Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Meet Your Guides

Juan Carlos Zambonino, or Zambo for short, was born on the island of Santa Cruz.  While in ecotourism program at the university, Zambo had the opportunity to study and travel through the Ecuadorian coast, mountains, and rain forest.  During this time he discovered his love of observing animals in their natural habitat.  After finishing his degree, he began volunteering at the Charles Darwin Research Station observing and documenting marine iguana behavior during the mating season.  At the conclusion of his research, Zambo continued in the ecotourism field and completed the Naturalist Guide Course in 2009.  "I decided to be a guide because I love sharing with people the experience, culture, everything the Galapagos has to offer the world from its unique biodiversity to the animals you will only find here that coexist in harmony.  I love to see people's smiles as they observe our ecosystem."  Zambo's love of his homeland and extensive knowledge about the wildlife and their habits and habitats is impressive.  His constant smile and never-ending energy have won him many accolades in the tourist world.  Zambo now lives on San Cristobal.


"In my beautiful National Park, there are many amazing and majestic animals.  You cannot imagine how close you can get to them.  Bring your cameras and let's explore!"


What our travelers say about Zambo:


"Zambo was amazing, we could not have asked for a better guide. He provided so much information and his enthusiasim was great. It is nice to have someone who genuinely loves their job looking after you. During our freetime he would offer to take us to different things just to ensure that we were always enjoying ourselves. He was very accommodating of any requests (when it was in his power to help) and extremely patient and professional." - Andrew Acton-Adams, New Zealand


"Zambo is number one in our minds! He could not have been better in any aspect." - Scott Murray, USA


"Zambo was very knowledgeable and obviously loves his job. He also has the patience of a saint when required." - Geordan Ganka, USA


"Zambo was amazing! He knew everything about everything. He answered all questions he was asked, and he was very patient with the group. This was my first time doing many of the activities, but Zambo made sure everyone knew what to do. His main goal was to keep us safe, but his second goal was to make sure the trip was the best it could be! He was able to do both!" - Jessica Lumpkin, USA


"Zambo was fantastic. Very knowledgeable and accommodating, and always looking out for the safety of the group. Great sense of humor as well!" - Jennifer Korb, USA

Zambo - Galapagos Naturalist Guide
Zambo - 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
Get information on last minute deals and the latest Galakiwi news