Wilderness Experience Tropical Ornithology in Peru

Research course in South America

Course: Tropical Ornithology

Peru’s rainforests are truly a paradise of biodiversity. Especially the avifauna provides a unique richness in species (more than 600!). This NATUCATE Wilderness Experience will give you the chance to explore the birds of the Amazon region and their biology. Students participating in this course will learn a variety of approaches to gain a deeper understanding about bird taxonomy, ecology and conservation methods. Most of the time will be spent in field activities, complemented by nightly lectures. This is intended to foster an interest in conducting scientific research, with a special focus on developing analytical skills relevant to tropical biology.

The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biodiverse tropical rainforests on the planet. You will discover and research a wide range of ecosystems in this biodiversity hotspot along with your team and the course leaders. The course will be taught in the heart of the Peruvian jungle, where you will encounter a variety of exotic bird species.

Services Our Services


  • Placement in the course
  • Accommodation during the course
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • All meals during the course
  • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
  • Course-related equipment
  • Assistance with booking flights
  • English speaking support by long-term experienced staff
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • 24/7 support throughout the course
  • Airport pick up and drop off

Not included

  • Flight to Puerto Maldonado/flight from Puerto Maldonado or Cusco
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional: domestic flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco
  • Personal expenses and optional excursions
  • Visa fees

2 weeks | 2 research stations

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID W.PER-002
2 Weeks 2.200 €

The prices stated in euros are approximate values. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Dollar, all prices will be calculated at the time of enquiry.

3 weeks | 3 research stations

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID W.PER-002
3 Weeks 2.950 €

The prices stated in euros are approximate values. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Dollar, all prices will be calculated at the time of enquiry.



If you want to be part in this project you don’t need expert knowledge or any prior experience – you only need a lot of motivation and enthusiasm for biology and bird related topics. For a successful project you have to be ready to participate and learn actively in the courses. Participants must be at least 18 years old and have certain knowledge of English to understand the course instructions and research material. You need a CV, medical and vaccination certificates to complete your application documents. We also need you to send us a reference from your university or employer. To get to know the participants skype interviews with the NATUCATE team and the partner organization are requested.


Everyone interested in the our field courses in Peru aware that these courses aim at educating the participants. The courses have a set content and deal with a variety of topics that are introduced in English. A number of theoretical and practical examinations as well as presentations in English are part of the learning experience and can be challenging for non-native speakers.

Please note that the courses are not simply safari excursions but require effort. But if you are interested and also willing to learn something completely new, the challenges and tasks will be manageable for you. You should not get discouraged – feel free to contact us so we can discuss the detailed learning plan and explain the general procedure of the courses to you.

Details Ornithology – Peruvian Amazon


Tropical Ornithology in Peru

Your adventure begins at Puerto Maldonado International Airport. An employee will pick you up and take you to a Hostel in Puerto Maldonado, where you are going to spend one night. The next day you will head out to Laberinto from where you will take a boat to your final destination. The boat will take a couple of hours to bring you safely to the first research station, located at the foot of the Andes, before heading to the second and optionally third research station in the midst of the Amazon rainforest. During the first days at the field site course participants learn about safety, research ethics and how to collect and prepare spatial data which is collected in one of the world’s most diverse rainforests.

The actual course will provide a deep knowledge about bird behavior, ecology, taxonomy, nature conservation and different field research methods such as telemetry and implementation of field studies. There will be a focus on practical work during daytime and nightly lectures which convey theoretical knowledge. Grades and certificates of completion are based on participants' assignments and short exam. Depending on your university or college you might be able to get credit for this course. For any further information you are welcome to contact us.


Course Topics

  • Basic avian biology
  • Diversity of avifauna of the Amazonian forests in Peru
  • Different survey techniques and their applications
  • Basic interactions between birds and their habitats
  • Knowledge and tools crucial to the implementation of ornithological projects in the wild

We realise that some of the people on our projects want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE makes no guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, as nature doesn’t always give us what we want. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.



After your arrival you will be staying one night each at a hostel in Puerto Maldonado. These two days breakfast will be prepared for you at the hostel. For lunch and dinner you may visit downtown Puerto Maldonado for some culinary experiences. During your stay in the project you will reside at a research station located at the foot of the Southern Andes in the Amazon rainforest, for the first few days. The research station has two dormitories in which you will share bunk beds with other course participants. The station also has shared bathrooms. During the day you will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of the meals will be taken together with the others in a large dining room. Thanks to the balanced food supply a vegetarian diet is also possible, even though fresh vegetables might not be available daily. Always inform us about your choice of diet in advance. The research station also consists of a laboratory, a classroom and a library. After five nights exploring terra firme forests, you will travel back to Puerto Maldonado to then visit the second field station, and its associated palm swamps, for another six nights. The station is located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, a 45-minute boat ride from the state capital Puerto Maldonado. All housing options are similar, and extremely comfortable. The dorms have four rooms, each room has four beds and an attached washroom. The smaller cabins have two rooms, with two beds to a room with attached washrooms. Then, if you choose to continue on to the second portion of the course, you will fly to Cusco after six more nights, and travel to your third field station on the same day, for five further nights. The station is located in the Kcosñipata Valley, in the department of Cusco. Here you will share a bed- and bathroom with other participants as well. At all three field stations, you will be provided with three meals each day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. These meals are healthy and will fill you up, but this being the middle of the rainforest, don’t expect to get all your food groups represented in the same way you try to eat while you are at home. You will also have access to cookies, crackers, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, at all times during the day (while you are at camp).


Everyone interested in a Wilderness Experience abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, flexibility and the ability to adapt are very important. The facility might not be what you expected and cannot be compared to European standards. In the jungle equipment and furnishings are limited; air conditioning is not available. Power blackouts or water outrages might occur occasionally – depending on where you are. Please contact us if you have further questions about your stay. We are happy to provide you with detailed information to make you feel 100 % prepared.

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