Friday, December 29, 2017

Ever dream of really getting away from it all? Heading off to a wild fantasy land where you can relax and forget all your concerns?  We not only dream about it, we do it. We go to the Amazon, a magical place if ever there was one, and we kick back, enjoy nature, great food, lots of laughs and good times. Maybe this year it’s your turn?  Come join us...the door is open.  And from all of us to all of you: Happy New Year!


Monday, December 18, 2017

The Thorny Devil Katydid (Panacanthus cuspidatus) also known as the Spiny  Devil Katydid, is one of the scariest looking 3 inch animals on the planet. One of 6500 species of kaydids this particular one has a red, five-pointed horn sticking up out of its head as well as spikes on its legs.  Like a grasshopper, or cricket, it rubs its hind legs together to call females.  The Thorny Devil is known to back down predators, including monkeys.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The term "cloud forest," widely used today, actually refers to several distinct types of forest, all in mountainous terrain, tropical, subtropical or temperate, and existing in places where atmospheric conditions produce a nearly perpetual fog cover. In the tropics of Peru these forests are found along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains, at elevations of 400 - 4,000 meters above sea-level. Characteristics of cloud forests include an abundance of mosses, ferns and epiphytes such as bromeliads and orchids; elfin woodlands with stunted trees; and many specialized creatures that rely on super-humid conditions. Changing climatic patterns are impacting these fragile ecosystems and in many areas they are disappearing. Could forests are interesting to most of us because they are so different from our usual experience of forest. Exotic and ripe with flora and fauna, you’ll find numerous opportunities for photos. GreenTracks wildlife tours that get you into the Manu Cloud Forest in Peru include:

 Cock of the Rock Lodge (3 Days) - 

 Manu Bio-trip - From the Andes to the Amazon (6 Days) - 

 Manu National Park Explorer (6 Days) - 

Manu National Park - Tapir and Macaw Clay Licks (6 Days) - 

Also on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you traverse cloud forest.

The ruins of Chachapoyas in Northern Peru are also situated in cloud forest-

Cock-of-the Rock

Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Blood Mushroom (Helosis guyannensis) is known in Amazonian Peru as "Aguajillo" and despite its appearance it is not a mushroom at all. Rather, it is a root parasite that grows in shady spots on the rainforest floor.  It produces no chlorophyll but instead uses a tap root that connects it underground to the host tree.  Indigenous people use this interesting plant medicinally, as an astringent.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Unfortunately our knowledge about the occurrence of most animals is limited to whether or not we see them as opposed to their true numbers.  This is almost always misleading but especially so when it comes to species that live in inaccessible habitats.  The Amazon Thornytail (Uracentron flaviceps) is a lizards seldom observed by humans and this is because it lives high in the rainforest canopy.  Family groups of as many as seven take refuge in tree holes from which they emerge to hunt for ants and small insects.  During breeding season adult males take on a salmon hue on the head and shoulders.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cashews - What you probably didn't know



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to stop the sixth mass extinction

Worth reading...


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bell Wasps make distinctive paper nests that look like huge cylindrical white cakes.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hi George:
Just a quick note to thank you so much for making our trip to the Amazon such a success! It was just fabulous and all suggestions and arrangements went like clockwork. We both loved the Wyndham, the Casa Morey, the tour with Joel, and most of all the time aboard the Amazon Star and with its wonderful crew. Everyone was so caring and personable, the program was very well thought out and now we have all the unforgettable memories of our week. The Hoatzins! The Roseate Spoonbills! The hundreds of Egrets flying up the river! Hope we can work with you again someday.

Save 30% on selected dates in 2017


Monday, June 26, 2017

The rivers in the Iquitos area of Peru are home to a vast number of colorful ornamental fish.  The exportation of these fish has become a successful  sustainable industry and provide some income for people living along these rivers.



Friday, June 23, 2017

China’s Blind Cave Fish

A group of international scientists are studying the little known cave fish of China as part of an effort to conserve the endangered cave ecosystem.  Of particular interest is the Humpback Golden Line Barbel, a fish rarely found and of which little is known.
Danté Fenolio,one of the leaders of our annual herp trips, is part of this team.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

GreenTracks, Inc. has joined in the effort to protect fragile populations of amphibians in Chile’s forests.



Monday, June 19, 2017

It’s always nice to get feedback from our clients. Here is one we received from Paula Hooser who recently did the Moche Route in Northern Peru. This Peruvian Archaeology program includes the Sipan Tomb - one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the last 30 years, the Tucume pyramids, the Sun and Moon Temples and the capital of the Chimu empire, Chan Chan.
“Good afternoon, George.                          

Last month I had the opportunity to participate in the Moche Route tour. I apologize for not getting this note off sooner, but I did want to let you know what an AMAZING time we had!  The trip was really fascinating and our tour guide, Mercedes, was absolutely wonderful!  She really made the history come alive for us and we could tell she was very passionate about the history of Peru.  While we went on to see the more famous parts of Peru, for me, these three days were the highlight of our trip.  I would go back in a heartbeat, and I’d want Mercedes as my guide again!  I’d recommend her to anyone I knew that was visiting that area of Peru. The hotels were nice; the van and driver were great.

 Many thanks to you and your team for such a wonderful experience.”

Read more about Moche Route  program...


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Possible Second 2017 Amazon Herping Trip if interest is there.
September 23 - October 1, 2017.
We have a short window of opportunity to try to make this work.

Details here....


Monday, May 29, 2017

About a third of Peru’s population is indigenous, and the great majority of tribes are found in the Amazon region. These groups have, to one degree or another, assimilated into a riverine culture but tribal distinctions exist, sometimes markedly so.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Who wouldn't want to see a Jaguar in the wild?  In Brazil's Pantanal tropical wetland at the Jaguar Research Center Jaguar sightings are guaranteed.  Paul Donahue, naturalist, wildlife artist, photographer, environmental activist and builder of canopy walkways shares a story and photos of coming across a Jaguar sneaking up on a Caiman.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Before indiscriminate harvesting of eggs took its toll, the vast white sand beaches along the Amazon used to blacken when countless thousands of River Turtles (genus Podocnemis) crawled out to dig their nests. Those days a long past! But thanks to a head start program the turtles are making a comeback.



Friday, May 19, 2017

The Amazon region is home to a wide array of wading birds.  Some are transitory migrants while others are permanent residents.  One of our favorites, the Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus), falls into the latter category. Endemic to the neotropical region, this lovely bird is found from central Panama south across most of tropical South America.  Capped Herons tend to be loners and they tend to be shy, so seeing one is always special.

Read More ...


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sometimes, if the boat we are using is small enough and the water level sufficiently high, we like to wander upstream on tiny tributaries of the Amazon. There is something exhilarating about easing up a blackwater stream with treetops so close you are practically sitting among them.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Each wildlife excursion is slightly different and occasionally we will see something unexpected.  Tapirs are nocturnal animals, but we have seen them during the day at times. Tapirs are the largest land mammal in South America.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Harpy Eagle

No matter how remote the spot may be, there are still animals that are extremely difficult to encounter in the wild. They may be rare, secretive, or strictly nocturnal. Or it could be that their habitat is one that makes them hard to observe. One example of this is the Harpy Eagle, easily the world's most powerful bird of prey and so difficult to find that it holds a nearly mythical place in the world of wildlife enthusiasts.


Thursday, May 11, 2017


Ever since the first outsider set foot in the Amazon, the world has been subjected to countless lurid tales of a Green Hell teeming with slithering snakes, each capable of recognizing a human and all determined to maim and kill. Aside from being demonstrably untrue at all levels, this approach reflects a basic flaw in our way of viewing nature.