Few places on Earth are as unique and magical as the Galapagos Islands. A wildlife haven and tourist hotspot, this collection of random rocks and islands situated 1,000 miles from Ecuador enjoys legendary status. Famous for giant turtles, oversized cacti and rat-eating lizards, the growing threats to the unique environment that sparked Darwin’s theory of evolution have become impossible to ignore in recent years.
Problems in paradise
The Galapagos Islands are no strangers to the negative effects of both the presence and the behaviour of human visitors on their ecology. From 16th century pirates who stopped by to purloin giant turtles – the perfect long-life food supply while at sea – to the scientists who introduced alien life forms of wildlife, this once isolated haven has battled to survive many serious threats.
The first human settlers arrived in the early 19th century and carved out a simple lifestyle for themselves. As the century progressed, so did interest in conservation, and The Galapagos became an official national park in 1959. Unfortunately, the 1960s wave of “tourists” caused the focus to switch from ecology to economics, sparking a rush in development projects and cruise boat visitors.
In 1986, the Galapagos Marine Reserve was created, and laws were passed to limit fishing and other damaging marine activities. New methods are in place to protect indigenous species from foreign competition, while conservation work is increasingly being undertaken to combat pollution and practices that damage the natural order, such as shark fishing.
Whether you are looking for a wildlife-based break or a unique family experience, Galapagos holidays appeal to all age groups. Where else could you catch glimpses of unique wildlife, flora or fauna while enjoying temperate weather, a beautiful coastline and delicious food?
If visiting the Galapagos Islands is on your must-see list – and it really should be – it is now possible to do so without leaving a heavy social footprint. Booking through a company that practices responsible tourism, means you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime without compromising nature to get it. They probably use a Property inspection app at sites like https://propertyinspect.com/ to keep track of vacation rental properties, guest check ins and flag actions for maintenance.
The desire to preserve the wonders of the Galapagos Islands for future generations has driven social and political agendas for many years. Hopefully, the balance between progress, ecology, social need and tourism practices can be maintained for centuries to come.