This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Ecuador & Galapagos holiday, tailor made
Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.
As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices
The Galápagos Islands emerged in the Pacific Ocean six million years ago following a spate of volcanic activity and, isolated from the continental mainland, have become home to unique plant and animal species. Giant tortoises, iguanas, penguins, frigate birds, waved albatross and blue-footed boobies and a wealth of rare flora all thrive there. Today, the Galápagos Islands are at risk due to a growing human population. Overuse of limited natural resources and the introduction of invasive alien species and disease add stress to an isolated island system already beginning to experience the effects of global climate change.
Your cruise motor yachts, Eric, Letty and Flamingo, are three compact, identical craft, offering top of the range explorations of the Galápagos Islands for those who prefer to discover the islands from a small motor yacht rather than a large cruiser, but without sacrificing comfort or excellence. On board these well appointed yachts you'll have a proper nautical experience, rather than just sleeping in a floating hotel. The boats’ operator, Ecoventura, is well known for its commitment and pioneering efforts towards the environment. It was the first company to earn and maintain the voluntary ecological certification, SmartVoyager since 2000 and also the first to become Carbon Neutral operation in Galápagos in 2006. In 2008, Ecoventura reduced CO2 by 10% through the installation of solar panels and wind generators to the Eric, the first hybrid yacht in Galapagos. The same year, the company was presented with the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism – Best in a Marine Environment award during World Travel Market in London.
Cruise itineraries and landings on the islands are closely regulated by the Galápagos National Park. Your fee of $US100 will contribute towards their conservation work.
Keeping the delicate balance between community development and environment is a challenging one, in particular in a place like Galápagos. There are four inhabited islands whose different communities were established in a rather haphazard way, with no urban plans of any kind. Ignorance and the overuse of the limited natural resources reached a stage where the need to stall this process became an urgent necessity.
In 2006, Ecoventura established the Galápagos Marine Biodiversity Fund in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to support environmental education and marine conservation by strengthening the local communities’ ability to manage natural resources. Later in 2012, gave support to the Ecology Project by sponsoring 12 high school age students living in Galapagos a one week field ecology course and offering four students to explore a career in tourism by the opportunity to “shadow” an Ecoventura naturalist guide.
Ecoventura employs local guides and crew; the majority being Galápagos residents and native Galapaguenos and maintains a supply office, warehouse and manager on the island of San Cristobal. Through the foundation “Gotitas de Esperanza” (Drops of Hope), for over a decade Ecoventura sponsored the salaries for teachers and Physical Therapists working at a local school, Alejandro Alvear. During the day, the school provides therapy for children with physical disabilities and in the evening, it serves the adult population through programmes such as teaching sign language for the hearing impaired.
Also, Ecoventura has teamed up with Pack for a Purpose, a non-profit organisation, whereby the company asks our travelers to pack 2.27 kgs of supplies (from a list of requested items) to donate to communities that need it. The Company delivers the supplies directly to foundation, which makes it possible for any traveller to contribute and requires no logistical support. That amount would take only a small space, require little effort and still make a big impact.