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Galapagos Guides

If you’ve traveled with us, you know that our Expedition Leaders make the difference between a gratifying trip and a truly superlative adventure. Simply put, our leaders are the best in the business. Painstakingly recruited and selected, this group of highly trained professionals brings a set of traits that foster an outstanding travel experience. They are passionate about the places they share with our guests, and they exude an irrepressible enthusiasm that can’t help but infect those who travel with them. As naturalists, biologists and environmental educators, their knowledge deeply enriches the experience of those who see the natural world through their eyes. In addition, our guides receive in-depth instruction and resources from World Wildlife Fund's team of scientists. While many of our Expedition Leaders have master’s degrees or PhDs, they are also chosen for their good nature as well as their good grades. Many of our guests are veterans of global travel, sophisticated and independent – but they choose to go with us because of our Expedition Leaders’ expertise. In the realm of nature adventure travel, great guides set us apart.
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Andres Vergara
Andres Vergara was born and raised in Ecuador's capital of Quito. His grandparents, however, lived off the coast of Ecuador where Andres' love of nature and wildlife was nurtured. Andres observed various interesting species near his grandparents' home, including the neotropical cormorant, a flightless cormorant similar to those that are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Infused with a passion for the sea, when Andres came of age he moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he studied to become a ship captain, ultimately spending a few years sailing the world as deck officer on board merchant ships. Later, he landed in the Galapagos where he became one of the youngest captains in the islands, piloting a variety of large yachts for many years. His favorite part of his job, however, was sharing the amazing wildlife and natural history of the Galapagos with his guests. In 2005, he says he discovered his "true vocation" when he became a naturalist guide for Galapagos National Park, a profession he has been avidly practicing since. 

Andres describes himself as a "family man," and says his whole family is involved with conservation and defense of the Galapagos lifestyle, devoted to protecting nature and supporting a healthy environment for the local community and its wild residents. His wife is
a marine biologist involved in full-time Galapagos conservation work with Galapagos National Park and WWF. The new and exciting discoveries that each and every adventure in the islands holds is what Andres loves most about his job. "Being able to show the wonders of the Galapagos is a privilege and a duty for us as naturalist guides who love this place," says Andres, "and the best way to do this is to share the islands with our select groups of Natural Habitat travelers."

Upcoming Adventures with Andres:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers: 

G. Adams 
"Just a wonderful guide. So passionate about the Galapagos. We ran into other groups and saw how their guides worked with their people. They don't come close to comparing to Andres. He was just top notch. Never got excited or angry. Always calm and happy. Just great!"

P. Clark
"Andres, is for sure the best guide I have ever experienced. On a scale from 1-10, his knowledge of the Galapagos was a 15."

B. Hutchinson
"Andres was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and organized. He made this a trip I will always remember as one of the best experiences I have had while traveling. I would take another tour with Andres at any time."

E. Hildner
"Andres is always optimistic, always energetic, always voluble and personable; excellent English; never a question whose answer he didn't know."

A. Frager
"I can't say enough about the quality service and care Andres brought to our Galapagos experience. He was highly knowledgeable about the wildlife, the environment and the history, along with showing every day how much he cared to show us a great time."

N. Spannaus
"Andres is exceptional. I was totally impressed. I can't say enough about him as an expedition leader. He is very passionate about the Galapagos and it comes through in his behavior, attitude, and all of his interactions with trip participants. He has comprehensive knowledge of all things Galapagos, and his interpersonal skills are well honed. He has a great sense of humor."

C. Gade
"Andres is committed to sharing the beauty and historical truth of the Galapagos. Andres’ teachings I found very well delivered, relevant and important to our trip. He would challenge us (kids) to think about what we were seeing instead of just dropping answers. Andres was safe and thankfully gave flexibility and liberties that allowed kids and adults to explore, safely and thoughtfully, the environment. Andres managed to be 100% kind and attentive every day of the trip. He engaged the group of children skillfully and was unwaveringly consistent."
Cecibel Guerrero
Ecuador-born Ceci spent 15 years living in Toronto, Canada, where she obtained her bachelor's degree in business administration. After attending training programs with Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station, she obtained her certification as a licensed naturalist guide. That status has allowed her to pursue her passion, which is sharing with visitors the special, unique and magical place that is the Galapagos. After a few years' hiatus to stay home with her two young children, Ceci came back to the Galapagos in 2008 to work in the place she loves most. Her favorite activity to share with guests is snorkeling, and she is a certified scuba diver as well. She also has a special interest in reptiles. “If you love wildlife, people and photography, this is the ideal job," Ceci says. "I feel blessed and honored to work in one of the most pristine places on Earth.”

