About Us

Our Statement

The mission of Pura Vida Adventures is to offer safe personal trips to families and small groups which focus on exploration,discovery, and adventure.

Regardless of age or ability level we have a trip that will quench your thirst for adventure and provide you an opportunity to “experience the good life.”

We offer guided climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking,waterfall tours, adventure race instruction, and paddling trips. We also provide you with an opportunity to see the North Carolina mountains through any variety of these activities over one day or a series of days.

Our Team

We offer guided climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking,waterfall tours, adventure race instruction, and paddling trips. We also provide you with an opportunity to see the North Carolina mountains through any variety of these activities over one day or a series of days.

Joe Moerschbaecher

Owner/Head Guide

Joe has lived in the Brevard, NC area for over 12 years where he first explored and discovered the surrounding mountains and for the past 10 years has worked as a commercial guide. In addition to his work as a guide, he received a bachelor degree in the field of Wilderness Leadership from Brevard College and Master’s in Adventure Recreation from Ohio University.

Since graduating, Joe has taught college courses in climbing, kayking, mountain biking , and backpacking at both institutions. He has attended workshops offered by the AMGA , ACA, AEE, American Canyoneering Academy, and AORE; and holds certifications as a Wilderness First Responder, an American Canoe Association Swiftwater Rescue Instructor, an American Canyon Guide Assoc certified guide, and is a former American Red Cross Instructor.

Ohio University, Athens, OH Graduation, June 2006

-Graduate Assistantship: teaching courses in orienteering and rock climbing

– Additional 16 Graduate level hours in Coaching Education

-Cumulative GPA: 3.80

-Master’s degree: Recreation

Brevard College, Brevard, NC Graduation, May 2003

– Cumulative GPA 3.9

– Bachelor of Arts: Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education

– Bachelor of Arts: Integrated Studies, Emphasis on science and philosophy

Owner, Pura Vida Adventures, Professional guide service and Instructional Outdoor programming Jan 2007- present

Pisgah Forest, NC www.pvadventures.com

Race Director Primal Quest Sprint Series, Management 2008-2009 Primal Quest Certification Program

Pura Vida Patagonia, Guide and Instructor, Bariloche, Argentina Nov./Dec 2005

-Assisted in instruction at the first comprehensive sea kayaking course in Argentine history

-Assisted in guiding sea kayaking tours

Brevard College, Instructor, Brevard, NC Fall 2004-Fall 2009

-Instructor of Outdoor leadership: outdoor business administration, mountain biking ,

climbing, whitewater, navigation and sea kayaking.

– Co Instructor of 21 day Immersion expedition Spring of 2007

– Head Instructor Immersion Semester ; courses included: Leadership and Group Fall 2008

Dynamics in Outdoor Pursuits, Wilderness First Aid, Environmental Ethics and Skills in Outdoor Pursuits

Outdoor Pursuits Education: Water-Based, Outdoor Pursuits Education: Land-Based, Wilderness Expedition

– Interim Cross Country Head Coach Fall 2009

Hemlock Center for Outdoor Education, Facilitator, Clifton, VA Spring 2004

– Facilitator for team development courses and environmental education courses

Odyssey Adventure Racing, Head Instructor, Virginia Beach, VA 2002 – 2006

– Provide instruction in navigation, mountain biking, climbing, whitewater reading and paddling

– Provide instruction in team development skills and adventure leadership training

– Worked as a safety boat in the ocean and on rivers

– Designing and Logistics for race courses, designer of the 2003 Beast of the East Course

Mountain Adventure Guides, Trip Leader, Hot Springs, NC Summer 2003-2007

– Trip Leader for rafting trips on the French Broad River, Nolichucky River

– Climbing Instructor, Head Climbing guide in 2005

– Backpacking Trip Leader

– Corporate Teambuilding Facilitator

– Directed adventure racing whitewater certification program

Nantahala Outdoor Center, Raft Guide/Instructor, Bryson City, NC Summer 2000,-2002

– Guided raft trips on the Nantahala, French Broad, Pigeon, and Nolichucky Rivers

– Took part in courses on rafting, water reading, and swift water river rescue

-Expedition Leader for 10 Day program in Patagonia Bariloche, Argentina activities included open water lake kayaking, backpacking, canyoneering, and climbing Dec 2011.

-Instructor half day ropes workshop and canyon guide at 2011 and 2014 American Canyoneering Conferences in Utah

-Speaker at Active Professional Conference for Nurse Anesthetists, topic “Where to Exercise?”

