January 2012

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

January 13, 2012

Indulge in Indian Cuisine

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

January 18, 2012

Tips for Traveling With Kids

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Whether hiking through the Amazon jungle or meeting children at a local school during an East African safari, international travel is one of the most incredible experiences a child can have.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The western black rhinoceros was declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) after it updated its Red List, a comprehensive database of threatened, vulnerable, endangered and extinct species.

The annual update lists more threatened species than ever before, and states that 25 percent of the world's mammals are at risk of extinction. In addition to the Western black rhino, a subspecies of white rhino in central Africa is also considered "possibly extinct."

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One of the best parts about Amazon River cruises is the ability to experience the river while acting as a part of it. Cruising upstream during an Amazon River tour, guests aboard the Aquamarina discover the wealth of wildlife both on and off-shore — like gray and pink river dolphins.