April 28, 2012

Earth Platinum - Worlds Largest Atlas Features Image From Jeff Cremer



Rainforest Expeditions is happy to announce that Jeff Cremer (our photography tour instructor) is having one of his high resolution gigapixel images published in the largest Atlas ever printed - Earth Platinum.

The picture to be published is a 4,000 megapixel panorama of the desert oasis of Huacachina located south of Lima, Peru.  

The huge atlas contains only 128 pages but it weighs in at an astonishing 150kg, measuring six ft by 4½ ft, making it taller than some of its editors.

It may even be the world’s largest published book. With only 31 copies of Earth Platinum being produced and each copy is to be priced at $100,000, it must also be one of the most expensive.
The atlas is the culmination of the efforts of more than 100 cartographers, geographers and photographers from around the world, and took more than 4 years to complete. The book contains 128 pages of maps, flags and breathtaking images of famous landscapes and more. A word of caution, don’t try to read it alone – it takes two people to turn the pages!

The prior record for the largest atlas dates all the way back to the 17th century when the famous Klencke Atlas was gifted to Charles the II by a group of Dutch merchants. Thebook, measuring an amazing 5 ft. x 3 ft. was presented in recognition of his restoration to the English throne in 1660. The atlas, now in the safekeeping of the British Library, was put on public display with its pages open for the first time in 350 years at the 2010 Magnificent Maps exhibition. Guinness World Records stated:

“We at Guinness World Records are thrilled and honored to be witnessing the production of what we're sure will be the world's largest atlas. It will represent the breaking of a record that has stood since circa 1660 and, in this era of digital content, will provide a unique, valuable, enduring and unforgettable perspective on the world we live in.”

If you ever get a chance to see the book Jeffs' image is on page 26 and if you ever get a chance to visit the Peruvian Amazon you can take a photography tour and learn how its done.

You can also view an online version of the published image by clicking here: Huacachina, Peru -Gigapixel Panorama.  You can also find other gigapixel panoramas here: DiffractionUnlimited.net

April 23, 2012

Macaw Claylicks of Tambopata, Peru

Tambopata,Peru, often referred to as the “capital of biodiversity” is a birdwatcher's paradise. This region is home to 10% of the world’s parrot species.  A primary feature is a series of exposed riverbanks along the Tambopata where Macaws go to eat clay.

Scientist have identified two possible theories as to why Macaws eat clay:

1. To neutralize the toxins they ingest by eating rainforest fruits, nuts, flowers and leaves.

2. To get minerals such as sodium, which they may need in their diet.

Guidelines for visiting a claylick along the Tambopata river:

  • Claylicks can be viewed by boat along the river, or the opposite river bank.
  • Get up early so that you can arrive at the claylick early in the morning when the Macaws are most active.  Its best to arrive right before sunrise and find a viewing spot or shelter hidden by trees so as not to scare the Macaws.
  •  Wear neutral colors and try to blend in. Bright colors can also scare the birds away.
  • Try to be as quiet and still as possible to allow the birds to behave as they would without an “audience.”
  •  Bring binoculars! You will be able to better appreciate these birds miraculous colors.
  •  Bring a birding guide from Tambopata, who can help you to identify each species.
Where to go to view Macaw Claylicks:

Tambopata Research Center: Home to the famous Macaw Research Project. This comfortable lodge takes 8 hours to get to by boat from Puerto Maldonado so it best if you have at least 4 nights to stay. Spend the first and last night at Rainforest Expeditions closer lodge Refugio Amazonas and the nights inbetween at the research center.

Refugio Amazonas : As a charming 32 bedroom lodge, it is well placed immediately adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. A comprehensive program includes a morning visit to the claylick, complete with guide.

Check out Tambopata Birdwatching Tours for more info.
April 20, 2012

How To Submit A Guest Blog Post To Rainforest Expeditions

Write A Guest Blog Post For Rainforest Expeditions

Are you can expert in a topic that my be of interest to Rainforest Expeditions readers? Do you have a knack for writing? If so, you may want to consider exchanging a guest post with us. 
If you are a business owner, blogger or just like to share your knowledge, writing a guest blog post is a great way to get your message to thousands of readers.

