January 2012

Blog Image

Often recognized from cartoons and cereal boxes, many may misunderstand toucans, a bird that thrives in Brazil's Pantanal.

While the bird is widely recognized internationally, those visiting Brazil may get a close-up view of the red-breasted toucan, one of the 40 species of the bird that exist.

January 04, 2012

Four Tips for Packing Light

Blog Image

Whether trekking Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail or birding in Borneo, nature travel often requires you to be able to readily grab your bag and head off to the next adventure. Large, bulky suitcases can make it difficult to meet the luggage restrictions imposed on small, in-country flights, so the best way to pack for these expeditions is with as little as possible.

January 04, 2012

Saving the Bali Starling

Blog Image

Thousands of birds enjoy the tropical islands of the Indonesian archipelago, but only a few species can call themselves natives.

One is the Bali starling, a critically endangered species that is endemic to Bali. This striking white and sapphire blue bird has not expanded its range much since scientists first discovered and recorded it in 1912 — it can only be found on the island, mostly throughout the northwest third of it.

Blog Image

South America's Amazon region is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, and Amazon river tours can give travelers a chance to see the natural beauty of the region first-hand. The entire region is considered to be endangered, primarily due to industrial companies clearing the land of forests to use it for profit, but the positive effects of preservation efforts are starting to be seen.

Blog Image

Photographing landscapes seems like the easiest type of photography. The subject is still and straightforward, yet many times, the end result is flat, dull and boring - nothing like the breathtaking and memorable scenery that was there.

Blog Image

Birders and intrepid travelers looking for a new nature travel destination in 2012 should add Costa Rica to their list. Here, they can visit the La Amistad International Park and the Cerro de la Muerte region for immersion in a lush, tropical wonderland.

Blog Image

Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in all of Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Its summit is nearly 3.7 miles above sea level — just 10,000 feet shorter than Mount Everest — and it is much easier to climb to the top of this peak than that of Everest. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park gives travelers a chance to ascend one of the highest peaks in the world, spend time in tropical jungles and photograph snowy mountains all in one place.

Blog Image

Bali is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests and tropical species, but its capital city, Ubud, has even more to offer. This cultural mecca is home to many multiple spiritual and culinary gems that those embarking on International Expeditions’ new Bali cruise should not miss.

Blog Image

Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is home to more than 11,000 different species of flowering plants. After the monsoon season ends around March, the island comes alive with colorful blooms that make this a picturesque nature travel destination. The rafflesia is perhaps the most well-known flower in Borneo and the largest flower in the world. Lucky guests on IE’s Borneo tour Poring Hot Springs, part of Kinabalu National Park, where the rafflesia grows.

Blog Image

History and archaeology buffs searching for unusual lore and adventure should consider adding Machu Picchu travel to their list. Not only is this 600-year-old Incan ruin a window into Peru’s rich past, but the original citadel of the ruins may possibly be shaped like a bird. One researcher, Enrique Guzman, set out to examine the city from an architectural point of view and he found plenty of evidence to support his theory, according to Peru This Week News.

Blog Image

Many organizations say that riding on the back of an elephant is the best method of nature travel because it allows humans to see the sights with relatively little disruption to the natural environment.

Blog Image

Kathmandu Valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, groups of monuments and buildings that showcase the rich history and art culture of Nepal. Durbar Square in Kathmandu, the nation's capital, is one of the sites that visitors should consider including in their custom Nepal travel package.

Blog Image

When archaeologists began digging off the coasts of Turkey in the 1960s, they found what are now determined to be some of the oldest shipwrecks from the Bronze Age.

Blog Image

Trinidad is home to many exotic birds, and the piping guan is one of the rare species that true birding enthusiasts will hope to see on International Expeditions’ new Guyana & Trinidad tour. Locals refer to the piping guan as "pawi," and not much is known about them.

January 13, 2012

Indulge in Indian Cuisine

Blog Image

Indian cuisine is relatively common in the U.S. — it can be found in hundreds of restaurants, cafes and even at the grocery store. However, there is nothing like experiencing the delights of the cuisine first-hand during an India expedition with IE.

The most common delicacies of India can be enjoyed nearly anywhere, but when travelers visit the country itself, they have the opportunity to explore the vast range of elements that make up authentic Indian food.

Blog Image

The largest of the parrot family, the hyacinth macaw is almost certain to impress nature travelers, who are likely to see it soaring through the canopies of the Pantanal like a blaze of sapphire light.


