Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Book of the Week – State of Wonder

Friday, August 26th, 2011

State of WonderOur book partner, Longitude books is always searching for new books to inspire and inform your travels.

This week, they’ve recommended you curl up with State of Wonder – A Novel, by Ann Patchett. A master at creating stories the reader can disappear into, Bel Canto author Ann Patchett brings the Amazon to life with a story of the epic journey of a pharmaceutical researcher who travels there to locate the body of a colleague who died there under mysterious circumstances. The vivid jungle backdrop plays its own pivotal role in the mystery that unfolds.

Click to plan your own Amazon adventure with Smithsonian Journeys.

New Year’s Travel Resolutions

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Vietnam’s Evocative Ha Long Bay – a great place to go in 2010

Where do you want to go in 2010? Here are some of our top 2010 picks…

Relaxing in Japan – with tranquil gardens, quiet temples, and the enlightening possibilities of tea.

Tackling the Amazon – for river dolphins, scarlet macaws, and really poisonous frogs.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda -  one of life’s incomprable adventures.

Cruising in Alaska – for kayaking around icebergs, checking out the humpback whales, and sailing Glacier Bay.

Stargazing in Hawaii - for a possible glimpse of the newly discovered super-Earth, and for the search for the real Pandora.

Wherever the new year may take you, we wish you all the best in 2010. Thanks for reading our blog, and for sharing your stories with us!

Photo: Pretty Frog, But Don’t Touch!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Jessie Cohen, NZP photographer

Jessie Cohen, NZP photographer

The poison dart frog, above, is found in the Amazon rain forests of Central and South America.

Sure, it’s pretty, but this little frog who measures between less than an inch and two inches can actually take down a small animal with its powerful toxin. That’s why it is a bright shade of blue, as to say to predators, “Don’t mess with me.” These frogs are also known as poison arrow frogs because some indigenous tribes in the Amazon have used their secretions to poison their darts for hunting for generations. It’s easy to confuse these frogs with the over 44 different species of harlequin frogs, which are actually toads, and have the same bright colors and poisonous secretions that are found in the region.

These frogs are a tiny group of amphibians who are part of a vast animal community that live in the Amazon rain forest, a region that spans 2,722,000 miles in South and Central America. Other residents of the region include Golden Lion Tamarins, the Dusty Titi Monkey, and our favorite, the Giant Anteaters . Check out little Baby Cyrano, who was born at the National Zoo on March 12, 2009.

What’s your favorite Amazonian animal?

Click for our The Mighty Amazon tour.

Reflections on Earth Day

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
A bright blue morpho butterfly found in the Amazon

A bright blue morpho butterfly found in the Amazon.

The Amazon rainforest is the home to thousands of endemic species, including the morpho butterfly. These species are from all walks of life, from bacteria, to plants, to great mammals; however, many are critically endangered. Mankind has caused the extinction of thousands of rainforest dwellers through deforestation and increasing atmospheric pollutants. This Earth Day, we pause to reflect on the incredible biodiversity that exists in this ecologically significant region.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to help support Earth Day.

Click here to learn more about tours to the Amazon region.

Will you do anything to celebrate Earth Day?