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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Alejandra Mosquera

Alejandra was born and raised in Quito. She believes that there is nothing better than opening her eyes and seeing the beauty of the marvelous Andes, their colors, wildlife, and scenery. Even though she never thought about becoming a guide, she realized this activity would be her future during her first trip in the university. She has been sharing her passion and love for Ecuador since 2006, and obtained her Wilderness Advanced First Aid certificate four years ago.

Marco Castro

Marco was born and grew up in the highlands near Quito within a farmer family. This brought him close to nature; riding horses, hiking mountains, and chasing feral cattle. This lifestyle as a child made him an outdoor man that learned to enjoy nature and open air. He studied tourism administration to be a tour guide which allowed him work in the outdoors and show people his passion for the wonders of Ecuador. Hiking, horseback riding, cycling, and kayaking make Marco feel at home away from home. After 20 years of working as a guide, he has learned to enjoy sharing his knowledge with people.

Ignacio Anhalzer

Ignacio, also known as Nacho, was born and raised in Ecuador. Has practiced all sorts of outdoor sports since an early age, from mountaineering to sea kayaking. This experience motivated him to obtain a degree in Sports Management from Bond University in Queensland Australia. He is currently a NOLS Instructor, WEMT and LNT Master Educator. Nacho has paddled in New Zealand, Patagonia, Denmark and tons in Ecuador. Nacho is WAFA certified since 2015. When he is not guiding, he is taking care of his own outdoor education company in mainland Ecuador.

Claudia Cristofari

Claudia was born in Corsica and did her studies at the University of Corsica. She always liked the English language and culture, so she started with an English degree. As the university is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes of the island, it was during her time there that she realised how much she loved the island, its cultural and historical wealth and the diversity of its nature.

Francois Bartoli

François Bartoli is one of the Corsican pioneers for outdoor sports and activities in Corsica. In 1980, he started organizing sea-kayaking trips and then developed other activities like canyoneering, hiking and mountain biking. Together with his team, he created, planned and supervised lots of events, from multi-sport races to world championship trials. Thanks to those different experiences, he now has a deep expertise for organizing and supervising multi-activity trips and events in Corsica.


Our Croatia guide Jelena loves outdoor sports and she joined our team last year. She is also yoga and Pilates instructor, an alpinist climber and a skier and she graduated from the faculty for economics.

Vedat Asllani

Vedat was born in Tirana, Albania.. He grew up in Tirana until he left for Milan for completing the studies in Law at Universita La Cattolica, Milan. After that he returned in Albania and he worked for several years in a Financial Institution in Albania in different directing positions. He always loved exploring the Albanian nature until he left his office job for dedicating himself completely to the tour guide carrier four years ago. During this time he has led many hiking, kayaking and cultural tours throughout Albania. He does his job with great love and passion.