Mariano Curiel

Partner & Head of Operations & Sustainability

Born and raised in Argentina, Mariano Curiel is a senior polar guide and expedition leader with a wealth of experience in the execution and management of operations. From a young age, he cultivated a pioneering sense of adventure and a deep respect for the polar regions since he first witnessed Antarctica, just after obtaining a university degree in Communications and Strategic Planning, in Buenos Aires. Following that first visit he never looked back and for over twenty years he has been guiding and leading projects in the Antarctic, Greenland, and Svalbard where he has seen the expedition landscape evolve hugely and has participated in more than two hundred sea, land, and ice-based polar expeditions. As a seasoned expedition veteran, Mariano has sailed pole to pole, becoming the first Argentinian to ski across Greenland 2016.

Guiding in the higher latitudes of the globe for the last twenty years, Mariano has been working with Antarctica21 since 2010 contributing to the executive management of the operations, specializing in expedition performance, delivery and team development. As well as acting as one of the company representatives at IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators), Mariano is one of the founding members and former vice-President of the Polar Tourism Guides Association (PTGA).


  • Degree in Communication and Strategic Planning 1999 – 2001
  • Polar Guide, Zodiac Driver & Historian (Antarpply Expeditions, Abercrombie & Kent, Quark Expeditions)
  • Greenland Crossing 2014 – 2016
  • Expedition Leader > Antarctic Staff & Program Manager > Director Expedition Operations (Antarctica21) 2010 – 2023
  • Certificates: Wilderness First Responder, Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats, Navigation Course, Crevasse Rescue Course, Rescue Diver, Avalanche Mitigation & Rescue, Risk Management, Coastal Master Sailing and Motor Yacht, STCW95

“Having started my career working on smaller boats, I’m excited to get back to my roots and join Secret Atlas in its mission to make polar expeditions low impact, personal and more sustainable. Secret Atlas offers a level of comfort, flexibility, and a true sense of wilderness experience, as well as a human approach that is so important to the conscious modern traveler of today. As a start-up operation Secret Atlas can be nimble to the desires of its guests and respond to making polar expeditions as environmentally efficient as possible, this is an exciting prospect to help shape a brand with exploration and conservation at its core.”