FOUNDER & NATURALIST GUIDE
Hellen is not only one of our main guides (a certified tour leader for the whole South America) , but she`s also operation manager, in charge of all the administration and logistics of our tours. (We develop all of our own trips personally and update them afresh every year.)
Hellen has gained her reputation on receptive tourism, mainly ecotourism - which is her true passion.
A hard working professional, with a great attention for detail and extremely committed to the satisfaction of our clients - always with a smile on her face, for she is a natural people pleaser.
Hellen has lived most of her life in the beautiful National Park of Chapada dos Guimarães, where, as a naturalist, she acquired a good knowledge mainly about the plants of the Cerrado (the Brazilian savannah)
She also lived a few years in hotspots of biodiversity along the Atlantic Rainforest and she loved it! In recent years she has traveled frequently to the Mediterranean region, exploring it and organizing trips there, combining nature with rich historical heritage.
Currently she lives in the city of Cuiabá, to be near Pantanal – the amazing ecosystem that became the priority of our ecotrips.
She loves everything about nature & traveling (including, of course, international destinations) and even in her spare time she never misses a chance to go out birding and watching wildlife
FOUNDER & NATURALIST GUIDE
Since 2008, Paulo Barreiros has guided many bird and mammal focused tours in the northern Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, the Brazilian Amazon and in many parts of the Atlantic Forest on the south-east coast of Brazil. In fact, he has experience in guiding in four continents! Paulo Barreiros is one of the most highly qualified naturalists guiding in Brazil today. With a degree in zoology and a professional degree in tourism. He is a co-author of several books about ecotourism and environmental education. He also has taught several courses for naturalists and guides, as well as published many articles; he still writes regularly for magazines and newspapers.
More important than that, when it comes to showing Jaguars to guests, Paulo is one of the most experienced guides in the world, doing that job pretty much every day of the right seasons (from June to November) for the last decade. There’s not much of Jaguar behavior that Paulo hasn’t seen…
His also an avid reader (with little time to read these days). He likes polite and edifying conversations about a wide range of subjects and he’s always eager to learn and also share a good laughter with his guests. Above all, his enthusiasm about the wildlife is quite contagious. But you can count on his good sense of humor and gentle patience, catering for his guests needs and repeating information as many times as they need to. As an amateur photographer, he knows how to help his guests getting the best possible images while exploring ecosystems teeming with amazing wildlife. He has a solid reputation for been thoughtful and very knowledgeable, working hard to ensure that his guests are always well looked after and have a wonderful holiday enjoying South America’s incredibly rich biodiversity. He often says that his very fortunate to be in the business of making dreams come true. And he takes that job very seriously – always with a smile. His work has been abundantly praised by the most demanding clients, namely hard core naturalists, wildlife photographers and researchers. He also has a long history doing volunteer work for a lot of NGO.
Daniel & Gabriel Mello
Born in ’87, the twin brothers Daniel and Gabriel Mello started in the "world of birds" in mid-2007, filming many bird species in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro. In a few years of activity, with the acquisition of professional equipment for observation, photography and recording of birds, the Mello Brothers became known and respected in the ornithological world, as they increasingly published their audiovisual records on specialized platforms. They quickly began to be sought out by people interested in getting to know the birds of the Serra dos Órgãos region, thus developing the ability to guide nature observers and photographers with this purpose. In mid-2010, as a result of the cataloging work carried out so far, they started producing their first editorial work. In partnership with ornithologist Francisco Mallet-Rodrigues, they published the field guide "Aves da Serra dos Órgãos e Adjacências" (Birds of the Órgãos Mountain and surroundings, 2015), a work that became a landmark in the history of books on Brazilian birds by presenting , for the first time , entirely photographic plates (instead of illustrations). After the very positive repercussions in Brazil and abroad, the Mello brothers decided to go a little further and in 2020 they published the book "Birds of the Southeast of Brazil - Identification Guide", in partnership with Mallet-Rodrigues and Luciano Lima, which has been highly acclaimed amongst birders.
Currently, with more than 14 years of experience in the universe of observation and documentation of nature, the Mello Brothers continue to improve their knowledge & skills, sharing (in a very generous and down to Earth way) what they know, through workshops, courses, lectures and guiding throughout Brazil.
Both graduated in visual/fine arts and teachers in this area, but, as they often say, birds guide their lives... They still manage to combine their ingenuity and their fine-tuned ears for birding, in order to manufacture gear that best captures birds’ vocalizations, as well as to play their favorite music.
The Mello brothers are some of the nicest lads you’ll ever meet. They’re both good-natured people, idealistic, generous, incredibly polite, good-humored, with a contagious enthusiasm, always willing to help and to go the extra mile in order to please our guests.
Born in Israel in 1966. When he was still a child, taken by the hands of his Brazilian parents, moved to Brazil. Noam Salzstein won a prominent place in the gallery of notable naturalists, pioneers in the study, defense and (sustainable) promotion of the rich natural heritage of Mato Grosso, where he chose to live. Since an early age, Noam has been engaged - in the front line - with NGOs that have fought for the preservation of what are now the greatest natural attractions of Chapada dos Guimarães National Park and surroundings – that`s where, in 1996, he started his professional activity as a guide. He was even the founder of the Local Ecotourism Guides and Conductors Association - AGCE - which he presided over for a few years.
