Our guides' experience, dedication, and enthusiasm make them ideal ambassadors for your destination. They chart the course, finesse the details, and speak the language (English, as well as the local language). They also possess a truly rare skill, knowing when to let serendipity and inspiration take the lead.
Xabier Etxarri, or Xabi as he’s known (pronounced ‘shabby’), hails from Navarra, in the Basque Country and is a true Renaissance man. Originally a science teacher and physicist with a specialization in astrophysics, he decided to leave it all behind and travel to southern Chile where he unlocked his passion for poetry, writing over 14 volumes since! He soon became a fully-licensed trekking guide with a particular interest in nature and the natural sciences. His passion for the mountains of his native Pyrenees remains undiminished and he now splits his time between Patagonia and Spain. What Xabi brings to this journey is an intimate knowledge of the Basque lands, Riojan wines, and the flora of northern Spain.
Born and raised in Madrid, Diego Martin spends much of his year in the beautiful Picos de Europa Mountains of northern Spain, as his heart is never far from nature. Studying geography and geology at university before journeying to South America, he eventually returned to Spain in order to start a family in his beloved Picos. Working with a local organization dedicated to re-introducing the bearded vulture into the Picos, Diego has worked closely with rural communities helping them preserve their traditional lifestyles. He has also found time to set up a small organic farm—a city boy turned country! Diego’s brings his easy going charm and encyclopedic cultural knowledge to this journey across northern Spain.
A former secondary school teacher hailing from the United States, Curtis Williams has made his home in Pamplona since 1998. His love affair with Spain first developed in the mid-90s during his first journey along the Camino de Santiago. Fascinated by the rich cultural mosaic he encountered in the different regions of northern Spain along the way, he decided to return to Spain once he had completed his pilgrimage, in order to work on a Master’s Degree in Spanish and Spanish Literature. For over thirty years, Curtis worked as a language teacher in schools as well as for national and multinational companies before deciding to make his dream of traveling and working in the outdoors come true! In addition to guiding, Curtis enjoys cycling in the mountains of northern Navarre, reading about Spanish and European history, and performing with friends as a member of a local folk-rock band.
Born in Madrid, Jaime Lahoz went from working in the cabin crew for Iberia Airlines to beginning a new life as a ski instructor and mountain guide in the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa Mountains of his native Spain. In 2004, his passion for photography turned into his profession, working his way from freelancer to staff photographer to editor of Snowplanet. Searching for subjects to shoot, he has traveled extensively throughout Canada and the United States, Argentina, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France and, of course, Spain! Jaime was awarded Best Snow Photographer of the Year in 2014 and just recently he began working as a filmmaker. Jaime enjoys photography, outdoor adventure and playing the guitar.
Alex Asensio was literally raised in the mountains, since his family ran a youth hostel in the Pyrenees during his childhood. He later became a fully-licensed mountain guide leading expeditions in the Andes, the Himalayas, and on Mount Kilimanjaro, although for the last 15 years he has been based in the Picos de Europa area in northern Spain. He is a fully qualified canyoning guide and even worked as a stunt man for a few years! When not hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, you can find Alex with his wife running a horseback riding school that specializes in long-distance racing.