Gustavo Castro

Naturalist

Gustavo was born in the Ecuadorean Andes, in the city of Ambato, nicknamed the City of the Flowers and Fruits. His family then moved to the large, bustling port city of Guayaquil when he was a child, where he completed his studies. In 1992, Gustavo first went to the Galápagos Islands, when he visited his older brother Patricio on Santa Cruz Island. Patricio was working as a naturalist in the Galápagos National Park and invited Gustavo to participate on one of his trips. Gustavo’s life would never be the same, as he fell completely in love with the islands and started dreaming of following in his brother’s footsteps. He moved there immediately, back when the Galápagos had few cars, limited electricity, no phones and no TV—a dramatic change from Guayaquil which was a unique experience and inspired in him a love and appreciation for nature and taught him about the importance of respecting and taking care of Mother Earth. 

In the Galápagos Gustavo studied tourism for three years through a small public university, practicing guiding techniques on board the Galápagos National Park boats with the scientists of the Charles Darwin Research Station as professors, before taking the guide course run by the Galápagos National Park service and becoming a certified Galápagos Naturalist Guide in 1996. As a guide, his role is to ensure the islands live on as the best example of conservation for the rest of the world. A part from nature, Gustavo is also passionate about history and travel. This led him to explore more of the world, in particular the neighboring country of Peru, where he also fell in love with the beautiful highland city of Cuzco and the historical richness of Machu Picchu and its surroundings. Having also fallen in love with a Peruvian lady, he married and started a family in Cuzco, continued his higher education in tourism there, and eventually also studied to become a certified official tour guide for Machu Picchu in 2008. Nowadays he spends his time between these two very different but equally spectacular World Heritage sites, having found a balance between his love for nature and for history.

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