patagonia travel guide claudio vidal

Claudio Vidal

Patagonia Expedition Leader Claudio Vidal is a native Chilean who is one of the leading field naturalists and ornithologists in South America. Living in Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan has helped foster his interest in the pelagic birdlife and marine mammals of Patagonia. A birdwatcher since the age of twelve, Claudio has co-authored many books, including Birds of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Antarctic Peninsula and Torres del Paine - Wildlife & Landscapes. He continues to develop resource books for Chile’s most important natural areas. Claudio has been leading birdwatching and natural history journeys in Chile for years, and has become a favorite of IE guests on our many past Patagonia expeditions.

Cristofer de la RiveraCristofer de la Rivera

Cristofer was born in Santiago, but he grew up in the city of Punta Arenas. A veterinarian by training, he has always been strongly interested in nature and wildlife, participating in multiple research projects on birds and control of introduced species in the Magallanes region and a research project on minke whales in Iceland. This in-depth research helped Cristofer develop deep insight into environmental issues. Cristofer is passionate about bird watching and falconry. A nomadic spirit has led Cristofer from the Atacama Desert to Antarctica, and he spent many years guiding Patagonia cruises and landings at Cape Horn. , never leaving aside the Patagonia base camp.  Cristofer still resides in Punta Arenas and participates in wildlife research studies in Torres del Paine National Park.

Rodrigo Tapia

Rodrigo became an avid birder by the age of 10, and has been observing, studying and learning about them for more than 30 years. This early passion led him into studying Biology at Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He's traveled Chile from the northern Altiplano to Cape Horn while conducting ornithological research and guiding birding groups since 1989. Rodrigo traveled to Antarctica in 1991 as part of a research team conducting studies on Antarctic penguins, and later worked for eight seasons in the White Continent as an expedition leader, lecturer and zodiac driver on board a couple of vessels. These years of sailing across the Drake Passage, together with the experience gathered in pelagic birding off his hometown of Valparaíso in the Pacific coast of central Chile gave him hundreds of hours with albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds, a group of birds which has always captivated him. Rodrigo has been involved in children's environmental education projects, lectured about birds and birding, and worked to raise the profile of birdwatching as a sustainable economic activity.

Sebastian Saiter

Sebastian was born in Punta Arenas. He always had an early passion for discovering the nature and beautiful landscapes of Chilean Patagonia. Consequently he studied Adventure Tourism, involving in the topic and studying about the flora & fauna of one of the last pristine places in the world. Sebastián has a particular interest on the natural history of the birds in Patagonia, Patagonian endemics and wildlife photography. He is an active member of NGO Agrupación Ecológica Patagónica in Punta Arenas, participates in projects to protect wetlands, urban parks and other sites and urban reserves in the city. He works on environmental education projects with children, in private and public schools in the area.