Expedition Team

Share the adventure with knowledgeable, engaging companions


Over the decades of exploring Costa Rica and Panama, the quality of our veteran staff, and their companionship is the reason the Lindblad name is known and respected for top-quality expeditions. And, together with National Geographic, there is no better team anywhere.

The most robust expedition team in Costa Rica & Panama
Explore with one staff member on board for every 12 guests—the most robust team working in Costa Rica and Panama.Every expedition sails with a five-person team including a veteran expedition leader and four more naturalists. Other members of the team include an undersea specialist and a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor. Together they provide you with a greater understanding and appreciation for this exceptional place.

More specialties and personalities
With more naturalists per guest than any other company in Costa Rica, you’re ensured a healthy diversity of naturalist specialties—marine and terrestrial biology, botany, ornithology, geology, and more—and personalities. You are never directed into groups. You’re free to gravitate to the naturalists whose interests mirror your own. And our team will make each day of your expedition deeply rewarding.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Amanda Clare

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Amanda always followed her own path and pursued whatever piqued her interests and pushed her limits. She earned two B.A. degrees, one in history, one international studies, from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, she was commissioned into the United States Army, and while stationed overseas, Amanda traveled extensively and cultivated her love of adventure and exploration.  

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  • Cristian Moreno

    Naturalist
    Cristian is a Panamanian born in Chile.  He grew up in Panama City until the age of 19 when he returned to Chile to go to college where he received a degree in metallurgic civil engineering. Since 1995 he has been working as a freelance naturalist in Panama.  Specializing in bird watching and ecology, he also has a passion for indigenous cultures, hiking and trekking.  He is a certified scuba diver and is often found exploring coral reefs along the Caribbean coast of Panama.

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  • David Pickar

    Video Chronicler
    David Pickar is a native of Portland, Oregon. He studied anthropology at the University of Oregon, then spent several years working as a field archaeologist. Participating in excavations in countries like Jordan, Belize and Italy and in every corner of the US, allowed him to witness culture and the environment from an unusual perspective.

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  • Deibys Fonseca

    Naturalist
    Deibys Fonseca was born and raised in the mountains of western Panama. From a very young age, his interest in nature led him to become a volunteer guide for La Amistad International Park in the administrative headquarters of Chiriqui. His knowledge in geography and flora and fauna led him to participate in multiple wildlife research projects in his community, among which highlight a population census of bats, birds and plants developed by ANCON.

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  • Elizabeth Portuguez Porras

    Wellness Specialist
    Elizabeth was born and raised in Costa Rica, the Pura Vida (Pure Life) country, known as the happiest country in the world. Since she was a child, she has known her true passion was to become a professional in the areas of health and wellness. She describes herself as an outgoing person as well as the happiest massage therapist in the world; she has a secret for that: “Whatever you do…do it with LOVE”.

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  • Emma Ridley

    Expedition Leader
    Born of a Scottish father and English mother, Emma enjoyed an international upbringing because of her father’s job as a foreign correspondent.  Although her family eventually settled in Rome, Emma's schooling was conducted in French, having started her studies in Brussels, Belgium and finishing at the Lycée Français de Rome in 1988.

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  • José Calvo

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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  • José Pérez

    Naturalist
    José Pérez was born in Panama City and grew up in the province of Coclé in the small town of El Valle de Anton, a picturesque village located in the caldera of the world's second largest volcano. From a young age he felt a deep affinity for nature, joining his grandfather and father for long walks to their farm where they would identify plants, insects, and animals.

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  • Margrit Ulrich

    Naturalist
    Affectionately called "Machita" ("Blondie"), Margrit is one of our most cosmopolitan guides with a family that hailed from Switzerland, France, and Germany before settling in Costa Rica's capital city San José where she was born and raised. Hence she blends the well-organized, perfectionist, and detailed personality of a Swiss watch with the easiness and effervescent enthusiasm of a simple tropical girl.

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  • Max Vindas

    Naturalist
    Known for his passion for nature and dedication to conservation and ecotourism, Max Vindas has been guiding natural history trips in Costa Rica since 1993. On his first trip to the rainforest at age eight, Max realized his love for the outdoors and wildlife observation. Since then, he spends as much time as he can in the forest, sharing his knowledge with visitors to his country.

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