ABOUT THE TEAM
If you're like us, you live for travel and you live for your sport. You live for packing up your board, skis, bike or climbing shoes and jumping on a plane bound for "that place you've dreamt of visiting for years".
If you're like us, you know what it's like to be trapped in an office or classroom craving your next powder turn or run in the park. You know what it's like to spend your day dreaming about perfect tubes, limestone crags, or single-cross descents.
If you're like us, you seek distant lands and secret spots. You crave virgin terrain, pristine breaks and majestic rocks.
If you're like us, you want the ultimate sports experience every time you travel because time is too precious for anything else.
If you're like us, you'll understand why we've given up our office jobs to create a travel company that truly understands the needs of sports enthusiasts.
Keen to join our team? Check out our job section on this website.
INSTRUCTION & TRIP LEADING TEAM
JAVIER, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Javier has been passionate about mountain biking since his family became the first in his city to own mountain bikes! He began racing mountain bikes at 13, became a member of the Mexican national team at 16, and turned professional at 18. In his late teens Javier discovered surfing and he quickly became both passionate and highly accomplished at the sport. Since giving up professional mountain biking in his early twenties, Javier has dedicated himself to what he loves best - guiding visitors to the best mountain bike trails and surf beaches in Mexico!
ROY, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
A thrill-seeker since youth and a true rebel at heart, Roy`s life has been characterized by his insatiable quest for adventure. Twenty years of surf experience in El Salvador has given him a unique understanding of Salvadoran culture, as well as earned him respect at the country's best breaks. In 2001, Roy began coaching professionally. His enthusiasm is contagious: friends, guests, and both of his sons have developed a genuine appreciation of the sport through their interactions with Roy. In addition to surfing, Roy enjoys many other elements of life outdoors including mountain biking. Shortly after his 1995 entry into the mountain biking circuit, he won the first downhill competition he entered, and in 1997 he qualified up to the finals on the strictly uphill event of Salvadoran mountain biking.
SIMON, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
Simon has been traveling the world instructing whitewater kayaking, snowboarding, and whitewater rafting for the past eight years - and he shows no signs of losing momentum. The pursuit of surf, snow, and pristine rivers has taken him to over twenty-five countries. He has organized and led kayaking expeditions to Kenya and Bolivia, where his team ran multiple first descents of rivers ranging form Class IV to V+. These expeditions were sponsored by renowned kayaking outfitters including Bliss-Stick Kayaks, Hydraulics Riverwear, Paddlerzone, Backcountry Cuisine, and Stephens Photoplus. Various reputable adventure travel and whitewater kayaking magazines across the world have featured Simon's writing. Now based in Calgary, Canada, he enjoys exploring the rivers and the snow capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
BENJAMIN, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
Though German by birth, it is Brazil that Benjamin has called home since 1997. He first developed his skills as a surfer and later as an instructor on the Brazilian shoreline. Benjamin now holds an internationally-recognized surf instructor license (Surfing Australia Inc. Level 2 Surf Instructor) as well as a Coast Guard certification. His organized and attentive approach to surfing has earned him respect as a Brazilian Surf Confederation Competition Judge, and he brings this same critical skill set to his video analyses for guest surfers.
MEHMET, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
Born and raised in Ozkonak, a small village in the center of Cappadocia, Mehmet knows the spectacular Cappadocia region of Turkey like the back of his hand. Having biked in this region since he was a child. Mehmet has a passion for mountain biking and a passion for the wonderful rocks, valleys, mountains and villages of Cappadocia. Six years ago Mehmet decided to turn this passion into a profession by becoming a mountain bike guide and he has satisfied countless clients since then with his wonderful hospitality and excellent local knowledge.
SANJIB, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
Sanjib has led biking trips in Tibet and Nepal since 2006. His skills include a thorough understanding of equipment and the development of tour logistics. Sanjib has trained rock climbing instructors, has a certificate in First Aid, and has even worked as a hot air balloon crewmember. He speaks Tibetan and English and currently resides with his wife in Kathmandu. Sanjib consistently gets top reviews from our guests for his flexibility, knowledge and friendliness.
RISA, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
Made in Mexico, born in New York, Risa has always had a connection with the ocean. The daughter of a fisherman, the ocean waves have been her playground since childhood. Risa joined the Access Trips family this past season after many years working in film and music video production in Los Angeles. Risa is an award winning filmmaker, and a warm and fun person to be around. Risa gets rave reviews on our Mexico surfing trips.
Chef Hugo Roberto Gutiérrez Marron is Executive Chef at Haramara Retreat, one of the leading chefs in Mexico, and a recent inductee to the Academie Culinaire de France. His expertise is honed from traditional Mexican cooking at his mother’s knee followed by formal training as an apprentice to a renowned French chef in Mexico City. His style of food is best described as "organic, rustic Mexican", using only the freshest local ingredients for their healthy and natural traits.
ANIS, TRIP LEADER
Anis is the primary trip leader for our Morocco Culinary Tours, and he gets excellent reviews. He has a degree in tourism, and has studied both in Morocco and Germany. He speaks Arabic, French, German & English.
JOSE, TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
Jose is a man of many talents. He is a competitive mountain biker who competed at a sub-elite level for many years, he is an experienced nature guide, and he is fluent in English, German and Italian. He is also an experienced mountain bike guide who knows the back roads and hidden trails of Costa Rica intimately. All in all, Jose is the ideal leader for our Costa Rica mountain bike tour, and given his considerable mountain bike experience and his uncanny ability to transmit knowledge, Jose is also the ideal lead instructor for our tour.
