The Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil, Ecuador is part of the Oro Verde Hotel group. Oro Verde hotels stand out from the competition thanks to superb locations, commitment to traditional European-style service, a superior range of elegant amenities, and sensitivity to the local lifestyle and traditions. Hotel Oro Verde's dedication to discreet and thoughtful service sets them apart.
The Nemo II – is a large trans-oceanic, alumarine, 72-foot, multihull yacht; a wonderfully stable cruising vessel. The ingeniously designed salon, the vast cockpit and the unique exterior surface make this beautiful catamaran an exceptional cruising boat. Be amazed by the stability and service on board the S/C Nemo II. Ideal for families or groups of friends. This large fully air conditioned catamaran (designed by Lagenvin) was specially built to take up to 14 passengers accommodated in 7 double cabins, each with private bathroom.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the few places left in our world that remain relatively untouched by man's exploration.
Upon your arrival in Guayaquil, Ecuador you will stay at a 5 star hotel with the opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the modern port city of Guayaquil and dine at a fabulous seafood restaurant.
After a one and a half hour flight from Guayaquil to the islands we will transfer to our specially chosen superior yacht or catamaran. Our bilingual naturalist guide will greet us and accompany the group to our boat and to each of the islands on our itinerary. As with all our trips, we only take small groups, and the Galapagos are no exception. Our 12 or 14 passenger yacht or catamaran has 6 or 7 double cabins for families and friends. The boat's size allows us to moor and disembark in special areas like small coves, which are unavailable to larger boats.
Our 7 day guided Galapagos Island expedition includes itineraries to a variety of diverse islands within the National Park of the Galapagos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Along the way some of the things you will Experience: twice daily guided hikes with educational information given by our guide, twice daily snorkeling adventures, kayak excursions, visits to the Darwin Research Center, shopping in Puerto Ayora and daily briefings.
Wildlife is everywhere and amazingly unafraid of people. There is no place in the world where we can get so close to unique and fearless wildlife. Viewings on your daily hikes are likely to include: Blue-footed Boobies, the Giant Land Tortoise, Sea Lions, Penguins, Marine Iguanas, Frigate Birds, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and lagoons filled with Pink Flamingos. In addition to the unique animals and birds, the landscape is incredibly varied and includes lavascapes that resemble the moon, lush tropical vegetation and red and green sand beaches!
Sunny Reynolds, director of Biotrek Adventure Travels, puts a high priority on conservation and protection of our natural resources. She believes, “Preservation of the Galapagos Islands is a shared mission between The Galapagos National Park, The Charles Darwin Foundation and all who visit this phenomenal place.” As a frequent visitor, Sunny wants to share the beauty of this treasure, and increase awareness among travelers and non-travelers alike.
The Galapagos Islands have evolved unique species of fauna and flora found nowhere else on earth. In 1835 Charles Darwin visited the islands, and what he learned helped inspire his theory of natural selection. In 1978, the Galapagos Islands were designated a UNESCO World Heritage, signifying their “outstanding value to humanity.” Today, they are a living laboratory of evolution and one of the world’s premier ecotourism destinations. They are indeed a priceless world heritage.
Like other isolated island groups however, the Galapagos Islands face serious challenges for the long-term survival of their marine and terrestrial ecosystems. With that in mind ecotourism in the Galapagos has been a challenging thing to develop. How can people protect the most intriguing, unique, and famous ecosystem on the planet, when it has become one of the most desired places to visit?
One of the first things you’re taught when you visit the Galapagos is to take only photographs, and leave nothing behind, not even footprints. A few decades ago, it became very clear that ecotourism travelers were flocking to the Galapagos to trace Darwin’s footsteps and be inspired by the giant turtles, blue-footed boobies, iguanas, and frigate birds. Due to the ecological and environmental significance of the Galapagos Islands, it became increasingly evident that responsible tourism management and development was imperative to the sustainability of both the Galapagos ecosystem and ecotourism industry.
Sustaining ecotourism in the Galapagos in the most responsible manner has come down to the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, and the tour operators it has granted permission to access the park. The Directorate’s outlook for the future of the islands is a shared one, denoting that every party using the islands is responsible for sustaining them.
Sustainable development and environmental management are the key elements of the Directorate’s vision for the future. This system is one that must be respected and followed by all entities in the Galapagos to ensure that there is a future for ecotourism there.
Control and Monitoring of Ecotourism Operations
The Directorate closely monitors the tourism operators in the Galapagos. Between 2000 and 2008, the number of yearly visitors to the islands increased from about 68,000 to over 170,000. In order to accommodate that kind of influx, the Directorate needed to be exceptionally diligent in their implementation of control and monitoring systems. In 2015 according to a semi-annual report prepared by the Galapagos National Park Directorate, a total of 224,755 tourists visited the Galapagos. Recently the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) called upon the government of Ecuador to limit land-based tourism growth in the Galapagos Islands and to regulate more carefully this rapidly-growing sector of the islands’ tourism industry.
All tourist arrivals are strictly controlled, through the verification of vessel and tour operator licenses, adherence to pre-approved itineraries, respecting carrying capacities, enforcement of park visitor entry fees, visitor registration, and regular inspection of tourist boats. It also isn’t just the islands and the waters that are monitored; visitor sites in populated centers, like Turtle Bay on Santa Cruz, or the Interpretation Center in San Cristobal, all require tourists to register their attendance, and will only admit tourists during set times, and to a certain capacity.