Friday, February 22, 2019

'Extinct' Galapagos tortoise found after 100 years

GreenTracks offers natural history tours in the Galapagos.


Friday, February 15, 2019

The danger of mis-identification.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Photo: Tomb of Lord of Sipán

10% Discount on Northern Peru Programs

Northern Peru: The Coast

The civilizations of the Northern coast of Peru are known for their stunning achievements in architecture, ceramics and metallurgy.

The Moche culture (also known as Mochica), 100 to 600 A.D., located along the coast between Trujillo and Chiclayo, were known for their pyramids and ceramic work which often documented social activities. The temples of Moon and Sun illustrate the wealth and power of the Moche leaders in their murals and burial sites, including the tomb of the Lord of Sipan.

 The Lambayeque culture (also known as Sican), 750 to 1375 A.D., built the town of Tucume in an area now known as the Valley of 26 Pyramids near present day Chiclayo. They also expanded the canal system for use in agriculture. The Museum of the Royal Tombs and the Museum of Sican are filled with exquisite gold and ceramic artifacts.
There are also forests that are home to the Spectacled Bear, the only bear species in Peru and birdwatchers can see the 40 unique species of birds in the area including the Marvelous Spatuletail Hummingbird. Near Trujillo are the haciendas where the famous “Paso Fino” horses are bred and raised. These horses are known for their smooth ride and ambling gait.

The Chimu culture, 1200-1470 AD,  covered territory from north of Lima all the way up to Tumbes, near the present day Ecuadorian border. Their capitol, Chan Chan, near Trujillo, where the palaces of the Chimu kings can be found, is the largest pre-Hispanic settlement in the Americas. This culture focused on agriculture but was also adept at metallurgy and ceramics. The Spanish were so impressed with the metal works that they moved the metal workers to Cuzco. The Chan Chan site is notable for its very tall walls, some as high as 26 feet, that separated the kings from the “commoners”.

GreenTracks offers 9 tour programs in Northern Peru from 3 to 8 day lengths.

And, for map lovers, like us here at GreenTracks, we have a great map of Northern Peru.

Stay tuned as we have even more to pique your interest in Northern Peru.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

People hiking to the Revash funerary complex nestled in limestone cliffs overlooking the Utcubamba River

Northern Peru - The Interior

The Chachapoyas civilization (1st to 15th century) was one of the last pre-Inca cultures to be defeated by the Spanish, in the second half of the 15th century. The Chachapoyas built one of South America’s archaeological wonders, the mountain fortress of Kuelap, which contained homes,  palaces and temples surrounded by a 70 foot stone wall. Nearby is the Revash mausoleum & the Mummy museum at Leymebamba. 

The Cajamarca people inhabited an area south-west of Chachapoyas for over 2,000 years before being conquered by the Incas. This area is best known for the Battle of Cajamarca, in 1532, when the Spanish, led by Francisco Pizzaro, captured Cajamarca and the Inca leader Atahualpa. Even though the Spanish were offered a room filled with gold and silver in exchange for his release Atahualpa was executed and the treasure was taken. The Ransom Room still exists and  is open to visitors. Located a short distance from Cajamarca is the Ventanillas de Otuzco, a mortuary enclosure built into the side of a cliff. It is believed that most of the bodies were either moved, or looted, at some point although some skeletal remains and ceramics can still be seen. Nearby is Cumbemayo with its rock pillars covered in petroglyphs and the 3,00 year old aqueduct system that is one of the oldest in South America,

GreenTracks offers 9 tour programs in Northern Peru from 3 to 8 day lengths.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

For 27 years GreenTracks has been known for being Amazon travel experts. Beside our interest in the natural world we have an interest in ancient cultures and history so we also offer Machu Picchu and Cuzco as a travel destinations.  Some people have started raising the issue of too many people at Machu Picchu, but it is still worth putting up with all those people, to have a once in a lifetime experience.

Peru is rich in ancient civilizations, history, archaeology and incredible geography. Northern Peru was home to several different pre-Inca civilizations and abounds with archaeology sites, still being excavated.

