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Galapagos Islands

Galapagos National Park

Located 1000 km west of the Ecuadorian coast, in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos National Park was created under executive decree N-17, in 1959, seeing the need to protect the unique environment, the National Assembly of Ecuador passed protective legislation and created wildlife sanctuaries on some of the islands. Then, in 1959, as 95% of the islands and 50,000 sq miles of surrounding ocean was granted protection, an organization of scientists and conservationists established the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Charles Darwin Research Center, which officially opened in 1964. Four years later, the Galapagos National Park Service was formed. UNESCO to place the Galapagos Islands on the World Heritage List in 1978, thereby bringing significant international pressure towards safeguarding this unique environment.

The Galapagos National Park Service works hand in hand with the Charles Darwin Research Station implementing their common goals of conservation and preservations of the natural resources with the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve. In 1986, the creation of the Marine Resources Reserve expanded the preserved area to include more than 27,000 square miles of ocean.

National Park Rules

  • No plant, animal, or remains of such (including shells, bones, and pieces of wood), or other natural objects should not be removed or disturbed.
  • Be careful not to transport any live material to the islands, or from island to island.
  • Do not take any food to the uninhabited islands, for the same reason.
  • Do not touch or handle the animals.
  • Do not feed the animals. It can be dangerous to you, and in the long run would destroy the animals' social structure and breeding habits.
  • Do not startle or chase any animal from its resting or nesting spot.
  • Stay within the areas designated as visiting sites.
  • Do not leave any litter on the islands, or throw any off your boat.
  • Do not deface the rocks.
  • Do not buy souvenirs or objects made of plants or animals from the islands.
  • Do not visit the islands unless accompanied by a licensed National Park Guide.
  • Restrict your visits to officially approved areas.
  • Show your conservationist attitude.


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