South America

When people talk about the Brazilian Pantanal, it usually doesn't take long for someone to mention the fact that it's among the most biodiverse places on the planet. But what does that even mean? It means that there are more different types of flora and fauna found in the Pantanal than just about anywhere else in the world.

Born and raised in Lima by a family of Andean descent, Dennis Osorio spent his childhood traveling to Cusco, Machu Picchu and his grandparents’ farm, located at 13,000 feet above sea level in Puno.

Though often afflicted with altitude sickness as a boy, these journeys inspired a love of exploration. He ultimately got a Masters Degree in hotel and tourism management (with a concentration in Sustainable Tourism), then headed to South Africa’s Inkwazi Ranger Training School and became a naturalist guide.

Newly installed WiFi onboard on our new riverboat means we are lucky to now receive frequent updates on wildlife sightings from our Amazon River cruises. Expedition leader Freddy Avalos is reporting and sending photos from our small-group excursions this week.

Patagonia – the sparsely populated region of South America that stretches across Chile and Argentina, from the southern tip of the Andes to deserts, steppes and grasslands in the east– is known for its larger-than-life natural attractions.

October 31, 2013

Beware of Vampire Bats?

Each night they emerge from caves, tree hollows and abandoned buildings to fill the skies of Mexico and Central and South America, drinking half of their body weight in blood. But are vampire bats really that scary?

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At least once a day, International Expeditions’ travel planners field the question “When is the best time for a Galapagos cruise?” So, our favorite naturalist Greg Greer sat down to tackle this popular question.

February 13, 2013

Walking Palms of the Amazon

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The walking palm – or stilt palm - is a very common palm tree found in the lowland forests of Central and Northern South America, including the Peruvian Amazon. The tree gets its name from it tall, spiny root system that may be upwards of five feet in height, appearing like multiple legs.  While the tree obviously cannot move, the walking palm may lean toward a light filtering through a gap in the canopy, as the crown of the 50–60 foot high tree seeks light. 

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The Amazon region of South America is home to so many different species of animals it can be hard to keep track of who's who, but the black-capped squirrel monkeys tend to stand out from the pack. These tree-dwelling primates have brownish-yellow coats of fur with distinctly darker heads, white masks around their eyes and fuzzy elvish ears. They can be found in many tropical regions from Brazil to Peru and Bolivia, and even as far north as Costa Rica.

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