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Galapagos National Park logo

Galapagos National Park logo

The Galapagos National Park

The Galapagos National Park was established in 1959, and it’s the oldest National Park in Ecuador.
About 97% of the entire area of the Galapagos Islands are part of the National Park and remains uninhabited, the 3% left, located between Santa Cruz Island, San Cristobal Island, Isabela Island and Floreana Island, are the inhabited by about 14.000 people in total.

When in 1967 the first park service was created tourism wasn’t focused on this unknown islands, only 4 years after  the Galapagos National Park set park rangers and allowed only autorized guide  as part of the National Park System.

Today the Park has a complex management system counting hundreds of Park guides.
The Galapagos National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, so this the National Park was the only responsible for performing a permanent conservation of the islands and its animals, according to UNESCO’s standards and regulations.

Unfortunately in 2007, as a result of the fast growing human development and badly controlled immigration, tourism and trade, the UNESCO added the Galapagos to the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, then strict measures were put in place.

The immigration was stopped, the National Park started to control the tourism not allowing no licenzed boats taking toursits to the islands, focusing on the development of existing communities.
The result of these mesures were a series of rules and regulations to protect the Islands and minimize the impact of tourists on the Islands. A
ll tourists who visit the islands on a cruise or islands hopping must be accompanied by Galapagos National Park certified guide on every visit, there is no other way to discover the islands, and here is explained why for some people the prices to travel here are too hight.

In addition to that, to enter into the Galapagos National Park all visitors have to pay a entrance fee of $100 per person, it has to be paid (in cash) at the airport at the passports control, either you will travel with a cruise or staying in hotels.

The main regulations and rules of the Galapagos National Park are

  • Always follow the marked trail and never leave it
  • Don’t touch the animals and don’t interact with them (you can into the water)
  • Don’t take souvenirs from the islands (rocks, shells etc)
  • Don’t get too close to animals, the maximum allowed is 2 meters
  • Don’t litter
  • Don’t smoke on the islands (unless you are in the inhabited centers)
  • Don’t take food to the islands
  • Don’t feed the animals
  • Clean your shoes before disembarking
  • Always follow your guide, you are not allowed to go wherever you like

If you want to know more about the Galapagos National Park click here

The Galapagos Guide                                                                                The Galapagos National Park

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