Starting in August 2024, tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands will need to pay more. The entry fee is going up to $200 from the current $100 for visitors from most countries. This change aims to help protect the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ecuadorian archipelago. The Galapagos Islands are facing challenges from the growing number of tourists.

Galapagos Islands Entry Fee Doubles to Support Local Community, Wildlife

(Photo : Jackman Chiu on Unsplash)

Galapagos Islands to Double Entry Fee for Tourists

The new fees mean that visitors from countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay will now pay $100, up from $50. Ecuadorian citizens will see their fee increase from $6 to $30. However, kids under 12 will pay $100, and babies under two years old can enter for free. This is the first time the fees have increased since 1998.

As per Euronews, officials hope the higher fees will slow down the number of people coming to the Galapagos Islands. In recent years, the islands have seen a surge in tourists, putting a strain on resources like water and food, and raising concerns about waste management. The increase in visitors also brings a risk of introducing harmful species to the islands' delicate ecosystem.

To protect itself from overtourism, the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Ecuador's first national park, have put several measures in place. These include a stop on new tourism projects and teaching tour operators about sustainable tourism practices. The number of flights to the islands is also limited to control the number of visitors.

The Galapagos Islands are home to almost 9,000 unique species, making them a global treasure that needs protection. The higher entry fees are part of efforts to ensure the islands remain a wonderful place for future generations to enjoy.

Related Article: What to See and Do at Isabela Island in Galapagos, Ecuador

Face Avian Flu Outbreak During El Niño

The Galapagos Islands, a key marine reserve in Ecuador, are currently facing an outbreak of avian flu. Researchers are looking into how this outbreak is linked to the El Niño weather pattern. El Niño, known for changing winds and ocean temperatures in the Pacific, can cause heavy rains and flooding in Ecuador.

Since late 2023, El Niño has coincided with avian flu spreading to the Galapagos from the mainland. According to La Prensa Latina, the disease has hit the islands since September. Efforts to stop the flu include strict rules, watching the situation closely, and stopping visits to some islands.

Scientists from the Charles Darwin Foundation are studying if El Niño has made the avian flu spread faster. They found that four bird species have gotten sick. Despite 34 birds testing positive, the disease hasn't spread as much as expected. The warmer weather from El Niño might have slowed down the virus.

Experts are waiting to see if their ideas about El Niño helping to control the flu are right. They will keep an eye on the situation until mid-2024. The team notes that while El Niño can have both good and bad effects on Galapagos wildlife, the bigger issue is the stronger and more frequent El Niño events caused by climate change.

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