Only recently has Peru taken to opening up these areas to tourism.  Over the next few days and weeks we plan to expose you to a whole new old-world of travel possibilities. We have 22 inter-linked pages of historical, archaeological and travel/tour information.   So, get ready to expand your bucket list...

We’ll start with the basics and get more specific as we go.

The Northern Coast of Peru: Chiclayo and Trujillo
Evidence of ancient cultures and their incredible achievements.

Lost World of the Chachapoyas
 "People of the Clouds" and the Fortess of Kuelap

The photo is of Kuelap, by the Chachapoyas people.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Travel to the colorful  city of Cuzco with its combination of the legacy of the Incas and colonial Spanish architecture is a an experience you will thoroughly enjoy. And Cuzco is the starting point for travel to the Sacred Valley, with its beauty, Andean villages and Inca sites, and then on to a visit to the "Lost City of Machu Picchu", one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites,    with its rich history, stunning views, terraces and unrivaled stone-work architecture makes for a trip that will will be talking about for years to come..

Check out the new page on our website with photos of the Sacred Valley, Cuzco and Machu Picchu taken by GreenTracks staff and travelers.


Monday, January 14, 2019

The GreenTracks 5th Annual Amazon Herping Tour, November 2-9, 2019, is half full at this time, so space is still available, but likely to go quickly. There is only going to be one trip this year, and these  trips do Sell Out, so getting signed up soon is a good idea. It’s easy to do with the online booking application. A partly refundable $200 deposit is all it takes and the balance isn’t due until September 18. These trips have become quite popular and we always come across a lot of cool reptiles and amphibians, as well as other rainforest wildlife. Here is the link to the webpage with all the details.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Iguanas reintroduced to Galapagos island after 200 years.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

What adventures will the new year bring for you?  Maybe the exotic Amazon... Here is your chance to explore the rainforest and see an incredible amount of wildlife. We are now taking bookings for the Fifth Annual Amazon Herping Tour, November 2 - 9, 2019.  Again your hosts will be Tom Crutchfield, Danté Fenolio and Bill Lamar whose combined experience make this a special trip indeed.  Once again the focus will be on reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, but there will also be plenty of birds, monkeys, sloths and other Amazon wildlife. There will both day and night excursions and visits to a Canopy Walkway.
There will only be one trip this year and we expect the trip to fill up quickly. These trips do Sell Out, so best to get signed up soon. It’s easy to do with the online booking application. A partly refundable $200 deposit is all it takes and the balance isn’t due until September 18.

All the details about the trip are here:


Thursday, December 20, 2018

We hope to see many of you in the Amazon next year.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Amazon Photography Tour
with Dante Fenolio
November 9 - 16, 2019

An exciting opportunity to observe and photograph the fantastic wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest in a relaxed and fun setting.
Dante Fenolio, wildlife photographer and renowned zoologist with world wide experience, led this photo trip for us last year and is now returning to his favorite forests.
Extraordinary experience at a GREAT price. You can get on a  list to receive more info as it becomes available (there is a link to that on the web page).

But, we are now taking bookings and the trip will likely fill up quickly.


Friday, November 30, 2018


The Manu birding tour and Machu Picchu trips we did through GreenTracks were great. I was amazed how organized and professional the team was. Our guide Lady provided an informative tour of Machu Picchu. William our birding guide was extremely knowledgeable and very accommodative to our requests. The weather was quite rainy but we knew this would be a possibility when we booked the trip for the start of the rainy season. The van drivers, boat drivers and lodge staff were very professional and gave outstanding service. We managed to find approx. 240 bird species, 6 species of monkeys and one sloth and got some great photographs. William is an amazing birder and I would highly recommend him to anyone going on a Peru birding trip. Thanks very much for your efforts and to GreenTracks for making this a very memorable and enjoyable trip.