Upcoming Adventures with Ceci:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Gade
"Cecibel is a wonderful guide, teacher and brought unwavering consistency to being a Galapagos guide. She has deep understanding of the islands and its inhabitants. She is also an expert at logistics, managing timing and working with a group of our size. Her approach was very effective. Cecibel was always calm, helpful and safe and engaged the kids with ease. I would be very happy to have Cecibel as a guide in the future."

B. Barron
"Ceci was the best! What struck me most was her passion for her profession, and her love of the Galapagos. She took such good care of us, and helped make our group into a family of explorers."

M. Sternlieb
"I absolutely loved Ceci. Her enthusiasm, knowledge and love for the environment and animals was beyond expectations. She was charming and funny and great fun to spend time with. I truly cannot imagine anyone could do her job better than she did. If I ever go back, I would want to travel with her again. She was a wonderful ambassadors for the country of Ecuador."

L. Karnes
"Ceci was knowledgeable, helpful and attentive. I particularly enjoyed being in Ceci's snorkeling groups - she set a nice pace, was enthusiastic, pointed out and identified lots of things and kept an eye on everyone. She also sat with a couple of us each evening after dinner and helped us check off the animals that we'd seen during the day."

S. Schob
"Ceci, as well as Gustavo, were both outstanding Expedition Leaders whom I easily trusted with my life on all the excursions; who never got tired being asked any question; who know so much about the nature, the habitat, the economy and the life on the Galapagos, I enjoyed every second being with them."

S. Tate
"Ceci and Giancarlo were both so helpful. I had never snorkeled before and am NOT a water person but they were both patient and made sure I was comfortable and that I saw everything. We had a gentleman who had trouble walking and they were both great with him. They never hurried us nor made him feel as though he was a burden. When my daughter, Sandra, and I left we told them both that if they ever come to the states and are heading our way, they and their families are to stay at our houses. That's the best compliment I can give. Within days of the tour starting they were more like friends than paid guides."
Giancarlo Toti
Giancarlo was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he attended both primary and secondary school at the American School of Guayaquil. He studied industrial engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Guayaquil (ESPOL) and spent four years working for a CAT dealership before he was hired by the Charles Darwin Research Station to head the marine lab’s operations and logistics division. Since then, Giancarlo has become involved in several projects in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, spending hundreds of hours diving in its waters. Giancarlo was later accepted into latest naturalist guide training program offered by Galpagos National Park, which led to his position as an Expedition Leader with Nat Hab.

Upcoming Adventures with Giancarlo:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:


D. Byrd
"Warm and engaging, took his time, showed great interest in the tour, the animals, landscape, history, everything! Most sincerely recommend him."

S. Randolph
"Giancarlo is an excellent guide and also highly recommended. He is very knowledgeable on the sea life and vegetation. He set a wonderful pace for the group, we never felt rushed, and yet the 'trains ran on time'. He is great fun to be around always kept us laughing. Also highly recommended!"

T. Ricker
"In a word, Giancarlo is AWESOME! His knowledge and passion for his work are apparent. He seemed to approach each excursion with a level of enthusiasm that is contagious. He really takes joy in nature and his surroundings on the islands. He is able to impart his knowledge of all aspects of the Galapagos, from lava formations to the tiniest of spiders. Details were not overlooked. I especially enjoyed snorkeling with him. He has a great eye for finding the elusive and quick moving animals. He was also kind enough to share his amazing photos with us."

E. Hegelund
"Giancarlo was AMAZING. His knowledge about everything went beyond just the name of the item but the history, genus, mating practices, etc. I have never met a more informed person. He was stellar."

