Quito, June 01st, 2011
Dear Friends, On behalf of all of us at Rolf Wittmer / Tip Top Fleet I would like to wish you a very pleasant journey aboard our yachts. As a professional and responsible tour operator, we are not only highly committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our operation, but also to ensuring the quality and safety of the service we provide as well as satisfying our clientsâ€™ needs and expectations. Our efforts are only worthwhile if we also support the island communities. This booklet offers you information about our operation, about the Galapagos Islands and about some special considerations in this unique place. If there is any detail which is not covered here, please ask the Captain, Guide or Tour Leader: they will be more than pleased to answer your questions. Our aim is to ensure you have a smooth voyage in compliance with national and international regulations and standards. Please bear in mind that the instructions provided in this booklet and by the guide are for the preservation and conservation of the unique paradise that is the Galapagos Islands. In this edition we have included some up-to-date information about the trip that you are about to begin and you will also find some additional information to help you keep a record of your cruise and some suggested reading. On behalf of the office staff and the crew I would like to wish you a memorable stay aboard. Thank you for choosing us to make your dream of visiting Galapagos an unforgettable experience.
Rolf Wittmer Founder Rolf Wittmer Turismo / Tip Top Fleet
OUR HISTORY Captain Rolf Wittmer is the first man whose birth on Floreana Island has been historically documented. He was born in January 1933, a few months after his parents, Margret and Heinz Wittmer, ended a long trip from Germany to the island of Floreana. The Wittmer family settled down on the island and with great endurance overcame incredible hardships and sometimes an almost unbearable loneliness. They set up a new home on this heavenly island. Mrs. Margret Wittmer was the central character in the heroic saga which is more fascinatingly dramatic than any fictional adventure. This story can be read in her book "Postlagernd Floreana", published in Germany in 1960. It was later translated into 15 languages and called "Floreana" in English. Margaret's son, Rolf, was one of the pioneers and the first promoters of ecotourism, which is a well developed industry in the Galapagos Islands today. From 1962 to 1967 he brought scientists and the first tourists to the islands aboard the "Cologne", his fishing boat. In November 1969, he began to offer formal tourism activities on oard a yacht he specially designed and built to accommodate 6 passengers: the motor yacht "Tip-Top I". This was the start of a business which grew very rapidly mainly due to the excellent services and personal attention that Rolf Wittmer was known to provide. Continuing with the family history of adaptation, innovation, and concern, Rolf founded the company Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galápagos Cía.Ltda. with his children, and today it is wellknown for offering tailormade and special interest tours around Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The Tip Top Fleet The expression “tip top” has been commonly used in English speaking countries for several decades and, as with many expressions, its meaning has stayed the same overtime. Tip top means “point (tip) of the upper side (top)”. It also means: Adv: To the highest extent. Adj:(Informal) Of the highest quality; excellent; most excellent; perfect. Noun: (Tip end + Top) The highest or utmost degree; the best of anything. (Colloq) Today, after 28 years in the market and more than 45 years in the tourism industry, Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galápagos is the owner and operator of the First Class Yachts: "TIP TOP II", "TIP TOP III" and "TIP TOP IV" that were constructed in 1998, 2001 and 2006 to offer the highest level of security and comfort to our passengers. In addition, Tip Top Fleet is one of the most sustainable fleet of yachts in the Galápagos Islands and Rolf Wittmer/ Tip Top Fleet is one of the best positioned companies in the market, with a great demand all year round. At Rolf Wittmer/Tip Top Fleet we serve our clients with excellence and at the same time we are highly concerned about the conservation of and support to the Galapagos Islands, a World Heritage site. With our well trained, professional staff, we are confident that you will receive the best personal attention and service. Tip Top Travel: In the effort to meet our clients’ expectations Rolf Wittmer Turismo has a Travel Agency. Our infrastructure and contacts enable Rolf Wittmer Turismo to operate all of the land and cruise services required during your visit to Ecuador. For more information, please contact us: (+593 2) 256 3181/256 3098/ 252 0716/ email@example.com www.tiptoptravel.ec
Rolf Wittmer Foundation: The Rolf Wittmer Foundation is an organizational initiative of Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galapagos Cia. Ltda. It takes Captain Rolf Wittmer´s name in order to preserve his memory and his efforts to develop tourism and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. The main objective of the Rolf Wittmer Foundation is the sustainable growth of the Galapagos Islands. In order to achieve our objective, we have developed sustainable projects and programs that satisfy the current necessities of the local inhabitants. The Rolf Wittmer Foundation focuses on two main areas: improving training facilities and training initiatives for Galapagos residents and tour operators and the sustainable development of Floreana Island. OUR MANAGEMENT POLICY: Rolf Wittmer/Tip Top Fleet are committed to creating VALUE. Voluntary innovation and improvement… We are constantly improving our fleet in order to prevent pollution, guarantee safety at sea and the occupational health and safety of our staff and visitors, and at the same time deliver quality services to our clients. As a result, we constantly implement best practices and incorporate the most proper technologies. Active compliance with laws, regulations and other agreements… We comply with laws, regulations and other agreements regarding quality, environmental protection, safety at sea; best practices and occupational health and security applicable to our organization. Labor for social development… We promote social developmen through the training of our personnel; in addition, we are committed to generating value in the community. Undertake client satisfaction by fulfilling their requirements in sustainable ways… We offer tourism services that fulfill our client’s requirements in a sustainable way for the Galapagos, community, our personnel and shareholders. Enthusiastic communications and respect for our stakeholders… We actively communicate this policy within and outside of our organization. Our objective is to generate value and to create constant improvement in the region through the dissemination of our objectives and achievements. OUR RESPONSIBILITY: Rolf Wittmer Turismo/ Tip Top Fleet is highly committed with minimizing the environmental impact on his operations and the management assurance, for these reasons, the Company has implemented and certified several management and environmental systems under international standards. Today, the “TIP TOP” is one of the most sustainable fleet in the Galapagos Islands. Some of these standars are: ISM Code, SOLAS Code Ch.13: by the International Maritime Organization for Safety at Sea; Smart Voyager Standard: by the Rainforest Alliance for sustainable tourism, SA 8000 standard: by Social Accountability International for social responsibility
