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International Expeditions Media Relations Director Emily has just returned from a custom journey to Costa Rica with her family. Keep reading the IE Blog for more on the joys - and trials - of experiencing "Pura Vida" with kids.

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Let me preface this by saying — I am not really an idiot. In fact, I am a well-traveled professional who is comfortable with wandering around a new city with no plans or a map, communicating with locals when I don’t peak the language and finding a way to soak-up every offered experience in a new country. But that is on solo trips, and now I am planning to a nature travel experience with my family. Suddenly, the collected world-traveler who has lived for weeks out of a carry-on — scarves are the key to looking fabulous! — has turned into a stress ball...and something of an idiot.

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International Expeditions’ naturalist-guided Amazon voyages give you the chance to spot some of the thousands of species of animals that live in the rainforest. While some move so fast you may only catch a quick glimpse, you'll likely have plenty of time to observe a sloth. These gentle creatures are never in a hurry and spend much of their time languidly napping or eating in the trees of the Amazon rainforest.

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When nature travel enthusiasts head to Brazil, they are usually Amazon-bound, looking for the famous wildlife that the massive rainforest and river have to offer. However fascinating travel on the Amazon can be, the Pantanal in Brazil is perhaps a better place to see wildlife.

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Cuba has two endemic species of woodpecker, but the one you're most likely to see on International Expeditions’ people-to-people Cuba travel program has a rather royal look. The Cuban green woodpecker dons a crown of red feathers atop its head, and its eyes are striped with white. The rest of its body is cloaked in green feathers, with bright, vibrant yellow coloring underneath. It's smaller than most species of woodpecker, and has a shorter bill, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in its gorgeous coloring.

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Imagine you're walking through the thoroughfares of Havana, gazing over tobacco crops in Vinales valley, rumbling along in a vehicle on the way to Topes de Collantes. In any of these scenarios, you're likely to hear the traditional music of Cuba. The sounds may prompt you to move your feet to the beat, or bring you to a performance of a traditional dance group. There are many different kinds of music in Cuba, but one of the most popular is Rumba.

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The marine iguana is the only lizard species in the world that relies entirely upon the sea for its food. The marine iguana is indeed a very unique lizard. They are, to the casual observer, somewhat similar to other iguanids but other than appearance, everything else about the lizard is entirely unique to the species.

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Read more about Green Global Travel's Amazon adventure with IE. Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is a website devoted to ecotourism, nature/wildlife conservation & sustainable living.

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The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes. The reticulated python of Southeast Asia attains tremendous lengths, but they are not nearly as heavy bodied as large female green anacondas. A 20-foot-long female green anaconda may weigh well over 200 pounds. These snakes are semi-aquatic, spending a great deal of time submerged in floating vegetation such as water lettuce and water hyacinths.

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A guest on People-to-People Cuba program wrote some poems about his experience and graciously agreed to share them—all are accounts of Cuba seen through the eyes of birds. James Blackburn's poetry includes stars of Cuba's endemic bird species: the Cuban emerald hummingbird, the limkin, the Cuban tody and the red legged thrush.

 

The Cuban Trogon
by James Blackburn

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