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Spectacle bear hanging on a tree

Ted Travels: Bumping into Paddington Bear.

June 19, 2020

A few years ago, on a trip to Peru, I was lucky enough to bump into a bear! And not just any kind of bear, but a rarely seen Spectacled Bear. As we were about to reach the Sun Gate on the one-day Inca Trail Express, one of these docile mammals just crossed our path!

Spectacled bears are the only bear you can find in South America. They live in the Andean cloud forest and are distinctive for the whitish rings that circle their eyes. You could probably recognise one if you know the children’s book Paddington Bear! These bears are smaller in size than their North American cousins. And they seem very friendly, if a little shy!  Only 5% of their diet is based on meat, so maybe that’s why we were ignored by the one crossing our path.

Do you have clients interested in seeing one of Paddington Bear’s elusive cousins? Well, some of our favourite properties have conservation projects which makes this easier than ever!

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is located in the town of Aguas Calientes, just 30 minutes drive from Machu Picchu. And they have a wonderful program that allows guests to interact with captive bears which are being rehabilitated for release into the wild.

Alternatively, Hacienda Zuleta in Ecuador has been identifying and tracking Spectacled Bears since 2009. Through their Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation that are actively working to preserve the local populations and their habitat.

Spotting wildlife in Latin America has been a highlight for many of our clients. Some of them have been lucky enough to see jaguars, pumas, and even humpback whales! If you’re a wildlife enthusiast then talk to one of our travel specialists today and we’ll create a totally wild itinerary, just for you.