August 2011

August 03, 2011

Amazon River Birding List

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Are you an avid birder? Guests on our Amazon River cruise have discovered this journey is a "MUST" for any nature enthusiast! Accompanied by our seasoned naturalist guides, a recent departure compiled this impressive list of species. Be sure to click here for the full species list.

 

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The lush fields covering the mountainsides of Panama’s Chiriquí Highlands in Boquete are home to various forms of wildlife, including the sought-after resplendent quetzal, making nature travel through the countryside memorable for any wildlife or birding enthusiast. But they also produce one of the country's largest exports, a commodity that no traveler should pass by: coffee.

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Although many people visit the region for a Kenya and Tanzania safari, the lakes of Kenya have gotten more attention in the news lately. Lake Elementaita, Lake Bogoria and Lake Nakuru were named UNESCO World Heritage Sites in June.

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Adventurers will find a wealth of exciting and mysterious artifacts on the path to the Incan city of Machu Picchu, and many of those are found in the great Urubamba Valley. Also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Urubamba Valley is a stronghold of Inca culture that offers those who travel to Machu Picchu a glimpse of what life for these ancient peoples must have been like.

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Each year, IE Production Manager Kelli Eldridge is charged with helping our staff create Environs, the quintessential guide to nature travel. The latest version will be in the mail on August 31, but you can get a sneak peek online here. Kelli took a few minutes to let us know what’s new for 2012.

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Eco-travel has been allowing vacationers to explore the world in search of natural beauty and unspoiled wilderness for years, and though some travelers have their heart set on scenic vistas and natural formations, others are searching to commune with some of the native wildlife in these distant regions. If rare and exotic animals are at the top of your "must-see" list, then an Amazon River cruise will be right up your alley.

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Strolling along the powdery, white sand of Cerro Brujo - one first stops on International Expeditions’ Galapagos Islands cruises - visitors can expect to spot blue-footed boobies and finches as they hop about on the beach. However, it is likely that the most memorable encounter they will have will be with a Galapagos sea lion.

"Swimming with the sea lions was one of the most unforgettable highlights of the Galapagos trip,” said recent Galapagos traveler John Newman.

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 While the Amazon River may be home to larger aquatic animals, piranhas are perhaps some of the best-known residents — primarily for the lore associate with their sharp teeth and voracious appetites.

Travelers who venture into a tributary with slower-moving waters on International Expeditions’ Amazon River cruise will likely find red-bellied, white or black piranhas. Of these three species, the red-bellied variety had the strongest jaws and sharpest teeth of all of these carnivorous fish.

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Brazil’s Pantanal can be humid, and while it’s great that the air conditioning at the Araras Ecolodge works so well you’re always cool, sometimes that means your glasses and camera lens can fog up. While you’re getting dressed in the morning, place your glasses and camera outside your room so that they adjust to the temperature change. That way, they’ll be fog-free when you are ready to snap the morning’s first photo.