Mark Pretti Nature Tours, L.L.C.



Exploring the Natural Wonders of Planet Earth

Mark Pretti Nature Tours offers high quality trips with exceptional birding and natural history education in Latin America and southeast Arizona.  My interests go well beyond birds and include everything in the natural world.  My outings include stories not just about birds, but also about plants, insects, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, basic geology, and general ecology.  As we all know, ecological relationships are abundant and fascinating, and my approach to guiding is to not only find and identify species, but to also tell you about their unique natural history and the connections they have with their neighbors.  I find that this not only helps clients remember the species we see, but it also puts nature into a meaningful context and gives people a true understanding of what makes a particular habitat tick, whether it's the Sierra Madre or lowland Amazonian rainforest.  I love seeing, enjoying, and learning about all things natural, and I greatly enjoy sharing the experience with others !

For many years, my wife Karen and I have had a strong interest in conservation and have worked to incorporate that interest into our day-to-day lives.  With that in mind, I've structured my business to minimize resource consumption and business expenses by working from our home, not producing glossy catalogs or mailings, advertising solely through word of mouth, and enjoying a simple lifestyle.  With such an approach, I can offer the same itineraries (in many cases, the exact same lodges, trails, wildlife, food, etc.) as the larger tour companies but for 15-40% less


Birding and natural history tours to Belize, Brazil, Northern Ecuador, Southern Ecuador, Panama, Northern Colombia, Central Colombia, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and several locations in Mexico including Oaxaca, El Triunfo, Chiapas, Yucatan/Cozumel, and the San Blas/Durango Highway area.
Birding and natural history trips for individuals and small groups in Southeast Arizona.  


Mark Pretti is a perpetual student of nature as well as a humble teacher focusing on birds, general natural history, and conservation.  In addition to the birds of southeast Arizona and the neotropics, my other interests and areas of expertise include the identification and ecology of plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, with a particular interest in ecological relationships and conservation. 

I have a BS in Zoology from the University of California at Davis, and I worked as the naturalist at The Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve from 1997 to 2004.  In my free time, I've moonlighted as field trip coordinator and trip leader for the Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival, board member and trip leader for the Huachuca Audubon Society, and office manager, trip leader, and head dishwasher for Mark Pretti Nature Tours.  I've had the good fortune both with the Conservancy and as a freelance environmental educator to have provided nature-based education programs for hundreds of students in southern Arizona, including ten years of summer nature camps for local kids.  I've also enjoyed improving my Spanish by doing similar programs with students in Sonora, Mexico.

Along with Karen, I've worked as a birding and natural history guide at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge in the southern Amazon of Mato Grosso, Brazil for three months in 2004 and again for four months in 2006.  In addition to our Brazilian guiding, I've had the good fortune to have led many trips in Arizona, several in Jamaica, and well over one hundred and fifty trips in various Latin American countries - Mexico, Belize, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Brazil.  Our personal travel has taken us to Australia, India, Borneo, Uganda, Peru, and Chile where we've greatly enjoyed seeing, enjoying, and learning about the birds, natural history, and culture of these wonderful places.   When not in the field with my binoculars, I'm usually getting my endorphin fix by swimming, running, mountain biking, or riding our tandem.

My focus on unique experiences, small group size, and love of learning and teaching has created memorable natural adventures in some of Earth's most beautiful and wildlife-rich landscapes.


Last updated: February 15, 2018.