WELCOME ABOARD SAFETY ON BOARD Once you are aboard, you will be welcomed by the guide who will give you all the instructions relating to your safety while you are on the vessel, special procedures on board, Galapagos National Park rules, and a briefing about the cruise. Some instructions especially prepared for this purpose will be played on a DVD or presented by the Guide. Please feel free to watch the DVD at anytime; it contains interesting information about the islands, visitor sites flora & fauna and safety protocols. You will be introduced to the crew members the first night of the cruise. Alarms on aboard have special codes for crew members, and they will know what kind of emergency they have to respond to. Whatever the situation, the general alarm will sound. Your responsibility is to locate the life vest that is in your cabin, gather your personal documents such as passport, other ID’s, credit cards and money and put on warm clothes. Do not put your life vest on inside the ship this may cause unnecessary congestion and panic. We have designated a muster station. Please take your life vest and go straight to the designated muster station. The guide and other crew members will be waiting for you there. If an emergency occurs, you will be informed as to the exact nature of the situation. Depending on the emergency we are dealing with, you will be given orders that you will need to follow accurately. For now, the information provided here is exactly what you need to know to be on the safe side. Remember the best thing you can do is to follow the steps and keep calm. In summary, should you HEAR THE GENERAL ALARM these are the steps you need to follow: 1. Keep calm 2. Pick up your personal documents 3. Get dressed in warm clothes 4. Locate your life vest (Do not put it on) 5. Go to the muster station 6. Wait for information and instructions 7. Follow closely the instructions given. Prior to your first overnight voyage, please make sure that you clearly remember the location of the life vests in the cabins, memorize the locations of all emergency exits on all decks in case of evacuation. Make sure that the guide or Captain has answered every question you have about security. If for any reason you need to use your cabin life vest, please follow these steps: 1. Locate the automatic light 2. Slide the vest over your head with the light on the outer side. 3. Locate the strap and pass it around your waist 4. Secure the strap 5. If you have to jump into the water, hold the vest firmly with both hands from the part located around your neck 6. Once in the water, lie horizontally on your back and relax. (Do not struggle to be vertical) The life vests on the main deck are for use while travelling in the dinghy or small boat (panga in Spanish). Please wear them at all times for your safety. When embarking and disembarking, please hold the hand of the guide or crew member firmly, as many of the sites and the deck may be wet and slippery. We kindly ask you not to be on the outer decks while the yacht is sailing or during the night time as you may fall into the water and get hurt. Although our crew is highly trained in rescue procedures, we cannot be held responsible in the case of a fall or accident and the ship’s propellers can be very dangerous. Furthermore the noise of the engines may prevent our crew or other passengers from realizing that there is a problem. Please be careful. SAFE DEPOSIT BOX Our crew is very reliable and honest, nevertheless if you want to safeguard your valuables please register them with the Captain on board. When you are handing your valuables in, please verify that they are placed in a properly sealed envelope and that this is placed inside the safe. You will be given a receipt signed by him. Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galapagos Cía. Ltda. will only be responsible for the belongings registered and given to the Captain. SMOKING ON BOARD For a peaceful coexistence, we have designated smoking areas on the boat. Smoking is forbidden inside the yachts and on the stern platform. We kindly ask you not to throw any cigarette ends into the water, as this material is highly polluting. Smoking on the islands is strictly forbidden. AIR CONDITIONING The yachts are fully air-conditioned. Every cabin has an air conditioning unit that can be regulated in accordance with your preferences. Ask the Captain about its use. WATER Please try to save as much water as possible. Water-makers are installed in the yachts to provide sufficient fresh water for everyday use. Nevertheless, keep in mind that water is a valuable resource worldwide. So, please do not leave faucets running while shaving,
brushing teeth, etc. Washing clothes is totally prohibited aboard the yacht. Although the fresh water provided by the desalination machines is potable, we advise this be used exclusively for toiletry purposes. Drinking water is provided in water dispensers.In order to limit the amount of waste we produce while in the Galapagos, we have implemented a reusable bottle that you will find on your cabin, please feel free to refill it with fresh purified water from the dispenser in the lounge.The water bottle provided is a courtesy and it’s for your use only. Feel free to take it when you leave the ship. Once again, we ask that you save as much water as possible, in this way you will be helping us to save energy used in the production of water and thus diminish the amount of pollution caused by electric generators. TOILETS Keep in mind that yacht plumbing is different from home. You should not throw toilet paper, condoms or sanitary napkins, etc. into the toilet. You have a small basket to the side of your toilet for this use. This basket will be emptied several times a day. The disposal of nonpermitted materials could cause a plumbing problem in your cabin toilet. Plumbing problems may lead to flooding so for your own comfort please follow the instructions. In addition, used water is especially treated and serviced before it’s released. Any not permitted object will affect the treatment process. The Company and the Galapagos Islands have a recycling process that begins when you use the basket. CABIN SERVICE Every morning our staff will clean your cabin. We provide white towels in the bathrooms. Please do not carry to the beach or to the sundeck any of them,for this porpuse, we also provide beach towels. Everyday, hotels launder a large amount of towels and sheets, most of them unnecessarily. This process not only consumes a lot of water and energy, but also pollutes our rivers and seas with huge quantities of detergent. For this reason the sheets and towels of your cabin have been properly laundered before you arrive. Unless you tell us otherwise, your towels and sheets will be changed in agreed the number of days of your cruise. In our aim to be environmentally friendly, we have implemented bio-degradable soap and shampoo along with other products. We are aware that the use of soap and shampoo is a very personal matter, and not every product suits all kinds of skin and hair. Nevertheless, we would like to suggest the following: You will find a dispenser in your bathroom with biodegradable soap and shampoo which we recommend you use to avoid contaminating the marine environment. These simple efforts from you might mean a great contribution towards the conservation of the environment.The so called gray waters are very difficult to treat and are highly polluting. One simple action from you will mean a lot for the conservation of the world’s seas. The electricity on board is standard 110/125 V AC in wall plugs. If you wish to, you are welcome to bring any UPS or Voltage Regulator for your protection. We suggest you use rechargeable batteries in rder to diminish the number of used batteries on board. DRYING CLOTHES ON BOARD If you want to hang wet clothes on deck such as swimming suits, shorts, t-shirts, please ask your guide to provide you with clothes pins to avoid losing your personal belongings while sailing. Be sure to secure your clothes and to collect them every evening, as they will become damp again during the night. Please make sure your clothes don’t obstruct any ventilation duct or machine.
CHECK LIST OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS
LOUNGE SERVICES We provide a variety of board games, videos, books and music for your enjoyment. Be sure to return the books you borrow to the lounge at the end of your cruise. Returning them will offer enjoyment to passengers arriving after you. If you find the book "Floreana" by Margret Wittmer, we suggest you read it. This book will make your trip and your stay on board much more enjoyable. We also provide a Desktop PC in the lounge for your use; for example, you may want to share digital pictures and videos, edit or delete footage, etc. The computer on board is administered by the IT personnel of the Company in Quito. Please avoid trying to hack or change any configurations on the Desktop PC.
You will find that your cabin have phones for your use. You can call other cabins using the internal system. This service is free for your use. Please use it carefully. COMMUNICATIONS The yacht is in constant contact with our Galapagos Office via radio. Any inquiry regarding lost or delayed luggage, flight confirmations, or any emergency will be monitored from the office at all times.
