Expedition Team

Our team of experts is the key to enriching your adventure


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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  • 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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  • Emily Hyde

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Emily grew up in the beautiful, rainy Pacific Northwest. Born and raised on Vashon Island, she then moved to nearby Seattle to attend the University of Washington. After completing her degree in English Literature, Emily spent the next year preparing for and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with her older brother. There she discovered a passion for backpacking and spent the next few years walking all over the world, from the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand to the Spanish El Camino to the Laugavegur trail in Iceland.

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  • Federico Chacón

    Naturalist
    Federico Chacón, or “Fico” as he is better known by his friends, started guiding one-day nature tours on weekends and holidays at the age of 18 right at the time he started studies at the University of Costa Rica. It was just a part-time job, that was mainly his brother’s idea, but little by little it grew to become his career and his passion. 

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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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  • Maguil Céspedes

    Naturalist
    Although Maguil was born in San Jose, he was raised in the countryside of Costa Rica, and it was this experience that provided him with a deep knowledge of and a profound love for the rural life of Central America.  It was this passion for nature that led Maguil to study biology at the University of Costa Rica, where he received his master’s degree in 2002. His thesis explored the genetic structure of big leaf mahogany, an endangered species of tree that is commercially extinct in much of Central America.

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  • Margrit Ulrich

    Expedition Leader
    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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