The inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Peru Ecotour took place in November 2016 and was a huge success! We will let you PERUse through the photos below and decide for yourself whether all the lucky participants had a fabulous time frogging the Andes and Amazon and visiting incredible Incan sites like Machu Picchu. If you're interested in joining a future SAVE THE FROGS! Peru Ecotour and experiencing the wonders of Peru with like-minded frog enthusiasts, please email us at email@example.com so we can keep you posted as future ecotours are announced!
Photos from ecotour participant Katie O'Donnell:
"Dear Kerry, thanks to you and Chelsea and Joanna and Tin. The Peru trip was wonderful. We saw so much and were treated with such kindness and welcome at each place." -- Catherine E.
Photos from ecotour participant Rosie Striffler:
Photos from ecotour co-leader Tin Bindi:
We found 22 amphibian species during the ecotour!
Here is the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Peru Ecotour Species List:
• Pristimantis pharangobates
• Oreobates gemcare
• Gastrotheca nebulanastes
• Adenomera cf. hylaedactyla
• Leptodactylus didymus
• Leptodactylus leptodactyloides
• Engystomops freibergi
• Dendropsophus leucophyllatus
• Dendropsophus parviceps
• Hypsiboas geographicus
• Hypsiboas lanciformis
• Hypsiboas punctatus
• Phyllomedusa camba
• Scinax ruber
• Allobates femoralis
• Rhinella marina
• Pristimantis fenestratus
• Bolitoglossa sp.
Cock of the Rock Lodge
• Hypsiboas balzani
• Hypsiboas sp.
• Pristimantis lindae
• Pristimantis pharangobates
• Pristimantis sp.
"Chelsea, Thank you once again for organizing such a wonderful ecotour of Peru. Your knowledge of the area and subjects, command of Spanish, your attention to every detail, and your effusive personality made for an outstanding experience for all of us. Thank you for a job well done!." -- John M.
Peru Ecotour Summary from Trip Leader Chelsea Carson
The first ever SAVE THE FROGS! Peruvian Ecotour has just ended and was a complete success! Our group brought together scientists, environmental enthusiasts, teachers, doctors, musicians, and everything in between for an amazing 13-day tour of the Andes mountains and Amazon basin of Peru. We began the tour in the famous Andean city of Cusco where we learned about the unique history of the area and its modern fascinations. This beautiful archaeological site showcases Spanish colonial architecture built on top of the once Incan empire capital.
Later that afternoon we began our journey towards the eastern side of the Andes and into the cloudforest. Our first stop was the Wayqecha Biological Station where we had the incredible opportunity to hear from the scientific coordinator and station manager about the ecological treasures of the reserve and their ongoing conservation projects. Despite the high elevation (3,000 meters) and cold, dry temperatures we still found two species of frogs while out on our first night!
The group fell asleep underneath the stars as the clouds faded in and out of the valley below and awoke the next morning to a spectacular view of the Manu National Park. We all hiked through the high elevation cloudforest admiring the orchids and insects which occupy it until finding the canopy walk! Walking amongst the trees gave us the unique perspective of life from above and showcased just how amazing the scenery of the Wayqecha area truly is.
After a delicious Peruvian lunch we headed down from the foothills and deeper into the Amazon Basin. Our next stop and home for the next three nights was the Villa Carmen Biological Station. At Villa Carmen we found 15 species of amphibians as well as an abundance of other wildlife. We spent the three days hiking through the reserve, frogging every night, listening to presentations by SAVE THE FROGS! and Villa Carmen researchers, and even got to go to the local school and share our love and knowledge about amphibians.
To say Villa Carmen was a wonderful spot for our group only begins to say how much we enjoyed our time at this spectacular scientific field site and conservation area. From crossing rivers by cable car, to overlooking Alta Madre de Dios River from the mirador hike, our group explored the vast trail system of Villa Carmen and enjoyed all of the plants and animals we encountered along the way.
After three amazing nights at the station we said goodbye to the Villa Carmen staff and researchers and made our way back up towards the higher elevation forests. We broke up the drive and ignited our inner birder by staying the night at the famous Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. As I’m sure the name gives away we got to experience to beauty of the Cock-of-the-Rock bird by visiting a lek nearby. We enjoyed the natural experience of staying in nature and had an unbelievable night of frogging! Co-leader Joanna showed the group just how dedicated to her work she is by scaling a forest wall to get a snake to show to the group!
We then had a leisurely morning picking out bird calls, practicing our Spanish, and watching an agouti run around the lodge. By afternoon we headed back up to higher ground to stay our final night in the Manu National Biosphere Reserve at the Wayqecha Biological Station and say hello to our friends there once again. We went out looking for frogs and did not come back disappointed! We found two species along the Manu road nearby.
The next morning we hiked the wonderful Zorro trail and got another panoramic view of the valleys below. This left us with an incredible sense of gratitude for the amazing week of frogging and adventure we had just experienced.
After a bittersweet goodbye to the Manu National Park we loaded into our van and headed back into the Andes mountains to complete the final 5 days of our tour and visit the Sacred Valley and surrounding areas. What an incredible time we had visiting these world heritage sites and many Incan ruins! We traveled from Cusco into the town of Aguascalientes to see the famous site of Machu Picchu. The group divided into groups and hiked through the neighboring mountains to observe this breathtaking Incan site. We then met back up in the afternoon to have a guided tour and learn about the mysterious history of this magical place.
After Machu Picchu we traveled into the Sacred Valley where we stopped in the towns of Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Each offered us a unique encounter into the lives and breathing history of the Peruvian people. Our group spent our final days walking through ruins, shopping at local markets, indulging on local cuisine, and sharing laughs and smiles about the trip. It was an incredible 13 days with a great group of people and SAVE THE FROGS! looks forward to bringing more of our supporters here in the future.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on this tour and we hope to see all of you on another tour in the future!
"Chelsea, Thank you once again for organizing such a wonderful ecotour of Peru. Your knowledge of the area and subjects, command of Spanish, your attention to every detail, and your effusive personality made for an outstanding experience for all of us. Thank you for a job well done!."
-- SAVE THE FROGS! Peru Ecotour Participant John M., Sacramento, CA
A note from Peru Ecotour Participant Eric Bindseil:
I have to tell you, I had a fantastically froggy Peru adventure with Chelsea and the whole SAVE THE FROGS! Peru crew, including the researchers at Villa Carmen too in November! It was absolutely wonderful to experience Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Peruvian Andes Cloud Forests, and the Amazon Basin Rainforests, searching successfully for so many species of frogs, snakes, insects, birds and even a few mammals too! Wow! What a treat! Chelsea did an incredible job with everything and everyone, she is awesome!
Just needed to tell you personally that the whole trip was great and I can't wait to participate in (maybe even assist or lead) future SAVE THE FROGS! ecotours. I certainly am interested in Panama and Colombia and probably other wild places also! How about Australia!? Another place I want to help protect and experience soon too!
Thank you, Michael and all the other SAVE THE FROGS! people for all you do for amphibians, wild lands, wildlife and the people of the world, which benefit all present and future generations!
Also, your suggestion to visit TRC was excellent! I was easily able to get there and had a glorious time for an extra 6 days seeing the important Macaw research and amazing clay lick sites too! I was fortunate to meet more wonderful folks and was able to see more frog species, including a couple poison dart frogs, and interesting snakes too! I even observed and photographed my first wild lands jaguar near TRC, along a river bank of the upper Amazon basin, traveling freely in its spectacular rainforest habitat!
Very Best to you and all STF! people,