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Paddling along the Clarinho River in Brazil's northern Pantanal will offer many fantastic wildlife sightings, but the capybara may be one of the most interesting for those seeking a rich nature travel experience.

Resembling both a guinea pig and a beaver, the 100-pound mammal is the largest rodent in the world. Found in several South American countries, the capybara lives in the dense vegetation that surrounds lakes, rivers, marshes and ponds, which is why visitors to the Pantanal — a spectacular wilderness of wetlands — are likely to see one.

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During your afternoon at leisure in Cusco on Day 6 of IE’s Machu Picchu tour, consider strolling through the streets of the San Blas District. Artisans have established their homes and workshops in San Blas – many teaching the younger generation of Peruvians traditional crafting techniques. This is a perfect chance to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir!
 

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The hot, arid bushland that visitors traverse on a Kenya safari is exactly the type of habitat the Beisa oryx likes. Once found all across the drier regions of Africa, about 33,000 oryx are now found in Eastern Africa from Ethiopia to northeastern Uganda and Kenya, 25,000 of which are Beisa oryx.

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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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Although Uganda is known for its remarkable gorilla population and hosts opportunities to come face to face with these giants, those looking for a diverse nature travel experience should also look for vervet monkeys while visiting the Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Kampala.

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Not many people go to the Galapagos Islands for a show, but that is exactly what they may get if they run into an albatross pair along the craggy cliffs of Española (Hood) Island. Between April and December, the critically endangered birds nest on this island, the only place in the world where they nest, providing visitors who stop off during Galapagos Island cruises with plenty of entertainment.

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Wildlife enthusiasts on a Costa Rica tour often hope to glimpse sea turtles, but the country is also home to a bright green lizard that can run across the surface of water at the rate of five feet per second.

While it was named for its resemblance to the legendary monster, the green basilisk lizard is more commonly known for its ability to run across streams and puddles, earning its evocative nickname.

September 12, 2011

Tips for Greener Grilling

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Something about the hint of smoke in the fall air compels many of us to spend hours in front of a hot grill. Whether you’re slow-smoking pork ribs or sautéing fresh vegetables, consider choosing more eco-friendly options for your cook-outs.

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Brazil’s Pantanal can be humid, and while it’s great that the air conditioning at the Araras Ecolodge works so well you’re always cool, sometimes that means your glasses and camera lens can fog up. While you’re getting dressed in the morning, place your glasses and camera outside your room so that they adjust to the temperature change. That way, they’ll be fog-free when you are ready to snap the morning’s first photo.

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 While the Amazon River may be home to larger aquatic animals, piranhas are perhaps some of the best-known residents — primarily for the lore associate with their sharp teeth and voracious appetites.

Travelers who venture into a tributary with slower-moving waters on International Expeditions’ Amazon River cruise will likely find red-bellied, white or black piranhas. Of these three species, the red-bellied variety had the strongest jaws and sharpest teeth of all of these carnivorous fish.

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