Coke & Som Smith Photography & Travelogue

Central & South America Travelogue



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Cruisin' the Galapagos!

I have been to the Galapagos three times.  And each time there I have come back with a sense of wonder of what it must have been like to be the first western scientist to see these amazing islands.  Would I have come back with the same conclusions as Darwin?  Doubtful...I just don't have the brain cells...but I can still appreciate the wondrous assemblage of endemic species and simplicity the islands present.


The Inca Trail Peru

The Inca Trail in the high Andes of Peru is not just about puking your brains out with altitude sickness!  It's about an amazing trek through spectacular scenery visiting some of the world's most special ancient sites.  Terminating in Machu Picchu after grueling treks is one of the most phenomenal experiences one can have.  Although the trek is main purpose for travelers heading to this region, I have found that just hanging out in this habitat is what it's all about.  The following web page will highlight my experiences in the few trips I have taken there in the mid 1990's. 


Expedition to Peruvian Amazona

One of the coolest parts about Peru is that there is so much to see and experience.  From great grub in Lima (ceviche-yah!), to the ancient sites at Machu Picchu and the great marine habitats in Paracas and Ica, Peru has it all!  From deserts to alpine to the vast Amazon expanse.  The following pages will summarize my numerous trips in to the Peruvian Amazon regions.    These trips generally centered on the east end of the Andes and the Amazon lowlands near such phenomenal wildlife destinations as Manu and Explorama Lodge.


Birding and Marine Mammaling in Paracas, Peru!


There are so many places in Peru that few get to.  Paracas tends to be one of these places.  Blessed with a wonderful assemblage of marine mammals and rare birds such as Chilean flamingos and Humboldt penguins, Paracas is a wonderful place to visit.  On one occasion I was able to break away and get in one week to sample what Paracas has to offer.  Glad I did!



Expedition to Ecuador: Andes and the Amazon


For such a tiny country, Ecuador would take a lifetime to see correctly.  Luckily I have had the privilege of traveling to Ecuador five times.  But even with multiple trips to Ecuador under my belt, I would not be able to say that I have truly seen it.  I have separated the Galapagos from this travelogue of Ecuador as there needs to be a clear distinction.  The following pages will highlight the villages of the Andes and the rainforests of the Amazona regions of this spectacular country!

Safari in Brazil's Pantanal: the Amazon Ain't Got Nothin' on this Place!


Without a doubt the wildlife highpoint of South America, the Pantanal of Brazil is a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts.  Home to an impressive and relatively easy to see assemblage of species, the Pantanal is one of the best safari experiences I have ever had.

Cruisin' the Amazon and Brazil's Rio Negro!


In 1995 I was hoping to travel to Manaus in Brazil's central Amazon to see and experience the wealth of wildlife the Amazon is famous for.  But instead of huge numbers of species, I found the region had been very impacted by humanity and seeing wildlife is actually difficult.  But this travelogue highlights the wonderful culture and people and flora of this part of Amazona.

Patagonia:  The Best of Southern Chile and Argentina


I have had the privilege of traveling to Patagonia a number of times.  The sheer beauty of this region cannot be overstated.  With the batholiths of Torres del Paine and the temperate beech forests of Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia is a surprisingly biodiverse region of the planet.  This report summarizes my adventures here!


Costa Rica: Tiny Country, Big Biodiversity


I wish I had been a better photographer during my many trips to Costa Rica!  Costa Rica is almost too much to swallow.  The biodiversity of this tiny nation is almost unparalleled.  One must see it to believe it!  Can't wait to go again!


Panama all the Way!


Although this trip was taken during a really low point in my life (right after the death of Lien), I enjoyed the five-star tour of this spectacular country.  Rivaling Costa Rica as a biodiversity hotspot, Panama offers of wealth of habitats and species.  Definitely Panama is high on my "got-to-get-back-to" list!


Wild and Ancient Guatemala & Belize


This two month expedition in the early 1990's was a great introduction to two of the most amazing countries in our hemisphere.  We enjoyed trekking the ancient Maya ruins in Guatemala and Belize for days.  The jungles in the region were splendid as well.  Wildlife was difficult to spot initially but by the time we got our "eyes" trained, we were able to spot such enigmatic species as jaguars, tapirs and many more!


Bolivia: Rainforests, Andes and Culture!


Without a doubt there are few places on earth that are more spectacular than Bolivia.  Situated high up in the Andes, Bolivia takes time to get used to.  The beauty of the high Altiplano to the lowlands of the Amazon and Madidi National Park, Bolivia is a phenomenal place.  I am looking forward to further explorations of Bolivia in the very near future!


Visit our South America Image Galleries!

Be sure to visit our other Photo Galleries for more spectacular images of our travels! (Pbase Galleries)