Everywhere you go in Galapagos is subject to rules and regulations mandated by the Galapagos National Park Service, which is responsible for overseeing and protecting the Galapagos Marine Reserve and Land Reserve. Since 1959, the Park Service, together with the Charles Darwin Research Foundation, has overseen the 1,714,000 acres of the Galapagos Islands. The Park Service monitors and controls visitor numbers as well as all Park sites throughout all of the Islands.
The Park Service is responsible for conservation of the ecological integrity and biodiversity of island and marine ecosystems of the protected areas of the archipelago, as well as the rational use of goods and services they generate for the community. All park rules and regulations have been developed for the purpose of protecting area resources.
Here are your basic guidelines:
- You will be in a National Park where everything is regulated and overseen on both the land and in the water.
- You will be expected to comply with these rules at all times, everywhere you go.
- All flora and fauna is protected. Don’t touch any animal no matter how tempted you might be by those adorable sea lion pups.
- The amount of land one may own is limited; building sizes are restricted.
- Water and electricity are rationed. You are likely to be asked to be aware of conservation during your stay here.
- Hotels and boats must comply with very strict regulations. Remember, this is not New York City!
- Don’t even think about taking home a grain of sand! Seriously, luggage is thoroughly checked and consequences for non-compliance can be considerable.
For more information on the National Park and Marine Reserves Rule and Regulations, read our Publication, Nature Interpreter on Medium.com.