Remember this is a Nature Reserve and the animals and marine life come first. It's very simple and you hear it often, but the rule 'take only photographs and leave only footprints' is very appropriate. This is an amazing place and there are a lot of people who would like to visit after you.
The people of the Islands, as well as Ecuador itself are very kind and will always offer you a greeting. Do everyone a favor and be friendly. We saw countless tourists who walked around demanding things and treated the people poorly. Granted, you are paying alot of money for things, but it doesn't mean rudeness is allowed.
Regarding tipping--check your bill before you decide what to leave. It is common for many restuarants to add the IVA (tax) + 10% for services (tip). If you had exceptional service or food, leave a bit extra. We dined at one restaurant (La Chocolate, across from Hotel Sol Y Mar) where we waited almost an hour for lunch and then they tabulated our bill incorrectly. Needless to say, they didn't get a tip at all!
Rules and obligations when entering at the National Park of Galápagos:RULE 1.-
No plants, animals or Animal remains (Seashells, bones, pieces of wood, etc) or any other object can be removed or altered or taken from the islands.
Be careful not to transport any lived organisms to the islands or from one island to another. Clean your clothes before entering to an island. Make sure your shoes do not have any dry dirt remains from the previous island visited. Each island has it own flora and fauna enviornment and econsystems.
Do not bring any food into any of the islands. Some of the ecosystems of the islands are very weak and any alteration can cause total desaster.
Do not touch the animals.
Do not feed the animals, you can alter their social estructure.
Do not chase or scare any of the animals that are resting or nesting.
Do not go to the restricted areas. Always follow the guideliness and paths marked on the way.
Any garbage must be kept out of the islands and our of the reach of the animals.
Do not adquire, purchase or take any objects that are made from plants, animals or remain of animals
Camping in the islands is against the law, unless is authorized by the Servicio Parque Nacional Galápagos. (National Park Services) in Santa Cruz Island.
If camping is authorized, can not make any fires.
Do not make any marks on the rocks or trees.
You can not visit any islands without an authorized and trained guide
The National Park Services is divided into zones to facilitated the access to the visitors. There are certain zones where the visitors are allowed and other where access is denied. The masters of the boats as well as all guides must advise the authorities of the park the places to be visited and the route to be taken and get the respective permissions.
You must show an actitude of respect at all times.
Galápagos Islands, or Colón Archipielago, group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, constituting a Providence of Ecuador, about 1050 Kmts of the western coast of South America.
The Archipielago consist of 15 large and several hundred smaill islands lying on near the Equator.
The islands are volcanic in origin, with levels shorelines and montainous interiors culminating in high central craters some of which rise more than 1.524 meters above sea level. Several volcanoes are active.
The islands are fringed with mangroves, father inland, although still in coastal regions, where littler rain falls, the vegetation consist chiefly on thron trees, cactus, and mesquite.
Up the lands, which are expose to a heavy mist, the flora is more luxuriant.
The climate and the temperature of the waters sourrinding the islands are modified by the cold Humboldt current from the antartic.
The Galápagos is known for it animal life, which included a number of species found only in the Archipielago and different subspecies on a separate islands.
Unique to the archipielago are six species of giant .
The islands were inhabited at the time of their exploration by the spanish in 1535. During the 17th and 18th century, the islands were used by the pirates. In 1835, the bristish naturalist, Charles Darwin, spend 6 weeks studying the species of the Galapagos. His observations furnished considerable data for his Origin of the Species (1859).
These islands are in serious danger from tourists, who often pollute, try to touch the wildlife or plants and also from locals, who have been moving to the islands to service the tourist trade.
Visiting those islands means - "Let live and let die" respect the nature rules.
I can not tell you what we found here - but we discoverd the rules of nature - believe me !
Not really a cultural tip, but the iguanas on the Galapagos were unreal. It's amazing to be within inches of such unique wildlife--which is one of the trademarks of the Galapagos.
These land reptiles enjoy being fed pieces of cactus. All of the animals seem to really pose for pictures. (This Iguana lives on Isla Plazas)
The number of islands and islets, their biological characteristics, isolation and good state of conservation have led to the existence of terrestrial and marine ecosystems unique in the world.
Puerto Villamil, Isabela Galapagos Islands, , Ecuador
Good for: Solo
Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
Good for: Business
Charles Darwin St, San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo