Tour Leaders


Miguel Castelino
Birding and Nature Tour Leader – co owner of the company

Miguel is one of the founders and co-owner of Trogon Tours. He worked in Iguazú as a National Park Guard and Chief Naturalist for 6 years, where he had the chance to combine his guard training with a strong personal interest for achieving an impressive understanding of both flora and fauna of the subtropical rainforests. As a naturalist, Miguel has focused in bird songs identification, and he has been recording birds for almost 20 years, keeping records of the vast majority of the species present in northern Argentina and Southern Brazil. Miguel has also made a number of contributions to nature conservation and education. He participated in an expedition throughout north eastern Argentina and Southern Brazil, which was organized by Conservation International, to explore the very last relicts of the natural habitat of the Glaucous Macaw, in search of the last individuals left of this magnificent bird, which is now thought to be extinct. Miguel worked in Guyana with The Smithsonian Institution, giving training courses for indigenous people to become natural history tour guides. He has also worked in Guyana on bird populations monitoring for the Kansas Museum. Also in the field of education, Miguel teaches at the University of Misiones in the training courses for professional tour guides. He is also co-author of the Inventory to the Birds of Iguazú National Park. Miguel started to work as a nature tour leader in 1991. He focused on birds and wildlife of Southern Brazil, Bolivia and Northern Argentina. His solid knowledge of the Pantanal and the subtropical rainforests of northern Argentina led to a number of important discoveries, including first sightings of many bird species for Argentina -like American Pygmy Kingfisher & Capped Heron to name but a few- and the location of one of the most visited nests of Harpy Eagle in southern Brazil; a discovery he made more than 10 years ago, which opened the way for a great number of birders to see this very secretive species. Miguel speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys widely showing wildlife to people. He lives with his wife Karina and his two sons, Ignacio and Félix in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, very close to the mighty Iguazú Falls.


Luis Segura
Birding and Nature Tour Leader – co owner of the company

Of Spanish and Scottish ancestors, Luis’ home land is Patagonia, where he spent most of his life. Luis started to work as a naturalist guide in 1982. Based in Buenos Aires at that time, he joined the Argentine Ornithological Society (AOP) and the Argentine Wildlife Foundation (FVSA), taking several courses on birds, bird watching, marine mammals, flora and geology and he soon started guiding some groups of Argentine birders and naturalists in a variety of National Parks and Nature Reserves within the country. At age 20 Luis led his first group of foreign birders throughout Argentina and ever since he has been working as a tour leader for this kind of groups in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. In 1985, Luis was hired by a tour company in Buenos Aires to develop and manage their educational tours department, and this one became the first tour company ever to run scheduled tours to Costanera Sur, the famous wildlife reserve located in the heart of Buenos Aires City… and this happened even before it became a reserve!. In 1987, Luis decided to move back to his home town; Puerto Madryn. Based here he continued working as an independent tour leader and locally as tour guide specialized in birding and nature tours. He also worked as an associate in a local nature tours company at the operations department until in 1997 he finally decided to start Seebirds; a birding tours company focused on Patagonia. In 2000, together with Miguel Castelino he founded Birding Argentina/Trogon Tours, combining his own field and office experience with that of Miguel, and so giving birth to this highly specialized Destinations Management Company, which is currently successfully running birding, nature and cultural tours in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Antarctica. Luis has also been involved in many wildlife conservation projects, mainly on Shorebirds and Seabirds. He has been working as a volunteer with the Magellanic Penguin Project in Punta Tombo for 4 seasons and has been in charge of a rescue station for penguins affected by off-shore oil spilling in Puerto Madryn in 1991. That same year, Luis helped founding the Austral Ornithological Society, of which he became the first president. Ever since, he has been organizing and dictating bird watching courses in Patagonia, encouraging other tour guides and general public to start birding, and so helping to create in the local community a bird sensitive conscience. Luis lives in Puerto Madryn with his wife Nancy.


