Meet Our Team

Our tours involve a dedicated team of local guides, porters, cooks, and all the people whom make our being there possible. This rapport has been forged over the years through mutual respect given and received.

Silvana Gottini

Co-director, sales & marketing

Originally from Canterbury, Silvana studied zoology and marine biology in Christchurch, before heading overseas and living in Switzerland, the US and Latin America. As co-owner of SET, she manages sales, reservations and marketing in New Zealand. Fluent in Spanish and German (her parents are from Switzerland and Austria), she loves getting out and leading trips. Especially to Patagonia, Costa Rica and the European Alps.

Nicholas White

Founder and co-director

Originally from Central Otago in New Zealand, Nick has recently returned home after 15 years of living and working through out South America. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, he runs most of the South America side of SET and has a passion for the outdoors, kite surfing, mountain biking and fitness.

Emma Fenwick

Admin, Sales and Marketing

Originally from the UK, Emma now calls New Zealand home. She has over 15 years experience as a Travel consultant both in the UK and New Zealand and has travelled to over 40 countries in this time, with South America and South East Asia being her favourite continents. You will find her as part of the invaluable office team behind the scenes taking enquiries, booking flights and administration.

Andrea Basler

Tour leader - Europe

Andrea comes from Switzerland but now spends most of her time in Ecuador or New Zealand. She's passionate about the environment and loves being in the great outdoors, hiking, biking and enjoying the mountians. Speaking fluent Spanish and English along with her native German, she's our multilingual leader. You’ll find her on the European Alps and Greek Islands walking tours.

Lenin Ampudia Iturralde

Tour leader - South America

Lenin was born in Quito – Ecuador, where he began as a local guide, working at different archaeological projects. Then he became a tour leader at the age of 23, all over South America and Cuba and always travelling with his guitar. Ancient knowledge and music are his big passions. He’s always curious about local cultures, so he’s the right person to ask about any of the places you visit. His local experience and relaxed style of travel will put you in true holiday mode.

Linda Smith

Tour Leader - Morocco

Originally a New Zealand 'Southern Girl' born of British immigrants, she grew up on her parents' sheep farm riding her Shetland pony. Linda went to Egypt as a curious tourist 9 years ago and she is still there, living in the beautiful Sinai desert where she indulges her passion for deserts, food, horse riding, scuba diving and belly dance; she also has a sneaking desire to own a camel. Linda is looking forward to sharing her stories and knowledge with you through Morocco.

Alberto Azcon

Tour Leader - Spain

Alberto hails from Granada but since 2011 has lived in the village of Capileira, one of the Sierra Nevada’s highest villages, in the beautiful Alpujarra region. Attracted by the outdoor life, Alberto has combined guiding work with teaching computing to locals, as well as launching an ambitious project to keep pure-bred Andalusian donkeys on land above the village, which will open as a business for riding holidays some time in 2016. Alberto enjoys introducing clients to his world in Andalucia.

Janet Ellis

Tour leader - Central America

Janet was born in Canada, moved to the UK when she was 8. Later she moved to Japan, traveling through Asia, and other parts of the world. Settling in the beautiful mountain town of Monteverde Costa Rica, 17 years ago. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Costa Rican tourism.  Running Horse Trek Monteverde riding stables and with her husband and guiding the 8 day horse tour. We are lucky to have her in Costa Rica, as she’s committed to creating authentic local experiences.

Marcos Mendez Sibaja

Tour Leader - Costa Rica & Cuba

Marcos is a certified naturalist guide and has devoted himself to excellence not only in naturalist guiding, but facilitating a better overall understanding of Costa Rican culture for all of our clients. Marcos understands travellers’ needs since he has travelled to over 25 countries (and is still counting)! He is fully bilingual and is a dual citizen of the US and Costa Rica. When he’s not guiding, Marcos is working on his farm, following international football and raising his two children.

Karen Platzer

Africa tour leader

Karen has lived in in Switzerland, Africa and Greece and is now is settled in New Zealand. She is very passionate about travel and everyone who travels with her loves the relaxed and flexible style Karen has made her trademark. The tours are a perfect blend of leisurely walks and fascinating cultures. You’ll find Karen taking the Africa tours which offer private game lodges and superb wildlife viewing.

Marcello Senatore

Italy operations

Marcello was born and raised in Cava de’ Tirreni, a town with a rich history located in the lush green hills of Southern Italy. Growing up with the wonderful Amalfi Coast as a backyard. He's walked some of the best trails in the world, but prefers to share his homeland’s paths and “way of life” with travellers from all around the globe. He spends his time directing the operations of our Italian hikes, exploring new Italian destinations and working with the guides to make your trips exceptional.