emily's blog

February 13, 2013

Walking Palms of the Amazon

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The walking palm – or stilt palm - is a very common palm tree found in the lowland forests of Central and Northern South America, including the Peruvian Amazon. The tree gets its name from it tall, spiny root system that may be upwards of five feet in height, appearing like multiple legs.  While the tree obviously cannot move, the walking palm may lean toward a light filtering through a gap in the canopy, as the crown of the 50–60 foot high tree seeks light. 

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On the isolated island of Madagascar, 51% of all bird species, 96% of the reptiles and of course, all 86 varieties of lemurs (species and subspecies) are endemic. This Verreaux's sifaka was spotted in the Berenty Reserve during International Expeditions' 2012 Madagascar tour. The reserve is a wildlife hotspot which protects 250 hectares of spiny forest and dry tamarind gallery woodland along with six species of lemur and a large colony of Madagascar fruit bats.

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Participants on IE's people-to-people Cuba experience travel to this orchid garden in Soroa. Through our interaction with the garden’s keepers, guests not only learn about endemic species, but more importantly, the relationship between Cubans and land. The most interesting story of course, involved the story of how Cuban women once used the national flower – mariposa – to relay secret messages. During the Cuban fight to overthrow the Spanish, Cuban women would wear the mariposa in their hair.

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At least once a day, International Expeditions’ travel planners field the question “When is the best time for a Galapagos cruise?” So, our favorite naturalist Greg Greer sat down to tackle this popular question.

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Our friend, the World Wide Will at MedjetAssist is an expert on all things travel related. This is the first in a series on making the best buying decision when purchasing luggage.

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Many children dream of climbing on Pride Rock in the Disney-created land of Simba and Nala, but those on an IE custom Tanzania safari can get as close to that dream as possible.

At Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, the game drive will offer sightings of lions, the king of the big cats. One of Africa's Big Five, the lion used to be widespread across the African continent, but now is confined to the sub-Saharan region.

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Paragominas, a Brazilian municipality roughly the size of New Jersey, was once the site of rapid deforestation, losing its forests faster than any other area of the Amazon. However, the Brazilian government in partnership with The Nature Conservancy has put a stop to illegal deforestation and turn Paragominas into a "Green City."

The Nature Conservancy has been working since 2009 to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon, and recent efforts by local government officials have managed to accomplish the task in Paragominas.

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Although nature travel to the island of Borneo can allow visitors to see beautiful turquoise waters and hundreds of technicolor birds in the sky, venturing underground gives explorers a whole new world to discover. According to Bat Conservation International, the island is home to more than 100 species of bats, many of which live in the vast cave system there.

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Whether visitors want to try the spicy sweet specialties of the region or experience fine French dining, Luang Prabang offers quality cuisine for many different taste buds.

September 06, 2011

Sponge Treasures in Symi

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Greece's rich history as one of the world's earliest civilizations sometimes overshadows the smaller details of the country's landscape that offer incredible nature travel opportunities.

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