New Villamil dock "fee-tax" starts today

CNH Tours has been informed that local authorities in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, started charging a new tax / landing fee of 20 US dollars effective today.

This new fee will serve to ensure the maintenance of the town's main landing docks, where tourists disembark from cruise ships, day tours and inter-island trips.  The docks also serve as moorage for smaller fishing boats and other working vessels.  

It is not clear how visitors will be expected to pay - whether this will be incorporated into cruise prices, or other transport service prices, or if you'll have to pay $20 in cash upon arrival.   Only time will tell. 

The rates are $20 for foreigners, $10 for Ecuadorians and $2 for Galapagos residents if on a day tour or a cruise, and $5 for foreigners, $2 for Ecuadorians and $1 for Galapagos residents if just using the docks for inter-island transport, or work related purposes.  

Though we understand the need to have users pay for the upkeep of facilities, CNH Tours is starting to wonder over how far this will go.  The Park fee is $100, the tourist card fee is $10, there is a new aiport tax of $24 in Quito...  We suggest that the Galapagos authorities arrange for the unification of Galapagos related taxes and fees so that visitors do not feel they are being asked, every time they move, to pay yet another tax.   This will have (and may already have had) and dampening effect on visitation to the islands.