The Galapagos National Park has four levels of guide: level I, level II, level III and Marine Reserve guides. level I guides are those who have simply concluded high school and taken the guide course. level II guides have spent four years as a guide and passed an additional test. Level III guides have a degree in Biology, Tourism or something similar and speak at least two additional languages in addition to Spanish. They also must meet all level two criteria. Marine Reserve guides are class one, two or three guides who are also certified to guide underwater SCUBA trips in the Marine Reserve.
More in depth:
Galapagos Naturalist Guide I
Level I guide is a person who is native to the islands or who has been resident in them for many years. He or she must have a high school diploma and a lot of knowledge about the region and a good command of the English language. In addition, they must pass the course of Naturalist Guide I and can direct a group of 10 people maximum. These types of guides are usually found on the most economical cruises on the islands.
Galapagos Naturalist Guide II
To have level of guide “II” it is necessary to be Ecuadorian by birth or naturalization. These guides must have a high school diploma or university preparation in biology, related areas, or tourism, as well as a good command of English, French or German, and pass the Naturalist Guide II course. These guides can carry groups of up to 16 visitors. All tourist class cruises have a type II guide.
Galapagos Naturalist Guide III
Ecuadorians of birth or naturalization, and in case of being a foreigner, must have legal permission to work. These guides must demonstrate to have completed the degree or equivalent in biology, related areas, or in tourism. They must speak fluent Spanish and English, as well as French or German. In addition, they must pass the course of Naturalist Guide III, and can direct groups of up to 20 visitors. All Superior, First Class and Luxury class cruises have Type III guides.
The guides in Galapagos are responsible for:
- Educate visitors about the natural history, geology, flora and fauna of the island.
- Supervise and control the places that visitors go to.
- Make the rules of the park
- Bring your license and identification papers with you at all times
- Wear uniform.
- Participate in observation activities, such as collecting data on the ecological impact of the islands.
- Inform and report to island authorities when necessary
- Keep you and your group safe and informed.