Archive for the ‘the amazon’ Category

Get Off the Beaten Path Without Roughing It. Say Hello to Guyana and Madagascar, my little friends…

Ah Guyana...

Not too long ago, satisfying your craving for destinations that offered under-the-radar appeal, active excursion options and authentic glimpses at the local culture meant bunk beds, hostels or dragging your tent from place-to-place. While they still adventure and a deep sense of discovery, today’s discerning travelers have less time and higher standards. That’s where nature travel pioneer International Expeditions comes in, handling all of the logistical details for intrepid explorers in remote destinations like Guyana, Madagascar and beyond. You enjoy an upscale adventure to spot exotic wildlife, hike pristine trails and sample tantalizing cuisine in destinations where few other tour operators go. Plus, IE takes care of details like your transfers and tips to ensure a seamless vacation. Phew! (Since that part can be a real pain in the butt, sometimes)

In Guyana & Trinidad, you spend 10 days deep into the heart of one of Earth’s last untouched tropical rainforests and have the chance to spot more than 800 bird species. The 10-day tour starts at $5,598 per person and includes accommodations, most meals, ground transportation, bottled water, entrance fees, transfers, and tips to porters, local guides, drivers and to waiters for included meals.

Nosy Iranja is a small tropical island located off the Northwestern coast of Madagascar, 45km (28 miles) South of Nosy Be, a slightly larger and more popular island.

While island life takes on new meaning in Madagascar, where lemurs cavort in the shade offered by lush forests and charming Malagasy people welcome you to Earth’s oldest island. On IE’s newMadagascar safari, guests spend 17 days on naturalist-guided hiking, snorkeling and boating excursions. Accompanying guests is a seasoned IE expedition leader joined by a Malagasy expedition leader and local naturalists. Why so many guides? Travel to Madagascar typically involves flight delays and last-minute schedule changes, and the IE expedition leader and guides are there to Sherpa you through these changes. This 17-day tour starts at $7,598 and includes accommodations, soft drinks/local beer at lunch and dinner, most meals, ground transportation, transfers, and tips to porters, local guides, local expedition leader, drivers and to waiters for included meals

IE also offers a way to harness your inner “backpacker” with a fully customized trek on the Salkantay Trail. A less-touristy alternative to the Inca Trail, Salkantay passes through stunning Andean scenery before ending at Machu Picchu . Although the surroundings are reminiscent of rugged mountain climbs, the accommodations are anything but rustic. After a day of guided hiking along the trail, you spend evenings at boutique mountain lodges, with a warm shower and cold drink. Prices vary based on length of trek.

www.ietravel.com or 800-234-9620


The Amazon and Bahia, Baby!

On the Amazonian Basin with Blue Parallel

Blue Parallel… when I first saw this in my inbox I thought it was some sort of vacation drink or scientific standard, but alas… it’s actually an exotic tour company. Following in its mission to take time-constrained (and discerning) travelers to the most spectacular natural and cultural wonders of Latin America, here’s the news we dig. Blue Parallel has expanded offerings in Brazil and the Amazon Basin with new extraordinary experiences custom designed (as with all Blue Parallel journeys) to suit individual interests and needs.

Bahia, Brazil

In case you’ve never been… Bahia, Brazil, a big favorite of our staff, is an enchanting coast of lush vegetation, miles of virgin beaches and picturesque colonial architecture where European and African heritage have come together to form an exceptional way of life unique to the people of Bahia. Well now, with Blue Parallel, travelers can stay in a historic convent converted to luxury hotel in the colonial city of Salvador de Bahia (also known as the “capital of happiness”) then travel on by private helicopter (hollah!) to the hidden gem of Corumbau and the luxurious paradise of Trancoso frequented for decades by Brazil’s most elite (and more recently by Hollywood stars and other notable figures). Spectacular deserted beaches and estuaries of southern Bahia have offshore reefs creating uniquely calm and warm natural pools ideal for snorkeling at low tide; other VIP offerings might include private drumming classes with renowned local musicians, private Capoeira lessons on the beach, private boating excursions and countless other extremely exclusive services and accommodations. Additional details and sample itinerary can be seen here:  Brazil’s Best Tours

Pricing is $8,500-$10,000 per passenger for 7 days, private party of 2.

Bahia with Blue Parallel

The Amazon Basin is another fabu excursion for Eco-Adventurer’s desiring an eco-tour and luxurious accommodations. A year-round destination that is one of the world’s greatest natural resources, the Amazon stretches across nine, that’s right, nine countries in South America with a great majority located in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Filled with unparalleled diversity and home to half of the world’s remaining rainforest, the Amazon region is the most bio-diverse on earth and provides a spectacular setting for those who wish to combine the love of nature with exploration and adventure. Blue Parallel’s Amazon journeys include comfortable eco-lodges in the heart of the rainforest, private hydroplane transfers, personal hosts around the clock and expert naturalist guides.

Check out more information here: The Amazon’s Best Eco-Tours

Pricing is $6,000-$8,000 per passenger for 7 days, private party of 2.

Ecuador & Eco-Travel Voluntourism

The Amazing Yasuni National Park

In the mood for a little eco-travel and voluntourism? Brand spankin’ new programs in the field of international volunteering have just been launched… hurrah! United Planet, a leader in the field, has recently added to its offerings in the beloved country of resource rich Ecuador. United Planet is an international non-profit based in Boston that strives to create a world in which all people understand, respect, and support one another. Their global network of leaders and volunteers fosters cross-cultural understanding and addresses shared challenges to unite the world in a community beyond borders.

