Latin America

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Guyana is tucked away in a lesser-known part of South America, and within it is a rarely glimpsed species of big cat — the jaguar.

Many people think they know plenty about the jaguar — a spotted cat that loosely resembles a leopard or cheetah. However, this elusive, South American feline may be known more for the luxury automobiles named after it than its actual qualities.

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The Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica's most extraordinary sites, drawing thousands on Costa Rica tours every year. This nearly-perfect, conical volcano reaches 5,357 feet into the sky and for the past 40 years has offered regular eruptions that fascinate locals and visitors alike.

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The Galapagos Islands are perhaps best known for their curious and approachable wildlife, but there are 560 native species of plants in the islands—plants which arrived in the islands by natural means. And of these, 180 are endemic to the islands, meaning they are found nowhere else. The islands, formed by volcanoes, have a wide variety of climates and vegetative zones each hosting a unique set of flora and fauna. The desert-like lowland areas between the coasts and the higher-altitude areas are home to the aptly named lava cactus and lava morning glory.

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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.

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Trying the regional dishes is one of the most fun – and tasty – ways to be immersed in the local culture when you travel. That’s why International Expeditions includes excursions to local restaurants and meals at leisure during our itineraries. Recently, our Costa Rica tour naturalist Jonathan Sequeira told us about one of the most frequently asked guest questions during meals out: “What’s this sauce?”

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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For 32 years, International Expeditions has been focused on preserving Earth’s wild regions…along with the creatures that call these environments home. So we’re thrilled to share news from Brazil’s Pantanal, where IE is heavily involved in trying to restore the native populations of macaws.

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Like many species of the Galapagos Islands, marine and land iguanas are colorful, eccentric and can vary noticeably depending on the island you happen to be visiting.

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Andean condors offer the ultimate in viewings for avid birders and amateurs alike. The massive birds are some of the largest flying creatures in the world, and are a highlight of nature travel through the Andes. A particularly good place to spot these awesome animals is at Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.

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