Travel Journal

Alaska Packing List

Best northern lights viewing spots

Viewing the Northern Lights The northern lights, fickle inhabitants of the night sky are the subjects of many quests, vacations and travels. Though they have been visible as far south as Knoxville, TN, (a highly unusual conquest for them) their natural habit is much farther north. Where the air is northern, clear, and cold you are most likely to find …

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Amazon Rainforest Wildlife: Plenty of Weirdness

The Land of Plenty It will surprise no one to hear that the Amazon Rainforest is home to the greatest abundance of life of any ecosystem on the planet. With only a fraction of species documented, there are literally thousands of creatures that remain unseen and unknown. In the spirit of inquiry, we would like to take a moment to …

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Visit the Galapagos: Taking Care

Thunder in Paradise Ever since Charlie Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands (and apparently tried to ride a tortoise), the global community has watched as it grew to embody the idea of “wildlife” and scientific inquiry. Since 1959, the Galapagos Islands have had National Park status in Ecuador, and have consequently been (reasonably) well-protected and gained increasing amounts of tourism. Though …

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Health in Costa Rica: Keep on Livin’

Keep on truckin’ After spending a few weeks in Nosara, Costa Rica, it is apparent that they have mastered the art of living healthy, long, lives. Hiding down on the pacific coast and only accessible by miles of unpaved, often totally muddy roads, Nosara is like a magic paradise of never-ending health and life, except that it is actually a …

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Extreme North: Visiting The Arctic Circle

When I took my first trip beyond the Arctic Circle, I had not read any John McPhee, nor did I know anything about the Brooks Range, and had never seen the Ice Road (even on TV). The idea of visiting the arctic circle seemed to simply represent the wild and unknown; a place more-or-less devoid of roads and people. Wild …

A History of Life: What is Gondwana?

What is Gondwana? Inevitably, when people take a trip with Gondwana Ecotours, the question arises: “What is Gondwana?”. At last, we are prepared to reveal the meaning behind this strange word. Once upon a long-gone time, there was an Enormous (with a capital E) landmass adrift on planet earth. This was long before anyone had thought to name the oceans, …

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Top Three Tasty Treats from Alaska

Food, Glorious Food When one thinks of the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks, or any remote town of Alaska, culinary delights are probably not among the first images that come to mind. Yet Fairbanks is indeed home to a surprising array of flavors. Looking back at our travels in Alaska, we’d like to take a moment to honor the excellent …

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Dreams of the Amazon

Four years ago, I woke up at 4:00 AM and slowly made my way to my Achuar host family’s hut in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. I drank huayusa tea and gave it time to cleanse my body, as it was customary. All of the members in the family in a circle shared their dream and their elder, Celestino, interpreted them. …