Lucas Martí
Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Ornithologist

Lucas started to lead birding and natural history tours to Antarctica in 2002, and he also gives lectures on Antarctic fauna. He joined our company in 2005, to soon become one of our top birding leaders, with skills to lead tours throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Antarctica and Brazil, where he leads several birding trips for Trogon Tours every year. Lucas got his diploma in Biology at the School of Natural Science and Museum of the National University of La Plata. He worked as an ornithologist for the I.A.A. (Instituto Antárctico Argentino) at King George and Nelson islands. Based in the Argentine Scientific Base “Teneniente Jubany” we carried out research on Southern Giant Petrels, Skuas and Penguins for one full summer season. During his second Antarctic campaign, he spent five months at Refugio Gurruchaga, at Nelson Island, a small camp lacking any kind of comfort… nothing like the almost luxurious life that he enjoyed the first season at Jubany! Here he continued working with the above mentioned species, but also with Gulls and Cormorants, focusing his Antarctic research on the study of breeding biology, diet, ethology and population monitoring of these birds. Presently Lucas continues doing research on birds, and he is now involved in some bird monitoring programs carried out by the National University of La Plata. Lucas lives in the city of La Plata, with his wife Macarena and his two sons.


Patricio Ramírez Llorens
Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Ornithologist

Patricio is a naturalist guide with a strong interest in flora, fauna, ecology, and conservation biology. He joined our company in 2006, specializing mainly on birding tours in Argentina and the Pantanal. Patrcio leads many of our tours in Argentina, a country he know as the back of his hand! He started his career as a naturalist by joining the Argentine Ornithological Society in 1992 where he took several courses on bird watching and made frequent field trips. He has been birding in every single ecological region of Argentina and has added several new species to the Argentine list of birds. Patricio has also specialized in recording bird songs, something he did for 9 years, and so developed excellent skills for bird recognition by song. Patricio obtained a naturalist degree from the Argentine School of Naturalists. He worked as a guide in Costanera Sur Nature Reserve in Buenos Aires for five years and also guided natural history and educational tours throughout Argentina. He has also given numerous lectures and courses on wildlife and bird watching. Patricio is also a biologist, with a degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He became a field biologist, and always kept the same passion for nature than he had since he became a naturalist. His first field research took him to the flooded forests of the Argentine Chaco for five summers, where he worked with Owls and Owl Monkeys. He then moved to the Atlantic Forest of Argentina to study vocal communication in infant Black Capuchin Monkeys. Nowadays Patricio lives in Iguazú.


Sergio Casertano
Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Sergio is a fine naturalist guide, unbeatable in the fields of paleontology, geology, botany, and ecology. He is also fluent in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. He joined our company in 2005, becoming one of our flora specialists, and the only true entomologist working for Trogon Tours. His strong interest in Latin American culture take him one step forward, and many of our clients say that traveling with Sergio is a great educational experience. Sergio has got his biology degree at the National University of Mar del Plata, his home city. He worked as a curator of invertebrates for the Natural Science Museum of Mar del Plata and also as an environmental educator for 13 years. As an entomologist he has been carrying out research on insects of the palm forests of the Province of Misiones since 2001, and for the last few year he has been part of Conservación Argentina, a nature conservation NGO based in that Province. Sergio lives in Iguazú.


Willy Smith
Botanical Tour Leader and Agronomist

Willy joined Trogon Tours in 2007. He is an agronomist who developed a strong interest and first hand knowledge on cacti by traveling intensively through his native Argentina and the rest of South America, working as a location scout for the film industry; a job he did for 20 years. As a result of this, some years ago, he started collecting cacti and now has a collection of more than 1,400 species and with over 6,000 plants, nearly all of them seed grown. He has written several articles for specialized journals of Argentina and Spain. Due to his knowledge of the cacti habitats he has been guiding cactus oriented tours since 2002 in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay. Willy produced, directed and hosted a gardening show in Argentina for three years. He obtained his degree in Agriculture Engineer in the University of Buenos Aires and is fluent in English. Willy lives in Buenos Aires.


