After 22 years guiding in the islands, the Galápagos still surprise me. Unlike the rain forest and other mega-diverse areas of mainland Ecuador—where you can find new species every day—after guiding for so long in the Galápagos it is tempting to think that I’ve seen everything. But that is not true. I may have seen all the main species as well as most of the rare ones. I’ve even found species never recorded before. But nature always has its surprises, whether in the form of a new behavior or something I’ve read about but never seen in real life. It seems there is always some refreshingly new thing to be observed and learned.
Just when we think we know all there is to know about the life of a particular bird, fish, reptile or mammal, someone does a study and uncovers fascinating behaviors, incredible migration patterns, or feeding habits, making the species more interesting and opening the door to yet more new questions.
Galápagos is remarkable precisely because it allows these kind of observations even to the casual visitor. With our new 2012 itineraries we may not see all the main species in one week, but because the navigations will be shorter, we will have more time to walk the trails, more time to snorkel, and more time to look for whales and dolphins. As a guide, I am looking forward this new way of visiting the islands—more like Charles Darwin and other early visitors to Galápagos, who took their time to look, learn, and wonder, without the pressure of a tight schedule.
Looking forward to seeing you in Galápagos!
Mountain Travel Sobek’s head naturalist guide in Ecuador and Galápagos, Luis Die was born in Seville, Spain, and graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid with a degree in Environmental Biology. He came to Galápagos over twenty years ago to train and work as a Galápagos National Park Guide and was so captivated that he made Ecuador his permanent home. He is fluent in Spanish, English, and French. In addition to being a professional nature photographer, he is a born teacher and enthusiastically shares his knowledge of Galápagos, and the diverse Ecuadorian Mainland, with people of all ages. He lives in Quito with his wife, Irene, twin sons, and daughter. Luis works exclusively with Mountain Travel Sobek, and is one of our clients’ favorite trip leaders.