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ABC's 2010 Educational Ecotour to the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and Machu Picchu

The American Botanical Council’s (ABC) annual “Pharmacy from the Rainforest” Botanical Medicine Workshop and Ecotour will take place in Amazonian Peru and the majestic Andes Mountains, from October 7–17, 2010.

Since 1994, ABC has partnered with the Amazon Center for Education and Environmental Research (ACCER) to co-sponsor this exciting educational ecotour for health professionals, researchers, industry members, and laypersons. This year’s tour is also co-sponsored by West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

The 2010 ABC-ACEER Botanical Medicine Workshop will take place in various locations in Amazonian Peru and the Andes, including the famous mountaintop “lost city” of Machu Picchu, declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations and often referred to as one of the new “Seven Wonders of the World.” This year’s adventure also features a special optional extension from October 16–19 to the Wayqecha Research Station and the Manu Cloud Forest Canopy Walkway, the only canopy walkway system in the cloud forests of the Andes.

The trip’s first destination is Puerto Maldonado, capital of the Madre de Dios region, which is a tributary of the upper Amazon. Participants will visit a local market, where they will have a chance to view medicinal herb stands and discuss traditional remedies.

Other highlights include visits to Reserva Amazonica and the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, a series of suspended walkways 100 feet above the floor of the rainforest that provide a spectacular view of forest life in the upper canopy. Participants will also explore the diverse flora and fauna of an oxbow lake reserve, Sandoval Lake, home of the endangered giant river otter and other rare animals.

One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the Sacred Urubamba Valley near Cuzco, the longest-inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere, plus a day at the spectacular mountaintop site of Machu Picchu. Educational workshops will feature information on medicinal plants, plant diversity, and ecosystems within the rainforest.

This year’s tour leaders are Steven Foster, renowned photographer, lecturer, author, and president of the ABC Board of Trustees, and Amanda McQuade Crawford, herbalist and television show host, who specializes in women’s health issues and is a member of ABC’s Advisory Board. Programs will also be presented by local native healers.

“ABC’s Peruvian Botanical Medicine Workshop is one of our most popular and unique educational programs,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “For over 15 years, people who have attended this amazing Amazon and Andean adventure have told us it has literally changed their lives. I’ve been to the Amazon at least a dozen times and to Machu Picchu 4 times, and the images of those fascinating locales are indelibly etched in my memory.”

The cost of the main trip is $3,890, which includes domestic airfare within Peru, lodging, meals, ground transportation, baggage handling, and workshops, and excludes the cost of roundtrip airfare to Lima, Peru. The cost of the extension trip is $400. The full itinerary and registration forms are available on the ABC website at More information is also available by calling 800-373-7105.

—Kelly E. Lindner