Jose Luis 'Pepo'
Galapagos Islands Guide
Pepo has been working as a Naturalist Guide for many years now. He began volunteering at the Charles Darwin Research Station after finishing high school. During his two 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 centre and was able to spend four years exploring the underwater world of the Galapagos. Following in the footsteps of his sister Jessica (another of our guides), 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 favourite sea animal, the manta ray and is known for his sharp eye at spotting underwater wildlife.
Where did you grow up?
I was born here on San Cristobal Island and have been here ever since!
What’s your favourite sport or activity?
Surfing is definitely my favourite sport and San Cristobal Island has very good breaks. Ping Pong would be my second option!
Your dream destination?
Africa, for its culture and wildlife.
How would you describe yourself?
Easy-going, I like to K.I.S.S. and show my family, friends and visitors how beautiful life is in the Galapagos Islands.
Most delicious meal that you can cook?
Ecuadorian ceviche (marinated seafood)
One tip for our travellers?
Get ready to have an unforgettable adventure in the Galapagos and get ready to love our world even more!
Your most memorable moment guiding?
Scuba diving with orcas and snorkelling with whale sharks!
“Pepo was a wonderfully professional guide. He did an amazing job, keeping our disparate group of travelers very happy, interested, and informed at all times. His super plans can't be beat!”Joan Krueger (Staten Island, New York, United States) July, 2013
“Pepo absolutely did a wonderful job. I did twice Active trips. The best about Active is your guide, unparallel. From land to water, I felt in good hands. He is an elite in Galapagos guides.”Jian Guan (Rockville, Maryland, United States) March, 2012
“I've travelled with at least a dozen different tour companies and have experienced the gamut of guides made available. A few have stood out and Pepo is one of them. He was obviously interested and knowledgeable about the things that we were touring. To match his charm and engaging personality, he provided us with enough facts about the pieces or places being visited, facts that can be written in books, online or on plaques, but when you pay for a tour, you are really paying for the personality. A tour guide should be fun, know interesting personal things about each place that might not be in the guide material, and have a sense of humor. Pepo was all those things. And even more! We took home the underlying theme of Pepo's discertations -- that it is important that we protect our world as best we can, that we respect mother nature and be most thankful for what she offers... we only need to open our eyes!”Arlen Cwir (Arran , Saskatchewan, Canada) November, 2011
“Pepo was amazing. He had excellent knowledge and a genuine love for everything to do with the Galapagos. He also wanted everyone to share this enthusiasm and to leave the Galapagos thinking that it was the best place on earth to visit. He succeeded.”Susan Dunn (Couridjah, New South Wales, Australia) July, 2011
“Pepo was fantastic, he is so knowledgeable and is a excellent group leader!!!”Mary Montefusco (New York, New York, United States) July, 2011
“Pepo was outstanding. He was able to tell that there was no way my daughter could participate on one of the hikes and was able to reschedule it without a question so she could go the next day. He also arranged cake for both of my children on their birthdays. He answered our zillion questions and had so much patience. We have now adopted the "super plan" for our family.”Sara Spery and family (Lakewood, Colorado, United States) April, 2011
“He did a fantastic job. He really knew his land and loved to teach.”Kathy Lomeli (Munster, Indiana, United States) March, 2011
“He was great with the kids (aged 9-14) on our trip. The two birthday celebrations will take the prize for Most Memorable, I'm sure.”Bonnie Hartman (Centennial, Colorado, United States) April, 2011
“Pepo was the best part of the trip. Whereever we went, all the locals knew him and respected him and we felt we were treated special by everyone he engaged to assist us. His extensive diving and water skills training made us feel safe at all times. He is a well educated natural historian who could tell me common and Latin names of plants and animals. He is also versed in evolutionary biology. Someone should give him a scholarship to get a PhD. Pepo's English is great. I hope many young Galapaguenos grow up to be like Pepo. He is a great representative of and role model for the youth of the islands.”Mark Spradley (Moraga, California, United States) June, 2010
“Pepo was among the best guides I have ever had. We go on many tours - hiking, snorkel, etc. Pepo's organization was excellent. He picked great hotels and restaurants, he advocated for us to make sure we were well taken care of. The helpers he had on each island were professional and helpful, even with limited English. I enjoyed being able to speak (beginning) Spanish with everyone. The boat crew were great - we never felt unwelcome or like a hassle. When we didn't want to continue (with a hike), Pepo made sure we were taken care of and escorted to a resting place. He is fantastic! Pepo's native, part of the island community. I will highly recommend any tour Pepo leads.”Suzanne Spradley (Moraga, California, United States) June, 2010