– First commercial canyon guide service east of Mississippi River

-Lead instructor for numerous American Canyoneering Association beginner and technical canyoneering courses 2011-present

– American Canyoneering Association co instructor and participant for 5 day fast track program Feb 2010

– American Canyoneering Association co instructor and participant for Canyon Leader Course Puerto Rico Dec. 2010

-Recreational and professional canyoneering experience in North Carolina, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominica and Argentina.

-Multiple trips to Costa Rica doing site evaluation for peers, as well as setting up programs.

– Mountaineering expedition to 18,000 ft peaks in Mexico Dec 2008

-Attended AEE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Oak Hill, WV

Presented on Adventure Racing’s place in Adventure Education March 2006

– Attended Conference on Education in the Outdoors, Bradford Woods, IN January 2006

– Completed a solo summit of 22,800 ft Cerro Aconcogua, Mendoza, Argentina January 2005

– Finished the 2003/2004/2008 Subaru Primal Quest Expedition Adventure Race in 18th,19th , 11th place www.ecoprimalquest.com Fall 2003,04,08

– Participated as a member of the Brevard College Voice of the Rivers Expedition Team Spring 2001

Spent 80 days paddling and conducting field studies in Patagonia, Argentina

– Completed an internship with Odyssey Adventure Racing Company Summer/Fall of 2002

– Attended the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education 2002

Presented information on UTM coordinates, Voice of the Rivers Expedition, and

Adventure Racing’s place in Outdoor Recreation

– Completed courses and/or assisted in instruction in backpacking, sea kayaking, canoeing,

whitewater kayaking, rafting, river rescue, rock climbing and navigation courses

– Participated in the Brevard College Runner’s Camp as trail leader/climbing wall facilitator Summer 1999, 2000

– Served on trail maintenance with Student Conservation Association Summer of 1999

– American Canyon Guide Association, Certified Canyon Guide

– American Canoe Association Swift water Rescue Instructor

– Wilderness First Responder

– Certified CPR and First Aid

– Past Certified American Red Cross Lifeguard

– Past Certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor

– Taken AMGA TRSM course (yet to take exam) April 2006

Dylan Mayes

Professional Guide

Dylan first developed his taste for adventure sports while growing up in Africa. He found that biking, hiking and camping around things that can potentially make you their dinner really helped increase his awareness of the world around him and his enjoyment of it. Dylan has worked as a guide and in outdoor recreation since 2012. As a guide at a four season resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, his focus was on working with families and small groups to enjoy a variety of adventure sports. In the summer he lead tours through high ropes courses, built to create both a physical and mental challenge for many age groups, while in the winter, as a snowmobile guide, he led tours through the mountain trails. Moving to Australia he worked as an expedition off-road motorcycle guide doing cross-Australia outback trips. He has completed a formal degree in Recreation and Parks Management through Frostburg State University as well as an AAS in Adventure Sports Management at Garrett College. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. He has also undergone Swift Water Rescue training through the American Canoe Association.

Daniel Ligon

Professional Guide

Daniel Ligon is a North Carolina native, who grew up in Durham. He has lived all over including Japan, Hawaii, and Flagstaff Arizona. After completing four years of service with the United States Marine Corp (Recon), Daniel took advantage of the opportunity to go to college and completed his degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College in May of 2019. Daniel has been working with Pura Vida Adventures for since Spring of 2018 and leads climbing, canyoneering, hiking, mountain biking, and back packing trips. Daniel has taken the experience gained from his time in the military, college, and personal adventures to become one of Pura Vida Adventures lead guides over the last two years. His fellow guides believe it is hard to find a nicer person.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We are a company that customizes our trips to meet your needs putting an emphasis on quality of experience, rather than quantity of participants.

Don’t see your program on the calendar. Contact us directly at contact@pvadventures.com or call 772-

Ready to book a trip?

We have trips available daily (with limited availability)

Our Partners

Pura Vida Adventures is proud to closely work with the following companies!

Pura Vida Adventures is the official North American contact of Pura Vida Patagonia. For more information about Pura Vida Patagonia kayak touring expeditions visit their website at www.puravidapatagonia.com, email at info@puravidapatagonia.com, or call 772-579-0005.


Epic Adventures: “Travel camp for Teens”   / Extreme Dominica: Canyoneering on the island of Dominica

Our Location

We are located on Hendersonville Hwy (Hwy 64). From I 26 continue to Asheville Airport Exit 40. Turn towards airport and continue on Hwy 280 West for approximately 17 miles. At the intersection of Hwy 64, 280, and 276, turn LEFT onto Hwy 64 east, travel about 1/4 mile. We are located across the street from the Marathon gas station. Just down the
street from Looking Glass Outfitters.