We kindly ask you to please understand that the Galapagos Islands are an extremely remote location (more than 600 miles from the mainland). We have implemented the best technology available for our operation and ship characteristics in order to serve your communication needs. MEAL SERVICE In order to establish standards, we design a daily menu. You may find the menu on the dining room. We suggest that you review the menu at the beginning of the cruise in order to avoid ingredients that may cause you allergies or digestive problems. Your guide will give you specific information about meal times in daily briefings; nevertheless, the established schedule for meals is as follows:
BREAKFAST: This meal will normally be served from 7:00 – 7:30am
LUNCH: This meal will normally be served from 12:00 – 12:30pm
DINNER: Between meals you will be offered a variety of snacks.
On special itineraries, your guide may ask that meal times be changed. Important Note: We make every possible efforts to provide fresh products for you. However, please bear in mind that you are on a boat with space limitations. Additionally, we bring most of the fresh food from the mainland, therefore we are restricted by cargo space and legal regulations placed upon us by the airline and the Galapagos Quarantine System. We do our best to offer you tropical fruits and fresh vegetables as far as possible. BAR SERVICE You will find a variety of sodas and liquors on board (please, check on the bar the list of drinks available and the prices). Please advised that prices on board are competitived enough so passengers do not need to bring their own liquor.
The barman will open a tab for you. Please sign this every time you order a drink to avoid any misunderstandings when you get your bill at the end of your cruise. Payment for alcoholic and soft drinks may be paid with travellers checks or American dollars. On some cruises, soft drinks might be included. Please, review this information with your travel guide. Important: We provide wine and water glasses for meals inside the bar and dining room. However, we advise, for your own safety, that you use the plastic glasses that are provided for taking drinks on deck. Breakage of glass on deck can cause accidents to you and the rest of the passengers and crew members. We appreciate your cooperation. PREPARATION OF DAILY EXCURSIONS You will visit a different island every day. The walks during each visit will last an average of 1 to 3 hours. Be sure to bring the following items: • Sunglasses with a strap • Sunscreen (although the sky might look overcast, the solar rays still burn) • Hat or cap (please be careful with your ears and neck) • Batteries, Photographic equipment & plenty of film or memory available • Water bottle • Appropriate walking gear (footwear and walking sticks). Please note that even surfaces as soft as sand may become very hot during the day. • Trash bag RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES Snorkelling We furnish without an additionnal cost: masks, snorkels and fins (sizes 3-5 to 11-13) . We will provide these to each passenger with a bag to store and transport the equipment. Please make sure to take proper care of the equipment provided for your use. Any lost, damaged or exchanged piece of equipment will be billed to you at the end of the cruise. Snorkelers must follow the following rules: • Follow the guide’s instructions. • Always stay with the group of snorkelers and be aware of their whereabouts: you may hit someone unintentionally. • Do not make any sudden movements while in the water. The dinghy might be following you or helping someone else at your side ,,,,and you may hit the outboard motor. • When getting out of the dinghy, always keep away from the outboard motors. • Have all your gear on before getting out of the dinghy. • Do not take your gear off, except for the fins, before you reboard the dinghy. • Always approach the dinghy from either side, never by its stern where the outboard motors are located. • Look up every few minutes to make sure that the group of snorkelers is nearby. Be aware that you may be separated from the ,,, group by currents or by your normal movement. • To feel more comfortable while in the water, you are welcome to always wear a life vest for your safety and enjoyment. • If you like skin diving, and decide to go down while snorkelling, be sure to look up when resurfacing because the dinghy may be on ,,, top and you can hit it. • Never go on your own. Wetsuits We will provide wetsuits to the passengers who have rented. Your travel agency should have requested the wetsuits, at least one week ahead of required dates of use, unfortunately we have a limited stock and the wetsuits must be provided from our Puerto Ayora office. Kayaking The company provides kayaks for your use. Please note the following while kayaking: • Always follow your guide’s instructions • Always wear your life vest. • Do not get too close to animals • Take your camera inside a waterproof bag or an underwater case. • Never go on your own without informing your guide. • Always be within sight of the yacht, your guide, or the dinghy. • If you get tired from paddling, just stop. The dinghy will always be on the lookout; they can fetch you and take you back to the yacht.
Note: Rolf Wittmer /Tip Top Fleet are not responsible for personal items that may be lost or damaged while kayaking. Warning: All water sports carry a certain risk. Passengers participating in these activities do so at their own risk, Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galápagos Cía. Ltda. provides the gear and guidelines for such activities but it will not accept any responsibility for any injury caused by a negligent behaviour or for disregarding instructions. Fishing is prohibited within the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve. Please help to protect this precious ecosystem reporting any irregularity either to the Captain or through your comment card. COMMENT CARDS Depending on the situation, we enclose to this booklet a comment form. Please bear in mind that it is through your comments and suggestions that we can constantly improve our service: we appreciate the time you take to fill it out. Please answer with clarity and honesty, the sole purpose of this is to continue improving our operation. Your suggestions or ideas may become someone else’s satisfactions. Please note that neither comment card or your direct suggestions are used for firing personnel or taking action against any of the staff. Please return it to the guide. Should you have any additional comments or suggestions, or wish to have any further information regarding quality, environmental or security issues on board, please use the comment card provided to you. You can always use a spare piece of paper if you need to. If we don’t give you a comments form please let your travel agency know of any suggestion or comment. Travel agent will give us a summary of how things went during the cruise. TIPPING & GRATUITIES This is a very sensitive matter for all of us. Throughout the years, we have often been asked about the amount of the gratuity that could be appropiate to leave for guides and crew members. From our experience, we would like to make some important clarifications: • Tipping and gratuities depend very much on culture and customs, so be aware that some of the information provided may appear reasonable, exaggerated or diminished. • Please remember that quality of service should determine the amount of any tip, you have no obligation at all as all crew members are properly paid. • In order to avoid misunderstandings we would like to clarify that all naturalist guides, park rangers, crew and staff working in Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galapagos Cia. Ltda. are paid according to Ecuadorian laws and to Galapagos special law and are receiving the benefits they deserve. • Additionally, the staff are given extra benefits from the company such as Private Medical Insurance, Private Life Coverage, and Private Accident Insurance as well as job security, appropriate treatment, etc. Here is guideline based on past experiences. If service has been excellent, the average tip has been US$ 10-15 per person per day for the entire ship’s crew (the crew will divide it equally among them) excluding the guide, and US$ 5-10 per person per day for the guide. Guide and crew are tipped separately. Another guideline is that the tip could be 10% of the price you paid for the cruise. Please understand that is just a suggestion:tipping and gratuities are a very personal matter and it entirely depends on the value of the service you have received from us. Deposit gratuities for the crew members in an envelope and give it to the captain. You can do the same for the guide. CHECK OUT If you are leaving the Yacht at Baltra Island: On your last day, first you will be taken on an early morning excursion, followed by breakfast. Please bring your luggage to the main deck as soon as possible, so that we may take it to the airport. If you are leaving the Yacht at Santa Cruz Island: On your last day you will have breakfast as usual with all passengers and you will be taken on a moning excursion. Please leave all your luggage ready before going on the visit. Your cabin will be serviced during the morning. Please make sure you check out prior to the morning excursion. Your guide will take care of the check in and he/she will hand out your baggage tickets; you should have one ticket for every bag. Make sure that you don’t leave anything behind. Be sure to check all drawers and closets at the end of your cruise. In either case, please note the following: • Please return any items you have borrowed from the lounge. • Rolf Wittmer Turismo Galapagos Cia. Ltda is not responsible for any item left on board. In the event that you forget something, we may be able to locate it and mail it to you, but we cannot guarantee this. Mailing forgotten items such as clothes, shoes, books, journals, etc. is very expensive and you will be asked to pay for this.
