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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 THE BEST. He made the whole trip enjoyable and worthwhile. Each day and evening, he briefed us on everything we needed to know for the upcoming day’s activities. He took care of the dietary needs of individuals in our group and gave a heads up about possibilities of sea sickness. He was able to answer almost every obscure question that we asked about the islands and if he didn’t know an answer, he was quick to find out. He had an excellent sense of humor and by the end of the trip, became a friend. ”
- Julianna Strickland (Pearland, Texas, United States), Tortuga June 2018

“Pepe was he best guide we have ever had.”
- Dee Kittner (Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States), Tortuga December 2017

“Pepo was the best guide I have experienced. His passion and knowledge were second to none. The trip wouldn't have been the same without his super plans and attention to detail. ”
- Rema Lolas (New South Wales, Australia), Tortuga November 2016

Trip Reviews

  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Like an Inca in Peru

    This trip was better than I could've ever expected. The Inca Trail was the most incredible hardest thing I've ever done both mentally and physically and I could not have done it without our guide Zac and my new found friend Cynthia. Machu Picchu was the perfect culmination to the pilgrimage. The rest of the trip and all of my other wonderful new friends including our guide Erick will never be forgotten. I will be talking about this trip for years to come and cannot wait to go on my next Active Adventure!
    Jennifer Kenna Review Image
    – New York, United States
    Jaguar 2017, November 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 943 reviews)

    Toughest hike yet but rewarding

    The "W" was one of the toughest hikes we've undertaken because of straight line steep grades and rocky trails. But when we finished we felt like we had met the challenge and all our pre-trip workouts were worth it. Our guide, Cahit, was fantastic - knowledgeable, outgoing and optimistic. The adding of mountain biking and kayaking was a nice touch!
    Jim Santori Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Condor, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 943 reviews)

    Latitude 53 degrees and Loving It,

    What a privilege it was to travel to Patagonia with three generations of our family. It is such a beautiful part of the world but also, so removed from the anxieties and pressures of the modern, social media/plugged-in world, and the Trump nastiness. The trekking was especially beautiful with the wild flowers in bloom and sunshine on our shoulders.

    Active Adventures organized us perfectly in the sense that our transportation, refugios, and food were efficiently and tastefully selected. Arturo was so, so nice to our grandkids. Chem was delightful and so kind. What brilliant new friends we made and how kind and inclusive they were with the teenagers we had in tow.

    We loved the ACTIVE in Adventures. We earned our good meals and good beds by stretching our limits over our two week trek. My husband and I were by far the oldest pair on the trail, but we loved it and who knows, maybe we will be back for our 60th anniversary.
    Carolyn Johnson Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 943 reviews)

    Patagonia at its Best

    This was a fantastic trip which was well planned with quality places to stay, eat, and view the wonders of Patagonia. The guides were all excellent and knowledgeable making the trip super informative. Other activities such as kayaking, glacier hike, and mountain biking added to the exploration of a very unique and diverse environment. The transportation from locations was very comfortable. The Patagonia of Chile and Argentina was stunning and the organization by Active Adventures created the perfect experience.
    Donna Small Review Image
    – Oregon, United States
    Condor, March 2018
  •   4.48 out of 5 (from 82 reviews)

    The trip of my dreams!

    The Iguana trip was better than was advertised! I had prepared for the trip to Peru by reading about the history of the area in the book, The Last Days of the Incas, by Kim MacQuarrie. When we visited the many different Inca sites, the history came alive for me. I could picture the great battles, and the capture of the Inca rulers, and the narrow escapes. It was wonderful! Cuzco was a beautiful city surrounded by mountain peaks and full of many good places to eat. After Peru, going to the Galapagos was like a beach vacation in the most beautiful place in the world. We loved snorkeling and seeing the giant land tortoises. We saw every animal associated with the Galapagos and more! I still can't believe I was lucky enough to find this trip with Active Adventures. Top notch all the way around. Thank you to our wonderful guides who we loved!
    Brenda Peterson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Iguana, April 2017



Why travel with Active Adventures?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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