Blog

Documents and fees required to enter the Galapagos Islands

13Apr

 

The Galapagos Islands are a paradise on Earth, admired for their incomparable beauty and diversity of species. Due to the scientific and environmental relevance of the islands, it is necessary to comply with certain requirements to be able to enter. These measures, which have been taken by the different institutions responsible for the management and administration of the archipelago, are indispensable to maintain all conservation programs and to control the tourist impact in the area.

As well as finding a Galapagos hotel or booking tours and excursions, it is very important to check in advance what are the documents and fees to pay, in order to enter the islands without problems.

To enter the Galapagos you need the passport that you used to enter Ecuador. All Latin American countries (except Cuba), as well as the European Union and the United States do not need any tourist visa. The maximum stay allowed in the country is 90 days.

When you are going to take a plane from Quito or Guayaquil you must pay in advance at the airport the Galapagos traffic control fee that has a cost of 20 USD at the INGALA stand (Instituto Nacional Galápagos), so, it is recommended to be at the airport 2 to 3 hours before the flight. This rate is the same for nationals and foreigners and the document is valid for 3 months.

Once the flight is landed on the islands, you must pay the entrance to the Galapagos National Park, which has a cost of 100 USD for foreign tourists not resident in Ecuador, 50 USD for foreign tourists from the countries belonging to the Andean Community of Nations or Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru) and 6 USD for nationals or foreign tourists residing in Ecuador.

It is important to keep both documents until the Galapagos stay concludes and have them available as they may be required during the trip.

We hope this information has helped you plan your next adventure in this amazing place. Remember that if you are looking for a Galapagos hotel, Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge is the place for you! If you need advice to prepare your documents and organize your Galapagos tours, do not hesitate to contact us. Write to ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com and we will be happy to answer all your requests.

The Ministry of the Environment named Jorge Carrión as Director of the Galapagos National Park

05Apr

The Minister of the Environment, Tarcisio Granizo, named Jorge Carrión as the new Director of the Galapagos National Park (DPNG), who has been working at this institution since 2012 and prior to this appointment, he was the director of Environmental Management.

Carrión was born in Galapagos, he has PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Seville – Spain, and holds a degree in Biological Sciences at the Central University of Ecuador, where he was also a professor. He has several scientific publications, all related to the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Galapagos; in addition he has extensive experience in environmental management issues.

The Galapagos National Park manages the two protected areas of the archipelago, national park and marine reserve. Carrión’s challenge in this new position is to strengthen the management of the Ministry of the Environment in the islands. This will be achieved through coordinated work with the local institutions, giving continuity to the processes being carried out in the archipelago for many years now.

Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge, as a Galapagos hotel, reaffirms its total support to the National Park, wishing its new director success and prosperity in his management.

Cyclists from all over the world will meet in Galapagos for International Tour

05Apr

 

Elite and recreational cyclists from different countries such as Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, among others, will meet for 3 days in Santa Cruz island to participate in the second Galápagos International Cycling Tour from October 5 to7, 2018.

The event, which is organized by the Galápagos Endémic Sport association (GES) and has the authorization of the Galápagos Provincial Sports Federation, is divided into three stages. The first stage will be on October 5, with a 5km individual time trial in Puerto Ayora. The second day, on October 6, will be a round trip circuit of 25 km from Puerto Ayora to Bellavista. Finally, on October 7, in the third stage, 90 km will be covered from Puerto Ayora to the Itabaca Channel.

The competition is designed for elite and recreational competitors in different categories such as: children, youth, elite, ladies, master, mountain bikes, among others.

The organization of the event is convinced that this type of activities help to boost the tourist and economic development of the islands, as they attract the attention of many people worldwide, especially those who love sports and nature.

Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge is one of the Galapagos hotels that is already preparing to welcome all these athletes with open arms in order to be part of this great event.

The first International Tour was held in 2016, where 33 cyclists participated. This year it is expected that this figure will grow considerably, since, without a doubt this event is a way to contribute to the massification of sports in the enchanted islands.

If you are a fan of cycling or sports in general, you cannot miss this competition! The setting of the competition is in one of the most wonderful landscapes on Earth. Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge is waiting for you to be part of this exciting experience. Do not hesitate to contact us at ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com to help you plan your next tour in the Galapagos islands!

