Latin America

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Most people tour Patagonia for the stunning hikes and nature travel experiences around the Andes. However, exploring the cultures of the people who have inhabited these rugged peaks for centuries adds a particular sense of beauty and connection to this vast wilderness.

At the extreme southern reaches of South American, people have been building civilizations for centuries. However, it was not until the 16th century that they first made contact with Europeans.

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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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All of the Monteverde Reserve is a gorgeous paradise, but one species there may be especially eye-catching to birders on International Expeditions’ Costa Rica tours.

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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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The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are considered to be one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built during the mid-1400s between the reigns of Pachacutec and Tupac, the sprawling city ruins cover more than 125 square miles of the eastern slopes of the Andes mountains — more than 8,200 feet above sea level.

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Birds, amphibians and reptiles are all exciting aspects of nature travel, but larger mammals like the three-toed sloth make for an especially memorable sight, especially for families traveling with children.

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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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The largest of the parrot family, the hyacinth macaw is almost certain to impress nature travelers, who are likely to see it soaring through the canopies of the Pantanal like a blaze of sapphire light.


The bold, cobalt blue plumage is by far this bird's most distinguishing factor. Its overall body color contrasts with the citron yellow ring around its eye and the yellow patch of skin next to its lower bill.

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History and archaeology buffs searching for unusual lore and adventure should consider adding Machu Picchu travel to their list. Not only is this 600-year-old Incan ruin a window into Peru’s rich past, but the original citadel of the ruins may possibly be shaped like a bird. One researcher, Enrique Guzman, set out to examine the city from an architectural point of view and he found plenty of evidence to support his theory, according to Peru This Week News.

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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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