Going Places Educational Travel Blog - Eco-Tourism on the Isle of Enchantment
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February 12, 2014

Eco-Tourism on the Isle of Enchantment

Guest post by Dr. Matthew Perry

I have been involved in several eco-tourist trips with passports in the past, including South Africa and Tobago, but my trip to Puerto Rico rates up at the top of exciting and educational excursions.

We left the Baltimore area on January 15, 2014, and were greeted in the US territory by our friendly courier, Maria Pieras. We stayed at 4 different hotels that were located near exciting natural experiences along the coasts. We had plenty of rice and beans to eat along with a lot of the native delicacies. We saw all four coasts and visited two rain forests and the largest dry forest of its kind in the world.

As we walked on the beach in San Juan we saw a peregrine falcon dive from a hotel rooftop and strike and kill a feral pigeon. This might have bothered the fainthearted, but my birders couldn’t stop talking about the unique moment. Half of my group of 8 travelers were avid birders keeping a good bird list, while the other half focused on plants, butterflies, and the numerous lizards we saw. No one complained about the lack of beach or shopping time, which suited me just fine. We had outstanding nature guides that went out of their way to point out birds for the group. The guides used laser pointers to help the novices in the group find the birds in the tree canopy. First they made us see the laser light on the base of the tree and then we followed the light up the tree trunk, out a major branch, then up a smaller branch. “There, see it, 12 inches above the light??” “Wow,” were the immediate replies!!

We think it was pretty good birding for a week trip, although not as good as some of the real dedicated birders would do. It was hard to get some of the non-birders moving in the morning and most meals seemed to run on “Puerto Rican time.” However, we saw 99 bird species and 6 that are endemic to Puerto Rico (found no place else).

We arrived back on the mainland on Jan 22nd after a very enjoyable trip, and ready for the next passports adventure.

Guest post written by Dr. Matthew C. Perry, a passports group organizer and science professor from Maryland. Photos submitted by Dr. Perry and his fellow group members. To submit a guest post, e-mail info@passports.com, or contact your passports Admissions Coordinator.


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