Temporary suspension of snorkeling in Santa Fe

29Mar

We share with you that the Galapagos National Park has issued a document, informing the community about the research projects that are being carried out to determine the diversity, abundance and ethology of sharks in the bays of the Ports and tourist anchorage areas.

The purpose of this research is to avoid risky encounters between sharks and tourists.

One of the sites with the highest frequency of interaction between sharks and tourists has been the Santa Fe Bay, for this reason, monitoring has intensified on the site and the frequent presence of sharks of several species has been identified. Due to this situation, the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park has taken the decision to temporarily suspend surface diving or snorkeling in the Bay of Santa Fe.

This Institution will provide information about the progress of the research project and at the appropriate time the reopening of the site to carry out diving and snorkeling activities will be announced.

snorkel-cierre-ingles

 

Kayaking in Galapagos, an adventure alternative to discover the islands

20Mar

Getting to know Galapagos on board a kayak is an interesting activity that this wonderful archipelago has to offer to its visitors who love adventure. The experience that the enchanted islands offer is incomparable, because of the diversity of species that can be observed.

On these islands it is possible to sail with groups of blue footed boobies and observe sea lions resting on the rocky beaches, inlets and especially their journey around the Pacific and its lush mangrove bays. The archipelago has areas inaccessible from land and for larger boats, which can only be accessed by kayak, allowing visitors to discover and admire the landscapes from a different point.

This activity also allows to explore the geological origins of the island and the fascinating natural history of this place, unique on the planet. It is not necessary to be an athlete to enjoy this adventure. The techniques for mastering the palette are relatively simple and easy to learn.

Certain Galapagos hotels offer this activity and Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge is one of them. Our hotel recommends kayaking on the fabulous El Garrapatero beach, in the vicinity of our property. The favorable weather of this beach, its crystal-clear waters, white sand and subtle waves make it the ideal place to try this entertainment activity.

Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge offers you this and many more activities in its tours, so you can experience the Galapagos Islands in a unique and unforgettable way! If you want to include a day of kayaking on your Galapagos tour you can write us to ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com and we will gladly help you plan your next adventure in the enchanted islands.

 

Third litter of giant tortoises born in Galapagos!

07Mar

In the first days of February the third litter of “Chelonoidis donfaustoi” was born. This is a new species of giant tortoises identified in 2015 after several years of genetic analysis.

For a long time, the scientific community thought that giant tortoise populations from east of the island of Santa Cruz were the same species as the western tortoises. But after careful analysis and genetic research it was determined that they actually belonged to a different species. The situation was critical considering there were not many individuals left from the east part of the island.

From this new discovery, the Galapagos National Park has developed programs for its conservation. With this new litter, 120 specimens are added. For the tortoises to be released in their natural environment, their shells must measure between 23 and 25 centimeters. However, to ensure the survival of these reptiles, they must spend their childhood in captivity, until about 5 years old. Once they grow up, the specimens are going to be returned to the same place where the nests were found.

Tour operators and Galapagos hotels, including Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge, are very committed to the conservation of these magnificent animals, so they invite all visitors to the islands to become aware of the importance of these species. Tortoises are engineers of their ecosystem. With their movements, giant tortoises craft the environment that surrounds them, opening paths so that other species can thrive and also collaborate dispersing seeds.

Get ready to live a unique experience and contribute to the conservation of species in the Galapagos Islands! If you are looking for Galapagos hotels and don’t want to miss seeing the famous giant tortoises, Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge is the perfect place for you! Write us to ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com and we will help you plan your tours to the Galapagos Islands.

 

Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge will participate at ITB 2018!

07Mar

This year, Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge will participate at ITB Berlin, the leading trade fair of the tourism industry, which will be held from March 7 to 11.

This event receives every year important international tourism organizations, tour operators, airlines, hotels and other companies related to this industry.

Casa Natura, in addition to offering its services as a Galapagos hotel, will be presenting incredible tour packages such as: Unforgettable Galapagos, Island Hopping and Diving programs in Galapagos. All of these are options for travelers to enjoy the Enchanted Islands in the best way.

If you want more information about all the services that Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge has to offer, do not hesitate to visit our stand at ITB Berlin! Please contact us at ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com if you will like to request an appointment with us during the travel show.

The Galapagos Islands, the ideal place to celebrate the year of the bird!

26Feb

 

The National Geographic Society declared 2018 as the year of the birds, commemorating 100 years of the creation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird protection law ever passed.

