Partnership with the Swiss Association of Friends of the Galapagos Islands

In order to foster exchange with science and conservation, we have partnered up with the Swiss Association of Friends of the Galapagos Islands. All our expert travel agents and Galapagos PRO customers receive a free membership, so that for at least one year they will receive regular information about developments on the islands. The partners have agreed to publish a Galapagos travel guide and to engage scientists and nature researchers in joint activities.

For more information, visit (Only in German at the moment)

Complicity between conservation and tourism

There are a lot of good headlines from the Galapagos Islands. One is: The Galapagos Islands are a spectacular success story, maybe even man’s greatest triumph in the fight to save our natural heritage. Alongside the Serengeti, the islands have long epitomized the idea of a paradise to be preserved at any cost.

No other archipelago in the world currently enjoys as many protections as this group of islands about 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. In no other place on earth is 95% of the biodiversity from its early days of creation preserved—and this includes both flora and fauna.

It was high time for protection when Ecuador declared the Galapagos Islands a national park in 1959. Settlement and the exploitation of their unique nature by the new residents had reached unacceptable levels. The same is true of the declaration of the surrounding waters as a marine reserve in 1998, extending the protection to the underwater world.

Preserving the Galapagos Islands is an ongoing struggle against the threats of civilization: trash, items brought by visitors or carried in by the wind, stray oil tankers and much more. And yet every visitor to this heaven on earth also helps us win the fight. Since the national park was founded, there has been close complicity between conservation and tourism. Tourists take word of the treasures of the Galapagos out into every corner of the world, increasing the willingness to protect them. Conservationists perform the brilliant feat of keeping the flora and fauna from being destroyed by outside species. Also, it goes without saying that preserving and protecting the last paradise on earth costs a lot of money.

So to the question “Can there be tourists in this natural paradise?”, the answer is a clear yes! In fact, there must be. The state of Ecuador alone does not have the resources needed to preserve the Galapagos Islands, and expecting this of the international community is a delusion. Our goal at Galapagos PRO is make a major contribution the preservation of the archipelago within our means.

Our voluntary commitment:

  • We actively promote sustainable tourism in the islands. We provide information about initiatives and developments and will indicate these in our trip offerings (beginning in Q2 of 2016).
  • We bring competent advisory services to travel sales, so that the “right” guests are inspired to visit the Galapagos (ongoing Galapagos pro travel agency training beginning in September 2015).
  • We promote research on the Galapagos Islands by donating a fixed amount of EUR 25.00 to a partner organization for each traveler. In 2016, we are promoting the work of the Swiss Association of Friends of the Galapagos Islands.
  • We promote awareness of the Galapagos Islands through school events and student initiatives in the places we do business (beginning in mid-2016).
  • We invest in public relations on the Galapagos Islands to further promote research and tourism (ongoing).
  • We offer a platform for scientific lectures and active fundraising.


Last updated: November 2015

Recommenations for voluntary programs on the Galapagos

This is a small but very effective project that is the only one of its kind to work in cooperation with the national park authority.

Started by two brothers, the aim of the project is to clear non-native plants from large areas of land and re-plant using native species. In addition to returning the Galapagos to its natural state of beauty, the native plants provide the foodstuffs required to support the local fauna, in particular the tortoise and birds. Brambles are a huge problem, as they smother plant-life and prevent the giant tortoise from feeding. Clearing them provides more food for the tortoise, encouraging their breeding.

The project operates on a number of different areas of land owned by one family, but given the success of the project, it now works on additional locations including the national park, who supply the native plants to the project.

Typically volunteers work in the highlands, in open areas (not the forest). The work is hard and hot, but has the benefit of being amongst some fabulous scenery and the tortoise themselves are often close by, reminding volunteers of the purpose of their labours.

The project takes significant numbers of international volunteers, who stay in shared accommodation. It is suitable for gap year students, those wanting to visit the Galapagos and Ecuador, and all volunteers who have a passion for conservation and the Galapagos.

