Our Guides | Adventure Unbound

Our Guides

Tomas Palma

Born in the city of Quito, Tomas had his first education in his hometown. With only 17 years of age he traveled to United States to perfect his English and acquired a taste for travelling. It was during this trip that he decided to go to school to study tourism back in Quito obtaining a bachelors degree in Tourist and Hotel Management, it was during this time that he perfected his English and Italian and obtained his National Tour Guide License issued by the Ministry of Tourism in 1993.

Sebastian Jurado

After growing up in a small town in a valley of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador near the city of Quito, Sebastian decided to travel to Santiago de Chile to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Administration. His eagerness for travelling took him in a backpacking adventure through Canada and United States for 9 months. Having perfected his English he started guiding in Ecuador in 1998. As a young nature lover interested in natural history and ecology, nature filming, photography, alternative energy, ecotourism development, and outdoor sports his career took an interesting path.

John Liley

The 'Luciole' is owned by John and Penny Liley who, between them have fifty years experience of hotel barging! Previously, John was editor of a leading British yachting magazine, while books he has written include France-the Quiet Way, an exploration of the entire canal and river system of France. These early journeys inspired him to select the Nivernais cruising area and establish the present hotel-barge business in 1976. This was with another barge, 'Secunda', fore-runner to 'Luciole'.

Ivana Grzetic

Ivana was born and raised in Dubrovnik in a "crazy about the sea" family of scuba divers and sea kayakers. She is a graduate of ACMT (American College of Management and Technology) in Dubrovnik. As Miss Universe Croatia 1998 and a fashion model, Ivana traveled all over the world, including Hawaii, California, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Europe. She now looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of the Dubrovnik region and the sea with our guests.

Ahmet Ozbek

Ahmet studied law and was trained in the Military Academy as a basic parachuter, jump-master, parachute trainer and for free fall. He participated in gymnastics, tower diving, military pentathlon, orienteering and parachuting teams. For all his athleticism Our guests appreciate his command of history, Turkish and World politics, religion, particularly Islam and the passion he shares for his home. Ahmet has a beautiful voice and a rich repertoire.

Nicole Marchan

Nicole has lived surrounded by the Andes mountains for almost all her life. She studied biology which gave her a deep respect and knowledge about the nature and the cultures of her country, she enjoyed working in the field specially with indigenous people learning about the way they use their plants and natural resources. She has been practicing rock climbing for over 12 years; sport that has taken her to travel and experience different parts of the world, and took her to Canada to study Adventure tourism guiding.

Henry Teran

Henry is a licensed travel guide, who started working in the tourism industry ever since 1993. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and an associate’s degree in Tourism Studies. After obtaining his degree as a tour guide, Henry spent one year in the United States in order to study English language, once back in Ecuador, he started working as a tour guide leading groups in Ecuador mainland as well as in the Galapagos Islands.

Marco Castro

Marco grew up in a small town at the foothills of Ilalo Volcano in the Andean valleys near the city of Quito.

Miguel Carrera

After obtaining his Engineer degree in Ecotourism Management in a local University and a National Tour Guide License. Due to his French fluency he was called to teach French in a local College in Quito, this job gave him enough time to also guide around the Quito area. Later Miguel decided to join volunteer programs in several Research Stations in the Amazon Basin, Highlands of the Andes and tropical Pacific Coast of Ecuador for about tree years.

Yasemin Konuralp

Yasemin has led ROW groups since 1993 with consistently rave reviews. Formerly a school teacher, she now enjoys the informal classroom of adventure travel. On board she offers guests the chance to learn the Turkish alphabet and language,and has been affectionately called a "Fountain of Knowledge." She has a specific interest in wild flowers and is currently writing a book on the subject. She lives in Antalya with her husband and daughter.

Alper Ertubey

Alper was a member of one of the first graduating classes of Turkey's professional guide training program in addition to his degree in Engineering. His open, warm personality, stories, singing and endless energy make Alper a favorite among our guests. When he is not leading tours he spends his time investigating new sites and local establishments, traveling throughout Turkey, as well as training other guides. He winters in Istanbul and visits the US frequently.

Ersin Ozdemir

For those who love great discussions on a variety of topics, Ersin is your man. His varied background includes time spent as a professional basketball and soccer player, degrees in business management and classical archaeology, and living abroad. Ersin has been involved in travel both as a guide and manager since 1984. His experience leading special group tours of students, religious groups tracing Christian or Jewish heritage in Turkey and outdoor pursuits gives him a wide set of resources to pull from. His smile reaches from ear to ear, especially when his guests go home happy.

Andres Trujillo

Born in the capital city of Colombia, Bogotá DC, Andrés moved to Ecuador at the age of 4 with his family, and was raised on a farm surrounded by forests, animals, beaches, riding horses. When he was 12 years old, Andrés and his family moved to the capital city of Ecuador, Quito, where he began his studies. Andrés is a knowledgeable guide with a background in music, Ecology and tourism.

Colin Coon

Colin's love for the outdoors started as a boy. While growing up in Montreal, Quebec, Colin and his three brothers were always outside finding something to keep them busy. In 2011, Colin started guiding raft trips in Ontario and British Columbia. Over the last three years, while working on his B.S. in Physics from McMaster University in Ontario, Colin made a number of trips through Canada, the US, and Costa Rica. His love of the water, travel, and guiding landed him at Adventure Unbound in 2015 as a British Columbia guide.

Julia Leibold

Julia has been a guide since 2010 in BC, Canada. She joined Adventure Unbound in 2014. Julia was born and raised in Germany and first came to Canada in 2010. She quickly fell in love with British Columbia and has been there ever since.

Leah Blok

Leah Blok has been guiding for Adventure Unbound in BC and in Baja for years. She has more energy and passion for people, wildlife and life than anyone we have ever had the good fortune of knowing! She has paddled solo from Alaska to British Columbia and all over Europe. She adores sharing her passion for paddling and whales with paddlers of all skill levels. Paddlers of all ages enjoy her boundless energy and knowledge and are inspired by Leah.

Mel Lawless

Mel has been a British Columbia guide since 2012. NZ, HK. She was born and raised in New Zealand. One of Mel’s favorite childhood memories is going out to explore on an island near her home town. One can only get to this island via the sand bar at low tide. Mel misinterpreted the tides, which forced her to walk back home in waist-deep water for about 2km across the ocean! “I love the water, whether it’s on the sea, on the rivers, or under the surface diving,” Mel said.

Nick Gallant

Guide since 2012. Born and raised in Ontario, Nick found his love for water canoeing the area lakes and rivers. After starting out as a camp counselor in Ontario, Nick decided to move to the west coast to surf and camp. After washing dishes for a couple of years a good friend helped Nick land a day guiding job. He discovered his passion for guiding and adventure tourism, and applied to the Coastal Adventure Tourism program at North Island College. In 2012, Nick joined Sea Kayak Adventures. He enjoys sharing the magic of beautiful British Columbia and the great outdoors with other people.

Quy Le

Quy grew up in a vibrant neighborhood near Vancouver’s Chinatown. He is an online marketing specialist in BC, with more than 7 years of experience! “I am choosing to be a guide to create a positive impact on the natural world through my work,” Quy said. “I also wish to see more of the world, and hope to do so in a kayak.” One of Quy’s favorite memories is backpacking solo through Europe, with a special emphasis on Iceland. “Iceland contains some of the most magical landscapes I’ve ever seen, especially in the West Fjord,” he said.

Simon-Olivier Côté

While Simon-Olivier Côté was born in northern Québec’s city of Saint-Félicien, his work and passion for adventure has lead him all over the world. Before continuing with his studies in geography, Simon-Olivier took the opportunity to travel the world—backpacking through 25 countries on his own. Even when he wasn’t living the life of the nomadic adventurer, he immersed himself in new cultures. He lived abroad for four years while he continued his studies in Brazil and traveled throughout the U.S. and Asia as a French instructor.

Alex Magana Ruiz

Alex, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, now lives in Loreto where he has been a whale watching and sea kayak guide and logistics coordinator for Adventure Unbound. He personifies guest service and adds panache to our tours. He also runs his own business selling day tours in Loreto and is a wonderful artist and photographer. Go visit Alex at the Loreto marina snack shop for his vast knowledge of day tours in the area.

Axel Herrara

Originally from Mexico City, Axel is a world traveler and international guide. He recently spent a year guiding in New Zealand. Axel is also a marine biologist from the University of Baja California Sur La Paz, specializing in dolphin vocalizations. He is quite professional as a guide and very knowledgeable on marine natural history. Axel has many stories from his travels to share with guests, including snorkeling with whale sharks.