To remember the centenary of this event, the most important nature destinations in the world come together to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” and are committed to protecting birds today and for the next hundred years. Many Galapagos hotels, including Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge, invite nature lovers to discover and fall in love with the unique bird species that exist in the archipelago.

The importance of birds in the environment is vital, without them the large chains that make ecosystems work would not be produced, that is why the authorities of the Islands, together with tour operators such as Galapagos hotels, naturalist guides, among others, they work hard to raise awareness among visitors about the relevance of these species and why it is so important to protect them.

A total of 140 species of birds have been recorded in Galapagos: 58 residents, 76 migratory, and 6 introduced. About 50% of the resident birds are endemic to the Islands, this means, they are unique in the world. Some of the most relevant species are:

The Galapagos penguin: This species lives more to the north than any other penguin species, it only nests in the Galapagos Islands, on the line of the Equator, being therefore the only penguin that is distributed in the northern hemisphere.

The cormorant of Galapagos: This is an example of the unusual fauna that inhabits these islands because it is the only cormorant that has lost the ability to fly.

The Galápagos Busardo: This bird is another species within the interesting list of endemics of Galapagos. It is not known with certainty where it comes from or when its ancestors came to the islands. It feeds on marine iguanas, snakes, fish and giant tortoise eggs.

Darwin’s finches: These birds are endemic to the Galapagos Islands, on the island of Santa Cruz. Its natural habitat is tropical or subtropical jungles. They are also world-famous for inspiring Charles Darwin’s evaluation theory.

These are just some examples of the different species that can be seen when visiting the Galapagos Islands. Species that stand out not only for their beauty and uniqueness, but also for their importance to the scientific community.

Come to Galapagos in 2018 and celebrate the year of the birds with us! If you are looking for Galapagos hotels or Galapagos tours, you can write to ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com and ask about any of our programs or day trips to the most beautiful places on the islands for bird watching. For us it will be a pleasure to be part of this unforgettable adventure!

Experts study the genetic history of Galápagos snakes

09Feb

The Massey University of New Zealand and the Galapagos National Park, in collaboration with Island Conservation, The University of California, Galapagos Conservancy and Galapagos Conservation Trust, have been conducting, since 2015, a study on the genetic history of Galapagos Snakes.

Last January, the third phase of this project began, which studies the evolution of endemic snake species in the islands of Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz, through genetic tests. The process contemplates the separation of the genetic inheritance of each of the Galápagos species with its closest reference in continental Ecuador.

The snakes are predators of great importance in the archipelago, since they maintain the balance of populations of lava lizards, iguanas and birds.

The Galapagos National Park commented that the results of the study will allow a planned management in the future, considering that populations of snakes are affected by introduced species, such as cats and rats.

This new study shows that the Galapagos Islands are not only a travel and adventure destination in the world, but also a place of great importance for the scientific community at a global level.

Come to Galapagos and discover why these islands are so interesting for world scientists and why different non-governmental organizations strive to preserve them. If you are looking for Galapagos hotels or Galapagos tours, you can write us at ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com and ask about any of our programs or day trips to the most beautiful places on the islands. For us it will be a pleasure to be part of your upcoming adventure in the Galapagos Islands!

163 turtles raised in captivity return to Isabela Island

09Feb

The Galapagos National Park returned to its place of origin, in the area known as “Cinco Cerros” on Isabela Island, a group of 163 terrestrial turtles of the Chelonoidis guntheri species, after having been raised in captivity.

Prior to the release, the respective health examinations were carried out, their shells were marked with a special ink to be able to track them and a microchip was implanted with the data recorded in the reproduction program.

This activity is part of the project ‘Initiative for the Restoration of Giant Turtles’ which is developed with the support of Galapagos Conservancy. The Galapagos National Park maintains breeding programs in captivity with the mission of recovering the population of turtles in several islands of archipelago.

Galapagos hotels and cruise boats, including of course Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge, fully support the efforts done by the Galapagos National Park and international NGOs in helping the islands’ conservation. We believe projects of this nature contribute to the conservation and the tourist development of the archipelago

If you liked these places and wish to include them in your next adventure to Santa Cruz Island, Casa Natura Galápagos Lodge is the best option for you! If you are looking for Galapagos hotels or Galapagos tours, you can write us to ecolodge@casanaturahotel.com and ask about any of our programs or one day excursions to the most beautiful places in the islands. For us, it is a pleasure to be part of your experience!