R. Colasacco
"Giancarlo's knowledge of all aspects of the Galapagos was truly impressive. But beyond this knowledge was the time he took to impart this knowledge to everyone on the tour, and his willingness to help everyone in every way to enjoy this adventure to the fullest. He is definitely an asset to Natural Habitat and the GaIapagos Islands."
Jeffo Marquez
Expedition Leader Jeffo MarquezJeffo Marquez was born and raised in the Galapagos Islands. A native “Isleño” who has moved about the archipelago since childhood, he was inspired by his father’s job as a Galapagos herpetologist. Growing up, Jeffo gained hands-on inspiration through many opportunities to accompany his father on field expeditions studying Galapagos reptiles. Today, as a Nat Hab Expedition Leader, Jeffo is passionate about the art of interpretation and sharing his homeland with our guests.

Jeffo began his professional life as a restaurant administrator before starting a second career in environmental management. The focus of his studies included management of protected areas and wildlife, and tropical dendrology in Costa Rica. He is a standing member of the National Association for Interpretation as an international interpretive guide. His passion for the Galapagos landscape is on display every time he joins our guests in the field to talk about wildlife and nature. His mission is to make people fall as deeply in love with the Galapagos Islands’ natural history as he has—and the pathway to that goal is knowledge and education.

Throughout his career as a Galapagos naturalist, Jeffo has also honed his skills as a professional photography instructor. In addition to the Galapagos, he has also guided in Costa Rica and the Upper Amazon, with a focus on locations where wildlife is on display in particular splendor.

Upcoming Adventures with Roberto:
Classic Galapagos Adventure
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure



Praise from Natural Habitat Travelers:

D. Amaral
"Jeffo should be called professor. His knowledge of all things nature is amazing. He lectures with passion and his enthusiasm for his work inspired me. His laugh is contagious and brings a smile to all. He is also kind and respectful and is a great team player as evidenced by his comradery with Gianicarlo. Jeffo made me feel welcome, comfortable, safe, and well cared for. He is a tremendous assets to your organization."

A. Glover
"Jeffo was exceptional. Not only did helead a great tour and was very knowledgeable on his subject matter, but he was fun to hang out with after the days activities too."

C. Cranmer
"Jeffo was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable of the animals, the area and the history of the islands. His enthusiasm for the wildlife and the islands was contagious. He is a true asset to Natural Habitat!"

D. Holmes
"We couldn't have asked for more knowledgeable, interesting and fun to be around Expedition Leaders.. They were fantastic! Jeffo was a delight and full of interesting stories and a depth of knowledge that he always enjoyed sharing with us. We hated for our adventure to end and having to say goodbye to these wonderful people. We feel very blessed to have met them and to have shared this magical time with them in the Galapagos."


Joseline Cardoso
Josy was born in Quito, Ecuador and moved to the Galapagos at the age of 10. To this day, she considers it the best thing that ever happened to her. She attended school in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz and studied abroad in the U.S. and Italy. By the time she was 18, she knew she was destined to pursue her dream job as a naturalist guide, and she began guiding in the Galapagos in 2005. She has a bachelor's degree in tourism administration and hotel management from the University Espíritu Santo in Guayaquil. She also obtained a scholarship to pursue master's studies in in tourism management and planning at the University of Alicante in Spain. As an Expedition Leader, Josy's desire is to share her passion for the islands with her guests and to impart an appreciation for their natural environment and wild inhabitants.

Upcoming Adventures with Josy:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat Travelers

L.Hornig

"I cannot say enough good things about Josy. I hope my daughters grow up to be just like her! She was truly focused on our comfort and making sure we had a good time. She also knows her subject matter thoroughly (and I am a science teacher who has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology, so my standards are pretty high) and conveyed information at just the right level, and always in context. Josy handled all the practical matters with ease and grace."

J. Uliano

"Josy was the trip. She was the most knowledgeable and informative guide that I have ever encountered. She is the reason that I would return. Every subject, briefing and tour was focused and she attended to everyone on the trip's questions and needs. We traveled with experienced travelers and everyone of us were highly impressed with her depth of knowledge, her enthusiasm and the breadth of her ability in geology, biology, history, hospitality, and her physical ability. I cannot say enough about her personally and professionally. On a scale of 1-10 she is a 12."