ROSAN - TRIP LEADER & INSTRUCTOR
A likeable and fun Nepalese guide with a good sense of humor, Rosan was born in the Gorkha district of Nepal in 1975 and graduated from Tribhuwan University of Nepal. He has worked in tourism since 1995 and has led hundreds of biking groups in Nepal (Annapurna, Khumbu, Lantang, Chitwan), Tibet, and India, and we have always had great feedback on his guiding skills.
ATA, GRAPHIC DESIGN
Ata is head designer of Access Trips. Through his unique style as both a graphic designer and as a graffiti artist, he has gained worldwide fame and influenced a generation of designers. His work has been featured in a number of important design books, and he has been exhibited throughout Europe. He obtained a degree in graphic design from the School of Fine Arts in Berne, Switzerland. He is addicted to surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding and loves to travel the world.
RICHARD, CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER
Richard is one of the most talented action sports photographers in Europe. He has done work for Burton Snowboards, BMW, and TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine, among others. When not on assignment traveling the world or photo editing for Access Trips, he manages the family oil empire. He also holds a Masters degree in Business from the University of Augsburg, Germany.
MAX, GRAPHIC DESIGN
Although his passion for traveling leads him across the world, Max spent his young life in Switzerland, where he attended the School of Fine Arts in Berne. Later, with a degree in graphic design, he moved on to an apprenticeship at Buero Destruct and Studio Fantasmo in Guadelajara, Mexico. Currently, he owns and runs the graphic design business, Max Henschel Grafik (www.mhg.ch), with which he created the Access Trips logo. When he's not working, Max loves to travel, skate, surf, and snowboard.
MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM
TAMAR, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Tamar has been lucky to turn her passion for travel into her career, managing marketing and ecommerce for travel industry leaders such as Lonely Planet, Travelocity and American Airlines. She grew up jetting between the Middle East, USA, and West Africa. That laid the groundwork for a lifelong desire to explore that has taken her to over 50 countries. Among her favorite places are Tibet, which is possibly the most stunning place on earth, and Vietnam, where she fell in love. Tamar earned a BS in Mass Communications from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two beautiful children, and loves kayaking, hiking, and photography.
VICTORIA, CO-FOUNDER & ADVISOR
A sports enthusiast with a love of snowboarding, rock climbing, surfing and mountain biking, Victoria has a passion for traveling. She has traveled extensively in South America, Europe, North America and Australasia. A native of New Zealand, she moved to the United States when she was 17 to attend the United World College, an international school in New Mexico. She then went on to complete her university studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, USA, where she graduated summa cum laude. Upon graduation, Victoria was accepted for a financial analyst position in the media group of New York investment bank, Morgan Stanley, where she worked until deciding to co-found Access Trips. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and also has a BA degree in psychology. Victoria speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and has worked and volunteered extensively with teenagers during her summers.
ALAIN, CO-FOUNDER & ADVISOR
Growing up in the Swiss Alps, it`s no wonder Alain developed a passion for snowboarding. All the hours he put into becoming a world-ranked, widely-published and sponsored snowboarder didn`t stop him from pursuing other interests, however. Alain is a keen mountain biker, surfer, and rock climber. Nor did it cause him to shirk on his studies. After finishing high school in Switzerland, Alain was accepted to Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, USA, where he earned his Bachelors degree in economics. He then went on to win a financial analyst position with New York investment bank, Salomon Smith Barney, where he spent two years as a financial analyst. During his time in New York, he managed to qualify for the US National Halfpipe Snowboarding Championships and made plans to co-found Access Trips. Alain has an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, is an avid traveler (fluent in four languages) and has extensive experience in working with instructional trips. He is sponsored by Burton Snowboards.
ERICA, GUEST SERVICES
Erica first realized her love for the outdoors as a child learning to ski in Lake Tahoe, California. As a young adult she spent a year guiding horseback tours through the jungle in Monteverde, Costa Rica. There she climbed Mt. Chirripo before spending another year traveling in Central America and learning to scuba dive in Honduras. Erica has traveled extensively in the US, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Barbados, England, Ireland, Wales, Europe, the Mediterranean, Australia, China, India and Bhutan. Erica worked at Lonely Planet Publications for more than 7 years before joining Access Trips. She coninues to enjoy traveling and exploring the outdoors with her husband and daughter, Ava.
AKO, GUEST SERVICES & OPERATIONS
Born in Japan, Ako now enjoys the outdoor life hiking and skiing while living in Tahoe, CA. She graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, with a BA in Fine Arts. She worked in Tokyo as an Assistant Director for the art procurement department for one of the largest trading companies in Japan. As an art consultant, she contributed to the creation of the newest modern art museum in Tokyo. Travel has taken her to Southeast Asia, Africa, India, Europe and Canada. Ako believes that travel and art can inspire everyone, and you can't help spending a little more time composing your photos when you visit a truly spectacular destination. Working with Access Trips gives Ako inspiration to visit many more countries.
THERIN, CONTENT, MARKETING & ADMINISTRATION
Therin was born and raised in Nashville (an origin that justifies her love of country music), but her family's home has been in Chicago since 1999. From 2003-2005 she attended United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, and it was here that she was first introduced to surfing. Even the piercing cold of the Bristol Channel didn't deter her from catching her first waves, and as she now pursues her undergraduate degree in Science, Technology, and Science at Stanford University, she hopes to find the time to continue this new hobby. She also enjoys running, writing for a university literary magazine, and taking the foreign out of languages.
JOEL, CONTENT, MARKETING & ADMINISTRATION
Joel is a Stanford University student in the Class of 2008. He expects to major in Political Science and minor in Economics. During the summer of 2004, he was successfully self-employed in online retail. He is highly proficient with computers (both Mac and Windows), basic HTML, and software including Word, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Pagemaker, and Illustrator. He is moderately fluent in Spanish.