Once again, thank you very much for choosing Rolf Wittmer/Tip Top Fleet as your tour operator. It is our pleasure to serve you during your stay in Ecuador.
Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day
nt Post Office
a Puerto Ayora
Cerro Brujo Kicker Rock
San ta Fe
Black Turtle Cove
Am:Baltra / Pm: Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz Island) Am:Santa Fe Island (SN/PR/KY) / Pm: South Plaza (Plazas Island) Am:Chinese Hat (SN/PR/KY) / Pm: Rabida Island (SN/PR/KY) Am:Black Turtle Cove (PR) / Pm: Dragon Hill Am:Post Office (SN) / Pm: Devil’s Crown (SN)- Punta Cormorant (SN/PR/KY) Am:Punta Suarez / Pm: Gardner Bay (SN)- Osborn Islet (SN) Am:Interpretation Center / Pm: Kicker Rock (SN)- Cerro Brujo (SN/PR/KY) Am:North Seymour / Am: Baltra
1:Friday 2:Saturday 3:Sunday 4:Monday 5:Tuesday (Floreana Island) 6:Wednesday (Española Island) 7:Thursday (San Cristobal Island) 8:Friday
YOUR EIGHT DAYS ITINERARY
BALTRA Area:27 Km Maximum Altitude:328 ft
Is a small flat island located near the center of the Galapagos. During World War II Baltra was occupied by the US Army, which built the first landing strip for jet aircraft in the Galapagos. Baltra is also known as South Seymour Baltra was created by geological uplift, is very arid island and relatively barren, the vegetation consists of: arecacti, Palo Santo trees and annuals such as grasses and small vines. You will see animals like marine turtles and iguanas.
When you arrive to Baltra airport your guide meets and accompanies you as you ride the bus to the Itabaca Channel, you cross the channel by barge and then you continue to Puerto Ayora by bus.
CHARLES DARWIN STATION-SANTA CRUZ ISLAND Santa Cruz: English Name:Indefatigable Others: Bolivia, Chávez, Valdez, San Clemente, Norfolk, Porter Area:986 km2 Maximum Altitude:2835 ft Located near the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the center of tourism in the Galapagos. Its close proximity to Baltra airport makes the island readily accessible. Puerto Ayora the largest settlement in the Galapagos is the homeport to many yachts, as well as home to the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Charles Darwin Research Station: Located in Puerto Ayora. You will walk in a trail to the breeding center and from there begins an elevated circular path made of wood, where you can see Lonesome George and tortoises of Española Island, ending in the tortoise exhibit corral. Tortoises of this corral are accustomed to humans; it is an excellent spot for visitors to be photographed with them.The Galapagos breeding program is conducted by Galapagos National Park staff with the collaboration of scientists from the Charles Darwin Research Station. The eggs are brought from the Galapagos Islands of Pinzón, Santiago and Santa Cruz to the station. The eggs are incubated artificially; the galapaguitos are born and reared until the age of 5 years, when they can survive the effects of introduced predators (rats, pigs and dogs). Then they are returned to their native areas. Since 1970, more than 2000 galapaguitos have returned to the native areas. NOTES:
SANTA FE ISLAND Official Name:Santa Fe English Name:Barrington Landing: Wet Walk:Easy to difficult, on boulders Minimum time:1 hour Other activities:Swimming, snorkeling Minimum time:30 minutes Highlights: Land iguanas, sea turtles, Galapagos hawks, rice rats, sea lions, Forest of Opuntia Cactus.
Santa Fe has one of the most beautiful coves of all the visitor sites in the Galapagos. It is a turquoise cove protected by a peninsula that extends from the shore, by a row of rocks and by a small island that are aligned with it. Santa Fe is an island that was not formed by a volcanic eruption it does not have the typical cone shape,but by an uplift that was the result of tectonic activity. The ascending trail takes to the peak of a precipice where the Santa Fe species of land iguana can be seen; they are a more bright yellow and have uncommonly large spikes on their spine. Back at the landing beach, there is another trail in the opposite direction that runs along side the coast and then crosses through a very picturesque forest of the rocks.
SOUTH PLAZA Official Name:Plaza Sur English Name:South Plaza Landing:Dry Walk:Easy to moderate, on boulders and gravel Minimum time:2 hours Highlights:Land iguanas, sea lions, seabirds, shorebirds, Opuntia cactus, Sesuvium One of South Plazaâ€™s main characteristics is its unusual vegetation comprised of Opuntia Cactuses and Sesuvium plants. The Sesuvium a slucculent plant that stores water in its leaves, forms a reddis carpet that spreads on top of the gray rocks. The Opuntia trees grow so tall to protect their paddles and flowers from the land iguanas that feed on them. This is one of the best spots in the archipelago to see Land iguanas and Swallow tailed Gulls, both endemic to the Galapagos. There are iguana nests scattered all over the hill. Lying under the cactus trees, barely moving, the greenish-yellow iguanas wait for a juicy pad of the prickly pear cactus to fall. The sheer cliffs of the southern shore are an unparalleled bird observatory and a perfect bird habitat: Swallow-tailed Gulls, Yellow-tailed mullets, Audubon Shearwaters, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Pelicans, among others use the rising air to glide effortlessly from one side to the other over the escarpment. Santa Cruz
CHINESE HAT Santiago
Official Name:Sombrero Chino English Name:Chinese Hat Landing:Wet Walk:Easy, on smooth lava Minimum time:20 minutes Other Activities:Swimming, snorkeling Minimum time:1 hour Highlights:Sea lions, lava cactus, pillow lava, landscape This islet consists of a miniature volcanic cone that looks like a Chinese hat. This site is a beautiful landscape and has a spectacular white coral sand beach. It is also a good place to observe lava formations such as spatter cones ("hornitos") and small lava tubes. The swimming and snorkelling are excellent (Parque Nacional Galรกpagos, 96).
RABIDA ISLAND Official Name:Rabida Island English Name:Jervis Landing:Wet Walk:Easy Area:4.9 km2 Maximum Altitude:1203 ft Highlights:Red sand beach, Flamingo lagoon, interior trail, pelican nesting area Rabida is said to have the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the islands. It has a dark red beach, a salt water lagoon, mangroves which are a nesting area for brown pelicans, Palo Santo trees, Flamingos and Sea lions. Swimming and snorkeling.
