The Galapagos Islands are a collection of rocky, volcanic lands that are protected as part of the Galapagos National Park. Best known for their unique wildlife the archipelago was the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking research on natural selection and evolution, the Galápagos Islands are a protected area governed by strict rules and regulations meant to protect the delicate ecosystem.

Galapagos National Park Facts

The Galapagos National Park was founded in 1959, and it was the first national park of Ecuador, a superintendent and rangers were not assigned to Galápagos National Park until 1971.  As known the Galapagos Islands were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

  • The Galapagos National Park protects more than 3,000 square miles of land encompassing the 127 islands and islettes in the Galápagos Archipelago.
  • There are currently 350 park rangers working in Galapagos National Park.
  • The Galapagos Marine Reserve protects an additional 53,000 square miles of ocean around the islands.



Here are some of the rules the Galapagos National Park reccomend to all visitors:

1. Protected Areas

Protected areas within the Galapagos National Park must be accompanied by a naturalist guide authorized by the Galapagos National Park.

2. Stay on the Trails

Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife, and for your safety.

3. Keep Away from Wildlife

Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you.

4. Never Give Food

Never feed wildlife – the circle of life in the Galapagos is delicately balanced; there’s no need for you to interfere, as this can cause health problems.

5. Invasive Species

It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.

6. No Flash

Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the galapagos National Park.

Camping is only allowed in a few authorized areas in the Islands. Request authorization to camp at least 48 hours in advance.

7. Never Take Out

Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is an illegal action and must be reported.

8. No Tracks

Practice “leave-no-trace” principals in order to maintain the beauty of the environment – Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat.

9. No Smoking

Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park.


As you can see The Galapagos National Park protects the archipelago as the number of visitors has increased in the last years, so their job is to continue preserving this unique natural worldwide destination in order for the future generation to continue visiting this amazing place.