Experience gained from our many travels can be useful for your natural history-oriented travel planning. Our advice is focused on natural history objectives of your travel, where there is generally less information available to the traveler than with cultural attractions.
We will be happy to evaluate your tentative travel plans and suggest ways they might be improved. The cost of this service will be based on the complexity or the level of help required.
This service can be provided for individuals or for groups.
We can help you design your itinerary. You provide the input of what your interests are and we can provide tour options that most closely match your desired focus and budget.
We are available to help lead tours to certain natural history destinations that we are familiar with. Our backgrounds in both the physical sciences (meteorology/climate and geology (Mike) and aspects of the biological sciences (Rosario) help use to design tours that will cover a broad range of subjects in the natural sciences. The intent is to have a thoroughly educational (and enjoyable) visit.
We have visited many locations around the world, but some many more times than others – either for work or because we liked to return for personal travel. Besides the USA, we are most familiar with Mexico, followed by some of the countries in South America (especially northern Argentina, Chile, and Peru) as well as South Africa. We are familiar with these locations and know that they would be satisfying travel destinations for those interested in natural history. If you or your group would like to visit these places we can help you plan your travel. We may also be available to serve as your guides on such trips.
We can be particularly useful guiding many of the trips mentioned below since 1) Rosario is a native-Spanish speaker and Mike is fluent (able to teach classes) in Spanish. This is important to extract more out of any trip to Spanish-speaking countries.
Some foreign tour possibilities
We have made more than 30 trips to Mexico over the past 30 years, and have passed through or specifically visited northern and eastern Mexico many times. Surprisingly, much of the specialized succulent plant flora is not evident to the casual tourist and required detours off-the-beaten path. Some of our talks describe some of these environments. We are also familiar with the Baja California peninsula.
Spectacular island and volcanic landscapes with an abundance of Aeonium and other succulent plant species. Unique laurisilva forests dependent on moisture from persistent low clouds. Good parks with uncrowded hiking trails. Cool conditions compared with most locations during summer because of surrounding cool ocean.
These islands are well-known for Darwin’s finches and a host of other endemic plants and animals. Less-well known to most natural history travelers is that the islands can be visited relatively inexpensively and with even more time to see key plants and animals than on the better-known expensive cruises around the islands.
South Africa is a Mecca for succulent plant enthusiasts, yet it is also among the most affordable destinations for seeing much of the well-known African wildlife. We have made six trips to South Africa, some of more than a month duration. All parts of South Africa have subjects of great interest to those interested in natural history.
Some USA Destinations
The locations below are some that we are most familiar with and where we could design effective natural history tours. Mike grew up in San Diego, California and has traveled through the region extensively over the intervening decades.
The Sonoran Desert in the US
This region, extending from just east of San Diego to near Tucson and north to beyond Las Vegas, has a wide variety of desertic landscapes and plants adapted to such environments. For visitors from foreign countries or those from the US who have not traveled much to the westen deserts we could provide educational tours. We have also traveled extensively through the Mexican part of the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, and can provide a comprehensive overview of the region to tour members.
Big Bend National Park
This is one of the closest National Parks to where we live in the US, and it has probably the greatest variety of cacti and other succulent plants of any park in the US. However, finding these cacti can be sometimes challenging since many are small and often cryptic – compared with those occurring in the southwest US. It is the best representative of the Chihuahuan desert in the US, and yet it is a lightly visited park.
We have lived in Florida (Mike for 11 years) and have visited many of the natural history attractions many times. Some are little-known and far off the tourist circuit. Little known to outsiders are the carnivorous plant bogs of north Florida, the numerous freshwater springs of central Florida and the epiphytic bromeliads and orchids in the southern parts of the state. We return periodically to Florida to revisit and explore.
Feel free to contact us with your travel questions.