Darwin’s enchanted isles are one of our planets most precious and unique ecosystems, home to an extraordinary profusion of exotic flora and fauna. The Islands retain a staggering 95% of their endemic species, a feat unparalleled on any other archipelago in the world. In 1959, a hundred years after the publication of The Origin of Species, Ecuador declared 97% of the Islands landmass a national park and in 2001, the marine reserve was established. Keeping Galapagos biologically pristine has been and continues to be, a constant and hard-waged battle. As a result in 2007, three decades after being designated the first World Heritage Site, UNESCO declared Galapagos as a World Heritage Site at risk, citing introduction of alien species, illegal fishing, unsustainable tourism, illegal migration and population growth. Galapagos was later removed from the list in 2010, but many conservationists feel this was done pre-maturely as the Islands still remain very much at risk.
Ecoventura is committed to providing an authentic experience in small compatible groups, lessening the impact on the wildlife, offering value, and a safe, memorable, mind-expanding voyage. The company began offering tours in the Galapagos in 1991 and started “greening” the operation and equipment in 1999, and later worked toward reducing carbon emissions and ensuring the local community benefits by tourism through educational opportunities and supporting marine conservation. Through these various initiatives spearheaded by Ecoventura’s President, Santiago Dunn, the company has become the pacesetter in responsible tourism to the Galapagos Islands. Through its core commitment to the ongoing sustainability of this fragile and at-threat ecosystem, Ecoventura has invested upwards of a half million dollars to refurbish its fleet of yachts to meet its own stringent ecology-minded standards.
Ecoventura was the first company to earn and maintain the voluntary ecological certification, SmartVoyager since 2000. The company offset carbon emissions from 2006 to 2011 and also reduced CO2 by 10% through the installation of solar panels and wind generators to the Eric, the first hybrid yacht in Galapagos.
In 2006, Ecoventura established the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to support environmental education and marine conservation by strengthening the local communities’ ability to manage natural resources. In 2012, Ecoventura gave support to the The Ecology Project by sponsoring 12 high school age students living in Galapagos a one week field ecology course and offering four students to explore a career in tourism by the opportunity to “shadow” an Ecoventura naturalist guide. Guides serve as mentors to the students in the field during a week-long cruise and provide a valuable link to motivate and encourage local students to choose a career as a professional naturalist guide.
Ecoventura helps to support the population of San Cristobal Island through employment opportunities, purchasing local products and sponsorship of a local school. through employment opportunities, purchasing local products and sponsorship of a local school and non-profit foundation “Gotas de Esperanza”. Ecoventura has become A recognized leader in responsible tourism to the Galapagos Island through its core commitment to the on-going sustainability of this fragile and at-risk ecosystem.