Half-Day Cruise to the Meeting of the Waters and Ecopark Canoe Trip
Tour Participation Requirements
The world's largest water lily was named Victoria regia after Queen Victoria in 1837, year one of her 64 on the throne, by botanist and explorer Robert Schomburgk. Unfortunately, he was five years too late.
The massive lily pads you'll see in and around Lake January, some as large as 10 feet in diameter, were actually first named Euryale amazonica by fellow botanist/explorer Eduard Poppiga. But a lily by any other name did not smell as sweet to Londoners, and they went with the one named after their young queen.
The giant flowers were cultivated in England throughout the 1840s, where they became popular with artists and ladies of nobility. Among the most notable enthusiasts was Joseph Paxton, then head gardener at the famous Chatsworth House. Paxton was also an architect, and after having his nine-year-old daughter stand on a floating regia, he realized it was "a natural feat of engineering." Its radiating rib structure inspired his design for the huge Crystal Palace at London's 1851 "Great Exhibition," which managed to look delicate and airy despite its 4,500 tons of iron.
If you're a botanist, you should know that the lily of the Amazon is now officially classified as Victoria amazonica. But even here, thousands of miles and a century removed from the Victorian era, non-botanists use the name Schomburgk gave it. As you canoe over the murky waters that feed the Amazon, the lilies drift lazily around you, big as kitchen tables. Look close and you can see the ribbed surface that makes it light but rigid. The natural wonders of the rainforest still inspire.
There are so many different rainforest species that there's no firm number; on average, 10 new species a month are found. There are roughly 427 different mammals, including pink dolphins and nine species of howler monkey, the world's loudest land animals. One monkey you won't hear coming is Mura's tamarin, a diminutive, handlebar-mustached primate found in 2007. Its numbers are unknown, but it's already threatened by habitat loss due to logging and burning.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.