Ceiba Nature Tours

About Us
Traveler Information



Our Name: Ceiba

Ceiba Nature Tours (pronounced "SAY-bah")

The Ceiba, or kapok tree, is a majestic tropical rainforest tree native to the neotropics or new world American tropics.  Reaching heights of 150' and greater, the wide flattened crowns of Ceiba pentandra trees emerge through the tropical forest canopy.  Buttress roots support a smooth gray trunk, and horizontal branches forming high on the trunk are typically festooned with bromeliads and lianas.  Ceiba trees provide food and homes for countless rainforest animals. 

Historically, the Mayan people believed the Ceiba stood at the center of the Earth, connecting the terrestrial world to the heavens, providing an avenue for souls to reach the afterlife.  As forests were cut for grazing and agriculture, the Ceiba was frequently spared.  Today you will often observe a lone Ceiba presiding over old fields and pastures.


Travel Philosophy

Ceiba Nature Tours has exciting experiences planned for you, but our philosophy of travel allows for discovering the incredible beauty of each destination for yourself as well.  In addition to the scheduled outings with knowledgeable local guides, our trips include some unscheduled time allowing for independent exploration.  Our groups are intentionally quite small, 10 persons or less, enabling us to choose unique lodges putting you in the locations you have traveled to see – expect your adventure to begin when you open your door!  Dining is a combination of familiar and local cuisine. Dress is always casual, coffee and tea are always ready in the morning.

We began guiding trips to Central and South America in 1993. Our exceptional value tours are full of wildlife, cultural experiences, and lots of shared fun!

Looking forward to having you travel with CNT,



Meet the tour leaders



Linda M. Ingram, Ceiba Nature Tours owner/operator had a career as an environmental educator supervisor and park manager with the PA Bureau of State Parks. A life-long interest in the environment and experiencing other cultures created a strong desire to travel. While interested in all places on the planet, the new world tropics and inherent wildlife remain her passion! In 1993 she began developing and guiding tours to Central and South America, in 2003 establishing Ceiba Nature Tours. Hometown is Douglassville Pennsylvania where every summer brings a lush, but brief, tropical landscape!




Thomas C. Leckey, Ceiba Nature Tours naturalist /ornithologist/birder extraordinaire, honed his neotropical birding skills as an intern in Costa Rica's famed Monteverde Cloud Forest. At home in Pennsylvania, Tom uses his considerable wealth of environmental knowledge creating natural landscapes. Teaching in Maine Audubon's summer programs and migrating to warmer locations in winter round out the year. Tom's extensive travel in Europe and Latin America provide a wealth of natural history - and stories to be shared.



Diego Gallegos, your local guide in Argentina. In 1973, when I was 12, W. H. Hudson´s delightful “Far Away and Long Ago” fell into my hands. The birds, the nature and the people in those pristine pampas of 1850 were depicted so vividly that I was forever hooked. I worked many years as the manager of the birding conservation group Asociación Ornitológica del Plata (at present known as Aves Argentinas). Since then, I led many other groups from the USA, UK or Europe. Married to a biology teacher, we live with our four kids in a northern suburb of Buenos Aires. We spend much of our spare time in the countryside and we take every opportunity to travel around Argentina. Despite the long time I have been guiding, I keep having the same fun I had when I guided my first group. And I love to share that joy.


Galo Real, President and Co-Owner of RealNature Travel Company,  will probably be your guide while in Ecuador.  After graduating with degree in Eco-Tourism and acheieving his guiding license, Galo began working at Bellavista Cloud-Forest Lodge and Reseve in the Tandayapa Valley on the West Slope of the Andes, it was there were he was introduced to the "Birding World".  He became fascinated with this new world.  Galo later left Tanadayapa to live on the East Slope with his wife, RhoAnn.  His interest in birding continued to grow and he started working free-lance.   Today, Galo continues to guide but has begun sharing his experiences with others as a facilitator for the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism and the non-profit organization CESTA He is currently studying to receive a Masters Degree in Environmental Auditing.  Galo's love and knowledge  for his country and its beauty allows him to be not only a wonderful guide but a great travel companion.   When not guiding he can typically be found taking care of his garden that surrounds Casa Upano, working on trails at Finca Upano, and of taking advantage of his time with his daughter Aster.



Zapa has worked in the Pantanal as a natural history and bird watching guide for 5 years. He discovered his passion for bird photography when, as a co-guide of a group, he found and photographed the beautiful Spectacled Owl, which the group was dying to see. After that he invested in photography equipment and has developed into one of the best wildlife photographers and naturalist guides in Brazil. In his spare time, he enjoys trying to capture photos of rare birds that have not been photographed yet in the Pantanal and Cerrado regions.


On Ecotourism

The term ecotourism is used, and unfortunately misused, as a promotional marketing tool.

The following are of concern to Ceiba Nature Tours, while recognizing that pragmatic decisions sometimes are made with regard logistics and local conditions:

Education is integral to the travel experience.

Effort is made to not diminish the quality of the environment by any activity of the tour participant.

Tourism should benefit the local economy to the greatest extent attainable.

Tourism should be conducted in a sustainable manner to the fullest extent possible, while realizing that compromise may be necessary in balancing economic activity with protecting biodiversity and wilderness.




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