Galapagos Entry Fees Increase…Again

In recurring news that is starting to get a little old, INGALA, the Ecuadorian institution that regulates the Galapagos National Park, has announced that the already steep park entry fee for foreigners will double in 2009. Currently, non-Ecuadorian park visitors must pay $100 per person upon arrival in Galapagos. This money is used for park services such as rangers and control of introduced species. Beginning in 2009, this fee will double to $200. Combined with the new $100 tax on those taking cruise tours (as opposed to land-based ones) and the $10 Transit Control Card, most visitors will pay $310 per person simply for the privilege of setting foot on Galapagos. INGALA figures that 2009, which is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, will see a huge influx of visitors to the islands. Pessimists will note that despite hundreds of thousands of tourists paying park taxes, preventable problems such as introduced animals and illegal shark fishing continue to be as rampant as ever, while optimists can hope that doubling park resources may finally make a dent in these troubles.

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