At 41 years of age, Lelis Navarrete has 16 years of experience as a birding guide. Lelis has vast experience as tour leader in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Peru, and this spring will be training in Panama, another country you can bird with Lelis and Neblina Forest Birding tours. A Biology B.Sc., graduated at Universidad Catolica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its conception. He acts as Board Member. His scientific contributions have been part of the work of John Moore: several CDs of Ecuadorian Birds Songs and Calls, and the rediscovery of Striated antbird; and the work of Robert S. Ridgely: discovering of the Jocotoco antpitta, first records of Crested becard, and Spot-throated hummingbird. In solo, he has reported new species for the Ecuador bird list: Andean Tyrant and White-backed stilt, Peruvian antpitta, and extended the range of several other species in the countries he visits. Lelis is regarded as one of the finest birding guides in South America for his knowledge of the birds and their vocalizations. Lelis is familiar and able to recognize the calls and sounds of some 2400 South American species, and nearly 8000 bird vocalizations. Lelis has ALWAYS received the highest rankings from Neblina client comments, and all his tour participants use him as a benchmark for all birding guides. With all this background as a field naturalist birder, Lelis is unparalleled for his people skills, attentiveness, humor and organizational skills.
"Claudia Avendaño is a biologist born in Guatemala. She works on bird research
and nature conservations projects, traveling to natural areas throughout
Guatemala, and sometimes to El Salvador, and Honduras. Claudia trained the first
local bird monitoring team of Maya Q'eqchi'men in the region of Cobán for the
Bird Monitoring Program of PROEVALRAXMU. She is co-author of the "Annotated
Checklist of the Birds of Guatemala" (Eisermann & Avendaño, 2007, Lynx Edicions),
which is the most updated publication on the birds of Guatemala.
Claudia collaborates with several nature reserves training local guides and
Is co-organizer of three Christmas Bird Counts with Cayaya Birding. This is a tour
operator she founded with Knut Eisermann, which is specialized in birding tours
and promotion of birding destinations in Guatemala, and which collaborates with
Neblina Forest. Her experience birding in the country, combined with her
knowledge of conservation projects and local customs, will help to accomplish a
successful and interesting birding time in Guatemala."
"Manuel Sánchez is from Ecuador and graduated as an Engineer in
Ecotourism. He is the funding member of Clandestine Bird, a
self-convened organisation dedicated to Conservation and Sustainable
Development, which promotes Bird Watching Tourism as one of the most
responsible and sustainable tourist activities. Manuel works as a
consultant for national and international bodies working in the areas
of the environment and development. Neblina Forest is in alliance with
Clandestine Bird, supporting its ideas and making Manuel one of our
"Fito" Downs has been interested in birding and natural history from a young age. A native Costa Rican, "Fito" refined his excellent birding skills and broad knowledge of natural history at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica (2 years conducting field research and guiding), and at the Smithsonian Institute in Panama (2 years working there). In addition, he was the resident guide for
Neblina Forest-Bolivia during 3 years! To date, "Fito" coordinates our groups in Costa Rica. Soon, he will be leading trips in Ecuador, as well.
(Costa Rican, 25 years old), now residing in Ecuador, is a trained guide and biology graduate from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and the most recent acquisition to our staff. Alejandro has worked as resident naturalist guide at Monteverde Cloud Forest, as a volunteer in Costa Rica's national parks, on the MAPS project at the Institute of Bird Populations in California and at the Redwoods Science Lab, Trinity River Restoration Program at Humboldt University, surveying and mapping nests as well as banding birds. In Ecuador he has conducted bird inventories and surveys, field projects in coastal and southern Ecuador, and conservation work on the endangered Black-breasted Puffleg. Alejandro has also birded Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and southern Brazil.
(brazilian, 25 years old), is a bird guide and biologist, specialist in birds of Atlantic Forest. He can show you all the diferent species who lives from the lowlands to the top of the mountain. That altitudinal gradient makes the great diversity of birds in this forest. His masters will be about the distribution of the Yellow-Legged Tinamou."
Has been a naturalist guide for lodges such as Maquipucuna ( 1 year ), Kapawi ( 3 years ), La Selva ( 2 years ).
Edwin has been involved with Neblina Forest with great success. Introduced to our company by his brother Willy Perez, who trained him in all aspects related to birds as well as on natural history.
He also worked as a bird guide for different other tourist operators and lodges for example: Bird Ecuador ( Cabañas San Isidro Lodge , Guango Lodge), Ecuador Nature Expeditions.
His experience, his knowledge, and his passion for birds have made him extremelly succesfull guiding in the different ecosystems that Ecuador has.
A former Camp Counselor for Outdoor Education and Team Building Programs at Camp Stevens, Julian, CA, Gustavo does everything from Cooking to Computer work. His Biology Major studies at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador gave him a deeper insight in his beliefs, were his love for Nature arts. S
A member of the staff of Neblina Forest Birding Tours since 2001, Willy has led bird and nature tours in Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, including the Galapagos. He has been active in the training of local guides, and is a frequent lecturer, in English and in Spanish, on birding and conservation issues in the Neotropics. Out of his own pocket money, he purchased land in the Northwestern cloudforest in order to protect this singular and delicate habitat and today, with his usual passion for birds, William together with Xavier Munoz, the owner of Neblina Forest work to purchase the appropriate land to protect larger areas of sensitive areas and rich birding sites. William lives in Quito with his conservation activist Fiona and their two small little girls.
Conservationist by heart, Tour guide by profession and an ever growing birder, Xavier is Neblina Forest founder, owner and guide. He has been working as Board Member and has been mentor for both AVES & CONSERVACION (previously known as CECIA) and Jocotoco Foundation. Guiding Ecuador since 1997, Xavier nowadays also guides for birding trips in Peru and Guyana. Bolivia and Brazil have been considered new destinations for Neblina thanks to his vision.