Meet the team

Mauricio Hernández
Manager Director and Travel Concierge

Born in Costa Rica in 1967, “Mau”—as he’s known to his friends—got his feet wet in the travel industry as a partner of an inbound tour company in 1991, which he later helped to successfully position it as one of Costa Rica's leading tour companies. All these years of practical experience provided Mau with the perfect vehicle to share his great love of travel, passion for gastronomy and wine, and a growing interest in culture. His contact with travelers from around the world, coupled with his own vast travel experience, allowed Mau to lend a unique global perspective to his role as travel expert allowing him to share and showcase the beauty of his country and its people, and to put his years of experience and know-how at the service of his clients.

David Brenes
Sales & Operations

David was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica. He spent his early years traveling with his family experiencing the rawness of Costa Rica´s jungles, volcanoes, beaches, and small towns. From these experiences, he knew that he wanted to share and show others the marvels that Costa Rica has to offer. He entered the travel world at the ripe age of 21 and through the years, David´s passion for travel, expertise, and eye for details has grown and glistened to provide his clients with the best experiences Costa Rica has to offer. His personal passions include spending time with his two little sons and wife, exploring Costa Rica’s less travelled dirt roads, tasting fine coffees, and cooking, which enhance every trip that he plans. Having the opportunity to share and offer these experiences to you, strengthens his dedication to ensure that each of his clients leave Costa Rica wanting to return for more.

Guides and Drivers

At Elements, we believe that the tour guide is the bridge between the traveler and the local culture, people and places to have a memorable voyage. We work with only expert multilingual guides and drivers who will enhance your trip with their knowledge, passion, and drive to ensure that you have the Pura Vida ‘pure life’ experience while enjoying each and every minute.

Fabian Alfaro

I was born and raised in the small town off Turrialba and then moved to Alajuela City to continue my education. After getting my Business Administration degree with emphasis in tourism I started working at a hotel in the north Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. But after being there for a while I realized that office work was not for me. That is when I went back to school to get my naturalist tour guide certification. After 22 years on the road I can say that one of the greatest motivations working as tour guide is to see that our visitors take home a good perspective of my country and great memories of their trip, as I believe life is all about experiencing and discovering new things. About myself I can say I love life, my family, good food, and traveling.

Jose Pablo Schmidt

After being a tour guide for over 25 years I consider myself very lucky as I have the job I always wanted. Since I was in high school I realized that I wanted to work in the outdoors, that is why after getting my business college degree I bought my first minivan and started working as an English speaking driver. After a few years driving around the country and as I have always been passionate about wildlife and nature, I decided that I wanted to become a certified naturalist tour guide. So I started taking courses at InBio (National Biodiversity Institute) about different subjects like volcanoes, geography, natural history, history, guiding and customer service until I got my certification. But being a naturalist tour guide demands to be in constant training, that is why every time I can I sign up for courses to stay up to date. I am also a sponsor of the Costar Rican Ornithologist Association and I have been an avid birdwatcher since 1995! Other activities I enjoy are whitewater rafting, sea kayaking & snorkeling, hiking and horseback riding.

Jose Pablo Ugalde

Jose Pablo, nicknamed “Chicken Little”, has 10 years of experience in the tourism industry, but his passion for discovery developed at a very young age, when he joined his father on a variety of Costa Rican tours. In addition to being a certified tour guide by the Costa Rican Tourism Board, Jose is a licensed naturalist guide. He has worked for extended periods in the areas around the Arenal Volcano and the Osa Peninsula. Jose, like his father, is a lifelong nature lover and an enthusiastic bird-watcher.