  • Minimum duration: one month
  • Language: English is widely spoken among volunteers, but the local staff only speak Spanish, so you will need to brush up on yours to get the very most out of the experience.
  • Experience: No specific experience is required, but volunteers should be accepting of an outdoors lifestyle, the fact that they will be doing a tough physical job and sharing simple, shared living conditions, albeit with a bunch of like-minded volunteers.
  • 4 weeks from $3050


⇒ for more information:

Volunteers will be working in a controlled plot of land where one of the main objectives is eliminating invasive plants like the blackberry’s plant that is covering huge parts of the populated Islands and then restore native and endemic species of plants by growing them first in a greenhouse located in another area of the Island and finally planting them in their permanent new locations.

Volunteers also will work on our project to encourage the local farming since many of the locals despite of the fact of having such a very fertile land they prefer to import many vegetables from the main continent. Volunteer will work o our faming program to produce and collect some products that can be sold and exchange with the locals by doing this volunteers are encouraging the locals to join this agricultural activity.


  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Duration: from 1 week
  • Language: Basic Spanish, fluent English
  • Accomodation: Host families with 3 meals a day


⇒ further information:

Our overall aim is to contribute to the conservation and preservation of these unique and abundant marine and terrestrial ecosystems through much needed research and practical hands-on work.

Daily activities will include eradication of introduced species, coastal clean ups, sea bird and sea lion population monitoring. This will involve hiking to areas where the animals can be found and collecting data during animal observation. Volunteers will also work at the Galapagos National Park’s giant tortoise breeding centre; duties here will include locating nests with eggs, cleaning of ponds, feeding and general maintenance of the reserve.


  • Project sites: San Cristóbal Island
  • Duaration: from 2 Wochen
  • Start dates: flexible
  • Accommodation in Host families
  • 14 days from $ 1.740


⇒ for more information:

The project works to maintain the current infrastructure, such as trails and fences, which are important considering the volume of tourists that arrive on Galapagos. Educational tours are also provided to tourists, and volunteers often assist in showing them around the project facilities.

Volunteers will also assist in the ongoing facility research, which involves taking inventory and collecting samples from the surrounding areas for analysis by the Reserve and for use within the project nursery. Some volunteers may also wish to realize independent research projects of the flora and fauna while they have access to such unique surroundings.

You will also support in care of the vegetable garden, which is used for consumption by the project personnel to avoid consuming native produce or risking the potential for introduction of foreign insects via importation of fresh produce. All tasks are carried out utilizing sustainable technique and methods. After all, the project seeks to restore the natural habitat and your efforts as a volunteer will directly support this mission. Lastly, volunteers help in the general maintenance of the project facilities as well, such as the kitchen and volunteer house.

  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Duration: Minimum 2 weeks, maximum 8 weeks
  • Place: San Cristobal Island, Ecuador
  • Language: Spanish (at least basic level required), fluent English
  • Accommodation: Shared room with other volunteers
  • 14 Days from $975


⇒ further information can be found:

– Role Overview:

Work with the Galapagos National Park as a member of the staff at the Tortoise Breeding Center. Your responsibilities will include feeding and caring for the tortoises, and maintaining their enclosure. You will also help with zoo keeping type assignments and potentially educate tourists and inform them of rules and regulations, depending on background and abilities.

– Schedule:

Our schedules are based on 20 hrs/week and can voluntarily be extended to a regular 40hr work week.. The normal schedule is Monday-Friday 7.30 – 11.30AM which may be subject to change depending on the tasks at hand.

– Requirements:

  • Basic to intermediate level of Spanish
  • A genuine passion for animal conservation
  • An ability to openly communicate rules and regulations to tourists and follow instructions
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • Flexibility in work schedules and tasks to accommodate day to day needs of a local institution
  • Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high allergen, sun and temperature exposure


⇒ for more information, visit: