Ecuador is a challenging country for a kayak guide because there are so many runs to know, and because each run changes significantly with the various water levels we see. To Small World’s guides, these challenges make it all the more exciting. In fact, we've found that no place else on earth comes close to having both the variety of runs to paddle and the variety of water levels to paddle them on. Simply put, Ecuador is awesome! Our guides love to paddle both while working and on their days off.
Small World guides are consisten in their emphasis on safety, fun and quality experiences both on and off the river. So, here is our current guide roster:
Years Paddling: 30
# of countries paddled: 4
Years guiding for SWA: Owner
Favorite thing about Ecuador: "I love the people and landscape of this beautiful country. I hope you will all come share it with me."
Advice for people coming on a SWA trip: "A Small World trip is such a fantastic experience. Bring your wonder, curiosity and sense of adventure and you will be amply rewarded on the whitewater gems of Ecuador."
Guy grew up in Great Falls Montana playing Huck Finn on the wide Missouri River and its tributaries. He discovered kayaks at the age of eighteen and made the jump to whitewater. Guiding rafts on the Gallatin and Madison, enjoying endless springs on the Lochsa and tributaries, completing daring descents of the Black and Grand canyons of the Yellowstone, and early pioneering runs on the Clarks Fork Yellowstone all helped to cement the fact that whitewater runs in Guy's blood. The only thing that gives Guy more joy than being on the river is the joy of sharing the experience with others.
Guy's other passion is yoga, and he's spent a lot of time in recent years developing his practice. Yoga emphasizes an understanding of how your mind functions and we will explore stress on the river and how to use it to our advantage without being overwhelmed by it. Kayaking in itself is a very zen-like experience and we believe that you will find a side by side yoga practice valuable. Look for more yoga offered around the SWA lodge this season!
Years Paddling: 38
# of countries paddled: 10
Started SWA: 20 years ago.
Favorite thing about Ecuador: "It amazes me how nice the locals are to us, they make us feel so welcome."
Advice for people coming on a SWA
trip: "The best tip I can give is to carry your essential paddling gear in you carry on with you. That way, even if the airlines mess up, you'll have your own gear to paddle in."
Larry started paddling in Colorado on the Arkansas River, and his passion for kayaking quickly eclipsed his career as a contractor. He traveled extensively throughout Central and South America (leading kayaking trips in both Honduras and Chile) before finding his home away from home--Ecuador. Now he splits his time between Ecuador in the winters and the Grand Canyon during the summers.
Tarquino grew up in Puerto Napo Ecuador and his passion for the "river life" began at an early age. His whitewater career began on an inner tube on the Upper Napo River--his backyard run. He eventually took the skills learned from his inner tube to a kayak and then onto a raft. Tarquino now spends his winters in Ecuador guiding for Small World Adventures and his summers in Golden, British Columbia guiding rafts on the Kicking Horse River. He speaks Spanish, Quichua, and English, has an amazing sense of humor and can tell great jokes in all 3 languages. You'll love the energy and knowledge he brings to each trip.
Years Paddling: 20
# of Countries Paddled: 1, ECUADOR BABY!
Years guiding for SWA: 1
Favorite thing about Ecuador: "Its my home"
Born in Ireland to English parents, Alex moved to Ecuador with his family in 1994 and started rafting and kayaking in 1996. Alex has been a trip leader and guide for more years than most of us have been kayaking, all on the rivers of Ecuador. His family are the owners of River People in Tena and they have pioneeered rafting on many of the rivers in the Jondachi and Hollin drainages. Kayaking runs in Alex's blood and you will experience this depth of knowledge when you paddle with him on your next trip with Small World. He is a great guide both on and off the river.
Alex is a member of the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute helping to protect resources in Ecuador, he wants to participate and help since he is deeply concerned about the health and welfare of the natural resources in Ecuador. Alex has extensive knowledge of this country and has many a story to tell.
Biking is Alex's second passion and watch this space to learn more about that as Small World goes multi-sport in the future. He is also an avid chess player and will be happy to prove it to you any time you choose.
Years Paddling: 6
# of Countries Paddled: 3
Years guiding for SWA: 1
Favorite thing about Ecuador:
Advice for people coming on a SWA trip:
Born and raised in Upstate New York, Dave started kayaking while working as a raft guide on the Black River. Kayaking quickly became his passion and as he likes to say, "kayaking ruined my life... for the better." It has given him the opportunity to travel to some incredible places and meet some great people along the way. Dave fell in love with South America on a trip to Chile in 2012. He can't wait to experience Ecuador and start working with Small World Adventures. [In fact, Dave is with us in Ecuador now, loving it, and doing a great job]