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The frozen Pisco Sour is a happy hour staple aboard La Amatista! Expedition Leader Jorge Salas shares the recipe for Peru's national drink.

Frozen Pisco Sour 3-2-1:

December 22, 2009

School of Thought from WWF

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International Expeditions is thrilled to provide enriching ecotravel to groups like WWF. On the WWF Travel Blog, WWF's Elissa Poma and Marsea Nelson weighed in on 10 things they learned when exploring the Amazon rainforest.

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International Expeditions' 10-day Amazon tour has just been featured in the Miami Herald! Learn about this small-ship adventure featuring our superb naturalist guide George, La Amatista and a pink-toed tarantula.

December 10, 2009

Off to Lima!

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Spend an extra day in LimaIE Creative Services Editor Emily Harley spent Thanksgiving on our Amazon River tour! Now she shares thoughts on this unique small-ship adventure aboard La Amatista.

Let me first start by saying, you absolutely MUST fly in to Lima a day early to give yourself time to recover from late flights and to have a day to absorb the parks, architecture and food (yum!). And all of that can be done within a few blocks of the Swissôtel!

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IE Creative Services Editor Emily Harley spent Thanksgiving on our Amazon Voyage! Now she shares thoughts on this unique small-ship adventure aboard La Amatista.

In the days since I returned from our Amazon cruise, everyone has asked the same question, "What was the best part?"

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Guests on last week's Amazon River tour spotted six primate species: brown capuchins, red howlers, monk sakis, night monkeys, squirrel monkeys and even pygmy marmosets!

The pygmy marmoset (pictured right) is the smallest monkey and – unlike other monkeys – have claws.

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Researchers and archaeologists from the French Institute of Andean Studies and the University of Cambridge have determined that deforestation allowed floods to wipe out the Nazca culture, famous for their huge line drawings on the plateaus of the Ica Valley. Barren today, the Ica Valley was once an oasis, but environmental depredation and population growth led to the culture's downfall. The key to this once fertile valley was a tree called the huarango, which can live for more than 1,000 years and has roots as deep as 180 feet.

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A team of archaeologists has discovered 12 graves and pre-Columbian earthen enclosures at the archaeological site of Qata Ccasapata Llacta in Cusco. Seven of the graves have been perfectly preserved, while others have been looted.

The site is thought to have been a village for those serving the Inca elite or as a place of worship. However, the Qata Ccasapata Llacta - a Quechua phrase meaning "Village at the summit where it is cold" - dates back to the Killke culture in 12th century A.D.

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Guests on our September 18 Amazon river tour have already spotted some rarities this week during their daily excursions, including a Hawk Eagle and River Otters! Everyone at the home office hope the lucky folks aboard La Amatista have more extraordinary sightings.

Giant River Otter Facts: This South American River Otter is the world's largest - up to six feet long - and only lives in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata river systems. 

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Researchers from the Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of California, Berkeley have recently described three new species of high-elevation frogs from Peru. These new frog species we found in the cloud forests north of the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, Manu National Park and the upper Marcapata valley.

Unlike most other amphibian species, these three species have no tadpoles; the eggs hatch into froglets.

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