When International Expeditions' founders Richard Ryel and Steve Cox first dreamed of bringing curious wildlife enthusiasts to the Peruvian Amazon more than 30 years ago, they had no idea that their company would establish such deep roots in this remote corner of the Earth.
“From day one we thought of IE as a conservation and education company that would fund its projects through nature based tourism,” said Steve Cox. “We intended from the beginning to continually have a positive environmental impact in the Amazon rainforest which we called the ‘Mother of our Company.’ We could have never predicted that IE's work would have benefitted and even changed so many people's lives as well.”
Three decades later, more than 20,000 guests have explored the Amazon with IE, and just by visiting they are helping to improve the “neighborhood” that IE calls its second home.
Although our Amazon River cruise ship rotates its visits among the dozens of villages that dot the riverbanks, the guests and naturalist guides are still greeted like family — perhaps because the native naturalists grew up in similar villages along the water’s edge.
The investments made in this corner of the Amazon don’t stop with developing extraordinary guides. In this remote slice waterways and rainforests, IE has cemented a strong relationship with the community by funding a medical clinic (founded by former IE-guest Dr. Linnea Smith) and innovative programs like the Adopt-a-School program and building water treatment plants. But more than that, International Expeditions’ staff, guests and villagers share a deep respect built by decades of calling the Amazon home.