Friday, October 30, 2009

Guest video

Multicoloured macaws feeding at a clay lick.
BBC Wildlife video


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Luxury Jungle Lodge and Canopy Walkway

Ceiba Tops, the only luxury jungle lodge on the Amazon River, offers air conditioned rooms and cottages, private bathrooms with hot water, swimming pool, prime rainforest habitat and excursions to the Rainforest Canopy Walkway.

The Canopy Walkway is an experience unequaled in the rainforest! At a height of over 115 feet and extending for one-third of a mile, the Canopy Walkway provides a view of the rainforest from the treetops, a great vantage point for observing Amazon wildlife and epiphytic vegetation. The suspended walkway is spread between 14 of the area's largest trees and is one of the longest canopy walkways in the world.

Ceiba Tops Jungle Lodge


Thursday, October 22, 2009

New species found in Galapagos Islands

British team finds new life in the waters of Galapagos
27 August 2009
By Katie Scott

British researchers have found several new species of life – and some that were thought to be extinct – during an in-depth study documenting some of the world’s rarest and most fragile coral reefs.

A team from the University of Southhampton's School of Geography has spent three years in the Galapagos Islands studying the reefs of the northern Wolf and Darwin Islands as part of the government-funded Darwin Initiative project.


Galapagos Islands with GreenTracks


Saturday, October 17, 2009

December Amazon Riverboat Expedition

Come join the adventure on our next Amazon riverboat expedition aboard the M/V Clavero to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. This beautifully restored rubber boom-era ship is surely the best way to explore remote Amazon rainforest.

We will travel the Samiria River deep into the Reserve in search of wild animals, interesting plants and inspiring photographs. Hiking the forest trails, we will view towering trees, colorful flowers, unusual insects, captivating monkey and more. Our Indian guides will explain the medicinal use of rainforest plants. On small boat excursions we will see an incredible number of birds, more monkeys, and sloths. On night outings we will spot caiman (including the big Black Caiman) and colorful tree frogs. We will visit a small village to observe how the local people live within this rainforest environment. Your expert GreenTracks guides will make these excursions entertaining as well as educational.

At meals, the delicious food is always enhanced by the lively conversation with your fellow travelers and guides. A full bar on-board assures that you can relax after an active day with your beverage of choice.

Comfortable accommodations, great food and beverage, incredible wildlife, exotic sights and sounds... all add up to a winter getaway you will always remember.

See the post below for a report on our most recent riverboat expedition.

This trip will be from December 20-26, 2009, and space is still available. Call 800-892-1035 or 970-884-6107 for more information or click on the link below to go to our website.

GreenTracks Amazon Cruises


Thursday, October 15, 2009

GreenTracks Riverboat Expedition

We set out from the town of Nauta on the M/V Clavero, a restored rubber boom-era ship, on our way to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. After a brief but wonderful run up Nauta Caño in late afternoon (where we observed three kinds of kingfisher, horned screamers, black-collared and slate-colored hawks, macaws, and a host of wading birds), we traveled through the night to the mouth of the Samiria River.

Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, Ara ararauna

Before entering the Reserve we visited the village of Leoncio Prado, where we observed neatly cultivated fields planted with papaya and manioc, and discovered a three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). After a slew of pictures the sloth obligingly climbed a tree and we headed back to the boat.

The Samiria River was at an unseasonably high level which permitted the Clavero to ascend the river without problems. What a week it proved to be! We saw Squirrel, Howler, Capuchin and Saki monkeys, neotropical squirrels, and literally too many species of birds to count. Beautiful sunrises allowed us to take early morning hikes and boat rides to observe and photograph plants and wildlife.

Canary-winged Parakeet, Brotogeris versicolurus

Sacha Mango, Grias neuberthii

Unidentified red fungus growing next to a salt lick (collpa)

We had a group of people who were as nice as one could ever hope for. We learned and laughed our way through the Amazon, sharing not only in the adventure but also each other´s experiences. From Seattle to Los Angeles to St. Louis to Montreal, our group represented the world, and that made for unforgettable dinner conversations.

After an exhilarating week on the Samiria, and a pass through the forests of the Marañón River we visited a site on the Ucayali River where we saw and photographed the gigantic Victoria amazonica lilies.

Victoria amazonica lilies

Then it was time to head for Iquitos and say our farewells, each knowing they had shared in the trip of a lifetime.

GreenTracks Amazon Cruises


Monday, October 12, 2009


The Healing Forest. Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the Northwest Amazonia.
by Schultes, Richard Evans and Robert F. Raffauf. 1990.
Dioscorides Press, Portland, Oregon.

What can we say about this fabulous book? Superlatives seem inadequate. Written by perhaps the greatest modern explorer, the Father of Ethnobotany, Richard Schultes, and a respected medicinal chemist, Robert Raffauf, this book ranks as one of the best available on the subject. Anyone with a serious interest in Amazonian ethnobotany should read this. A benchmark reference.

More info/Order


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The GreenTracks Naturalist

With more than 25,000 species described, Orchids (Orchidaceae) are the most diverse family of plants. The world’s richest source of orchids is the Amazon, where thousands of species have been found and described. There are no doubt many species that still are yet to be described as most orchids grow in the upper canopy as epiphytes on tree branches. Here are a few that were seen on GreenTracks trips.


Brassavola sp.

Cattleya sp.

Unknown - photographed at Oran, Loreto, on the Amazon


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lake Titicaca, Peru and Bolivia

Tucked away high in the Andes between snow-covered peaks, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake on the planet. The high altitude and crystal-clear air combine for stunning panoramas during the day and at night the sky is jam-packed with stars horizon to horizon.
Lake Titicaca straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia at 12,580 feet above sea level. The average depth is 328 feet (100 meters) and the deepest point is over 900 feet (281 meters.) The Andean people refer to it as “The Sacred Lake” and believe the first Inca rose from deep within the lake to found the Inca Empire. The people of the lake still make offerings to ensure sufficient totora reeds for building boats, for successful fishing, for safe passage on its waters and for a mild climate.