Amazon River

Blog posts about International Expeditions' Amazon River cruises
February 23, 2012

Marshland Birds of the Amazon

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Travelers on Amazon River cruises will see thousands of beautiful colors that make up this neotropic ecozone. While those splendid sights are what many come to experience in South America, the shades of black and white may be just as interesting.

While cruising on smaller excursion boats upriver toward the confluence of the Ucayali and Maronon Rivers, travelers are likely to see black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant.

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It's no secret that deforestation has been detrimental to the world's rainforests. Advocacy groups and volunteers have been working to put a stop to the industrializing of tropical regions like the Amazon for decades. While these groups have been successful, damage has already been done to the delicate ecological balance.

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The Amazon River is home to many different species of animals, including the elusive jaguar, the largest member of the cat family living in the Americas. The species predominantly sticks to the rainforests of Latin America, especially around the Amazon River basin, but they were once found all across South and Central America.

Jaguars are easy to recognize, as they are covered in rose-shaped black spots. However, some may appear to look more like panthers or other big cats if their fur is dark enough to disguise their spots.

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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.

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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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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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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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The The Amazon Medical Project was founded in 1990 by Dr. Linnea J. Smith, M.D., who took her first Amazon rainforest tour with IE. The clinic supports the Yanamono Medical Clinic in the remote Amazon basin of northeastern Peru by providing primary care, involving locally trained people and encouraging preventative medicine. The following is Linnea's November newsletter to friends and family.

Dear Clinica Yanamono Family, Friends, and Well-wishers –

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Protecting and conserving the Amazon, a place two-thirds the size of the U.S., is a big job. At International Expeditions we’re thrilled to have teamed up with WWF for years to provide conservation focused nature travel to this precious region – and to other destinations within Peru. And it’s a special honor to wish a happy anniversary to our travel partner WWF as they celebrate 50 years protecting the world’s wildlife and wild places.

November 08, 2011

Stargazing on the Amazon River

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South America is different from its northern counterpart in many ways, but this will be especially apparent to stargazers or amateur astrologists searching the night skies. Nights on IE’s Amazon River tours offer plenty of time to admire the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Some of the constellations seen in these areas are seasonal but others are circumpolar, so they can always be spotted.

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