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The Jewel of South America—from the Andes to the Amazon

February 22–March 1, 2012 including Optional Extension to the Galapagos Islands, March 1-6

Dear Members & Friends:
Discover the great beauty of highland Ecuador—the jewel of South America—and the fascination of the Galapagos Islands on this 14-day expedition.

Join naturalist Bob Nansen and the Society’s John Burns as we explore outstanding reserves to see diverse plants and animals of Ecuador. Explore the eastern and western slopes of the Andes, an orchid reserve, historical and UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the world-renowned Galapagos Islands on the optional extension.

Discover the tropical forests at Maquipucuna Reserve, at 4,000 feet in elevation, one of the biodiversity hot spots in South America. Visit the paramo at 12,000 foot Papallacta Pass. Stay in a thatched lodge in the rainforest of the Ecuadorian Amazon, with superb birdlife, bromeliads, and tropical forest.

Visits include:

  • Papallacta Pass, Andean Cordillera— Edged by the unique habitat of the paramo, a mixture of hardy grass, bromeliads, and stunted plants at about 12,000 feet. The pass is often windswept with low clouds. Birds range from giant hummingbirds to the Andean condor with many species found only in this montane treeless habitat.
  • Guacamayos River Valley, Upper Amazon—On the eastern slope of the Andes, with rainforest at mid-elevation level. There are several forest types including riverine habitat, bamboo forest, with colorful orchids and bromeliads. The bird diversity is outstanding and small colorful frogs can be found both day and night.
  • Loma Pahuambo Orchid Reserve—an excellent reserve along a steep-sided stream with a moist habitat for orchids and bromeliads. See and photograph many species of orchids and ferns in this moist cool canyon. The visitor center displays many orchids from western Ecuador.
  • Maquipucuna Biological Reserve—on the Pacific slope of the Andes between 1,200 and 2,800 meters above sea level. This reserve was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1987 and is now managed by a foundation. It is 80% primary forest, with secondary forest going through stages of ecological succession. It has been acclaimed as one of the richest biodiversity locations on earth by Conservation International.
  • Quito—the capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with cobble stone streets, historic cathedrals, white-washed, tile-roofed buildings, and fascinating people and handicrafts. • Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s enchanted isles—For five days, we may explore the Galapagos on board the excellent 100-passenger M/V Legend on our trip extension. Our itinerary will include San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Daphne, and Baltra Islands. We will discover the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, from giant tortoises to sea lions, and nesting birds, as well as many endemic plants of interest.

We invite you to join us!

Bonnie Drexler,
Education Director
New England Wild Flower Society

$2,995 plus air.

Brochure (Requires an Adobe pdf reader to view)


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