BLACK TURTLE COVE Baltra
Black Turtle Cove
Official Name:Caleta tortuga negra English Name:Black turtle cove Landing: no (panga ride) Highlights:White-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. Mangrove surrounded coves and inlets, mating marine turtles, white tipped sharks and leopard rays are seen in Black Turtle Cove. NOTES:
DRAGON HILL Official Name:Cerro Dragón English Name:Dragon Hill Landing:dry Walk:Moderate, on gravel Minimum time:1 hour Highlights: Land Iguanas, flamingoes, dry zone vegetation, landscape The visitors site at Dragon Hill is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island, and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments at just 1,600 m long. This is an uncommon but very beautiful site. Behind thebeach, there are flamingo lagoons where these colorful birds feed. The trail then takes the visitor up a hill called Dragon Hill. On the way there and on top of the hill, there are Land Iguana nests. Almost all of the individuals are repatriated iguanas, as they almost became extinct because of the predation by feral dogs. In the year 1990 all the dogs were eliminated and a group of iguanas could be reintroduce. Today, they seem to be doing fine (Parque Nacional Galápagos, 96).
Dragon Hill Santa Cruz
Floreana Island Official Name:Santa María English Name:Charles Area:173 km2 Maximum Altitude: 2100 ft Visitor Sites: Post Office Bay- Devil’s crown-Punta Cormorant Floreana is one of the islands with the most interesting human history.One of the earliest islands to be inhabited, it was the stage in the 1930s of a mystery involving an erratic baroness and her entourage. Post Office Landing: Wet Walk: Easy, on sand Minimum time: 30 minutes Highlights: Post office barrel Post Office Bay is a historical site because of a wooden barrel that was put there in the 18th century by a group of whalers. From that time, tourists and seamen have used it as a post office. Visitors sift through the pile of postcards and letters deposited inside the barrel, and if they find one that they can deliver personally to its destination, they take it with them (Parque Nacional Galápagos, 96). NOTES:
Devil´s Crown Activities:Snorkeling Minimum time:30 minutes Highlights: Reef fish, sea lions, rays, sharks This site is a volcano crater which has been eroded by the waves. Only the northern side and parts of the southern side remain above water. Snorkelers are dropped near the exterior side of the crater and they swim their way towards the inside. The inside of the crown is a perfect environment for coral reef that attracts other marine life, making this one of the best snorkeling sites in Galapagos. (Parque Nacional Galápagos, 96). NOTES:
Punta Cormorant Landing:Wet Walk:Easy, on gravel and sand Minimum time:1 hour Highlights: Flamingoes (occasionally), Darwin finches, shorebirds, turtles, coralline sand beach, olivine sand beach. At Punta Cormorant the landing is on a beach with green olivine sand. On a brackish lagoon, long, skinny-legged flamingoes wade through the water, sifting shrimp wit their curved bills. White-cheeked Pintail Ducks, stilts, and other shorebirds feed along with the flamingoes. NOTES:
Gardner Bay Punta Suarez
ESPAÑOLA ISLAND Official Name:Isla Española English Name:Hood Area:60 km2 Maximum Altitude: 675 ft Visitor Sites: Gardner Bay, Punta Suárez Española is the oldest and the southernmost island.The quantity and variety of wildlife on this site are remarkable and because it is one of the most isolated islands in the archipelago, it has a high proportion of endemic fauna (including the Española Mockingbird, the giant Lava Lizard, the Española Marine Iguana and the Waved Albatross)
Punta Suarez Landing:Wet Walk:Moderate to difficult Minimum time:2 hours Highlights:Waved Albatrosses (April to December), Blue footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, Darwin finches, Swallow-tailed gulls, Española Mockingbirds, shorebirds, sea lions,Marine Iguanas, lava lizard, blowhole Punta Suarez is located west of the Española Island. The trail is about 1670 meters. Is one of the most popular and attractive visit of the Galapagos. A few steps inland from the landing site, groups of the Española variety of marine iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland Masked and Blue footed Boobies nest almost right on the trail, Galapagos Doves peck around unaware of visitors and finches go about their business in the bushes. The trail continues toward the cliffs and the blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water spurts high in the air like a geyser. The cracks in the rock are home to the attractive Swallowtailed Gulls and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Further up the cliff, in an area of low-lying trees, is the only place where the Waved Albatross nests, and in fact, the 10 to 12,000 pairs of albatrosses on Española are all the individuals of this species that exist in the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular rituals of the animal world. Watching these large birds (up to 1 mt. high) take off is another unforgettable moment. The albatrosses clumsily wobble to the edge of the cliff and launch themselves against the wing to be transformed into gracious flying creatures. Gardner Bay Landing:Wet Walk:Easy Minimum time:1 hour Other activities:Swimming, snorkeling Minimum time:30 minutes Highlights: Sea lions, tropical fish Gardner Bay offers a great possibility for the visitor to enjoy some beach time in the Galápagos. At the ample beach you can walk and watch sea lions, or just lie down and relax. Or you can go swimming and snorkeling. The rocks in front of the beach are excellent snorkeling sites. A short dinghy ride away from Gardner Bay is Isla Tortuga. This is another fantastic place for snorkeling. (Parque Nacional Galápagos, 96) Osborn Islet Osborn islet is located in the southeast of Española Island is a marine visit where you can enjoy snorkeling and swimming NOTES:
Sa n Interpretation Center
Cr is to
SAN CRISTOBAL English Name:Chatham Area:558 km2 Maximum Altitude:2395 ft Visitors Sites:Interpretation Center, Kicker Rock, Cerro Brujo On this island is located the capital and oldest settlement of the archipelago, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Wildlife and beautiful scenery are everywhere. Magnificent and Great Frigatebirds, Boobies, Swallow-tailes gulls, Frigates, Sea lions, the giant uplifted Kicker Rock (sleeping lion), the only fresh water lake El Junko, tuff formations. Snorkeling and swimming possibilities, etc Interpretation Center Walk:Easy (in town) Minimum time:2 hours The Interpretation Center newly opened by the Galapagos National Park offers the visitor the opportunity to learn more about the natural and human history of the islands.This is truly an extraordinary contribution to the information and education of the island community and the traveler.
