Charles was raised in the Galápagos Islands. He is the grandson of Rolf Wittmer, the first person documented to have been born on the island of Floreana after his parents, Margret and Heinz Wittmer, emigrated from Germany in 1932.
Much of Charles’s childhood was spent exploring the remote Galápagos archipelago on small nature cruise ships belonging to his family. He fell in love with life at sea and the flora and fauna of his home islands. He was inspired to travel to Quito to study biological sciences at university, where he wrote his thesis on the endangered Floreana mockingbird and studied the bird’s behavior and diet in situ. The bird is endemic to the same island his great-grandparents adopted as their new home almost a century ago.
Sharing his love for and knowledge of the Galápagos has always been his passion, and after graduating from college, Charles enrolled in the Galápagos National Park’s guide course. Since then, he has actively worked on boats learning as much as he can from nature and the people who visit his home. In his downtime, Charles enjoys wildlife photography, sailing a small hobby catamaran when wind conditions are right, scuba diving, and cleaning up plastic and garbage along shorelines. Yoga has also become a big part of his life in the last three years and he practices as often as his busy work schedule allows.
My upcoming expeditions
Galápagos Aboard National Geographic Endeavour II
Galápagos Aboard National Geographic Endeavour II + Peru's Land of the Inca