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: 14
# of Countries Paddled: 7
Years guiding for SWA: 2
Favorite thing about Ecuador: "I love the long continuous boulder gardens in Ecuador, and all the good people you meet along the way."
Advice for people coming on a SWA trip: "Try to learn some spanish before you come to Ecuador. The more you can communicate with the local people the better. And be ready for some long days on the river!"
Greg learned to paddle in his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario and now lives and paddles in Squamish, British Columbia. A love of kayaking led him into the rafting industry where he learned many valuable skills both on and off the river. After working in Ottawa, Squamish and Norway, as a guide, safety kayaker and video boater, he brings a wide variety of talents to the SWA team. He is a strong presence both on and off the river; and although he is an incredible paddler, perhaps his greatest skill is the ability to put a smile on anyone's face. We know you'll love his sense of humor and his friendly, open personality.
Years Paddling: 9
# of Countries Paddled: 9
Years guiding for SWA: 1
Favorite thing about Ecuador: "The variety and reliability of the rivers! Coming from the UK, it's a real treat to be able to paddle whatever you want whenever you want."
Advice for people coming on a SWA trip: "Bring a camera, a big memory card and a charger. You are going to want to remember this one!!
Liam brings some great English flavor to the Small World team! He learned to paddle through a high school Outdoor Sports and Education course, and loves the direction this took him in life. He has paddled extensively in the UK and has taken paddling trips in France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Ecuador. A qualified BCU coach, Liam has been teaching kayaking full time for five years and his passion for kayaking is matched only by his enthusiasm for teaching the sport. His approach is professional yet relaxed and encouraging. And he's not too bad at futbol either if you feel like a little post-kayaking exercise!