Facilities in Peru
The entire research expedition, including accommodation and travel to the field site, will be based on board either the Rio Amazonas or the Pithecia ships which are restored boats from the rubber boom era. The boats have fan cooled cabins (which can accommodate 4-10 participants in bunk-beds), dining areas and plenty of open deck space. There is limited generator power during the evenings providing an opportunity for participants to recharge laptops or camera batteries (you will need to bring the appropriate adapter, as the plugs are continental European style). This makes travel and working in even the most remote part of the Amazon a reasonably comfortable experience. In addition to the research boat on which you will be living, there are many auxiliary boats (e.g. wooden and aluminium canoes) used to access the various data collection points.
Volunteers are taken by bus from Iquitos to Nauta. At that point, you join one of the research boats or are taken by speedboat up to the survey site. The Rio Amazonas takes approximately 48 hours (depending on river conditions) to reach the research site and the speed boat around 12 hours.
You will be given 3 meals per day which are varied, with rice and pasta being the staple food, lots of eggs, meat, fish, and limited vegetables. Unfortunately it is difficult to accommodate lacto-vegetarian and vegan diets or people with severe egg allergies. There is a snack bar on the boat, so if you wish to supplement your three meals a day make sure you bring some extra money. Drinking water is either collected and treated or is bought from Iquitos, so that there is a plentiful supply for each team member. Also, the boats have a small library of books on the Amazon and its flora and fauna.
Not all research ships return to Nauta at the end of each two weeks and some remain on site throughout the survey season. On these occasions if you are on one of the boats that is scheduled to go back to Nauta to pick up the next group you will be required to change boats to one of those staying on site.