Kicker Rock English Name:Kicker Rock Activities:Snorkelling Minimum time:30 minutes Kicker Rock is a magnificent rock in the middle of the sea. Rising 500 feet straight from the ocean, this giant uplifted rock has the shape of a sleeping lion. It has a split with towering vertical walls on either side, forming a narrow channel through which small vessels can navigate. Cerro Brujo Activities:Snorkelling Minimum time:30 minutes Cerro Brujo is located on the north coast of San Crist贸bal Island It is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of lava type It is formed by low-viscosity lava that contains little gas and breaks while it solidifies and is pushed by lava continuing to flow from behind.Cerro Brujo offers an excellent landscape, where you can see Kicker Rock (geologic formation), the southern part of Upper San Cristobal and the coast adjacent to Cerro Brujo. There are two halophytes (Salicornia fructirosa and Scaevola plumieri), these species grow in soils with high salt content. NOTES:
NORTH SEYMOUR Official Name:Seymour Norte English Name:North Seymour Landing:Dry Walk:Easy to difficult, on boulders and sand Minimum time:1 hour Highlights:Sea lions, Pelicans, Blue footed Boobies, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Great Frigatebirds, shorebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Marine Iguanas, endemic palo santo. North Seymour is a low, flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity. Located North of Baltra, this is one of the best places to see Blue footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Blue footed Boobies are found on the flat area near the coast of this island (they nest from May to November). Continuing the trail to the interior, one stumbles upon the biggest congregation of Magnificent Frigatebirds in the islands. While on North Seymour, there is a high chance of seeing a great show of acrobatic flight, namely a frigatebird robbing a booby, a gull or even another frigatebird of their food (Parque Nacional Gal谩pagos,96). NOTES:
OTHER ITINERARIES TIP TOP II & TIP TOP III
CHECK LIST OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS MOIST ZONE PLANTS
COASTAL ZONE PLANTS Sea grape
Beach morning glory
Bromeliad Clubmoss Water fern
ARID AND TRANSITION ZONE PLANT
Green sea turtle Galapagos snake
Galapagos land iguana
Santa Fe land iguana
Prickly pear cactus
Poison apple SEABIRDS
Castela Lechoso Chala Palo verde Flame tree Acacia Prosopis Grabowskia Lycium Galapagos cotton Lantan Clerodendrum Waltheria Galapagos tomato Alternanthera Passion flower Momordica Puncture vine Tiquila Chamaesyce Galapagos miltwort Dyer’smoss (lichen)
Lava heron Striated heron Yellow-crowned night heron Greater flamingo White-checked pintail duck Blue-winged teal American Oystercatcher Black-necked stilt Semi-palmated plover Ruddy turnstone Wandering tattler Whimbrel
LAND BIRDS Galapagos hawk Galapagos barn owl Short-eared owl Galapagos rail Painted-billed crake Common ganninule (Moorhen) Galapagos dove
Great (American) egret
Great blue heron
COASTAL BIRDS AND MIGRANTS
Dark-billed cuckoo Smooth-billed Ani Vermillon flycatcher
Dark-rumped (Hawaiian) petrel
Galapagos (wedge-rumped) storm petrel
Madeirnan (band-rumped)storm petrel Ellio’s (white-vented)storm petrel Red-billed tropicbird Brown pelican blue-footed booby Masked (white)booby Red-footed booby Flightlees cormorant Magnificent frigatebird Great frigatebird Swallow-tailed gull Lava gull Brown noddy Franklin’s gull Sooty tern Royal tern
DARWIN’S FINCHES Large ground finch Medium ground finch Small ground finch Sharp-billed ground finch Cactus ground finch Large cactus ground finch Vegeterian finch Large tree finch Medium tree finch Small tree finch Woodpeker finch Mangrove finch Warbler finch
Slipper lobster Scallop Horse conch
Giant sea star
Black sea urchin
Banded sea urchin
Large brown seaweed
Common rorqual (finback)
Pencil-spined sea urchin
Endemic grren sea urchin
Large acorn barnacle
Short-finned pilot whale
Sally lightfoot crab
Common (white-bellied) dolphin
Hermit crab Semi-terrestral hermit crab
TERRESTRAL INVEREBRATES Water boatman Land snail Longhorn betle Ground betle Sacarab betle Cactus-eating weevil Tiger beetle Carpenter ant Fire ant Carpenter bee Sulphur butterfly Painted lady butterfly Galapagos blue butterfly large-tailed skipper butterfly Green hawkmoth Hawkmoth Footman moth (Arctiid) Noctuid moth Moth Scale insects Ocean skater Mosquito Horsefly Biting midge Biting housefly Praying mantis Painted locust Grasshopper Endemic scorpion Giant crab spider Spider Endemic black widow Silver argiope Star spider Tortoise tick Centipede
MARINE LIFE Por Jackson shark Whale shark White-tipped reef shark Black-finned reef shark Galapagos shark Tiger shark Hammerhead shark Spotted eagle (leopard) ray Mustard (golden) ray Sting ray Manta ray Remora Bacalao Mullet Tuna & bonitos Thread herring Anchovy Five spotted anthias Hieroglyphic hawkfish White-banded angelfish Blue-eyed damselfish Sergeant major Moorish idol Yellow-tailed surgeonfish Blue parrotfish Large-banded blenny Yellow-bellied triggerfish Concentric pufferfish Dusky chub Jewel moray eel Amberjack Red-lipped batfish Harlequin wrasse Blue lobster Red lobster
“100 YEARS ANNIVERSARY OF MARGARET WITTMER:AN EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN” "Now we are on our own, ´stranded´on Floreana, this lonely island. Behind us lay the sea and the shifting mist, above us the sky, infinite as the sea and a dismal grey. Ahead lay the future we had ourselves chosen, our new life..." Margaret Wittmer, Floreana In spite of all the comfort and luxury offered by the Galapagos Islands today, traveling from Germany to these enchanted islands still continues to be an adventure. But imagine yourself, more than seventy years ago, traveling for days and nights by sea and arriving on the remote and almost deserted Floreana Island where "roads" were tracks made by donkeys, and caves once inhabited by pirates seemed to be the only accommodation available. Today it seems very difficult to imagine a pregnant woman brave enough to live in an unknown territory with her husband and stepson in one of these caves, struggling to survive. One definitely has to be a pioneer! In search for an Edenlike environment, Margaret Wittmer finds herself surrounded by no more than an eccentric misanthropic theorist and his discipline, and years later by some convicts, military personnel and a troublesome baroness who proclaims herself the island empress and mysteriously disappears. This, of course, is not the only obstacle in her way. Indeed, Margaret has to face all kinds of difficulties, from having to learn how to live without things that seem indispensable for most people today and how to be self sufficient by discovering how to do things, to having to bear with Ecuadorian governors who try to have her and her family evicted. Nevertheless, her optimism, perseverance, and discipline were strong enough for her and her family to succeed. Margaret established frequent contacts, especially with the German media, and among her friends there were numerous celebrities from all over the world, even the former President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Several publications, interviews and documentaries about her life were published in several magazines and TV stations and many people showed their interest for visiting the Galapagos Islands and getting to know the details of her adventure. She received several acknowledgements, including distinctions from the Ecuadorian and German governments. Margaret Wittmer passed away in the year 2000. Apart from "Floreana, Lista de Correos", her detailed autobiography, her memory and effort remain in her successful family. Rolf Wittmer, her first son whose birth was historically the first one registered in the Galapagos Islands. He now owns one of the most successful tour operator enterprises in the Galapagos Islands due to the long experience he has acquired by operating Tip Top II & III Yachts since 1969 and, of course, given the high quality standards and outstanding first class service that both yachts offer. Margaret’s daughter, Floreana, and her grandchildren continue to run the very famous hostel set by Margaret in Floreana Island. Rolf Wittmer Ltd. is glad to commemorate during this month (July 2004) Margaret’s 100th anniversary and recognizes her outstanding effort as a mother, tutor, explorer, pioneer and worker in the Galapagos Islands. Her life is a living testimony of all that can be achieved when one’s effort and willingness to succeed is vigorous. Margaret Wittmer was a unique woman whose contribution to the Enchanted Islands, declared World Natural Heritage, is undoubtedly significant and will not be forgotten. * AUTHOR: COMCENTER SOUTHAMERICA FLOREANA: FACTS ONLY For Buccaneers, Charles was the name; Spaniards christened the island Santa