Galapagos Sites for wildlife observation, snorkeling and hiking in the Islands and the evenly distribution of visitors at the same time.
The Galapagos National Park was declared as such back in 1959. Tourism, however, was hardly considered a formal activity in the Archipelago.
Little by little, more people became aware that visiting the Galapagos Islands could actually be done.
Here lies one of the main reasons why the Islands that included important areas of Galapagos Wildlife Observation had to have a higher level of protection.
This is how visitor sites became the Islands' most important feature for organized tourism.
Galapagos sites in the National Park were established since the 1970's, and over time, some have been closed and others have been opened.
Currently, over 92 visitor sites are available, and they have been classified as Intensive Use Zones and Extensive Use Zones.
The difference between these two has only to do with the fragility of the visitor site (an index labeled as visitor carrying capacity), but it is worth noting that only 3% of the National Park is devoted to tourism.
Therefore, when visiting Galapagos you are touching an extremely small fraction of the Islands' protected land.
Yet, most visits remain un-crowded, thanks to the efforts of the National Park at assigning fixed itineraries for all vessels, regardless size.
In order to clearly show the Galapagos sites or designated areas for visiting, black and white stakes have been placed throughout the location.
Galapagos Naturalist Guides conduct shore visits and environmental interpretation happens along the trail. One of the rules of the Galapagos National Park is to stay on the trails.
It is only with visitors' awareness and cooperation that we can contribute to the great effort of preserving an Island ecosystem.
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This is a clear example on how the visitor becomes a direct key player in the sustainability of the destination.
Very few physical changes have taken place on the islands, as part of the designation of visitor sites.
Perhaps, the most obvious is the building of a small dock, which is only used for landing purposes (yes, of course, sea lions love these wonderful flat structures).
Once inland, very few Galapagos sites include modification of the walking areas, and the terrain therefore, remains untouched.
Like in some other places, we could have made all sites easily accessible, and posing no difficulties whatsoever. But, it would sharply contrast against the dramatic nature of the Galapagos Volcanic Terrain
Plus, anything artificially built, will contradict the nature of this kind of trip. Some of the terrain variations include boulders, lava flows, tuff-stone layers, sandy beaches, brush, loose pebbles, and more.
See a Gallery of Beautiful Photos of Galapagos
You will see that diversity is easily witnessed on every Island outing. This is another remarkable feature of the Galapagos Islands' perpetual enigma: why is each Island so different...?
Come and see the Islands by yourself, and enjoy the Galapagos sites that are part of this tropical jewel in the Pacific Ocean.
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If you have any questions about Galapagos Sites, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Tour Packages to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here