Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Ecotourism & Conservation
in the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Giant Tortoise © Gina Barton

By traveling with Cheesemans’ to Galapagos, you will embark on a conservation-minded, nature-focused expedition aboard the Samba, a vessel owned and operated by the Salcedo Family. The Salcedos are pioneers of the ecotourism industry, and they demonstrate a high regard for their community and the environment. The Samba employs a crew of all Galapagos residents, uses local materials in the ship’s decor, and sources supplies from farmers and fishermen from the archipelago who use sustainable practices. All the revenue generated by the Samba stays in the local economy. This inspires and enables residents of Galapagos to develop other environmentally conscious businesses. The Salcedos provide a model for business practices grounded in the mutually beneficial interdependence of people and the ecosystems.

The Galapagos Islands’ ecotourism industry and the ecosystems themselves are dependent on the custodianship of future generations, which is why the Salcedos created the Naveducando Foundation, an educational program acting as a catalyst for conservation and sustainability by providing students with the knowledge, support, and tools to protect the archipelago in the short and long term. In 2017, the Naveducando Foundation launched Galapagos Infinito, a bi-annual, five-day “floating classroom” experience on the Samba that takes seventh graders, who otherwise would not have the means to explore their own archipelago, on an expedition through the Galapagos teaching about wildlife, ecology, geology, history, conservation, and sustainability. Naveducando has since expanded into the virtual world by developing Infinito En Linea, a digital literacy program including subjects such as island life and history, terrestrial and marine ecology, climate change, volcanology, and more. Local children become more familiar with technology tools and hone their online communication skills and cultural competency through virtual interactions with instructors and peers from around the world. Like Galapagos Infinito, Naveducando’s Galapagos Infinito En Linea program encourages students’ understanding and appreciation of the natural world and inspires a passion to protect Galapagos while offering them tools and exposing them to future job possibilities that will bring their goals of preservation to fruition.

How Can You Make A Difference?

How You Can Actively Contribute


  • Keep an eBird list for each outing – you don’t need to track EVERY bird you see. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.
  • Take GPS-referenced wildlife and nature photos, and upload to iNaturalist. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.


  • Give a talk about your experience to a local wildlife or nature group or host a virtual webinar to reach a much wider audience!
  • Post your experiences on social media so others can learn more.
  • Submit a written, video, or audio testimonial for Cheesemans’ to share with future travelers.
Acting Locally


  • Support local vendors if you buy memorabilia to take home.
  • Travel in small group sizes to limit the impact on the environment and wildlife.
  • Refill a reusable bottle for drinking water.
  • Turn off lights when leaving your cabin.
  • Use biodegradable soap, shampoo, and sunscreens.
  • Do not chase, handle, or disturb wildlife on land or in the water.

Organizations You Can Support

Naveducando Foundation – This education-focused organization seeks to inspire, teach, and equip students in Galapagos to revere and preserve the ecosystems of their archipelago. The Naveducando Foundation offers students the chance to participate in “living classroom” expeditions as well as virtual learning opportunities.