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
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