Lennart Sopuck, 2018 


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We are now taking bookings for the Tom Crutchfield Amazon Herping Tour, November 2 - 9, 2019.  (There is only one trip planned for 2019. Tom Crutchfield can not commit to another and we expect the trip will fill quickly again this year.) Get signed up for this annual experience in the Peruvian Amazon hosted by three leading experts: Tom Crutchfield, Danté Fenolio and Bill Lamar. Some folks have done this trip several times. As always, the focus will be on the wide variety of reptiles and amphibians (and invertebrates), but we will also be finding lots of incredible birds, monkeys, sloths and other rainforest wildlife. There will be excursions both day and night on forest trails and on the fantastic Canopy Walkway.  With Tom, Danté and Bill you will have tons of entertainment and laughter as they regale you with stories of past adventures and insights into the amazing animals you will be seeing.  See old friends and make new friends. And who knows what new critters might be found as no two trips are ever exactly the same.
    Book now as these trips Sell Out every year. It’s easy to do with the PDF Application or the NEW on-line booking application.  A partly refundable $200 deposit is all it takes and the balance is not due until 45 days before the November 2 - 9 trip starts...September 25.

All the details about this trip here:

A PDF document of the Itinerary and Details can be downloaded here: Lamar Fenolio Amazon Herping Tour 2019.PDF


Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Tarantulas, much maligned by gratuitous use in horror films, are harmless and interesting creatures.  Arboreal species like this Avicularia juruensis, are agile experts at capturing moths.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Most moths are nocturnal but the Amazon White-tailed Moth (Urania leilus) is a notable exception.  Strongly migratory, these beautiful, iridescent moths frequent riverbanks and they are notoriously fond of urine.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Amazon Treesnakes (Imantodes lentiferus) and their cousins are superbly adapted for life above the ground.  Unbelievably slender and delicate, they are able to span long gaps in rainforest vegetation as they cruise by night in search of small lizards and frogs.


Friday, November 23, 2018

The South American Coati (Nasus nasua) is a cousin of the raccoon.  Coatis usually travel in groups and they make continuous whining noises as they scramble through the brush in search of almost anything they can overpower.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

There are frogs and then there are weird frogs.  Years ago a detailed study of the Cashew Frog (Nyctimantis rugiceps) was published in order to establish its relationships.  The conclusion? Nobody knows!


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

More monkey business. Not to be outdone, a Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus) goes after bananas.


Monday, November 19, 2018

From the 2018 Amazon Herping Tours

Remember butterflies? An astonishing number of them have disappeared from our back yards over the years so it is great to see them in the rainforest.  Since many species crave salt and other minerals they are also happy to see sweating humans!  This Amazon Beauty (Baeotus aeilus) is picking up trace elements from our clothing that is drying in the sun.


Saturday, November 17, 2018


 From the 2018 Amazon Herping Tours

Monkey Frogs are the amphibian equivalents of chameleons; they possess opposable thumbs and walk slowly through vines and underbrush.  The Silver-eyed Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa vaillanti), is capable of changing color from bright to dark green


Friday, November 16, 2018

From the 2018 Amazon Herping Tours

Leaf-footed Bugs (Diactor bilineatus) feed on the leaves of passion fruits and they are therefore chock full of cyanogenic glucosides which make them toxic.  As a result, they are brightly colored (a warning) and easily approached, which makes them fun to photograph!


Thursday, November 15, 2018


From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

Bill Lamar gently persuades an Aquatic Coralsnake (Micrurus surinamensis) to pose for photos. Kids, don’t try this at home! Only someone with the knowledge and years of experience that Bill has can do this safely.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

 A newly described, gigantic, Rhinoceros Beetle (Megasoma rex) found on the Herping Tour.


Monday, November 12, 2018


We have received another very nice letter from two participants of this year’s Amazon Herping Tour.   This program has become very popular.  Below is a link to information on the 2019 Amazon Herping Tour.

“If you’re looking for a real Amazon jungle experience, this is the place. Led by renowned herpetologists, scientists and native guides - all of whom are genuine good guys and who are more than willing to share their knowledge - you typically hike for three hours each night identifying, photographing, and sometimes capturing for study the exotic reptiles, amphibians and insects found in the jungle. The guides grew up in the area and are passionate about their environment. Among other things, they also led birding groups in the mornings for those who were interested. The accommodations were clean and comfortable, and every meal was delicious. If you want a first-hand experience of being in the jungle, please do consider signing up with Green Tracks. They took great care of us in every detail.”

Jack and Peggy Cahill