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Meet Your Guides

Jose Luis, was born on the island of San Cristobal as well and has been working as a Naturalist Guide for over 8 years now.   Jose Luis, or Pepo as most know him, began volunteering at the Charles Darwin Research Station after finishing high school.  During his 2 years as a volunteer, he completed his Dive Master Certification and Galapagos Marine Reserve Dive Guide course.  He went on to work in a dive center and was able to spend 4 years exploring the underwater world of Galapagos.  Most of the incredible underwater shots shown on this website are from Pepo.  Following in his sister's footsteps, he completed the Naturalist Guide Course in 2005 and has worked on boat and land based tours since.  Pepo is always ready to get in the water in search of his favorite sea animal, the manta ray and is known for his sharp eye at spotting underwater wildlife.  On land, his favorite animal is the marine iguana.  Pepo continues to live in San Cristobal with his wife and daughters.


"It will be my pleasure to show you around my homeland. Saludos."


What our travelers say about Pepo:


"Pepo was awesome. He definitely exceeded our expectations of what a guide could offer, and how a guide enriches your experience. Knowledgeable, flexible, patient-we have only glowing things to say." - Laura McCudden, USA


"He did a wonderful job because he is Galakiwi-style: professional, efficient, resourceful, smart and funny. I saw him getting excited and taking a lot of pictures in places where I guess he had been hundreds of times before... he is really passionate for the place and he gets that across." - Patricia Roldan, Spain


"Pepo was simply great in all respects. I cannot say enough good things about him." - Larry Katz, USA


"Not much more to say aside from Pepo being perfect - his knowledge was as deep as his obvious passion and he was just an all around great guy, perfectly suited for a guide. For not having lived in an English speaking country, his English was impeccable. "Superplan" has become a common term in our life :)" - Jamie Jacobs, USA


"Pepo is the absolute best. He is so knowledgeable (as a science teacher I was deeply impressed), funny and understanding. We couldn't have asked for better "super plans". He is an epic guide." - Amy Salomone, USA


"He was great - patient, cheerful, knowledgeable (when he wasn't he was good at making something up) and he was fun. It was interesting having someone who had grown up on the island as our guide. His English was perfect too." - Dan Chubb, USA


"The man with the super plan was perfect. You are very lucky to have Pepo as a guide. He is so knowledgeable and funny and personable. No matter what I asked him, he was very informed. If he didn't happen to know something specifically, he made sure to find it out and let me know. I am sure that all your guides are wonderful. We did meet Pablo and Jessica briefly and really liked them, too.." - Cyndi Crayton, USA


"Pepo was awesome! A walking encyclopaedia on the Galápagos Islands, history, wild life, all told with great humour & patience with all our endless questions!" - Annette McGrevy, New Zealand


"Our guide Pepo was fabulous! I enjoyed his personal family history of growing up and living in the Galapagos. I admired his deep knowledge of the area and the devotion he showed to protecting the flora and wildlife of the islands." - Leianne O'Brien, New Zealand

Pepo - Galapagos Naturalist Guide
Pepo - Galapagos Naturalist Guide
  • Melanie Eustace - 6-day Land Galapagos Tour, January 2024
    A big thank you to the team at Galakiwi for making my holiday in the Galapagos the most incredible experience I could have ever wished for. I thought I had missed out completely when my flight from Miami got canceled but Laura rescheduled everything in Ecuador for me and arranged for me to catch up with my group without missing out at all. Pepo our guide did a superb job and every day was even better than the one before, except the last one when we had to go home ?. From beginning to end every single member of the Galakiwi team was incredible. I couldn't recommend this 6-day Galapagos holiday or Galakiwi highly enough. I will treasure all the wonderful memories of the Galapagos.
    Melanie Eustace
    6-day Land Galapagos Tour, January 2024
  • Murray - Family Tour - 2023
    I would give this trip six stars if I could. This was my second trip with Galakiwi, the first having been with a small group of adults none of whom I knew before the trip. This trip, I requested a custom itinerary for myself, my adult daughter and her husband, and their bright and very active kids aged 7, 10 and 12. The staff did a great job seeking out activities suitable for us, some of which I'd done previously and some I had not. We were even able to book a surfing session. Pablo Valladares was our guide on the first trip and I requested him for this tour because of his outgoing personality, encyclopedic knowledge about the islands, and obvious deep love for the place where he lives. I cannot recommend Galakiwi highly enough. In addition to all the above, Galakiwi offers a land based tour so you sleep in a hotel every night and not on a boat. What could be better?
    Family Tour - 2023
  • Michele Lemay - Galapagos Private Customized Tour - Feb 2023
    Galakiwi provided our 7-person group with outstanding, professional services throughout the 13-day customized tour. From the expert advice during the pre-trip planning to the booking experience, the efficient on-site logistics, the exceptional, highly knowledgeable guides, and the excellent family-run quality hotels, everything was perfect. It was the experience of a lifetime that our group had dreamed of. Galakiwi is a superb team all around.
    Michele Lemay
    Galapagos Private Customized Tour - Feb 2023
  • Kurtis Siegle - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2023
    I learned so much and had so much fun! It was an adventure I will never forget!
    Kurtis Siegle
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2023
  • Alex W - Customized Family Tour 2023
    This was absolutely the trip of a lifetime! We booked a private tour with Galakiwi for our family of 6 - mom, dad, grandma, and three kids ages 7, 10 and 12. From the moment we arrived we were completely taken care of. With three kids we didn't have to worry about getting from one point to another. But more importantly, we were shown the most extraordinary places and wildlife. We hiked a volcano, surfed, and snorkeled with sharks and giant sea turtles and sea lions! Our guide Pablo was so caring and related to everyone in our group so well. He made changes as needed in the itinerary to give us the best experience every day. And he taught us so much. He truly loves these islands and the plants and animals who live there, and his enthusiasm and curiosity were infectious. We felt like we were being let into a secret garden that only Pablo knew about. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer! There is so much to see and do.
    Alex W
    Customized Family Tour 2023
  • Heidi - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
    Galakiwi is the way to Go-lapagos! Super organized, anticipating every move and connection in a well choreographed professional manner. Great gear was at our disposal, excellent food served by all of their partner restaurants and caterers. Pepo and Paulo were excellent local guides that we all felt lucky to have lead our adventure, They provided clear insight on the fragile ecosystems that are the gems of the Galapagos and explained Ecuador's cautious development of sustainable tourism in the region. Special visits to the Tree House, meeting their moms and Tim's kids on the last day made it a truly special visit.
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
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