Paula Bertotto
Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Paula joined Trogon Tours in 2008, to work as a birding and nature tour leader, highly specialized in Neotropical rainforests habitats. She was born in the city of Eldorado, Misiones, not far from the world famous Iguazú Falls. She has a professional tour guide degree from the Universidad Nacional de Misiones. Paula loves travelling on her bike, and as soon as she finished college, she moved to the city of Bariloche, in Patagonia, to work for a company that organized bike-trips. After spending time in Patagonia, learning about its unique flora and fauna, she came back to her homeland to apply for the exams that would allow her to become a naturalist guide in Iguazú National Park. While working there, she got a grant for taking part in a nature conservancy project that was being carried out at the eastern border of the National Park. Among other goals, it intended to develop ecotourism in that area. That experience encouraged Paula to get back to college and study the career of Sustainable Tourism. Currently, Paula lives in Puerto Iguazú, the natural gateway to her beloved Iguazú National Park, with its spectacular falls, splendid rainforest and wonderful birds.


Pablo Petracci
Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Pablo joined Trogon Tours in 2012. He was born in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and studied Zoology at the Faculty of Natural Science and the Museum of La Plata, specializing in marine and freshwater ecology and conservation biology, mostly on migratory birds. During 2003 he was the Coordinator of the “Migratory Bird Conservation Program” of Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, and from that year on, he cooperates with their “Marine Program”. Pablo worked at the Arctic Polar Circle in Alaska during 2002 and 2004 under the U.S. Geological Service and the National Park Service, where he conducted research on Nearctic migratory birds and seabirds ecology. Since 2006 Pablo has guided expeditions to Antarctica several times a year. At present he holds a position as assistant professor in “Vertebrates Zoology III” at the National University of La Plata. He also coordinates different projects on migratory endangered species (Olrog’s Gull and Austral Goose) and shorebirds (Red Knot) in Argentina. He has done field work and researched on penguins in Staten Island, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, and conducted several aerial shorebird surveys along the Patagonian coast. He published three books (two bird identification guides), four chapters of books, more than 40 scientific papers in national and international specialized magazines and renowned peer-reviewed journals, and gave several conferences and courses. Being in the wild is undoubtedly one of his greatest passions, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for wildlife and conservation biology with other people. Last but not least, he is a keen and knowledgeable nature photographer, sailor and kayaker. He has explored many Patagonian lakes and rivers by kayak. Pablo currently lives between the cities of La Plata and Bahía Blanca.


Regina Ribeiro
Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Regina joined Trogon Tours in 2010. Born and raised Brazilian, Regina graduated in Tourism Business and have concentrated her studies in biology and ecotourism. She has been leading wildlife and nature photography trips since 1997 in her native Brazil, and more recently in Chile and Argentina as well. Birding and mammal watching has led her to travel throughout South America. She is a popular and knowledgeable person, well known for her ability in wildlife spotting. Regina speaks fluent Portuguese, English and Spanish. Nowadays she is based in Belo Horizonte, the third largest city of Brazil.


MARTA FICARRA
Birding and Nature Tour Leader

I was born in Argentina and I live in Patagonia since 16 years ago. I moved from the second largest city of the country to a picturesque coastal city called Puerto Madryn, where southern right whales, elephant seals, sea lions and penguins come to breed every year. As a nature lover, I feel that I’ve found my place in the world. I’m co-founder and vice-president of the Professional Tour Guide’s Association of my province since its creation in 2012 and I’m very much involved in improving and updating our profession. I’m also an English Translator and I work as a bilingual tour guide since 2005 in Chubut and as a Tour Leader since 2012, leading tours in Antarctica, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

One of my favourite activities is bird watching; I am a member of Aves Argentinas and the bird-watcher’s club of Peninsula Valdes. This activity actually led me to give special guiding services in the tourism field, mostly for English speaking birders.

I’m the proud mother of my son Valentin, who was born in 2000. From my father I inherited my Italian blood, and the love for nature and travelling, and from my mother I got my Czech half, my love for reading and my enthusiasm for fine arts (I did study Fine Arts and sculpting for 4 years at the National University of Córdoba).

What I like the most about working with foreign travellers is the chance to show them not only our natural beauties, but also our idiosyncrasy, our culture, our folklore, those things that make us the most perfect Argentinians of all!