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 are no better Panama and Costa Rica tour guides 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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  • Andy Wolff

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    A Midwestern kid with an insatiable curiosity about places far and foreign, Andy has converted a lucky break after college into a career at sea. From swabbing the decks to advocating for artisans and zooming in Zodiacs, he knows the operation from every department on board. What keeps him fresh after nearly two decades working at sea is waking up somewhere new every morning, the day ahead a blank slate with no way of knowing what marvels nature and serendipity may bring his way. Andy looks forward to sharing this sense of wonder and possibility with guests as they venture together into new realms with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic.

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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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  • Isabel Salas Vindas

    Naturalist
    Isa Salas is a Costa Rica born biologist, who loves her country and teaching about it.  Known for her professionalism and experience in the field of animal behavior, Isa earned her master's degree in biology from the University of Costa Rica, where she also engaged in research for the chemistry and biology departments. Isa has carried out specialized projects on mantled howler monkeys for Costa Rica’s National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), and is one of the country’s experts on howler monkey sexual and social behavior. 

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  • José Calvo

    Naturalist
    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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  • 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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