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RARE: Study Abroad in the Amazon Rainforest

May 21, 2019 - June 10, 2019

In May 2019 Tamandua Expeditions will team up with Radford University for the fifth consecutive year to host a study abroad program in the Amazon Rainforest. The Radford Amazonian Research Expedition (RARE) will provide undergraduate students with a unique opportunity to conduct original biological research in a primary Amazonian rainforest ecosystem.

In the several weeks they spend in and around the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station, members of the RARE team will conduct multiple original scientific studies that the students themselves worked to design and prepare during the preceding semester. Their research will focus on a wide variety of topics related to exploration of this all but unmapped jungle ecosystem, such as the impact of deforestation on microbial metagenomics, analysis of the antibacterial and antifungal properties of rare plants, cataloging of newly discovered species, and tracking and behavioral studies of megafauna including tapir, jaguars, macaws and monkeys, and much more.

In addition to their independent research, RARE students will have the opportunity to explore the forest and river, to learn from local guides and to study under Radford’s expert faculty. They will encounter rare and endangered species, visit local markets, see the impact of deforestation first hand, and hike and study in a truly one of a kind place. As participants in RARE, students will be able to enjoy an experience that is equal parts education and exploration, and entirely unforgettable!

Accommodations and Setting

We will be staying at the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station, located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. This area is the most bio-diverse place on earth, containing some of the most stunning flora and fauna in the world. There are 90 species of mammals, ~600 species of bird, and ~150 species of reptile and amphibian that seek refuge in the seemingly limitless expanses of towering rainforest trees.

Isolated deep in the lowland rainforests of Peru, the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station is a comfortable and safe place at which we base our operations. Surrounded by 7,000 hectares of primary rainforest reserve, you will have the opportunity to be truly immersed in the rainforest. Because of the remote location and pristine forest, wildlife is extremely abundant. Often the morning is filled with the calls of parrots, toucans, and howler monkeys. You can expect to have regular sightings of macaws, caiman, peccaries, capybara, parrots, snakes, frogs, toucans, and eight different species of monkey. Other more difficult to spot wildlife includes jaguars, ocelots, Brazilian tapirs, giant armadillos, giant anteaters, and deer. However, careful planning and soft quiet footsteps can reveal many of these species.

Our activities include hiking, boating, wildlife viewing, tree climbing, wilderness skills, local knowledge hikes, and a variety of experiences designed to bring you close to the environment. Amidst the raw materials of life – water, sun, clean air, and biodiversity – you will be reconnected to the simple and utterly fantastic orchestra of the rainforest landscape.

The Las Piedras Biodiversity Station is fully equipped with running water, toilets, and showers. We have comfortable beds with mosquito nets and hammocks to relax in. On the main deck you can find a library of field guides and biodiversity surveys. We have a fully staffed kitchen and employ local chefs who cook authentic local cuisine that will help power your mind and body. We can confidently say that your presence at the station will not only place you in one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet but it will also make you an important part of it’s security for generations to come.

As part of this project, the station will be equipped with a solar generator as well as a variety of state of the art scientific field and laboratory equipment, including wireless microscope-cameras, sat-fi internet connections, genetic sampling and preservation systems, half a dozen infrared trail cameras and much more.


If you are interested in setting up a program with Tamandua Expeditions, contact us at


May 21, 2019
June 10, 2019


Peru Retreat
Puerto Maldonado, Peru


Tamandua Jungle