C. Kleeman
"Josy was an all-around fantastic guide! Very knowledgeable, very enthusiastic, and friendly to boot. She clearly knew so much about the islands (geology, plants, wildlife, tourism) and was eager to share her knowledge with us. She was also wonderful to talk with while on board the ship, where she told us about her experiences growing up in the islands, her dreams for the future, and also got involved in the various games we played. Basically, I could not give her a higher recommendation!"

J. Kremer
"Josie was so exceptional...professional, caring and able to transmit her passion and enthusiasm for the Galapagos to all of us. She was wonderful with each of my grandchildren and made sure that each of them had an extraordinary experience."

J. Sparks
"Joseline was absolutely amazing. She connected to our group immediately and interacted with all of us. Josey was professional. When we were snorkeling, every few minutes she would take a count to make sure we were all in the area and okay. Josey was warm, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable."
Santiago Moran
Santiago arrived on the island of Santa Cruz as a boy of 7. His first memory is the view of Academy Bay as he descended the dirt road from the lush highlands of Santa Rosa. He had never seen a color like it, such a vivid, beautiful turquoise. The moment made such an impression on young Santiago that he credits it with his decision to devote his life to "this magical place and the wild waters surrounding it." Growing up on a tropical island is a dream for most children, and Santiago took full advantage of his exposure to the wonders of nature every day. He learned to swim in the lagoon of Tortuga Bay, paddling alongside sea turtles and mischievous seal lion pups. He fished in the tidepools alongside blue-footed boobies and sunbathing marine iguanas. It did not take long for the draw of the great Pacific Ocean to became more than just a passion for Santiago, who made it his profession. He earned his open-water dive instructor certification at 18 and began to lead diving trips throughout the archipelago. With experience the best teacher, he learned as much as he possibly could from his wild classroom. Still craving more knowledge, he opted to earn his naturalist guide certification from Galapagos National Park. Since then, Santiago has guided thousands of dive trips and led hundreds of land expeditions throughout the archipelago over the past two decades. He says, "Nothing gives me greater pleasure or pride than to share my beloved islands with our guests. It is my honor to do so."

Upcoming Adventures with Santiago:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure
Veronica Maruri
Veronica was born and raised in Guayaquil on the coast of Ecuador. When she was 12, she spent a year in Massachusetts, learning English and broadening her view of the world. She completed high school at the InterAmerican Academy in Ecuador, returning to the U.S. to attend college. Her first two-week temporary job was indeed a dream come true when she was hired as a science assistant at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. It was a life-changing experience that prompted her to pursue certification as a Galapagos National Park guide. She had told her family she would be going to the islands for two weeks, but she has stayed for 20 years!

In 2002, Veronica and her family moved to the Ecuador mainland to enhance her children's education, but she has since returned to the Galapagos as an Expedition Leader for Nat Hab. Veronica knows it is a privilege to have the Galapagos Islands as her front yard, but that's not enough: every trip gives her the opportunity to delight in sharing with visitors its vast array of animals, plants and geology, which they have never encountered before—and their sense of wonder is a thrill for her. Her favorite part of guiding is taking visitors snorkeling, especially if it is their first time. As someone who loves to travel the world, Veronica likewise appreciates when people take time to visit this wonderful paradise which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as her home.

Upcoming Adventures with Veronica:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

K. Eckhart
"I could not begin to say enough about her. Veronica was wonderful and incredibly knowledgable. For her to know the name of the species and genus (?) is amazing. The facts she had at her fingertips was like looking it up on the internet!"

M. Swenson
"I instantly fell in love her - she was warm, welcoming. knowledgeable, and attentive. I consider her to be new friend."

C. Flis
"Veronica was pleasant, patient, helpful; she answered any questions we had, even if we had asked it before! She was always concerned for our safety. A wonderful guide!"

E. Davidson
“As with our NatHab experience before, she was great! Very well informed and helpful.”

E. Stephens
“Best guide imaginable.”
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