Provincial Government announced it would restrict the use of certain plastics — including plastic straws, single-use plastic bags (t-shirt type), polythene containers (such as those used for takeouts), and plastic bottles in 2018. See news story here.
  2. Water and energy
    With sustainability in the Galapagos as one of our core pillars, water and energy sources have always been treated with the utmost care. We optimize electricity consumption in every possible way: by employing energy-efficient appliances, using solar energy to heat the Camp’s water and utilizing the fresh breeze as natural ventilation to cool the tents and main lodge without the use of artificial air-conditioners. We dry our sheets and linens outdoors so as to avoid electric dryers.As Santa Cruz Island lacks a natural fresh water source, we installed rainwater collection and water treatment systems right from the start. The treated rainwater is employed for cooking, drinking and filling the pool while our waste water is put through our modern, three-stage wastewater treatment plant to avoid contamination of our farm. Our large rainwater reservoir becomes crucial during the dry season when water is particularly scarce.We also train staff and request guests to limit their use of electricity and water while at the Camp, as well as employing biodegradable cleaning products, detergents, soaps, and using cloth laundry bags. All guests are given reusable, metal water bottles.
  3. Food and farming
    Our farm-to-table concept fully embraces sustainability. Our camp is located within a farm which supplies many of our gourmet kitchen’s needs, from dairy and meat production from cattle through to vegetables and herbs from our organic gardens and orchard. We also buy products directly from neighboring farms, local producers and fishermen.“Cooking for the Safari Camp is an enriching and always challenging experience,” say the Camp’s two chefs, Daysi Espinoza and Daniela Chalá. “Our location means we have to adapt to circumstances, to what’s available. We enjoy the challenge, it keeps us on our toes!”They certainly make a great team. Their menu highlights traditional Ecuadorian produce, flavours and preparations, while presenting them in new and inspiring ways. Every day, they prepare a different four-course tasting menu, in which they flawlessly balance carbohydrates, vegetables, and proteins, with fresh local produce. Depending on the season, fruit and vegetables produced at the farm (or nearby) such as yucca, orange, papaya, banana, chili and cacao, and many more, supply the kitchen.
  4. Plants and species
    In an effort to preserve the unique vegetation of the Islands and combat a major problem in the archipelago, our Camp seeks continuously to eradicate introduced and invasive species. The native, often endemic, plants and trees that grow on the farm remain untouched – even if they interrupt the view. We strive to recover as many native species as possible. Galapagos biodiversity is threatened by unruly, invasive vegetation, such as the blackberry. The Camp’s strategic location in effect means we act as a buffer zone for the nearby National Park. We have worked with the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Galapagos National Park, and Conservation International in the reforestation of endemic species in our highland home, such as scalesia (which is in fact a giant daisy!) and palo santo.

Plan your Galapagos Vacation

See our Safari Holidays for our suggested extensions and recommended activities, or contact us for a tailored itinerary.

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