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What does “Responsible Tourism” mean in the Galapagos?

    “Responsible tourism is tourism which: minimizes negative social, economic and environmental impacts, generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities.

Galapagos Alternative is dedicated to responsible tourism. We strive to find the balance between showing travelers our enchanted islands and taking care of them. We support community-based tourism to the islands and create custom tours that maximize benefits for our clients while decreasing the negative impacts commonplace in mass tourism. 

Baltra Sign at Ithabaca Canal. Galapagos Islands.
The inviting waters of the Galapagos Islands

Responsible Tourism in the Galapagos Islands

Rising popularity and access to the Galapagos Islands is a double-edged sword. The increase in visitation brings income to the park service and local businesses but it also brings greater strains on the delicate ecosystems of the Galapagos archepelago. The Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism have strict regulations in regards to conservation of the island’s limited resources with the intention of conserving the unique treasures of the islands.

In solidarity of these restrictions Galapagos Alternative utilizes hotels, tour operators and guides that share our passion of promoting responsible tourism. Proponents of responsible tourism not only espouse environmental protection but also look to source locally-produced products, hire local employees and provide fair wages. Increased competition among hoteliers and tour operators leads to cost-cutting and regulation violations that negatively impact the islands. 

One way to avoid these pitfalls is to plan your Galapagos vacation with local companies that are well connected to the islands’ inhabitants so you can trust that you are making the most sustainable travel plans.

Contact us today to ask about our sustainable tourism practices and how Galapagos Alternative offers the best eco-tours to the islands. We can connect you with the experts you want to meet and the activities you want to do for the best Galapagos adventure you could imagine. 


We specialize in small group, land-based tours that allow our providers to be more conscious in their work. We work with responsible hoteliers, boat captains and restaurants. Our focus on locals keeps tourist revenue in the Galapagos Islands to benefit the islands. 

We also encourage tourists to adhere to sustainable travel practices. Here are some helpful tips to travel consciously: 

  1. Spend more time in one place
  2. Choose sustainable methods of travel
  3. Continue your green-habits abroad
  4. Travel during off season
  5. Stick to local cuisine
  6. Seekout local and sustainability-minded companies 
  7.  Respect the people and culture 
  8. Make donations that matter
  9. Don’t participate in illegal activities

"This was the trip of a lifetime - scenery that we shall never forget. All local coordination and contacts - local flavor and knowledge with first class service. Use this group."
- Troy G.
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