The Galapagos Islands are a dream destination for many people. This place is the perfect vacation to relax and escape momentarily from the reality of life. A variety of amazing natural wealth can be found here.
The Galapagos Islands consist of 13 volcanic islands and rocks. The islands are still politically part of the Republic of Ecuador. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 km south-west coast of South America. The oldest island there is about 4 million years old and the youngest is still in the process of formation. This place is known as one of the most active volcano areas in the world.
Galapagos is famous for its huge number of endemic species. This place also became the object of Charles Darwin’s research during the second trip of HMS Beagle. The study then produced a theory of evolution-based on Darwin’s most famous natural selection.
The first visit in Galapagos was recorded in 1535 when Fray Tomàs de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama, was struck by the discovery of this place. At that time he was sailing to Peru to reconcile the dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. After returning from his journey, he described the condition of the island and the animals that inhabit it.
As already mentioned that this archipelago consists of several islands. Each island has a landscape of different lands and each has its own uniqueness. There is a barren land of black, volcanic rocks, until the beaches of white sand beaches that blend with the blue-colored water gems.
All of the islands in the Galapagos are under the supervision of a protective rule that has been in effect since 1930. The regulation was further complemented in 1936. Considering the rich natural resources and the abundant flora and fauna species, the regulations were made for the beauty and preservation of the Galapagos islands maintained.
Being a holiday destination is possible to give the damaging impact on the environment. However, there is the Galapagos Conservancy (GC) which is a United Nations organization that exclusively monitors and protects the unique ecosystem and integrity of biodiversity there. They perform their duties through direct research, conservation management, public disclosure of rules, and building a sustainable society.
To maintain the environment, when visiting these islands, there are some rules that must be obeyed by the tourists. First, when visiting protected areas, travelers should be accompanied by a nature guide provided by the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD). Most islands are not allowed to be visited without a licensed guide.
Secondly, do not use the flash on your camera while shooting wild animals. It is advisable not to use flashlights as wild animals are usually very sensitive to bright light. They will be surprised when blinded by the light from the flash so that it can cause stress and the animal will also become more aggressive.
Third, if visitors want to fish, then fishing boat needs to be authorized. This is included in the regulation due to the rampant illegal fishing activities conducted in Galapagos waters.
Fourth, do not feed the animals there because the food they serve may be detrimental to their health. Next, do not put animals, plants, or food into the island. Last and most important is do not throw garbage recklessly so that the environment of the island always sustainable and clean.
Many things can be done in Galapagos to make visitors feel more closely with nature. The beauty of the sea that lies in these islands can be enjoyed by doing water activities such as diving, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking. Wild animals are also found on the island, such as blue-legged boobies, sea iguanas, sea eagles, and penguins.
Not only eco-attractions, there are also eco-friendly hotels in the Galapagos, such as Finch Bay Eco Hotel. All eco-friendly facilities are widely available in these islands. It’s not about how much the amount but how to maintain the facility properly.
As many as 80% of birds, 97% of mammals and reptiles, and 30% of the plants there are now under threat of extinction. It shows that the lack of human consciousness to the environment plays a major role in it. Therefore awareness is important to maintain the environment need to be always applied anywhere, not only in the Galagos Islands.