Category: Ecuador

Mashpi – The remarkable story of the saving of a rainforest

In a previous article I described Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve in Ecuador.  It showed you just some of the remarkable, diverse and unique nature here. It is part of the Chocó rainforest that runs North from Ecuador through Columbia and into Panama. In this article, part 2 you could say,  I want to tell you of the remarkable story of how the Mashpi Reserve came to be saved from the loggers. 95% of the Chocó in Ecuador has been destroyed but the story of Mashpi’s rescue from the loggers is an up lifting conservation story and gives one hope for the future...

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Galapagos, Ecuador: Marine Iguanas – Darwin’s Imps of Darkness

In a previous article I did from Galapagos I focussed on the short walk at Punta Suarez on the island of Española. One of the highlights of the walk, and the other island of the Galapagos, is seeing the marine iguana (Amblyrhychus critatus). These reptiles are one of the strangest animals on the planet. A ‘cold bloodied’ animal that swims in the sea, has webbed feet, a broad tail (to assist swimming) and only eats seaweed – they are completely bizarre! It is well reported that Darwin thought them weird as well. When Darwin first saw them on San Cristobal (here...

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Galapagos, Española – one of the greatest wildlife walks on the planet

This trip to Ecuador was incredible each and every day. A huge highlight whilst on the the Galapagos was the short walk at Punta Suarez on the island of Española. We arrived offshore on the Sunday morning on La Pinta and disembarked for the dry landing on a headland. We’d been told to expect something special, and how right they were. It has got to be one of the greatest wildlife walks in the world – Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas, lava lizards, blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies, nesting waved albatrosses, views to die for and all in about a...

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Galapagos, Ecuador – The Enchanted Islands

When most people think about Galapagos they probably know something of its unusual wildlife and maybe that Charles Darwin visited. I will come to all that in due course – but if you’ll forgive me – I’ll like to start with a story of personal regret, which explains why, for me, this trip, was so special. The reason was that in 1987, as a young man of 23, I was offered the chance to go on a dive trip to the Galapagos. Also due to be going on this trip was Flip Nicklin, National Geographic’s whale photographer. I was...

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Ecuador – Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve

I think I have just been to heaven. Well, I think I might have just spent a couple of days in a biologist’s heaven anyway. The Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve in Ecuador is a part of one of the greatest biodiversity ‘hot spots’ on the planet. This ‘hot spot’ is a rainforest called the Chocó which extends from Panama in the north to Ecuador in the south, squeezed between the Pacific coast to the west and the Andes to the east. Its position to the North of the Equator (although a little bit is South of the Equator) and running...

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Ecuador: Quito, a Capital City at Altitude

I arrived in Quito at 2 am after a flight from Madrid via Guayaquil. Arriving at that hour and with a six hour time difference from the UK knocked me back a bit. Quito is the capital city of Ecuador and at 2,800 meters is the highest capital city in the world. I’m sure I’ll get used to the altitude quickly but you do feel a little light headed and I wouldn’t recommend the steep hotel stairs – there is even a little warning sign to “watch your step and your breath” – but don’t worry lifts are available!...

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