Dolores and her love for the Galapagos

| Johan van Rijswijck

Gente Mágica - Because people make a difference

With a firm step she walks to the table where I sit and pops down on the chair in front of me. She leans back and is clearly annoyed. "Can you believe it Johan", she calls out to me, first looking me in the eyes and then up, putting her hands in the air.

"Can you believe it?" she says to me again, but maybe even more to herself. Before I can ask her what I could believe, she gets off. "One of the beaches on the Galapagos has been declared one of the most beautiful in the world. And this election is even supported by the Ecuadorian Tourist Board." Before I can respond, she takes the words out of my mouth: "Galapagos is not a beach destination".

Typical Dolores

When I think back to this moment a few years ago, during a trade fair in France, it describes Dolores as I know her. During these kind of fairs I have had many one-on-one conversations with suppliers of hotels, cruise companies and local tour operators. At the end of such a day, Dolores suddenly popped on the chair in front of me. Dolores Gangotena de Diez from Quasar Expeditions, a local partner from Ecuador that offers cruise possibilities in the Galapagos and with whom we have been working at Sapa Pana Travel for many years. 

Curious about Quasar Expeditions? Then take a look at the video below

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Her love for the Galapagos

Few people have as much passion and love for the Galapagos and its special flora and fauna as she does. It is her motivation to share this with people all over the world. She wants to offer these people an experience for life and at the same time create ambassadors who understand the importance of preserving this unique but fragile ecosystem. When people treat this unique ecosystem in the wrong way, for example by referring to it as a beach destination, it touches her personally and she will fight against it wholeheartedly.

How it began

After travelling through the Galapagos with her husband Diego and a couple of friends aboard an old sailing boat, she and her husband decided in 1986 to offer trips to this special archipelago. The journey they had made themselves had changed their lives. She also wanted to offer this experience to other travellers.

From the beginning they put most of their energy into training guides and the rest of the team and over the years this proved to be their success. Quasar's guides and staff share their unconditional love for the Galapagos and strive to offer their guests the best possible experience. For example, the guides are referred to by travellers as walking encyclopaedias, passionately sharing their knowledge and making the difference between a beautiful journey and an unforgettable one.

Watch a video below about the guides of Quasar Expeditions

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The fleet of Quasar Expeditions

Quasar sails with two cruise ships through the Galapagos Archipelago. The M/V Evolution with a capacity of 32 guests. And the M/V Grace, the former marriage boat of Princess Gracia and Prince Rainier of Monaco, which has a capacity for 16 passengers. Both ships breathe the romance and atmosphere of yesteryear reminiscent of the time when Dolores and Diego themselves discovered the Galapagos. With both boats they only offer eight-day expeditions, because they think you should take the time to discover the archipelago and really get to know it.

With the same love and dedication, the family company now also offers trips to mainland Ecuador, Peru and Patagonia in the far south of Chile and Argentina. Meanwhile, their three sons, who grew up with the company from an early age, are ready to take over from their parents.

More about Dolores and her love for the Galapagos

In our online series Gente Mágica I spoke with Dolores about her love for the Galapagos, about the cruise possibilities for the Galapagos she offers with Quasar Expeditons and her view on the world. Watch her story on our YouTube channel or listen to our podcast via Spotify of Itunes.

Please note that the introduction of the interview is in Dutch, the interview itself is in English.

Watch the online conversation