How you can protect the wildlife when visiting the Galapagos – 9 Simple Rules

AUTHOR Juan Bastidas

If you are planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands, your primary reason for the visit is likely to see the incredible Galapagos wildlife that lives here. The archipelago is teeming with incredible animals such as Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and marine iguanas.

It’s incredibly important that visitors follow all of the rules set by the Galapagos National Park Service in order to preserve this ecosystem. In addition to these regulations, we have a few requests of our own with the intent of protecting the wildlife on land and in the water.

Photography Guidelines In Galapagos

While selfie sticks can be a lot of fun for capturing photos on vacation, they can disturb or provoke wildlife especially in the water. We now prohibit our guests from taking selfie sticks on shore for this reason. But don’t worry! Our guides and fellow passengers are happy to snap a photo of you during your land adventures.

Photographers of all levels love the Galapagos Islands and want to capture beautiful photographs of the landscape and the animals that live here. We encourage you to take lots of photos to remember your trip; however, flash photography and drones are not allowed. These methods can be highly disturbing for wildlife. Our nature walks are during the day so there will be plenty of natural light to utilize for getting the perfect shot.

Interacting with the Galapagos Wildlife

Mosquitos are not common here and typically don’t cause any problems, but some precaution is needed. Our guides will ask you to avoid wearing bright colored clothing, such as pink or yellow because this could attract insects.

Part of the beauty of the Galapagos is the lack of fear the animals show in relation to humans. This allows visitors to see Galapagos wildlife up close in their natural habitat. While you are here, you must maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) away from animals at all times. If an animal approaches you, step back before the animal gets too close and maintain the required distance.

In addition to maintaining a safe distance, do not feed the animals! The safety of the wild animals here is a priority and feeding them can be dangerous to their health. We do not allow guests to take any food from our yachts with them during shore excursions.

Water is the only food or drink allowed onshore so bring a water bottle and stay hydrated. In an effort to reduce the usage of , we will provide you with a reusable metal water bottle or you can bring one of your own.

Other Rules & Regulations

Sunblock is essential when exploring the Galapagos Islands but it can cause problems for wildlife. Because of this, we recommend our guests only use a biodegradable sunblock that is environmentally friendly. Keep in mind that the major brands are not biodegradable! Environmentally friendly sunblock can often be found at your local health food store or you might need to look online so plan ahead.

Our naturalist guides are authorized by the Galapagos National Park to escort visitors to protected areas of the islands. While on shore, you and your companions must stay together with your guide and not wander off. Pay attention to your guide’s directions and stay on marked trails. This is crucial for protecting the islands—and your safety—as we strive to minimize human impact. We provide one guide for every ten guests on our cruises (the lowest ratio in the Galapagos!) so sticking with the group won’t be a problem.

Smoking is banned when exploring the islands with our guides but is allowed in populated towns. As a courtesy to our non-smoking guests, smoking is not allowed anywhere inside our vessels and only allowed in one designated area on deck. Whether you are in town or on one of our yachts, be mindful of your cigarette butts and ensure to dispose of them properly.

This ecosystem is fragile and invasive species have been a problem in the Galapagos since humans first landed here. Do not bring any plants or animals into the archipelago in order to avoid any unintentional destruction. Additionally, it is against the law to take any natural substances from the islands or to purchase souvenirs made of those banned substances. This includes black coral, shells, lava rocks, animal parts, and native wood and vegetation.

Remember These Rules Are Meant To Protect Galapagos!

You are visiting the Galapagos Islands because you are attracted to the beauty, history, adventure, and wildlife. Keep that in mind as you follow the rules and regulations that were created to protect the ecosystem. Enjoy your visit while helping to conserve the archipelago and its inhabitants for generations to come!

If you are ready to book your next vacation with Ecoventura, we are here to answer all of your questions. Reach out to us today and plan a trip that you will remember for a lifetime!