"Independently Galapagos" Top 5 Page for this destination Galápagos Islands by richiecdisc
Galápagos Islands Travel Guide: 1,271 reviews and 6,255 photos
While all places on this planet are special in some way, some can be viewed as more special than others especially with regard to attention garnered. This attention can come from the scientific community or be of the more popular variety of tourism. With the mind of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution so intrinsically linked to the Galapagos Islands, it lacks no pedigree with regard to the former and with governmental sanctions to limit visitation well in place it is obviously entrenched in the ranks as a tourist destination. That the Galapagos Islands are a special place is surely not a matter of conjecture or debate but what might be argued is how the area of worldwide importance is being managed. Its World Heritage status is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that few people know where exactly the archipelago is located or perhaps more perplexedly what country they are part of. Ecuador is the big prize winner but sadly few visitors to the Galapagos pay even cursory attention to their mother country except when criticizing its unfair visitation practices. It is true that is has become prohibitively expensive to visit the land where the theory of evolution took its inception and while more so in actual dollar amounts for foreigners than Ecuadorians it is prohibitively so for the latter when one takes into consideration annual income.
So, this is not about the high entrance fee nor the disproportionate price for flights. One can only hope that most of the money does in fact trickle down to the islands' fragile infrastructure. No, this is about how to make the Galapagos more accessible for those with limited funds. Not everyone can afford a $10,000 week vacation but everyone does deserve to see this incredible place. Once in a lifetime should not have to come down to mortgaging the house. While it is true the Galapagos are not a cheap holiday, with some care, it can be an affordable one. You might not spend the week on a luxury cruise liner but you will get to see the unique wildlife and landscapes that make this a special spot. And after all, that's why you came to begin with, right?
It seems odd that a site so inherently connected with Darwin's fascination with its flora and fauna's independence from the rest of the world's should become so intertwined with a group tourism mentality. The independent traveler is not only not catered to but is all but shunned when inquiries are made on anything outside the common four or seven day cruises. While no pretenses are made about being able to explore the Galapagos entirely on one's own it is more than possible to do quite a bit that way and in so doing, to become an autonomous traveler on the very archipelago that first instilled the idea of such survival to Darwin.
A lot of this page could unfortunately be considered off the beaten path since the tourist industry of the Galapagos... more travel advice
With so much to do during the day I must confess to mostly taking it easy in the evenings. A sunset and a couple beers... more travel advice
- fresh fish anyone
- go wide, go long
- check your snorkel before you leave
- by all means get in the water!
- See All one penguin for the road, please
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