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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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Nighttime game drives and rainforest walks are always a popular part of any IE journey – from an Amazon River cruise to the Pantanal. Our naturalists had this great tip to keep in mind for your next game-viewing excursion. When searching for wildlife at night, wear a light headlamp or hold your flashlight up to eye level. Light coming from eye level will reflect the eyes of the animals around you, making them easier to spot.
 

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While many on an India tour hope to see the way the nation's society, history and religions blend together to form one of the most unique cultural fabrics, travel across this vast subcontinent is equally fascinating and enriching.

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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?”

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Between July and October, more than two million ungulates migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The movement of these animals - mainly made up of wildebeests - is the largest of any in the world.

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Even for those used to greeting each day to the gently lilting songs of the local birdlife, waking up at Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature Center is a one of a kind nature travel experience.

The sound of the crested oropendola is a jingling mix between a clicking washboard, sing-song chimes and a kazoo. Visitors who are lucky enough to visit the area during breeding or nesting seasons will hear the birds' unique calls as they find their partners or communicate messages of territory. During other times of the year, the bird is nearly silent.

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On a Uganda safari, travelers can enjoy a entirely new side of the legendary river at Murchison Falls National Park. Although Uganda is best known for its incredible populations of gorillas and chimpanzees, this park’s abundant bird life is giving nature enthusiasts even more reason to visit the beautiful country. Situated in the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley, the national park is one of the nation's ancient areas. Just 20 feet wide, the gorge where the waters of the Nile channel through is a fascinating miracle of nature.

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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