María. Ecuadorians named her Floreana. She has a thrilling story. For centuries she fluctuated between populated and deserted. These transitions were marked by optimism and tragedy. She saw Fray Tomas de Berlanga say mass. In return for northern whalers annihilating her tortoise population, she starved a group of enterprising Norwegians to death. Later, Ecuadorian convicts fought and killed each other over her 67 miles of land… But it was the Galapagos Affair what would make her famous: A German dentist arrives in 1930; Floreana is deserted. But Friederich Ritter is not the average de ntist: he’s a philosopher, despises society and is there to practice vegetarianism, nudity and isolation. He is with Dore. She exchanged her husband for him on the only condition never to come back again. She is his only student, companion, friend, lover. He had all his teeth extracted; she limps. Two years pass, they build a farm. They both read and Ritter writes for European newspapers. Their link with the world is a barrel that passing ships use to drop off and pick up mail to and from the island. It has been here since the buccaneers; longer than anyone. It’s 1932. Margret, Heinz and Harry Wittmer set foot on the island. They want refugee, a place to hide from the postwar in Germany. Ritter’s stories and the testimonies of explorers brought them here. Margret is pregnant. They establish themselves in the highlands. They use caves as a shelter; they build a house and a farm next. Rolf is the first birth ever to be registered in Floreana. New settlers, a child is born inside a cave; a mythic world that fascinates press. More ships anchor in Floreana. They have presents, treasure: canned milk, soap, chocolate, tools, mail, attention, praises. One rule to keep peace: mind your own business. The only law that is followed, and that keeps the peace: mind your own business.
Months pass. Self appointed “baroness” Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bousquet appears with a plan: Establish “Hotel Paradise”, a venue for millionaires who would be attracted there by her. Her entourage comprises three men: Valdivieso, Lorenz and Philippson. Between scandals, she proclaims herself the “Empress of Floreana”; censors mail, appropriates goods, assumes power, shoots people. Things go quickly wrong. It is 1934. Valdivieso has escaped; Philippson is the favorite lover and Lorenz a source of intrigue and gossip. Ritter can’t handle any more interference in his isolation, Dore supports him. The Wittmers are busy raising two children; one a newly born, the other sick and almost blind. Ritter can’t handle any more interference in his isolation, Dore supports him. The Wittmers are busy raising two children; one a newly born, the other sick and almost blind. The baroness and Philippson disappear, leaving only a few belonging behind. No ships were seen, only footsteps on the sand. Lorenz tells Ritter and Wittmer that they went to Tahiti. Lorenz and Ritter split the remaining belongings among them. Lorenz leaves but his boat is wrecked and he is lost at sea. Ritter dies from food poisoning; both cursing and apologizing on his deathbed. Dore makes several statements, none is similar to the next, she can’t explain why. Lorenz is found on a distant deserted island; he died from thirst. Dore goes back to Germany. Weeks later Wittmer is investigated: While alive, Ritter accused him of “the vanishing” of the baroness.
The world press goes crazy. Tales, accounts, conjectures: nothing makes sense but “The Galapagos Affair” is a story that sells. There are no primary sources; the only living witnesses are Dore and the Wittmers. Opinions are speculation but everyone has one. Dore writes a book: Satan Came to Eden. It is published in Germany and nobody reads it. It is soon ridiculed. It is 1959. Margret publishes a narrative: “Floreana”. Translated into 14 languages, it is a success. The book revives “the Galapagos Affair” but does not explain anything. It is only a testimony of what it takes to start from zero on an almost deserted island 600 miles apart from society; live in a cave, have children on Floreana, work the earth, unify a family and start a business. The book is cited among the 500 best books written by women. The author is decorated by Ecuador’s President; visitors from all over the world arrive to meet her. Tourism in Floreana develops and the little island is on the map again. It is year 2000, Margret is 96 and dies on Floreana. Only Rolf Wittmer lives today, born in 1933 he is the only living witness of the Galapagos Affair.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEVLOPMENT OF THE HUMANS ACTIVITIES IN THE ISLANDS •15th Century Legend about the visit of Inca explorers, but there is no evidence of this. •1535 Officially discovered on March 10th by Bishop of Panama, Fray Tomás de Berlanga. His ship were becalmed and carried out to the islands by the ocean currents while on a journey from Panama to what now is Peru. Sombrero Chino Cartographer, Abraham Ortelius and were called "Islands of the Tortoises" •1574 The islands were first put on a map by a Flemish and the "Bewitched Islands" because of the difficult navigation. •16th First used as a refuge and base for their raids on the Spanish •17th Century colonial ports for pirates. •1684 First crude navigation charts by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley. Many islands were named after Cowleys fellow pirates or after the English noblemen. Buccaneer Cove at Santiago Island, was a favorite anchorage place because of water, salt, etc. Probably the buccaneers were responsible for introducing rats to the islands. •1790 First scientific mission under the leadership of Alessandro Malaspina, a Sicilian captain, sent by the King of Spain. •1793 Investigation of the possibilities of whaling by the English Captain James Colnett. Afterwards, began an era of whaling with enormous damage to the whale populations as well as to fur seals which were hunted almost to extinction. At Captain Colnett visit was established a post office barrel on Floreana Island, in which sailors would leave mail to be collected by ships that were homeward bound. •1807 First resident of the Galapagos, was an unkempt and fearsome Irishman named Patrick Watkins probably marooned on Floreana and stayed until 1809. •1813 United States sent Captain David Porter in the warship Essex to destroy the British whaling fleet, which he duly did. However, he was also responsible for accidentally releasing goats on Santiago Island. •1832 The Galapagos Islands were officially annexed to Ecuador. Then it was colonized and named "Archipielago del Ecuador". •1835 Charles Darwin, the most famous visitor arrived to the Galapagos, aboard HMS Beagle, captained by Robert Fitz Roy. Fitz Roy mapped the coastline with such accuracy that his charts were used by all ships until World War II. Darwin’s findings inspired his thoughts on evolution, and later provided evidence for his theory of natural selection. He published the classic "The Origin of Species". Since Darwins time, a number of scientific expeditions have been made to the islands. •1892 The islands were renamed "Archipelago de Colon" in honor of Columbus and the 400th anniversary of his discovery of America. This remained as the official name of the islands, but the original name, Galapagos, is more widely used •1924 Norwegian immigrants landed on Floreana, then on Santa Cruz where they set up a fish canning plant. Over the years the islands were settled by various nations. •1932 The Germans Margret Wittmer (pregnant), Heinz and his son Harry arrived on the Floreana Island where they settled. They agricultured, stockbreeded, battled wild cattle for possession of their garden and after 5 months of living in old pirates caves, moved into the house they finished with a lot of effort just in time for Margret to have her baby, Rolf. • 1940s During World War II, the United States were allowed to build an airbase on Baltra Island, which was used to patrol the approaches to the Panama Channel. At the end of the war, Baltra and its airstrip were returned to Ecuador. •1959 Declaration as a National Park all unpopulated areas by the Ecuadorian Government. The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands was set up in Brussels. •1964 The official inauguration of the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz. •1968 The first two park wardens were sent out by the Ecuadorian government and the administration of the national park began. •1970 Largescale tourism started with the arrival of a 58 passenger vessel. •1978 Natural Humankind Heritage by the UNESCO •1998 One of the world largest protected areas, the 133.000 square kilometer Galapagos Marine Reserve was created . Today, Galapagos is an international focus of tourism and interest, especially because of its unique flora and fauna in the world.
GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK The Galapagos National Park Service (SPNG) is the governmental institution in charge of the protection and the management of the protected areas in the Galapagos archipelago. Its objective is to protect and preserve the ecosystems of the archipelago and their biological diversity for the benefit of humanity, local community, science and the education. This effort guarantees the
evolutionary processes, also foments the sustainable development of the human activities in the archipelago. Both the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve Management Plans are mastepieces and key tools used by the Galapagos National Park Service to administer these Natural World Heritages through their different interrelated management programs.
GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK: RULES FOR VISITORS 1. For the unique nature, the plants, animals and rocks must remain permanently in their place so as not to cause alteration. It is not permitted to take anything from the islands with the exception of photographs. 2. Each island of the archipelago is unique for its flora and fauna and surroundings, the introduction of foreign organisms like, animals, seed, plants and insects, cause serious problems. 3. The animals of the Galapagos must not be touched or stroked for your own safety because they can rapidly loose their docility and alter their behavior. 4. The endemic fauna native to the Galapagos has a natural form of food; because of this you must not give them any type of food as it may cause damage. 5. Each year thousands of people visit the Galapagos, imagine what would happen if each one the visitors take with him a shell, plant or bother an animal? 6. The marine birds of the Galapagos abandon their nests if bothered or pursued, leaving their eggs or young to fall to the ground or leaving them exposed to the sun, therefore you must observe them at a distance of no less that 2 meters. 7. Bringing pets or other animals on your visit to the islands is not permitted as these animals have caused serious impact to the endemic flora and fauna native to the Galapagos. 8. To maintain the island in the most natural state possible it is prohibited to enter with any living organisms from the continent as well as when you are moving on the islands. Plants, seed, insects, plagues and illnesses are dangerous for the fragile insular ecosystem. 9. The visitor sites of the GNP are duly marked and signed to guarantee security. You must not leave the paths. Devilâ€™s Crown 10. Fishing is not permitted on board tourist boats. 11. Rubbish of any type interferes in the natural processes and ruins the beautiful views and surroundings Punta of the islands. Do not throw rubbish away when visiting sea sites or near the islands. Sea lions collect jars thrown away from the Cormorant bottom of the sea and play Post with them causing damage to their noses: Turtles do the same and can die from blockages in their respiratory tubes. You must leave Office nothing on the islands except for your footprints. 12. On the inhabited islands you can buy articles with Galapagos themes made from wood and ceramics etc. Do not buy souvenirs made from black coral, turtle shell, sea lion tusks or shells as this practice goes against the principles of conservation. 13. Writing your name and phrases of any nature on rocks, walls, etc show bad manners and damage the surroundings and views. Remember that your immortality is not as important as it is the beauty of the islands. 14. Lighting fires or smoking in the areas of the Park is prohibited. Remember that a fire can be started from a match or a cigarette that has not been put out properly. For example in 1985 and 1994, Isabela was seriously damaged by a fire of a great magnitude. 15. If you want to camp in authorized visitor sites, you must obtain permission from the GNP offices. 16. Filming at a professional level requires special authorization.
THE PROBLEM OF INTRODUCED SPECIES IN THE GALAPAGOS Deforestation, pollution, and overexploitation of resources have been known problems that have threatened the protected areas of Galapagos reducing its dimension and geographic extension. Nevertheless, there is a specific threat that has already destroyed a great part of the unique species of oceanic archipelagos of the world and could, in the course of the next decades, also destroy those of Galapagos. This is the threat of introduced species, which enter the islands with the help, voluntarily or involuntarily, of humans. The GNPS and the CDF have been leaders both in making people aware of the problem and in developing and executing a complete strategy against invasive species. The strategy has two components preventing the intrduction and dispersion of alien species and treating the problems caused by species that have already been introduced. The preventive component is complex, because each inhabitant directly or indirectly uses cargo boats, airplanes, and vehicles, which are also the means of transport for introduced organisms, but it is indispensable and much more economical than treating the problems caused by invasive species that manage to evade the preventive barriers. The fight to exclude and control invasive species is continuous. Certainly this will still be the focus of our work in the year 2099, as it was in 1999. Some of the actions taken to prevent further introduction of new species have focused in the following practices: stabilizing the human population,conducting inspection and quarantine process, monitoring to detect new introductions, conducting emergency actions (rapid eradication), reducing importations,controlling specific threats, carrying out environmental education and promoting island culture,participating in conservation processes, coordination between institutions, providing benefits to encourage conservation without encouraging population growth. Even tough the action above, many species remain in the islands, at the time, there is a calculation of 475 Plants, 300 Invertebrates, 24 Vertebrates; a total of 799 species. Controlling and eradicating introduced species is necessary. Therefore, the following practices must be implemented: campaigns for the eradication and control of introduced species, protection of native species and ecological restoration, investigation of methods of control and protection, ecological monitoring, improvement ina management of agricultural lands, participation of residents, mitigation of impacts of introduced species on human wellbeing. The start of the communication program about the System of Inspection and Quarantine for Galapagos (SICGAL) has been the direct responsibility of the CDRS and the GNPS. An intense informative campaign was carried out, using audiovisuals, graphic materials, and direct communication with groups (see section on environmental communication campaigns). On Santa Cruz Island, meetings with cooperatives from the entire community began in December 1999, to explain the functioning of the SICGAL, the general norms, and the list of permitted, restricted, and prohibited products, which was approved in December by the GNPS and the Ministry of Agriculture through the Ecuadorian Service of Agricultural Health (SESA: Servicio Ecuatoriano de Sanidad Agropecuaria).