Let us introduce you to Jasci and present a new experience to the ethereal Galapagos islands
Neil looks back on one of his most memorable journeys.
We’ve seen the world – and we will see it again. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep in touch, reminding you of why we travel in the first place. For us, travel has always started with a dream. A dream of somewhere else and of some time else. That’s why we’re going to look back at the trips we’ve made in order to feel the thrill of the trips we’re going to take. Place by place, face by face – we’re looking back to look forward.
Here, Neil is taking a glance back at a rare encounter in the Galapagos Islands.
“Bring the Galapagos back? The Galapagos never left.” It’s true, partly. Let us explain. For a millennia, the epic Galapagos islands have developed in isolation some 1,000km off the coast of South America. As we all know due to the great late Charles Darwin, they are a place of extreme importance through the biodiversity of wildlife and absence of human influence.
However, ever since the groundbreaking research carried out in 1835, there has been a growing interest from travellers all over the world. Ecuador have worked increasingly hard in the past few years to ensure the preservation of this special archipelago. And whilst for many years the way to experience the Galapagos has been by yacht or cruise liner, now there is a new, alternative and more immersive way to get back to what the Galapagos is really about. Let us introduce you to Jasci, the man who’s driving the movement forward.
A journey from the rainforest to the archipelago
Jasci is our long time friend and partner in Ecuador. We work together to create new innovative experiences for our guests and when they arrive in this beautiful partner of the world, Jasci and his team deliver those experiences.
“My journey started in the Amazon Rainforest working with remote indigenous tribes, it was here that my passion for understanding and connecting nature and culture was born”, Jasci says. For 15 years he has been developing new pathways for travellers to connect with the lands and people here. His latest project has been to return travellers to the lands of the Galapagos islands, to bring travellers and locals together in a way that not only benefits the experience of both but even more importantly is setting a new precedent for eco tourism here.
From the seas to the lands. The Galapagos goes back to go forward.
“There’s been a shift in approach recently and we’ve found to create a closer experience for our guests taking the trip back to the land rather than just on the yacht really allows a new level of connection and understanding about what a truly unique place this archipelago is.”
For many years taking a cruise around the islands was the only way to really explore the wildlife and terrain here. Not to say this isn’t special, some of our teams favourite moments travelling have been from the deck of a Galapagos yacht and the days spend meandering across the islands absorbing the flora and fauna.
What Jasci is doing is taking things onwards and upwards. We’ve already learnt from him that his motivation is to connect culture and nature. His work here is based on this passion.
“Whilst any experience of the Galapagos is one you’ll cherish forever, it still leaves me wide-eyed every time I visit, the exciting part of a land based experience for me is how it brings the local communities into focus. Our lodges and guides are all supported and run by locals. It’s easy to forget that whilst this wildlife utopia, there have been humans here for as long as we remember too. This is a way of helping to share their story and create a more immersive experience into what island life here is all about.”, Jasci.
We’re incredibly excited to be able to now connect you with the Galapagos by land. Not sailing around the islands but sleeping upon them, in the heart of arguably the most famous ecosystem in the world. “It’s not a snapshot you get but a sense of place, local insight and understanding” for Jasci the benefits don’t stop there for the traveller, but extend to the destination itself. “When it comes to meaningful impact this new approach is leaps and bounds ahead in the opportunity to help support the flora, fauna and local communities”.
A wilderness retreat with some extra special guests.
“We are excited to combine our tourism and conservation experience to this new offering . From the variety of accommodation types (treehouses, safari tents, a private lodge and family suites) to the impact guests have in helping to restore and extend the habitat of the resident giant tortoises”, Jasci.
There’s something that’s very surreal about waking up and stepping out onto your tent porch just to hear the slow crunching of a giant tortoise eating breakfast under the decking. Whilst staring out onto a landscape that is home to the theory of evolution. Your geography teacher would be proud.
It’s not all about animals here either, by coming with us to Ecuador & Galapagos you can directly contribute to Jasci’s reforestation project on the archipelago, an amazing 48,000 escalacia trees and the construction of new water sources for the animals that reside here are in the pipeline.
Why this is all so important
The Galapagos has been open to tourism since 1965, when Seymour Airport on Baltra went from a WW2 runway to a gateway for travellers. Ever since this moment, quite naturally, the demand for this once in a lifetime experience has continued to grow. The Galapagos secret is out. And like any place of extreme human interest, it is also our responsibility to care for the ecosystem there, whilst preserving it for generations to come. Jasci is on the front line here, seeing all the great, the good and the not so good. It’s what is driving this venture to provide a new experience. One that is better for the wildlife, the locals and travellers alike.
“The world’s wild spaces are threatened more every day. Travelers can either help or hinder the conservation of nature. I believe that tourism can be a force of good in protecting ecosystems, species and cultures. Preserving our natural (and cultural) heritage is critical to human health – whether considered from the perspective that people not only need but crave connection with nature, or from the standpoint that nature helps us survive – from the oxygen provided by trees to the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals – so many of which are derived from nature.”
We’re incredibly proud of Jasci and the projects going on in Ecuador & Galapagos. We’ve been working together now for many years and have continued to push each other further in creating a conservative and immersive experience for travellers into this incredible part of the world.
He embodies our We Are Human philosophy and it’s with great excitement in the coming months we’ll be sharing new, fascinating human stories from Ecuador. Whilst you watch this space, you should have a look at our latest trip to Ecuador & Galapagos here, be one of the first to follow our footsteps on this incredible new experience.
Inspired by Jacsi and the beautiful islands?
Follow Jasci’s footsteps and explore the amazing flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. We have a variety of experiences that will take you from the high Andes to the Amazon basin and then across the Pacific to the epic Galapagos. This is a country for the adventurous, for those that want to see the world and then some. Ready to start your journey?