Malinowski | Field Projects International


Malinowski Biological Station (MBS) is located at the confluence of the Malinowski and Tambopata rivers in southeastern Madre de Dios river basin. The site includes the Malinowski guard post, which is staffed by SERNANP (the Peruvian government agency in charge of protected area management, akin to the U.S. National Park Service) and controls access to the 275,000 hectare (2750 km2 / 1061 square miles) Tambopata National Reserve and the adjacent 1-million hectare (10,000+ km2 / 4200+ sq. miles) Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Together, the two protected areas encompass a vast expanse of virtually untouched, barely explored lowland Amazon rainforest.

Malinowski Biological Station is located on upland tierra firme habitat ~25m above the Tambopata River, with picturesque views of the river from atop the tierra firme terrace. A 2km trail leading from the station provides access to mature “old-growth” tierra firme forest habitat, and ends at a mammal clay lick. Across the river, a 3km trail begins from the river bank, passes through a band of early-stage successional forest, and traverses through a wide swatch of mature “old-growth”floodplain forest, ending at an oxbow lake.

Field Station FAQs

Layout of the Field Station

MBS has rustic but comfortable facilities that include: a spacious lecture and classroom area, a 7-cabin 14-person capacity dormitory, shared toilets and showers, a kitchen and dining facility, and hand-wash laundry area. The buildings and facilities are grouped around a spacious green that doubles as a soccer field for intense evening soccer games with park guards.

Available Housing

Course participants will share cabins with simple bunks. The station provides bed linens, pillows, and mosquito nets, and participants will need to bring their own towels, toiletries and laundry detergent. Organic or biodegradable soap, shampoo and detergent are strongly encouraged.

Dining Options

Meals are prepared by an experienced field chef who has worked on several field courses at remote locations in Madre de Dios over the past years. Participants can except nutritious and flavorful meals that feature regional and local ingredients such as yuca, plantain, quinoa, rice, lentils, and beans. Non-vegetarian protein will include chicken, canned tuna and cecina (Peruvian Amazon version of country-smoked ham, absolutely delicious!)


The average temperature is around 24°C (75.6°F). The weather is generally moderate, with a lot of rain in the months of December, January, and February (‘invierno,’ or winter in the Amazon); the months of June, July, and August are known as ‘verano,’ or summer, and are typically much drier. Also during this time, cold fronts that are usually accompanied by winds and rain, known locally as ‘friajes,’ sweep north over the region from Patagonia and cause temperatures to drop markedly. These friajes can last from 1-7 days and temperatures during previous episodes have dropped to the low 50s F (~9-10 degrees Celsius). Thus, it is important to always be prepared for warm and cold weather, as well as heavy rain or lots of sun.

Communication from the Jungle

At present, MBS does not have internet facilities or cell phone reception, owing to its remoteness. Course participants should be prepared to forego communication with the outside world throughout the 7-day stay at MBS. For emergency situations, the station maintains 24-hour radio communication with other guard stations and SERNANP HQ in Puerto Maldonado.

Travel to Malinowski

  • Lima-Andes 

    Flying to Lima, Peru

    One can fly to Lima on a number of international airline carriers. With advance notice, it is possible to book a roundtrip ticket from Chicago or Washington D.C., USA, to Lima, Peru, for ~$800 USD, but these prices will vary depending on your origin.  As with any other location, delaying booking a flight will increase your travel prices. Travel is ideal when conducted overnight, in time to catch a second domestic flight to your final destination, Puerto Maldonado.

    Here are some good places to begin searching for flights online: KayakTravelocityOrbitzExpedia.


    Getting to Puerto Maldonado

    You can get to Puerto Maldonado either by bus or plane. The bus can takes 21 hours to get to Cuzco, followed by an overnight trip from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado.  Although this trip is long, it is cheap ($150 or so for the whole trip), and can provide you with some of the most amazing views of the Andes and cloud forests.

    A flight to Puerto Maldonado is the shortest and most efficient way to get across the Andes, but it is also more expensive. You can fly to Puerto via LAN, Taca, or Star Peru (in order of overall decreasing cost), for anywhere from $180 to $300 for a round trip ticket. It is easier to book LAN or Taca online than it is to book with Star Peru. There are roughly three flights per day to Puerto Maldonado from Lima via Cuzco and getting in as early as possible is advisable.


    Final Journey to Malinowski

    Travel to MBS involves a ~6-hour trip up the Tambopata River starting from a port near its confluence with the Madre de Dios river in the city of Puerto Maldonado. The journey includes a stop at the La Torre guard post about 2 hours upriver to sign in and visit an observation tower. The downriver journey from MBS to Puerto Maldonado takes about 4 hours and includes a brief stop at the La Torre guard post to sign out.

  • visa

    Obtaining a visa to Peru

    No visa is required for a visit of up to 90 days for an American citizen. You can get a stamp in your passport at the Lima airport. If you are staying for over a month make sure to ask for the full 90 days or they give you the default of 30 days.

    Visa requirements for citizens of all other countries can be found here.

    Begin the application process early. You will need an airline ticket before you can apply. If you live in a city with an embassy then it should take about 3 days to get your visa. If you mail it in it should take a week.