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Green Travel

What is Green Travel?

Green travel simply means being a responsible, respectful traveler who continually makes sustainable decisions and contributions that enhance the destinations and cultures visited.

Leave a legacy, not a trail.

Minimizing impact as you travel is essential to green travel and goes hand in hand with the footprint only mentality.  Your goal should be to leave your destination looking just as it did, or better.

  1. Refill.  Strive to use refillable everything, disposable nothing.  That goes for cameras, toiletry containers and especially water bottles. 
  2. Protect.  Make sure the trash you do generate makes it to the garbage can and the products you use are biodegradable.
  3. Recycle.  Efficient waste management systems aren't a reality in many destinations.  Recycle, reuse, and repurpose items whenever possible.
Be aware.

Cultivating a habit of appreciation and awareness for your surroundings and your impact is essential for your green traveling journey.  It requires seeing the bigger picture and having a direction for the legacy you want to leave behind as one, as a nationality and as a generation. Make sustainable choices when it comes to water and energy use.

  1. Minimize.  Be mindful that water is a very precious, very limited resource in many destinations.  Use the minimal amount possible when showering or freshening up.
  2. Conserve.  Leaving your AC on when you're not in the room may make for a cooler reentry, but it also expends unnecessary amounts of energy that are difficult to generate, created by a destructive processes (like diesel generators in the Galapagos) and are costly in more ways than one.
Get Local.

Supporting the local economy is the only way to ensure a destinations continued authenticity and survival.  Staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants, and utilizing local businesses empower the community rather than padding a corporate outsiders pocket book. Getting local is a great way to practice green travel and maximize your own experience at the same time.

  1. Experiment.  You can have a burger and fries at home.  Try the local cuisine and expand your palette, it is better for the local economy and it is more sustainable.  
  2. Sleep in.  Sleep in a family owned bed and breakfast or a non-franchised hotel that is.  The owners and staff are usually eager to please and a wealth of information.
  3. Insource.  As opposed to outsource.  The local inhabitants are usually the most knowledgeable and passionate about their homeland, its intricacies, and its way of being.
Experience from the inside out.

Blending in, building relationships, and truly experiencing your destination as a participant, rather than a spectator is key for a genuine experience.

A willingness to learn, step outside your comfort zone and not have all the answers is the first step to connecting to and learning from other cultures.

  1. Communicate.  The best way to learn about a people and a culture is to talk to them.  Learning some words in the native language breaks the ice and shows eagerness to learn and to listen. 
  2. Blend in.  Look like a local, not a tourist.  Looking like a 100%, map toting, picture snapping tourist usually creates a barrier against authentic experiences.  Leave your camera for the day, respect the local customs, and assimilate to your new environment.
  3. Be curious. You can't fill a full glass or a full mind so empty any preconceived notions from the get go and be prepared to see different ways of the world that still work.  In other words, be open-minded.  Life is interestingly different across the globe.  Not wrong, just different.  Learn about it, respect the differences, and broaden your horizons.
Be a contributor.

It's always good to leave something behind, a good impression, financial assistance, a day of volunteer work; anything that leaves a positive impact.

  1. Impress.  Realize that you are being watched, categorized and studied.  You represent your generation, your population, and all of mankind to a certain extent.  Make sure that your attitude and your actions leave a positive impact and serve to enrich relationships between your destination and fellow travelers for many generations to come. 
  2. Donate.  It can be money, time or supplies.  Anything to better the environment or empower the locals.
Act today for a better tomorrow.

Every decision has a consequence for now and for later.  Myopic attitudes and actions have no place in a green travel repertoire.  Conscious awareness of the continued impact of every decision and each mindset is paramount.  It's not about single handedly saving the world. Small choices can make a big difference, so make sustainable ones.  It's about doing something today that enables a better tomorrow.

  • Krista Whitley - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2024
    Pablo (our guide) is the Steve Irwin of Ecuador and Karen at Galakiwi offered 24/7, 365 concierge customer service. Truly an exceptional experience from booking to completion that left our family with new life long friends. I cannot recommend Galakiwi highly enough!
    Krista Whitley
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2024
  • Melanie Eustace - 6-day Land Galapagos Tour, January 2024
    A big thank you to the team at Galakiwi for making my holiday in the Galapagos the most incredible experience I could have ever wished for. I thought I had missed out completely when my flight from Miami got canceled but Laura rescheduled everything in Ecuador for me and arranged for me to catch up with my group without missing out at all. Pepo our guide did a superb job and every day was even better than the one before, except the last one when we had to go home ?. From beginning to end every single member of the Galakiwi team was incredible. I couldn't recommend this 6-day Galapagos holiday or Galakiwi highly enough. I will treasure all the wonderful memories of the Galapagos.
    Melanie Eustace
    6-day Land Galapagos Tour, January 2024
  • Murray - Family Tour - 2023
    I would give this trip six stars if I could. This was my second trip with Galakiwi, the first having been with a small group of adults none of whom I knew before the trip. This trip, I requested a custom itinerary for myself, my adult daughter and her husband, and their bright and very active kids aged 7, 10 and 12. The staff did a great job seeking out activities suitable for us, some of which I'd done previously and some I had not. We were even able to book a surfing session. Pablo Valladares was our guide on the first trip and I requested him for this tour because of his outgoing personality, encyclopedic knowledge about the islands, and obvious deep love for the place where he lives. I cannot recommend Galakiwi highly enough. In addition to all the above, Galakiwi offers a land based tour so you sleep in a hotel every night and not on a boat. What could be better?
    Family Tour - 2023
  • Michele Lemay - Galapagos Private Customized Tour - Feb 2023
    Galakiwi provided our 7-person group with outstanding, professional services throughout the 13-day customized tour. From the expert advice during the pre-trip planning to the booking experience, the efficient on-site logistics, the exceptional, highly knowledgeable guides, and the excellent family-run quality hotels, everything was perfect. It was the experience of a lifetime that our group had dreamed of. Galakiwi is a superb team all around.
    Michele Lemay
    Galapagos Private Customized Tour - Feb 2023
  • Kurtis Siegle - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2023
    I learned so much and had so much fun! It was an adventure I will never forget!
    Kurtis Siegle
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2023
  • Alex W - Customized Family Tour 2023
    This was absolutely the trip of a lifetime! We booked a private tour with Galakiwi for our family of 6 - mom, dad, grandma, and three kids ages 7, 10 and 12. From the moment we arrived we were completely taken care of. With three kids we didn't have to worry about getting from one point to another. But more importantly, we were shown the most extraordinary places and wildlife. We hiked a volcano, surfed, and snorkeled with sharks and giant sea turtles and sea lions! Our guide Pablo was so caring and related to everyone in our group so well. He made changes as needed in the itinerary to give us the best experience every day. And he taught us so much. He truly loves these islands and the plants and animals who live there, and his enthusiasm and curiosity were infectious. We felt like we were being let into a secret garden that only Pablo knew about. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer! There is so much to see and do.
    Alex W
    Customized Family Tour 2023
  • Heidi - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
    Galakiwi is the way to Go-lapagos! Super organized, anticipating every move and connection in a well choreographed professional manner. Great gear was at our disposal, excellent food served by all of their partner restaurants and caterers. Pepo and Paulo were excellent local guides that we all felt lucky to have lead our adventure, They provided clear insight on the fragile ecosystems that are the gems of the Galapagos and explained Ecuador's cautious development of sustainable tourism in the region. Special visits to the Tree House, meeting their moms and Tim's kids on the last day made it a truly special visit.
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
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