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IE Galapagos Islands cruise guest and journalist Julie Hatfield has spent the last week exploring the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador with our knowledgeable guides, and was good enough to share her impressions of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

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There are few destinations that truly capture the imaginations of travelers from across the globe quite like the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Travel to Machu Picchu dates back to the 15th century, the ancient site is one of the biggest draws to the South American continent, and travelers looking for an excuse to actually visit the amazing site may have just found the push that they need.

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Whether it's crossing the Serengeti on a Kenya and Tanzania safari or flying through the canopy on a zip line tour of Costa Rica, travelers visiting exotic natural environments are going to want to take a few snapshots to help them remember their journey. Yet while booking nature travel is simple, getting a toco toucan to pose for a photo can be exceedingly difficult.

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Thanks to an increased representation in pop culture spurred by the popularity of films like Slumdog Millionaire and Eat Pray Love, India tours have emerged in popularity western travelers. While these films portray the ins and outs of urban cultural centers like Mumbai and Delhi, not much is seen of India's more natural settings. Vacationers hoping to see the untamed side of the Indian subcontinent will definitely want to spend some time exploring the epic beauty of Kanha National Park.

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One of the key factors that attracts travelers to book Galapagos Islands cruises is the archipelago's celebrated wildlife. Indeed, the illustrious chain of islands has entranced many animal enthusiasts over the years, even inspiring the great Charles Darwin to conceive the theory of evolution. Yet while the much-vaunted theory preaches a doctrine of "survival of the fittest," scientists in the Galapagos have launched a new conservation program designed to protect many of the islands' weakest inhabitants from imported predators.

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How many times has it happened to you? You are trying to make it through the security line at the airport, when you encounter a flyer that delays the security screening line due to an unbelievable packing job on her carry-on bag. From bottles of water to her laptop at the bottom of her carry-on, it seemed to never end.

Here are some tips from the experts at MedjetAssist and the TSA to make getting through the line faster and easier.

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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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As loggers, farmers and builders clear more and more patches of forest, the reproductive efforts of trees in the Amazon rainforest are being helped out by tambaqui, a fruit-eating species of fish.

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IE was fortunate to welcome guest Kathryn Lamb and her father, both from London, aboard our Galapagos Islands cruise. Kathryn was good enough to share her daily diary and photos from their Galapagos vacation.

Friday
Today we were at North Seymour where we took a hike and saw all the wildlife we had seen over the course of the week in one place which was fantastic! So we took advantage and made sure we took plenty of photographs!

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have announced that Wisom, the oldest living wild bird known to scientists, has returned to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge after fears that the tsunami may have killed the 60-year-old Laysan albatross along with thousands of other sea birds. Officials believe the tsunami killed an estimated 110,000 Laysan and black-footed albatross chicks and 2,000 adults.

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