We’d Love To Tell You Our Story.
We started Galapagos AlterNATIVE as a way to allow people from abroad to experience the Galapagos Islands through the eyes of a couple locals.
At Galapagos AlterNATIVE, we believe that we have a truly unique perspective to offer guests in the Galapagos because of our ability to bridge the gap between tourists and locals. The people of the Galapagos Islands are some of its greatest treasures and we hope to introduce you to them as our guests.
Galapagos AlterNATIVE specializes in arranging tours for travelers who would prefer to be free to experience the Galapagos Islands and not be limited onboard a cruise ship. Sleeping onshore allows you to support local businesses and experience the local culture and nightlife. Being land-based also allows for flexibility and independence with your travels.
We are based in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. Our centralized location allows for easy transport between the mainland of Ecuador and many islands of the Galapagos. Each island offers unique opportunities. Some are available only on day trips by boat, while others offer a variety of accommodations for a multi-day visit. All accommodations are clean, friendly, and well-staffed and we can provide lodging options according to your budget and preferences. We will be happy to help you choose flights from Quito or Guayaquil and arrange inter-island transfers by air or by sea.
It is deeply gratifying that we can support local business and restaurants while introducing our guests to all our favorite places. Because you’ll have access to the restaurants, lodging and transportation providers that we’ve come to know and trust, you can be assured that your trip will be filled with good food, lovely accommodations, and great new friends at the most reasonable price around. We find it a great honor and privilege to be in a position to reveal the true Galapagos Islands to our guests. Let us show you the islands we love from the inside.
We look forward to treating you like family, showing you our favorite places, and ensuring that you have the experience of a lifetime in our amazing, beautiful and unique Galapagos Islands!
Javier Moreno Javier’s family has a rich history in the Galapagos Islands with members integrated in to many areas of the Galapagos. Javier developed his comprehensive understanding and expertise of the islands as a Galapagos Islands resident. He deeply appreciates and respects the ecology and geology of the Galapagos islands. Javier worked for years in the Galapagos Marine Reserve as a PADI certified Dive Master and guide. He prides himself on being able to select quality naturalists to be your guides, and tour boat operators that share the company’s ethos of responsible practices.
Jill was born in the United States and came to the Galapagos Islands to teach English. She fell in love with Javier (and the islands), and the two were married in 2008. Jill had the unique perspective of coming to the Galapagos as an American with poor Spanish skills. She now is fluent in Spanish and enjoys helping English speakers feel at home in the islands.
Lauren is one of our Galapagos AlterNATIVE Itinerary Specialists. She lived in the Galapagos Islands while working on her Master’s Degree and is extremely knowledgeable about all of our tours, activities and accommodation options. She is ready to work with you directly to develop the ideal itinerary for your Galapagos tour.
Susanna has been working with Galapagos Alternative from it’s beginnings. She is an avid nature-lover who works from home which allows for her to homeschool her two children and pursue her passion for travel. You will find her very knowledgeable about the Galapagos Islands and quick to respond to any questions or concerns. She really takes your requests to heart while assisting you in creating your ideal Galapagos experience.
Maria Andrea grew up in a mainland city in Ecuador. Although it was a beautiful city she wasn’t impressed with the traffic, long distances and hectic pace. When she moved to Santa Cruz she immediately embraced the simplicity of the islands. She was happy to trade the sights and sounds of the city for the calming breezes and turquoise water of the Pacific. She loves living in the Galapagos Islands and feels blessed to be able to appreciate them with her family. When Maria Andrea is not crafting custom itineraries or caring for her family she likes to cycle through the highlands or relax while improving her culinary skills. In the future she sees herself traveling the world with her family and pursuing her passion for gastronomy.
Sabine came to the Galapagos in 2011 as a psychology volunteer and, like many of our staff, fell in love with the islands, fell in love with a local, got married and started a family here (not necessarily in that order). She loves conversation, meeting new people and traveling. She has always enjoyed organizing trips for her friends in Brazil and from other parts of the world. For this reason we feel she is a natural fit for a tour company that specializes in personalized attention for its clientele.
Karina loves the Galapagos islands for many reasons, one of them being that everything is a bike ride away. You will see her cruising around town with her bike trailer carrying her two children, produce from her farm, or just herself and a podcast. Besides biker, she is a farmer, diver, researcher, writer, and once upon time, she was also a surfer. She loves working for an agency she feels is an example of responsible Galapagos Tourism with a great impact. She also works on connecting sustainable farms with chefs, and our Slow Food Tours, as well as developing other alternatives that try raise the bar of positive tourism. She writes the stories she finds on the way.
Marie-Lou was born in Montreal, Canada. As an adult she travelled for 5 years and ultimately landed in the Galapagos Islands in 2000 because of her first love, the incredible SCUBA diving. She worked as a SCUBA instructor and diving guide for 4 years, fell in love (with a person), started a family and opened the first Spa in the Galapagos which she operated for 7 years. In order for her children to learn her native language and culture she currently resides in Canada, but her experience and knowledge of the islands allows her to create incredible Galapagos itineraries for her clients. For fun she loves travel, yoga, diving, skiing and spending as much time with her two boys as possible.