Galapagos National Park

The Galapagos National Park is a national park in Ecuador. It was founded in 1959 and became the first national park in the country. The park covers 7995.4 square kilometers, 97% of the Galapagos Islands. This park is divided into various ecosystems and has endemic plants . Among the fauna they do highlighted the Great Galapagos tortoises, whatever its last member was the Lonesome George.

Galapagos National Park
Galapagos National Park

The government of Ecuador has designated 97% of the land area of the Galápagos Islands as the country’s first national park. The remaining 3% is distributed between the inhabited areas of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Floreana and Isabela.

In 1978 UNESCO declared the Galápagos Islands Natural Heritage for Humanity, making the Park Service through the Superintendent of the Park responsible for performing permanent park conservation and guarding the islands.

The Galápagos National Park is different and more special than other National Parks. More than 1,900 of its 5,000 unique species are endemic, that is, they are found no where else in the world. Second, these species are very fragile, and third, people have lived here even before it became a National Park.

galapagos animals
Galapagos National Park – Galapagos Tortoise

Galapagos National Park Rules

Please help preserve the special nature of this environment by following these simple rules:

  1. Please be careful not to transport any live material to the islands, or from island to island (insects, seed, soil). The introduction of foreign species in an ecosystem can alter its delicate balance forever. You cannot bring pets to the islands.
  2.  No plants, rocks, animals or their remains, such as bones, pieces of wood, corals, shells, or other natural objects should be removed or disturbed. You may damage the islands ecological conditions.
  3. Animals should not be touched or handled. A sea lion pup will be abandoned by its mother, for example, if she smells the scent of a human on her young. The same applies to chicks of birds. Maintain at least 7 feet/2 metres between you and the wildlife. Turn the flash of your camera OFF when photographing birds and animals.
  4. Animals should not be fed. It may alter their life cycle, their social structure and affect their reproduction.
  5. Do not disturb or pursue any animal (marine or terrestrial) from its resting or nesting spot. Next time, it won’t allow humans so close or will move away from the trail.
  6. All groups that visit the National Park must be accompanies by a qualified guide approved by the National Park. The visitor must follow the trails, marked with small black-and-white posts, and never leave it.
  7. Follow the guide; stay with him/her for information and advice. He or she is responsible for you and may be fined or even lose his licence if you do not follow the rules. If the guide behaves badly or does not follow the rules himself, report him or her to the Hotel or the National Park.
  8. Litter of all types must be kept off the islands and out of the sea – it can endanger life in and out of the water – please hold onto any rubbish you have and dispose of it on the boat or at the Hotel.
  9. Do not smoke during island visits and do not discard used cigarettes anywhere. Do not shout, run or make abrupt movements, it may scare the wildlife. No telephones on land visits please.
  10. Do not paint names or graffiti on rocks in any way. It is against the law and you will be fined.
  11. To camp, you need a permit from the National Park Service (Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela). Do not make open fires, but use a gas stove.
  12. Do not hesitate to show your conservationist attitude. Explain these rules to others and help to enforce them.

The Galápagos National Park hank you for respecting these rules. Enjoy your visit!

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