We are committed to Quality in all that we do, and do it with pride
We pay close attention to every detail, listen and provide our guests with what they want.
We deliver Quality to each client, each guest, each co-worker, each time – every time – every day.
Guest Satisfaction is the key success factor in Opuntia and as such, all the members of our service team have encompassed a positive, proactive work attitude towards everyone we encounter.
Evolved over a decade of hospitality experience in the Islands, we are committed to providing de upmost service experience while balancing all aspects of environmental preservation in concurrence with the professional development and well being of the local community.
RAIN FOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED
As a proudly certified member of the Rainforest Alliance, we work hard in assisting in the conservation of biodiversity through the promotion, evaluation, and implementation of the most globally respected standards, generating benefits ecologically and socially, as well as economically.
As the first Ecuadorian member of the R.F.A.C., we were the first to surpass the upgraded criteria required by the Global Sustainable Tourist Council (GSTC) and are continuing to lead the way in innovative sustainability practices.
We believe the most important step in obtaining positive sustainable tours is to integrate the local community as stakeholders, an idea that larger cruise-based tourism companies tend to avoid. This important key not only generates employment for the local economy, but through training and education, the community as a whole becomes empowered and benefits from the caring and overall well-being of their natural, local environment.
Sustainability is our core values and as such we have taken every measure to operate in the friendliest way possible:
- We recycle, re-use and reduce consumption; and educate our guests to contribute, when possible.
- We strive to produce the absolute minimum amount of plastic, paper, or chemical waste.
- Process and recycle all waste in each Island’s processing plant.
- Organic waste is collected and donated to feed local livestock.
- We save water and power using low-flow showers and sinks, motion sensors and energy-saving LED, CFL bulbs. Our appliances and air conditioning are energy efficient certified.
- We use biodegradable soap, shampoo and cleaning materials. These are stored and dispensed in reusable containers.
- Whenever possible, we hang dry linens, towels, and bed sheets.
- Our environmental policy surpasses the new standards established by the Ministry of Tourism in 2015.
- We are certified with Marca Q, a local initiative for quality assurance.
- The tours that use our hotels and that we endorse through our sister company Neotropic Expeditions are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
LOCAL GALAPAGOS ORGANIC FOOD
Our food practice is based on sustainability, local contribution and health benefits. Galapagos is the best preserved archipelago in the Pacific, as 97% of its surface is protected National Park. Strict entry controls for plants and chemicals have protected local farms from unsustainable practices and allowed it to produce high quality herbs, fruits, coffee, cacao and vegetables, most of which are 100% organic. These farms also produce quality organic beef, free range chickens and eggs. Introduced goats (gone wild) and feral pigs are (legally) hunted. They provide a high quality food source while keeping a hold on invasive species. The 14 million hectare Marine Reserve is also a rich source of quality sea food, including the unique Galapagos lobster consumed during season. While most of the food is shipped from the mainland, we have created sourcing relationships directly with local producers and families in order to promote the production of clean local foods, save energy in food transportation, provide direct economic benefits and contribute to the health of the community and our guests! If you want to experience the very best in Galapagos food, check out our Galapagos Culinary Tour that explores the best in street, local, and organic Galapagos dishes and international fusion. In our restaurants ask for the local organic options.
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION AND SUSTAINABILITY
We believe the single most important step in obtaining a positive social impact in the Galapagos Islands is to integrate and empower the local community as local stakeholder. Since hotel or land based tourism developed higher service standards, it has generated a great number of business and career opportunities for individuals and local families. Today, the local economy has diversified. Fishermen have turned into small yacht operators, cooks into restaurant owners, and kids into the next generation of quality guides. The transformation from poor fishing villages, into healthy, prosperous, sustainable tourism-based economies is now underway.
We believe that we are part of this transformation, as we contribute with new business opportunities with local suppliers, steady jobs, good working environments with growth career paths, continuous education and five star hotel training in the continent. At least 90% of our service team is comprised by Galapagos residents, while 70% of all our revenue stays in Galapagos and is integrated back into the local economy.
SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PARTNERSHIP WITH HACIENDA TRANQUILA
“Hacienda Tranquila” is a local non-profit organization located between the commune of La Soledad and the Galapagos National Park in the highlands of San Cristobal Island. During the last 6 years Opuntia Hotels has developed and exclusive working relationship with the Hacienda to support in the management of environmental and social issues facing the Galapagos. Since we have been involved in several projects:
a. Organic Coffee. We are providing technical training to the families of La Soledad to produce and sell organic coffee. A community processing plant is being built in the Hacienda as part of a process to develop a community based coffee shop for summer 2016.
b. Organic Market. Using the hotels are consumers, we have created a market for the sustainable foods in the Hacienda and La Soledad Families. Depending on season we source fresh whole milk, cheese, butter, organic fruits and coffee.
c. Reforestation and Carbon Offset. While planting on average ten endemic “Matazerno” trees per month, we are restoring the that endemic vegetation and offsetting the CO2 emissions.
d. Volunteer Program. Volunteers play a key role in the Hacienda’s operation. The hacienda offers 2 to 8 week volunteer programs. For more information on contributing please refer to the Volunteer Programs. For volunteer programs using the Opuntia Hotels and touring services please refer to our Galapagos Volunteer Tour.