Get To Know Gibraltar Guide John Lopez

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Gibraltar guide John Lopez was born on the rock and has spent all of his 47 years there; he knows every nook and cranny and corner of this rock in and out. Specializing in cruise shore excursions and offering private tours of the rock for small and large groups, his aim is simply to provide the best tour experience possible and make your visit one to remember.
Did you have any jobs or a career before becoming a tour guide? If so, how did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?

I had a couple of jobs before becoming a tour guide. In 1991, I purchased a public service vehicle licence and obtained my Official Gibraltar Tourist Board tour guide licence.

I started conducting tours of the rock in 1991 and ten years later, in 2001, I started the first online tour service on the rock. I have conducted thousands of tours for visitors world wide and after 25 years I still enjoy what I do.

If you could only take a visitor to one place in Gibraltar, where would you go?

If it’s perfect weather I would go to the one place, O’Hara’s Battery, purely for its breathtaking views.

How would you describe your style as a guide?

A fully experienced easy going guide that can easily adapt to any group or situation. Reliable, professional, informative and friendly.

What is the best part of your job?

I enjoy my tour from start to finish. From the online communication to conducting the tour. Though I guess the best part is at the end of the tour where I see the clients totally satisfied with the service provided and appraised.

What’s the most bizarre experience or odd request from a client you’ve had on a guided tour?

In all these years I have come across it all, with all sorts of requests, though the oddest was in 2014. Two couples from Arizona who were lighthouse enthusiasts had requested a Gibraltar beacon tour. I probably had a blank expression whilst I read this request. I went online, got all the info on all the beacons on the rock and off we went on tour and it turned out great.

Every job has its ups and downs. Are there any aspects of your job that you don’t like or aren’t that keen on?

It’s hard not to like an aspect of my job as all visitors come to enjoy themselves which makes it easy for me to to have fun too. I hate when it’s a rainy and cloudy day as I know what the client is missing out on regarding the views as there’s no visibility from the upper rock.

When you’re not busy guiding tours – what’s your favourite thing you do?

I am always busy guiding tours. When free, I enjoy sports and spend time with the family.

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?

Hiring a local guide will make your visit problem free, no time wasted so you can get the most out of your time and visit with all admissions and transports arranged, you’ll learn the history and general local information. You will always be guided in the right direction, avoiding tourist traps. In a small place such as is Gibraltar, there’s no better way I can assure you.

Tell us something about Gibraltar that only a guide would know.

It has to be that not many people know or hear about the history of the 33 miles of WWII Tunnels that not many people know about. These are closed to the general public but I have been there several times with tours.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

What makes a good guide is years of experience as in other professions. I have learnt to be professional yet friendly, and even know how to conduct a tour depending on the clients nationality as they can all have their own distinctive touch or comment or saying. This comes with years experience of conducting tours of the rock.

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