SFS Peru: Biodiversity and Development in the Amazon (Semester)

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Explore the lush ecosystems and extraordinary biodiversity of the north Peruvian Amazon. Study threats to the region firsthand – from climate change to resource extraction – and get at the heart of Peru’s conservation and development issues. Embark on a multi-day excursion to the Andean highlands, where you’ll hike through cloud forests and visit the historic Incan capital of Cusco, the hub for visitors to Machu Picchu.

SFS students live and study at the Center for Amazon Studies, which lies halfway between the remote city of Iquitos and the port city of Nauta, amid the vast rainforests of the Amazon. Campus is a small group of buildings connected by elevated walkways, and the sights and sounds of the forest are accessible via an on-campus trail system which traverses our 183-acre property. Small villages within walking distance provide access to local shops.

  • Take a multi-day excursion to the village of Sucusari to learn about the traditions of the Maijuna people and explore the jungle from the world’s longest canopy walkway.
  • Take an overnight riverboat expedition in Peru’s largest national reserve, Pacaya-Samiria, home to species such as pink river dolphins, bats, piranhas, primates, macaws, and giant river otters.
  • Visit a manatee rescue center, tropical fish exporter, and potato and butterfly farms to study a range of local conservation efforts.
  • Develop field skills including: Species identification and population monitoring, biodiversity surveys, Spanish language, research design, data collection, scientific writing and presentation
  • Conduct research in some of the following areas: Forest and soil ecology, mammal ecology and conservation, land use impacts, natural resource management, forest recovery, development in the Amazon

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
group photo

Straight Up Amazing

Before this program, I had only left the country once before, and that was to go to Montreal in Canada. I was a little nervous joining the program the to that, but my fears were groundless. This program was stunning in scenery, meticulous in safety preparations, and fascinating in class information.

The field trips were all worthwhile, and allow you to learn more about the culture and ecology of Peru (Andes, Amazon, and highlands) than most tourists could ever dream of. Additionally, it allows you to avoid the more touristy locations and find peace in some harder to reach locales. The program's itinerary is changeable though, as we found when half the program fell sick and could not make it to Manu Wildlife Center (arguably the highlight of the program). Even with this, though, the amount of information we learned and the amount that we traveled seemed unparalleled by any other programs I had researched.

I would hands down recommend SFS Peru for a study abroad program. I would recommend staying after to sightsee and let your hair down a bit, for rules are strictly enforced during the semester and spring break for safety purposes. And if possible, I would also come down early to get a deeper understanding of the language and the present culture too (for SFS lodging is in what may appear normal in the States but are palaces in terms of Peruvian standards of living).

I learned more during my semester with SFS than I had learned in the previous year in University, in addition to meeting and befriending many like-minded nature nuts and hiking pals. I hope that you have the same or better experiences!

Yes, I recommend this program
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SFS Peru

SFS Peru is the place to make lifelong friends who become your family, be surrounded by amazing amounts of wildlife, and study and work in the Amazon rain forest. Unique opportunities to pursue interests in ecology, conservation biology, and political ecology make this program extremely special. Expect to be amazed every day and live in a place you may have never considered a potential home. Travel opportunities and field excursions throughout the rain forest, as well as the highlands, make this program fantastic.

How can this program be improved?
The only major issues are spotty wifi and the occasional electricity failure.
Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Alumni

About The School for Field Studies (SFS)

The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers field-based programs that revolve around environmental studies and research. The programs involve exploration of the human and ecological aspects of issues having to do with the local environments. Students...