Most likely, he`s still the guide that does more volunteer work in that National Park (identification and maintenance of the most popular trails, as well as a network of historical paths; recovery of a mountain shelter home now used by rangers, researchers, firefighters and trekkers; reforestation and protection of the main headwaters projects,…he also likes very much to work with local communities located in remote places). All that admirable effort, ethical commitment, vast experience and knowledge as granted him an excellent reputation amongst his peers and government officials fromICMBio (the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment's administrative arm).
As an intern, he also did some guiding in the Amazon (Alta Floresta) and obtained training as a naturalist in the Emas National Park. He was given the opportunity to lead a training course for local guides in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park.
His in situ initiation to the Pantanal occurred in the year 2000. But it was in 2003 that Noam`s connection to this fantastic biome was intensified, sharpening his highly-attuned knowledge. Since then, he has worked in Pantanal almost full time during the dry season. Noam has explored the Pantanal like few!
Guiding mainly in French and in English , he seems tireless while doing field work, always excited to share with his guests the wildlife experiences that he loves the most. More than a great spotter, he`ll unveil the science underlying biological patterns. Besides birding and Jaguar spotting, Noam is one of the few guides that has a deep knowledge about the vascular flora and vegetation of the Cerrado & Pantanal. He`s at the top of his game!
But don`t worry, he will refrain himself from bury you with hard, data-rich science. Noam has a calm, gentle and charismatic wisdom, able to read his guests interests and finding a way to inspire those around him, like a good story teller with a contagious smile.
Following his passion for Brazil`s nature and for his Brazilian wife, in 2011 Yoann left his home back in France and ended up in Pantanal , where he got his first hands on approach job as an interpreter, teaming up with local guides who couldn`t speak French. But before he got his credentials as a local Tourist/Tour Guide (in 2014), he taught French, English and Italian at the University of Cuiabá (Unic). He also worked as a freelance translator.
Yoann has already a solid reputation for been extremely polite and well humored; a detail oriented person, very committed to the needs of his guests; knowledgeable and a hard worker (by the way, he`s one of the few guides that works intensely all year around in the Pantanal, braving the rainy season).
Yoann is fully aware that his working place is one the most amazing biodiversity hotspots in the world, and he loves to share he`s wildlife experiences with people from all walks of life and nationalities.
Marcos was born and raised in the city of Cáceres in the northern Pantanal, and spent all his spare time surrounded by nature. Influenced by a childhood immersed in nature, Marcos made a natural progression to a degree in biology at the Federal University of Mato Grosso. He also had the opportunity to conclude a project about the biodiversity of reptiles and amphibians in the northern Pantanal. His interest in herpetology and understanding of natural systems was ever increasing until in 2010 he entered the post-graduate Management and Environmental Expertise Course, which allowed him to work with mitigation of impacts in an area of riparian vegetation. In 2011, Marcos was able to register for a Master's degree in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, where he worked with environmental variables influencing the biodiversity of amphibians. He concluded his tour guide course. His gentle nature and exceptional knowledge of The Pantanal ecosystems make him an asset on any tour!
He is 29 years old and a certified nature lover. Got his academic degrees as a Biologist, Master in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation. He is also a licensed Tour Guide, specialized in ecotourism. Douglas's love for nature is a quality born with it. Being outdoors was a constant for him, giving him great pleasure, especially whenever he had the chance to camp out in any landscape: from the rivers to the mountains; from forests to beach. Always great fun!
Born and raised in the state of São Paulo, at age 18 he moved to the state of Rio de Janeiro, where he joined the UENF to study biological sciences for 4 years. His scientific activities have always been rooted in ecology, his passion. During college, he studied the distribution of plant ecology in the Atlantic Rainforest. He has been an assistant professor of general ecology for the last 2 years and also a volunteer professor of botany for 3 years in social programs. At the age of 21, he moved to the state of Mato Grosso, where he joined the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT). In the following 2 years he graduated as a Master in Ecology and Conservation of Biodiversity. Ethnobotany was the central theme of his master's program. During this period, he published his research at national and international congresses; wrote a book chapter; was an assistant professor of Anthropology and General Biology at the Indigenous University of Mato Grosso; and assistant professor of plant physiology and morphology. After graduation, he worked with research projects (climate change) as an English teacher and environmental consultant, until his first trip as a naturalist guide in 2013. This trip was a very important turning point in his life, pretty much an epiphany, when he discovered with certainty what he wanted to do throughout his life: his vocational path would be strongly linked to the Pantanal and the pleasure of sharing his experiences in this fantastic biome.
As a guide, he enjoys the constant challenge of finding animals and deepening the study of ecology, life history and physiology. The pleasure of sharing information and knowledge is also present from the time he was a teacher. Patience, positive spirit and a perennial smile are other outstanding qualities of this guide.