Request a free Brochure

Get a FREE Active Adventures Brochure

Includes info on all of our trips and a tour itinerary booklet.

Pablo Valladares

Galapagos Islands Guide

Pablo has gained a reputation within the local community of the Galapagos Islands for his infectious enthusiasm and passion for wildlife and conservation. After studying biology and natural sciences at the University of Guayaquil, he came to the Galapagos Islands as part a six month volunteer program for the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galapagos National Park. As he worked with the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre of Isabella Island, his interest in outdoor activities and eco-tourism grew and led him to another project that he would devote the next eight years of his life to. He continued with the Charles Darwin Research Station working in education, communication and participation of the local community. This experience further strengthened his passion for the islands, the human aspect and impact, and for Isabella Island in particular where he has lived since 1998. "In May 2006, I left the station and started to work as a guide on Sierra Negra Volcano, sharing with curious visitors my experience and love for nature." Pablo continues to guide today and lives on the island of Isabella with his family. In his spare time he surfs regularly and helps to run local competitions, to encourage the younger generations into the sport.

Pablo snorkelling

"Galapagos is life, is death, is understanding and discovery and is origin and end. Galapagos is a trip beyond borderlines, it is a constant change and challenge for all kind of beings that arrived here, including us. I love it all" - Pablo

Surfing, reading, horse backriding, walking the beach and the highlands, martial arts. 

Most memorable moment?
There are so many! Once, two clients and me were on the bridge of the boat and I said, just imagine if a whale came out right now just to look at us! And... Less than 6 seconds later a whale came out on the left side of the boat and we all saw it!

Another time we almost crashed against a blue whale that was with her baby! It was 08:10am on the 12th of June, my birthday!

The big hug, smile and thanks that I get from people in their 70's that have never snorkelled before and to see that spark of happiness in their eyes when they were looking at a turtle or a shark!

On another of my birthdays I met Sir David Attenborough! And it was the first of five awesome days sharing nature with him. I could keep telling stories of special moments all day long...


  • “Oh my gosh... most excellent guide ever. I have had guides in London, Spain, Italy, Greece, New Zealand and none have come close to Pablo's enthusiastic delivery, depth and breadth of knowledge and emotional connection to his subject. Just amazing.”
    Loretta Cruz (Lafayette, Colorado, United States) August, 2013
  • “Pablo was amazing. Seriously I think the best guide I've ever had. His enthusiasm for nature and the Galapagos shined through. I also loved that he took an interest in the photo side as well..”
    Tanya Miller (Colbert, Washington, United States) May 2013
  • “We could not have asked for more in our guide, Pablo. His knowledge of the Galapagos was extensive, and we loved being able to meet his family. He is truly an asset to Active.”
    Kathleen Brackett (Indialantic, Florida, United States) May 2013
  • “Pablo was stupendous. His knowledge and enthusiasm was terrific and his presence really added to the overall trip experience. It was a privilege to meet him.”
    Eleanor Hemming (Marsden, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom) March, 2013
  • “Pablo has to be the best guide. His enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Galapagos was expansive. We learned so much from him and he knew just where to take us to find animals in action. We enjoyed his stories and explanations, and we loved meeting and spending some time with his lovely family. His side kick, Karli (intern), was fun and so helpful. She also did a great job of taking care of all of us and making sure we were all comfortable. Please say "hello" to them from the 'familia Perez'. We are very grateful to them since they were a great part of the success of our Galapagos adventure.”
    Beatriz Perez (Titusville, Florida, United States) May, 2012
  • “Pablo is amazing. He is the best tour guide we have ever had. He went beyond what I would expect from a guide. You gotta keep that guy!”
    Gordon Payne (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) February, 2012

Trip Reviews

 4.50 out of 5 (from 14427 reviews)

Perfect Trip for anyone who loves Nature!

“If you enjoy being outdoors and like to challenge yourself this trip is for you. I wasn't an avid hiker before signing up for the Rimu trip but after reading the itinerary I knew I couldn't pass up this amazing opportunity. You never know what you are capable of until you try and that is how I feel after climbing up to the Angelus Hut and hiking to Mueller ridge. I had never climbed a mountain before (since there are no mountains where I live) but the views are more than worth the climb.
This trip is the best way to see all that the South Island has to offer, it is the perfect balance between adventure, relaxation, self-exploration, and cultural immersion. Anyone can go to New Zealand and rent a car and go hiking, biking, and Kayaking; however, they will miss out on the best parts of traveling to a new place and that is the knowledge and culture that only someone who lives there would know. The guides (Tory and Vanessa) were awesome! Tory is an amazing cook, and Ness was great at making jokes and keeping the atmosphere cheery during the longer drives. I loved listening to the guides tell us about the Maori people and the local legends or folklore. I actually thought Ness was lying to me when she would tell me that the views get better after being left speechless by the scenery, but every day was better than the previous!
I have to mention the FOOD!!! The food alone is enough for me to sign up for this trip again. When I travel I don’t always know what the local food is or would be but with this trip the guides cook you all sorts of local food and all the food is fresh and delicious. If you don’t like something they will make sure to accommodate you.
Ness and Tory made you feel like this was a trip among friends and family, not strangers. I will come back to New Zealand again!”
Brian Heinz's Review Image
– Wisconsin, United States
Rimu, May 2017
Read Reviews

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

Get your FREE Brochure Now!

Active Adventures Brochure


Get a Free Active Adventures Brochure sent to your inbox now!

Privacy is important to us too. We won't share your details.