July 2013

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The cheetah is an attractive cat found over much of the savannah regions of Africa but also in some of the desert areas of Africa and the Mideast. The cheetah is the fastest land animal on Earth. To witness their incredible speed during a hunt is a sight to behold and will amaze even the most seasoned scientist, naturalist and guide. 

Each time I see this photo, captured by Expedition Leader Jorge Salas along Peru's Salkantay Trail, I'm reminded of one famous travel quote in particular:

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

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Look out! Not every plant on the Galapagos is safe to touch. This is almost true in any area of the world as there always seems to be a plant of two or even more that can cause severe dermatitis when simply touched. Most people in the U.S. are very much aware of the poison ivy, oaks and sumac. We learn to recognize these plants, especially after a reaction from exposure to these plants. But as I’ve always said, while learning by experience may sometimes be the best method of learning, it is certainly not the most comfortable way. 

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If you’re looking for the perfect adventure to expose your children to nature travel, Costa Rica should be at the top of your family travel bucket list. The combination of a short flight, comfortable resorts and ecolodges, adventure activities and rich biodiversity make Costa Rica an ideal first international trip for families. To test out the kid-friendly potential of this small country, one of the IE staff spent a week-long Costa Rica tour with her nine-year-old son.

There are only an estimated 10,000-25,000 blue whales believed to be still swimming the world's oceans, and lucky guests on International Expeditions Galapagos Islands cruise last week had a memorable encounter with these giant creatures. Blue whales are the largest known animals to have ever lived on Earth, so there was no doubt what they were seeing when guests observed this whale’s huge spout.

July 19, 2013

Tempted by Trinidad

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While Havana is the major city on many travelers' minds when envisioning a trip to Cuba, the town of Trinidad on the southern side of the island offers an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Cuban capital. Trinidad has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and those who travel to Cuba on International Expeditions’ people-to-people spend two nights exploring.

As International Expeditions searches for the next great nature travel adventure, Bill Robison, IE Director of Program Development, often has the “difficult” task of scouting a county for the best naturalist guides, hotels and to uncover extraordinary experiences for our guests. This week he is researching a Colombia tour.

Bill Robison, IE Director of Program Development, often has the “difficult” task of scouting a county for the best naturalist guides, hotels and to uncover extraordinary nature travel experiences for our guests. This week he is researching a Colombia tour, part of International Expeditions' 2014 line-up.

The diminutive Cuban pygmy owl lives exclusively on Cuba, but they make their homes in a variety of forest habitats across the Caribbean island. The IUCN Red List classifies this species as one of Least Concern, which means there is a healthy number of these endemic  winged creatures living all over the island of Cuba. So there's a good chance you'll spot at least one of these tiny birds when you join IE’s people-to-people Cuba tour.

IE Director of Program Development, Bill Robison has been checking in from Colombia, where he has spent a week finding the best naturalist guides, hotels and nature travel experiences for our guests. How do you feel about travel to Colombia and other previously "taboo" places - let us know.