The bold, cobalt blue plumage is by far this bird's most distinguishing factor. Its overall body color contrasts with the citron yellow ring around its eye and the yellow patch of skin next to its lower bill.

Blog Image

Sierra Leone is one of West Africa's most attractive destinations, but beyond the white sand beaches, the lush forests and nature reserves are home to chimpanzees — primates whose numbers have severely declined in the country since 1970.

Blog Image

Conservationists have been trying to stop the deforestation of Central and South American rainforests for years, but one jungle region in Venezuela has its own defenses in place. The soil atop the Guiana Shield is so inarable that the rainforests are undesirable for industrial agriculture.

Blog Image

Tanzania's Serengeti National Park is the oldest and most well-known national park in Africa, and travelers won't want to miss the sight of the world's largest and longest over-land migration. Each year, hundreds of thousands of zebras, wildebeasts, gazelle and other animals travel more than 500 miles through Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Even in the “off-season,” plenty of animals can be seen across the Serengeti plains, making this an ideal nature travel destination any time of year.

Blog Image

Perhaps the fact that the Paedophryne genus is made up of four of the 10 smallest frog species in the world is the reason it took scientists so long to discover two of them. The Paedrophryne amauensis and swiftorum, both found in Papua New Guinea, are the making headlines as the smallest frogs in the world. Discovery News reports that the amauensis is a mere 7.7 millimeters long and the swiftorum comes in at just over 8 mm.

Blog Image

The Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt, has long-been known as the final resting place of Egypt’s rulers, and is where famed Pharaoh Tutankhamen was unearthed in 1922. Now another remarkable discovery has been made in the valley. The Associated Press reports that Swiss and Egyptian archeologists discovered the tomb of female singer Nehmes Bastet, who may have been some what of a pop star during her time.

Blog Image

While the nature travel experiences of a Borneo tour are unrivaled, the culinary experiences there might rank just as high.

Traditional Indonesian food is found throughout Kuching, the capital of the largest state of Borneo. However, the state of Sarawak has its own unique cuisine that should not be missed!

Blog Image

Turkey's Turquoise Coast is a beautiful sight to see, and the area's historical significance makes this a must see on your Greece and Turkey cruise itinerary. The ancient Lycian civilization that once populated this region of Turkey is one of the most fascinating of its time, and many monuments, tombs and other structures carved into limestone hills and cliffs are still standing.

Blog Image

Colorful, spindly-legged and elusive is how many scientists might describe the Sambas stream toad, or Borneo rainbow toad. Although its existence was recorded through an illustration nearly 90 years ago, the toad has managed to evade photographers, artists - virtually all humans - since 1924. Until recently. In June, conservationists managed to take the first photographs of this amphibian, the Belfast Telegraph reports. The endangered toad was found during a "global search for lost amphibians" by Conservation International.

Blog Image

Venturing into Caro Lake on International Expeditions’ Amazon River tour, visitors are likely to spot some of the 13 species of primates that call this region home. Looking closely after the monkeys, however, offers an interesting opportunity for birders. Trailing behind are often flocks of greater ani, a distinctive black bird.

Blog Image

Birds, amphibians and reptiles are all exciting aspects of nature travel, but larger mammals like the three-toed sloth make for an especially memorable sight, especially for families traveling with children.

Blog Image

Are you looking for a colorful addition to your India tour? Then you'll definitely want to pay a visit to the stunning city of Jaipur. It was once the capital of India, and as such the architecture and structure of the city are reminiscent of royalty. Jaipur is also often referred to as the Pink City because many of the buildings and monuments are painted a brilliant pink color in honor of a long-standing royal tradition.

Blog Image

Nestled in the Aegean Sea along with its other Dodecanese archipelago counterparts, Lindos, on the island of Rhodes, tends to outshine the other islands of Greece with its beauty and cultural significance.

Lindos is situated on the Northern side of Rhodes with buildings that are formed along a steep cliff formation. Among them is what is possibly one of the most important buildings in Greek history - the Lindos acropolis. According to Business Today Egypt, this acropolis is the only one left other than its counterpart in Athens.

Blog Image

While a Madagascar tour is a great nature travel experience, there are other things to see and do there as well, and checking out some of the man-made sites can mix things up on a trip to the African island. In the heart of the oldest part of Madagascar's capital city, Antananarivo, there is a royal palace complex, called Rova.