There are two types guest blogging options to choose from:
  1. Blog Post Exchange – We exchange posts with each other, so the you send you an article, for example a personal account on a recent trip they have taken which relates to ecotourism and in return you host an article by us, for example a travel guide to Tambopata, Peru. Both articles will credit the authors and link back to each other’s site.
  2. Guest Blog Post– You provide us with some content relevant to your site, which you publish and is credited to you. We ask that in exchange you promote the content you have written on your blog and to your social media audience. In this instance we get content and an inbound link, and you get promotion for your site.
Here are some of the topics we are looking for:
  • Ecotourism
  • Outdoor Gear Reviews
  • New Eco / Green Technology
  • Eco Friendly Products
  • Green Travel
  • Adventure Travel
  • Survival Skills
  • Amazon Wildlife
  • Endangered / Threatened Species
  • Insects
  • Birds
  • Native Communities
  • Peru
How to submit:

Submit your article idea to jscremer@gmail.com with GUEST POST in the subject line. Include a basic outline of what you will be writing about. Also, be sure to include any website links you will be referring to in the article including your own (if applicable). If we find that your article idea is a good fit, you will receive an email confirmation letting you know that it’s been accepted.

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April 09, 2012

Photo of the Week: Jaguar by Thomas Marrent

A Jaguar near Refugio Amazonas - Credit: Thomas Marrent
Jaguars are one of the most difficult animals to spod due to their incredible vision which usually allows them to see you first. the best place to find a jaguar is along the river banks.  This month two groups of guests saw jaguars from the boat on their journey from Puerto Maldonado to Refugio Amazonas.  Photographer Thomas Marrent managed to get this great shot.    

Boat rides on the Tambopata River occasionally result in sightings of a Jaguar (Panthera onca), the largest cat in the Americas. Although guests visiting Tambopata eco-lodges run by Rainforest Expeditions can’t expect to see this near mythical feline on every visit to the Peruvian jungle, they do have a better chance of seeing it while traveling along wild areas the Tambopata Reserve than many other places in its range.

Jaguars are regularly seen in the Tambopata region because this huge area of wild forests and wetlands plays host to plenty of peccaries, tapirs, and other animals that are preyed upon by the neotropical king of the jungle. In addition, much of the Tambopata River between Refugio Amazonas and the Tambopata Research Center is strictly protected wilderness and this part of the river is precisely where these big cats are occasionally seen. They also occur in the forests near Posada Amazonas but apparently don’t feel as comfortable about sitting out on the shore as they do further upriver.

Check out this video of a Jaguar that jungle guide Pedro Lima took:

Click here for some interesting facts about the Jaguar

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April 07, 2012

Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Steak Stir-Fry)


Lomito Saltado, Yummy!

Oriental Sauteed Loin (Lomo Saltado)

Oriental sautéed loin is a fairly common, popular Peruvian recipe found in restaurants throughout the country although the plate is most popular in Lima and other coastal cities. A stir fry that combines beef, vegetables, and french fries, it’s an easy, delicious, and fun dish to make. Its name describes the dish and hints at its origins.

History of Oriental Sautéed Loin

During the mid-nineteenth century, a burgeoning population and instability encouraged thousands of Chinese people to abandon their ancestral homes in search of work and a better life elsewhere. Large numbers of Chinese immigrants toiled away on plantations and helped build railways in several countries. 90,000 settled in Peru over the course of several decades and in doing so, influenced Peruvian culture in several ways. One of the most prominent involved Peruvian cuisine.

Chinese restaurants are a fairly common sight in Peru. Several Chinese dishes have combined with local Peruvian flavors and have become accepted as Peruvian dishes. One of the most popular is Oriental Sautéed Loin. As generic as this dish may sound, it can be immediately recognized by the presence of french fries. Unlike other Chinese- influenced dishes, this one includes the fried potatoes as an important ingredient.

Ingredients in Oriental Sautéed Loin
  • About one pound of french fries. These can come from a package of frozen french fries.
  • Vegetable oil for stir-frying the ingredients.
  • 1 pound of thinly sliced beef.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • 1 large onion that is sliced into strips.
  • 3 large tomatoes that are peeled, seeded, and sliced into strips.
  • 1 yellow chili pepper.
  • One fourth cup of distilled white vinegar.
  • Soy sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
Preparation of Oriental Sautéed Loin
  • Prepare the french fries first.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and fry it until it is lightly cooked.
  • Remove the meat from the frying pan.
  • Fry the onions and stir fry with the tomatoes and the yellow chili pepper.
  • Add the soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Add the french fries and beef.
  • Cover and cook for around three minutes or until the beef is done.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chopped cilantro just before serving.
Tip: Serve with white rice
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