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Galapagos guides – an insider’s view

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Guide and Giant Tortoise Urbina Bay Isabela Galapagos

Galapagos guides

Meet our Galapagos guides – an inside look at guiding on Galapagos Islands

When you plan a trip to the Galapagos Islands, your mind races between the animals you will see and the waters you will snorkel through.

Your Galapagos guide is one of the most vital components to making your trip a success.

A great guide spots the animals, educates and helps you to discover, while all the time maximising your safety and comfort and protecting the islands.

Two of our Eric yacht series guides tell us about their lives as guides in the natural wonder that is Galapagos.

 

Eric Yacht Galapagos

Eric Yacht, Galapagos

 

Cecibel Guerrero

Cecibel was born in Ecuador and spent 15 years living in Toronto.

She has been a Galapagos guide since 1992, took time out to have a family 2001-2008, and is a top-rated level III guide.

She said: “My speciality by training are reptiles, but my favourite activity while guiding is snorkeling.

“If you love wildlife, people and photography, this is the ideal job for you.

“I feel blessed and honored to work in one of the most pristine places on earth.”

 

Gusatvo Andrade

Gustavo Andrade is part of a third generation of a local family from San Cristóbal, Galapagos.

He was raised in Guayaquil on mainland Ecuador, but was always linked to the islands because his father was working as a tour boat captain.

He said: “Becoming a naturalist guide in 2005 was one of the very best experiences of my life.

“A good naturalist guide should have a solid knowledge base, including the history of the land, culture, wildlife and flora and fauna.

“Ask us questions and use us as a resource so you can leave the trip with a better understanding of the unique environment you’ve experienced.”

 

What exactly is a Naturalist Guide on Galapagos?

Guides are trained in a variety of material to best prepare them to show you around the archipelago while educating you on the wildlife and land around you in addition to help conservation of the Galapagos.

They take extensive courses in the History of Ecuador and Galapagos, Ecology and Conservation, Wildlife, Gelogoy and Volcanology, Environmental Interpretation, Managing a National Heritage of Natural Areas, Cartography, Camping Techniques, First Aid Survival and more.

Their jobs don’t end when they are done with your trip to the Galapagos, each guide has to submit a report to the park authorities after every tour they lead. The report contains feedback on the guide’s observations throughout the tour and any additional information that will help continue to improve and monitor the visitor sites.

Naturalist guides could be guiding 26 – 35 weeks a year!

You can see how it would be easy to lose your enthusiasm after awhile. It’s a tough job that demands a lot of dedication and why we take such care in picking out the best for our groups.

 

Whale skeleton Fernandina Galapagos

Whale skeleton, Fernandina, Galapagos

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