Ramon Murillo

Ramon can trace his roots to generations of fishermen in the Loreto area, and his knowledge of the Sea of Cortez and its weather is boundless. We are truly honored to have him provide motorboat support on some of our Sea of Cortez tours in Baja (called pangas in Baja California). He is a master panga captain, with many amazing stories of the high seas to relate.

Dení Ramírez

With a passion for marine life and whale sharks, in particular, Deni began a mainland research project in the Sea of Cortez in 2001. She obtained her PhD in 2011. Her doctoral thesis addressed global whale shark population genetics to determine how many populations exist worldwide. She collaborated with other scientists and went to the Philippines to collect tissue samples.

Guillermo Carvajal

Guillermo was born in San Luis Potosi, mainland Mexico. After moving a lot as a kid due to his parents careers, Guillermo settled in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Guillermo loves traveling, sports and spending time with loved ones. Guillermo holds a Biology Degree and has been a guide for Adventure Unbound since 2015. Guillermo has worked as an Assistant Panguero on our Isla Espiritu Santo and Islands of Loreto Bay Kayaking tours. He entered into the guiding business because he has always loved traveling, nature and wildlife.

José Sergio Navarro

Sergio grow up in Puerto San Carlos. He often fished with his father as a kid, and enjoyed the water growing up. While he has only been a guide with Adventure Unbound for two seasons now, he has been guiding for over 16 years, since he was just 16 years old. He got started with kayaking in 1997 while he was working on a natural history course with RARE, an organization for tropical conservation. During the course, they offered the students the opportunity to learn kayaking skills. At the time, Sergio was working as a hotel manager, and never thought he would be a kayaker.

Maria Aguilar Murillo

Maria is another true Baja Californian, raised in a seaside fishing village on San Ignacio Lagoon where she has seen gray whales since a child. Maria graduated from the University of Loreto alternative Tourism program and she worked as a naturalist at a whale watching camp in San Ignacio Lagoon. Maria is an excellent kayak guide and enjoys sharing her passion for the Ocean and marine life with our guests.

Mario Alberto Escalera Gómez

Native of Mexico City, when he was 6 years old he saw his first whale and after that, he decided he wanted to be a marine biologist. Now he is a graduate of the University of Baja California Sur. He works in environmental education and sustainable development workshops with a group of young teenagers he cofounded in La Paz. He believes that the proper education is the keystone for our societies to do the first step to sustainable societies and thus responsible use of our resources.

Monica Sanchez

Now in her fourth season with Adventure Unbound in Baja, Monica loves the water, and everything surrounding it. She is especially passionate about whales and dolphins. Monica always dreamt of being a wilderness explorer like the journalists in National Geographer magazine. Due to her love for both the ocean and marine mammals, she decided to work at an aquarium in the Caribbean where she worked as a dolphin and sea lion trainer for a couple of years. While she loved being so close to the animals, she realized she would rather see them in the wild, in their natural habitat.

Ruben Sandoval Zuñiga

Ruben has been guiding for Adventure Unbound since 2013. Ruben most commonly guides on our La Paz, Espiritu Santo kayaking tours. Ruben is from San Luis Potosi, and has been fond of the Sea since he was a child. He moved to La Paz 15 years ago to study and get his Bachelor Degree in Marine Biology. When he was a student he started doing underwater fishing and free diving. Ruben decided to get involved in tourism because he wanted to show the visitors the beauty of La Paz and the importance of conserving the environmental resources.

Sergio Mariscal

Sergio began his guiding career in 2005 while he was still in College, selling tours in the afternoons and guiding them on the weekends. He became a full time guide in 2011 and started guiding for Adventure Unbound in January of 2016. In school, Sergio focused on tourism with and emphasis in lodging; however he quickly discovered that his passion was in the tourism sector.

Valente Murillo

Valente is one of our pangueros from Loreto where he is a fisherman when not operating the support boat for our kayak tours. He is a very good cook, has a great smile below his Pancho Villa mustache and loves to share his knowledge of the sea with our guests.

Damian Murillo

Damian Murillo was born in Puerto San Carlos in Magdalena Bay. Damian is a graduate of the Alternative Tourism Program at the University of Baja California Sur in Loreto. His passion is Environmental Education for children. Damian likes the outdoors, caring for his puppy and playing soccer.