I have been involved in tourism since I was 14 years old, first being a porter, help carry items for the senior guides on hikes and eventually becoming a tour guide.
How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?
I have always had a passion for the outdoors and I love interacting with people. When I had the opportunity to start helping on tours and become a guide I took it!
What does a typical day look like for you?
No day is ever the same, I try to do anything I can to keep my clients happy. I understand that for many of them a visit to the amazon is once in a lifetime so its very important to me that they leave here with a great impression of this place. I do anything I can to make sure they leave happy.
Have you got a certain style of guiding, or do you just run with it on the day?
My style is never say no but always be honest, I try to be flexible for my clients requests and just make sure they are happy.
Seeing peoples faces or expressions when we find animals or see wildlife, I am used to the wildlife here but to see peoples faces when they hold a sloth for the first time or see a pink river dolphin is priceless.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on a tour or trip?
There have been many and it would be hard to name just one. Sometimes situations are bizarre but I think a lot has to do with the different cultures and what is normal to some people might not be normal to me.
Ever had any odd requests from clients?
Sometimes yes, many people are interested in eating weird things like insects or strange animals so we get that request often. There are insects to eat here but it’s not very popular, I think people get the ideas from Television and stories they hear.
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?
No job is perfect and there are always challenges. Sometimes it is frustrating to have a client not understand that we cannot control nature and they leave unhappy if they don’t see the amount of wildlife that they would like. This is disappointing for us also but we hope that our travelers understand this is an eco-tour and the wildlife that we encounter are not caged animals, they are wild and sometimes we do not have luck maybe depending on bad weather or whatever the case may be. Usually we do have very good success rate.
Kknowledge, good communication and the ability to connect with each and every individual on his tours, making everyone feel comfortable, laugh and just enjoy their time.
As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain what the benefits of hiring a guide are?
In this region it would be extremely difficult to experience the amazon jungle without a guide who knows where to go, what to do, how to get there, what to eat and what not to eat. There are many things in the jungle that can hurt you or put you in danger so its important to always go with a licensed professional. Not only that but tour guides offer a wide range of knowledge about the flora and fauna in the area that most travelers do not know about.
Without giving away your secrets, tell us the types of things about your area/activity that only a guide would know.
This region of the amazon experiences river levels that raise up to 10 meters in the rainy season, changing the entire landscape and access points in the region. Only a local will know how to navigate during this change.
And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?
Be weary of guides that are not registered or are not professionals. There are many freelance guides that offer very cheap prices and will over promise and under deliver. Its worth the money to travel with a reputable company.