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Galapagos Islands… Here we come!

It’s official, we are traveling to the Galapagos Islands for the first time in our lives. This is a significant trip for us because Aracely has always dreamed of visiting the Galapagos Islands, but we had great trepidation in doing so when we spent over a month in Ecuador back in 2010. We both have discussed our concerns over Galapagos travel and have made the decision to move forward with our exploration.

Galapagos Travel

Galapagos Islands by la nomada, on Flickr

Galapagos Travel

Exploring the Galapagos Islands is one of those bucket list places to visit.  The great Pyramids of Egypt, Easter Island, Uyuni Salt Flats, Taj Mahal, Ancient Rome, and for us nature lovers, the Galapagos Islands.  To make it even more significant and memorable, we are going for Aracely’s 30th Birthday.  She turns 30 on March 12th, so we need to book the trip immediately.

A Concern for the Environment

As described earlier, we are booking this trip with a little bit of guilt.  Excessive tourism and over population from Ecuadorians seeking work, has caused significant harm to the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos.  We would be hypocritical if we didn’t admit our tour will be contributing to that slow destruction of wildlife that surrounds the area.

I promise to examine our tour and provide some insight into what different tour companies are doing to reduce or possibly increase the damage to the ecosystem.

Photos and Videos of Galapagos Islands

On a lighter note, we will also be taking thousands of wildlife photos and lots of HD video!  We are extremely excited about our decision and we hope you are looking forward to the colorful, nature pictures to come!

Now we have to seek out an adventurous tour.

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What an awesome birthday trip! You two will absolutely love your time there. Our naturalist guide was great and always made us aware of the ways to leave a smaller footprint on the islands. Looking forward to your pictures and videos. Let us know if you’ll be making it to Post Office Bay on Floreana. We might still have some of our letters there.

We will be visiting Floreana, what should we be looking for?

See if there are any addressed to Bremerton, WA. It might be difficult as there are hundreds! The one I wrote to my parents hasn’t arrived yet. You two are going to have a blast! Enjoy!

Laura says:

How exciting!! I mentioned on FB that I’m trying to come up with my own 30th birthday trip and the Galapagos has always been high on my list as well. I can’t wait to read about how it goes and see the photos you’ll get! At the very least I’m sure you guys will be able to use a reputable tour company that focuses on the environment.

It’s high on our list too. Currently its an African Safari or Galapagos. Galapagos won! Let us know where you decide to go.

Laura says:

What a great way to celebrate Aracely’s 30th! I’ll be interested to hear more about environmental concerns and the tours. Looking forward to the photos!

Thanks Laura, we will be keeping a keen eye out on those issues. But as others have said, the fact that we are going contributes to the problem already. It’s sad, but we all want to see these amazing natural wonders, and there isn’t much to stop that. There are things that can be done, but I am sure it’s tough, because those things usually mean less money for some tour operators and the Ecuadorians seeking work.

Alex says:

I am so looking forward to reading about this trip! Galapagos is on my bucket list (who’s is it not on?) but when I do get to that area I’ll be faced with some big decisions, because from what I’ve heard you can do scuba diving liveaboards where you dive dive dive, or a traditional trip where your tour the islands above sea level, and not much in between. I may have to do two back to back trips!

Two trips is always good! We are going to be doing a land tour with lots of activities like kayaking, snorkeling and hiking.

Jillian says:

So excited! It sure beats Central Park in Plantation! :) Can’t wait to hear all about it!

Maybe a little warmer than that day, but no caption games in the Galapagos! I like that game.

Rease says:

If you find the right tour company, I am sure they can help you be aware of every way you can minimize your damage. I can’t wait to see photos and posts!

I hope so Rease! But, they all say they are eco friendly now, so it’s really hard to know.

That’s awesome! My wife went a few years ago and fell in love…

I think we will probably too.

Audrey says:

I remember talking about the Galapagos Islands back when we were road tripping in Argentina. Wow, was that already a couple of years ago?!

As you said, it’s impossible to have a 100% footprint free tour to the Galapagos, but many of the tour companies are concerned about the environment (our guide yelled at people for getting off the trail). One of the big environmental challenges that we saw was the overpopulation on the inhabited islands…no easy answers there.

Enjoy!! It’s a wonderful trip and look forward to hearing what you think of the experience.

It was a couple of years ago, time really does move fast. We linked to that article where we discussed the conversation we all had about how travel brings good and bad. It’s still fresh in our minds, especially when we made this decision. Our curiosity and desire to see such an amazing natural place is just too great. We have always wanted to go and now it’s happening.

I won’t be able to understand the complexity of the problem with our short tour, but I am confident that there are problems. Even if all tours were eco-friendly, we still have the major issues of the number of tours and the number of jobs or desire for jobs.

Regardless, I know we will be amazed by the Galapagos and have a great time, but deep down I also know, I am not really making things any better there.

Awesome guys! Looking forward to the photos.

The best you can do is minimize the destruction you cause. Being a 100% environmentally friendly traveler is a pipe-dream.

Your are right Matthew, it’s not possible. Unfortunately, travel in itself, is not really eco friendly.

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