Sue, a Nurse, Volunteering in Ecuador

Over the past ten years, they’ve worked with local communities all over the world to find meaningful work for volunteer travelers; and have placed thousands of volunteers in those communities to live and work – for periods ranging from a week to a year. Volunteers may now work with wildlife/animals in the Amazon; indigenous people in the Amazon jungle; or in environmental conservation in the Galapagos.

Amazon River Dolphin!

These programs supplement the long-standing and popular programs in Quito and the Cloud Forest, where volunteers can work with children (teaching, childcare, working with at-risk youth);healthcare; or on environmental projects. We likey. Did we mention our father-in-law has lived there for the last 20 years. Ecuador is one of those still-off-the-beaten-track countries for mainstream tourists so it’s managed to hold onto it’s indigenous culture (and it’s inexpensive prices), unlike some it’s competitors.

Why are these new programs so great? you ask.

Because volunteers ‘get to experience more of Ecuador’s diversity,’ says Theresa Higgs, Vice President of Global Operations at United Planet. “United Planet is looking to provide its volunteers with new experiences in a variety of projects. Ecuador is a wonderful place for almost anyone seeking to volunteer: it’s easy to get to, the dollar is strong, and the people are famous for their warmth and hospitality. ”

At the Wildlife Project, volunteers have the opportunity to care for animals that have suffered from maltreatment or been victims of animal trafficking. Volunteers can work at an Animal Rescue Center and help protect the wildlife of Ecuador’s Amazon. Volunteers also have the opportunity to island-hop through the Galapagos.  At Tortuga Bay, they can observe marine iguanas and turtles, sharks and hike through an ecologically diverse rainforest. If they’re looking to relax, volunteers can enjoy the stretches of white-sand beaches.

The White Sand Beaches of Tortuga Bay - Galapagos Islands

In Floreana, volunteers will be exposed to the history of the island, having the opportunity to explore caves once inhabited and used by pirates. Snorkeling in the crystal bay after a day of new discoveries in the caves is also available. At the Charles Darwin station, volunteers will continue to explore the history of the Galapagos and enjoy the clear-water that yields sights of reef sharks. There is also a chance to see colonies of Galapagos Penguins who have recently been relocated to this site.

So, I don’t know about you, but taking off to give and receive some Amazonian love sounds really good right about now.

http://www.unitedplanet.org/volunteer-in-ecuador


Eco-Brazil: Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Brazil Eco-Lodge Cristalino

How impressive is this?  In 1992, Victoria Da Riva Carvalho bought 1,730 acres of Brazilian rain forest and built a lodge in one of the most diverse regions in the world.

Why?

Because 550 different birds flock to the region and she wanted to protect her beloved homeland.  So, when loggers threatened to purchase a nearby old growth plot eight years later, she pulled the money together to buy it herself. Now, she’s created a 24,000 acre private reserve of primary forest that borders a state park.

Talk about a hero.

The Cristalino Jungle Lodge, together with other organizations such as Botanic Kew Gardens and Fauna and Flora International, now supports the Cristalino Foundation, which is a Non-Profit-Organization located in the municipality of Alta Floresta, Brazil.

The main projects are focused in the buffer zones of the Cristalino State Park and are dedicated to the promotion of environmental awareness and the sustainable use of Amazon’s natural resources.Brazil Eco-Lodge Cristalino

The main projects are:

SCHOOL OF THE AMAZON
This is a program with two main divisions – one destined to students from all over the world and the other to the local community. The latter is centered on teenagers from local schools and aim to increase their ecological awareness. This program received the Whitley Award in 2007 from the Whitley Awards Foundation, United Kingdom, as a recognition for its valuable work.

A DAY IN THE FOREST
This project brings local children to spend a whole day learning about the rainforest and its importance to their daily lives.

FLORA CRISTALINO
This is a research project focused on studying the forests in the Cristalino Region, being the first large program gathering information on this issue. It has already identified more than 700 species – three of them were new to science.

PEOPLE AND JAGUARS
This project was conceived by Silvio Marchinni and is destined to prevent the killing of jaguars, especially in the buffer zone of the Cristalino State Park.

FLAG SPECIES
This program uses the White-Whiskered-Spider-Monkey as an icon to raise ecological responsiveness with the children.

The lodge has a friendly restaurant with bar serving delicious regional dishes and appetizers including the famous Caipirinha. For special nights there is a thatch roof patio where candlelight dinners are served. A common living room is used for presentations and meetings, having a small but carefully selected library
Eco-Lodges Brazil Adventurefloating deck above the river is also great for swimming and resting on your free time. Canoes & inflatable boats are available at any moment. The lodge also keeps a rustic Screened Tree House in the forest which is used for spotting tapirs and peccaries.  For the adventurers like us, there’s even a station with a Rope Bridge and Rappelling!

Your arrival is made through the city of Alta Floresta, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. There are daily flights and coach lines from Cuiaba – the state capital – to Alta Floresta, but the lodge is only accessible by boat. After arrival in Alta Floresta, there will be a 1 ½ hour transfer by car and a ½ hour boat ride, but once you get there… trust us… wildlife watching is top-notch. Burrowing owls and macaws are just a few gems along the way. The property functions with a generator so it can be noisy and this is the amazon… bring bug repellent, but otherwise, you’re set!

http://www.cristalinolodge.com.br

%d bloggers like this: