Peru

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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While much of the Western world has shed the religious associations of Halloween in favor of focusing on pranks, costumes and copious amounts of candy, as you travel around the globe you can find a number of fascinating ways to celebrate one of the world’s oldest holidays.

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Researchers from Case Western Reserve University recently found the oldest fossils on the South American continent along the banks of the Ucayali River, an offshoot of the Amazon River.

The fossils, which are at least 41 million years old, are the teeth of mouse and rat-sized animals that experts say are most closely related to African rodents. They are from the suborder Caviomorpha, which means they are related to living species such as guinea pigs, chinchillas and New World porcupines.

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Brazilian scientists reported finding a new river in the Amazon basin that they estimate is the same length but nearly 100 times as wide, The Guardian reports. Lead researchers Valiya Hamza and Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel of Brazil's National Observatory presented their findings at the International Congress of the Society Brasiliera Geophysical in Rio de Janeiro.

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Today’s insider’s travel tip comes to you courtesy of our Creative Services Editor, Emily, who loves checking out the cities she visits on foot.

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Those who come to the vast Amazon rainforest to learn about the jungle’s natural bounty of medicinal plants often encounter a complex combination of medicine and spiritual ritual administered by a local Shaman. While sometimes overlooked by those studying modern medicine, the Amazon’s medicinal plants and Shamans provide a vital link between nature’s ecosystems, ancient medicine and modern cures.

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When University President Richard Levin signed Friday’s agreement establishing future plans for the Machu Picchu artifacts in the Yale's Woodbridge Hall, it finalized a shift in Yale’s tone from one of resistance to one of cooperation. The message is one he has tried to achieve over the past decade and one that has required many rounds of negotiations; ultimately it was only possible through a newfound willingness on Yale’s part to relinquish all the artifacts.

February 09, 2011

Peruvian Penguin Lost in Lima

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Considering that most of us only associate penguins with the frozen tundra, imagine how surprised people were in Lima, Peru, recently when a penguin lost its way and took to the city streets. The endangered Humboldt penguin, waddled from the beach into Peru’s bustling capital. Police have taken the penguin into custody and he is now a local celebrity.

February 04, 2011

Authentic Pisco Sour Recipe

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Saturday marks National Pisco Sour Day in Peru. Pisco, a clear, fermented brandy has been distilled from fresh musts of Muscat grapes in copper alembic stills since the Spanish conquest, and is considered part of Peru's cultural heritage. This liqueur is also the national spirit of Chile, although each country has a distinct history and uses Pisco for different cocktails.

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What happens when Amazon cruise naturalists spot an anaconda along the riverbanks? Recent IE guest Kieth Chelm found out when he got an up-close and personal meeting with a female anaconda during an excursion! Special thanks to Mr. Chelm for sharing this video and his thoughts.

 

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