Art inside Hotel Katarma Galapagos
David Basantes Vargas

Self-portrait with Andrés, 1984.

Oil on canvas

Self-portrait with Andrés, 1984. Oil on canvas
Welcome to Hotel Katarma Galapagos

about david basantes vargas


Known as "El Doctor" by his neighbors and the residents of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, David came to San Cristobal over 30 years ago as one of the island's first doctor. He built and designed Katarma Hotel as a means to show how we live in harmony with the natural beauty, flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Today, David works with the Ministry of Health on various public health projectson the island. In his spare time, he can be found in his studio on the hotel premises, painting and sculpting.​

About > Our Team > David Basantes Vargas

the philosophy of art


Most of the paintings are made with oil or acrylic on canvas. A few small ones are made with oil crayon on sandpaper.  The surrealism is used in the paintings to express dreams and visions of an extraordinary, timeless and spaceless world, full of uncertainty (Heisenberg Principle), and where the matter is only a momentary expression of the energy. 

When one lives in the Galápagos,  those who do not intend to transform the islands into a big city easily adapt to their surroundings, live in harmony with the Galápagos landscapes and wildlife, become the stewards of the land, and may end up with a shell on their backs. This is what David's work is all about: beings that are part humans, part animals, mixed in mind and body, protecting one another. 

If from the life period, one takes the useless parts out, what is left? Very little. This is the reason why it is very healthy to employ the mind in noble and fair businesses, art and painting are not bad at all... Suddenly, at some point, a pilgrim canvas with some passionate thought gets impregnated into the oil of wisdom, and right there, life is worth it.