Archive for the 'Endangered Species' Category

Luxury in one of the wildest rain forests of Central America

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Honduras has been catching up to other eco-destinations in Central and South America as entrepreneurs realize the potential of this country’s large areas of lowland rain forests, gorgeous coral reefs, and jade-green cloud forests. Intact ecosystems are what eco-travelers want to experience and this is what they will find in Honduras. Sure, they will also come across animal-empty banana fields and deforested areas but they will definitely have the chance to visit beautiful, untouched tropical habitats.

Some, roadless areas of the country still require major expeditions to adequately explore them but why do that when you can stay at the Pico Bonito Lodge? You will need a fair amount of money to do so but no more than what you would pay for staying at comfortable hotels in other parts of the world. Most of those other hotels also probably aren’t situated in a lush, rain forest valley filled with colorful birds and exotic animals.

Guests stay in beautiful large, furnished rooms because the lodge was built with comfort in mind, but they will also see dozens of species of birds and other wildlife because it was also designed for this purpose. The nearby rain forest is always in view through large, open windows and balconies, and highly trained local guides are on hand to help visitors see things like colorful Keel-billed Toucans, the incredible blue and purple Lovely Cotinga, Blue-crowned Motmots, Tayras (a large weasel), Coatis, Sloths, tree-frogs, and much more. Birders and non-birders alike will also love the lodge’s canopy platform for the rare glimpse it provides into this little explored level of the forest.

When guests tire of hanging out and relaxing at the lodge and canopy tower, they can hike trails that access the huge Pico Bonito National Park, including one that heads right up to the “Pico Bonito” (Pretty Peak) itself. All hiking should be done with a local guide because despite the comforts of the lodge, this is a true rain forest wilderness that harbors venomous snakes, jaguars (rarely seen but present), and the greatest danger in the forest, the chance to get lost.

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Jaguars and Giant Anteaters in the Pantanal of Brazil

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

The pantanal is the largest freshwater wetland in the world. Just how big is it? Well, put it this way, if England and Wales were suddenly transplanted to the heart of this wetland complex in southwestern Brazil, everyone in both of those countries would be getting their feet wet.

The pantanal is also one of the last major wilderness areas of the world and is unique in that most of the animals appear to sustainably coexist with the two-legged inhabitants of the region. The wet savannahs, fields, huge marshes, and gallery forests are the stronghold of the Hyacinth Macaw (the largest parrot inn the world), endangered Giant Otters can be seen in rivers and lakes, and this damp ecosystem is also the best place in the world to see two other large neotropical mammals; the Giant Anteater and the Jaguar.

Giant Anteaters require large areas of undisturbed habitat to satiate their voracious appetite for termites and ants and the pantanal not only provides enough six-legged delicacies to meet their dietary needs, but the wide, open plains also make it easier to spot this strange, ponderous-looking creature.

Jaguars reach their largest size in the pantanal and are also more common there than anywhere else. These facts (and the thousands of waterbirds seen every day) demonstrate the highly productive nature of the pantanal. The big cats are more difficult to see than the Giant Anteater but once again, due to the open nature of the habitat, are encountered on most guided excursions that look for them!

One of the best places to stay for jaguar watching and experiencing the incredible Brazilian pantanal is the Jaguar Research Center. More of a comfortable hotel located in the heart of the pantanal than a biological field station, visitors to this place have a nearly guaranteed chance of seeing at least one jaguar during a three night stay (every single group of visitors since 2006 who stayed for three nights has seen one or more jaguars).

When not searching for this fabled big, spotted cat of the Americas, guests can also watch myriads of storks, egrets other wading birds, capybaras, and might also see an Anaconda!

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