Finca Las Piedras
Finca Las Piedras is the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon's field site and base of operations in the Peruvian Amazon. Located about an hour north of the Madre de Dios Department's capital of Puerto Maldonado near the recently paved Interoceanic Highway, the site provides researchers, students, educators, conservation professionals, and others access to a variety of Amazonian ecosystems. The site is mostly upland or ‘terra firme’ rainforest dominated by Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and other tropical hardwoods; Mauritia palm swamps, regenerating secondary forest, and active and abandoned agricultural fields are also within easy reach. The property is bordered to the east by concessions for Brazil nuts and this forest continues, unbroken, for hundreds of kilometers into the Manuripi reserve in neighboring Bolivia.
Living facilities on site include shared dorms and private rooms with mosquito nets, shared composting toilets, open-air cold showers, a shared bathing platform over a crystal clear jungle stream, and an open-air kitchen and dining hall where meals are served—all rustic yet comfortable and designed to minimize our environmental impact. Laboratory space, an irrigated shadehouse, a flight cage for research on the Lepidoptera, and a trail network that provides access to numerous rain forest habitats are also available.
At a glance...
Location: Madre de Dios, Peru (lat. -12.226348°, lon. -69.112599°)
Nearest town: Monterrey (2 km; pop. ~300)
Distance to regional capital: Puerto Maldonado; 47 km, ~1 hr by car
Living facilities: Shared dorms (2; 16 beds total), private room (1; 5 beds), screened dining hall, shared composting toilets (2), shared cold showers (2), shared bathing platform over jungle stream
Meals: 7am, 1pm, 6:30pm in the common dining hall
Electricity: 220 V charging station provided by solar panels, outside the rooms
Internet: Available with local sim card (not provided, and not very fast or reliable)
Visit us in the rainforest
Finca Las Piedras is open to researchers, students, and anyone else who would like to experience the rainforest and the work done by the ASA to study and conserve Amazonian biodiversity and other natural resources.
2019 visitor fees
Daily Fees/Visitor (shared rooms)
*Daily fees include lodging and three meals per night stayed. Transportation to and from the site is not included in the daily fees. Please read our Cancellation Policy, as well as our Terms and Conditions before making a payment. Contact us for course group rates and student discounts.
Host a group at Finca Las Piedras
Finca Las Piedras is an ideal site to host a field course, service learning project, or other group in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Easy accessibility, incredible habitat diversity and good wildlife viewing opportunities, as well as rustic yet comfortable facilities and excellent food ensure a productive and unforgettable experience.
A major advantage of hosting your field course or other group at Finca Las Piedras is that, unlike most other field sites in the region, the ASA maintains active, in-house research projects at the site spanning diverse topics that visitors can get involved with. Our projects include biological inventories of plants and animals ranging from insects, mammals, and birds to trees, orchids, and other plants, phenology monitoring of Brazil nuts and aguaje (Mauritia) palms, and sustainable tropical agriculture, agroforestry, and reforestation (explore our projects in more detail here). Experienced ASA staff are always available and happy to help coordinate logistics, plan academic programs, and organize field activities, both in advance and once in the field, at Finca Las Piedras and throughout the Cusco and Madre de Dios regions. Contact us for more information about how we can facilitate your stay in Peru.
Recent groups at Finca Las Piedras
2019 March - Conservation in the Peruvian Amazon (field course, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru)
2018 December - Mining and Conservation in Peru (field course, DePaul University)
2018 October-November - Wildlands Studies Peru Project (ecology & conservation field course, Wildlands Studies)
2018 August - Conservation in the Peruvian Amazon (field course, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru)
2018 June - Tropical Entomology (field course, Field Projects International)
Species registered to date at Finca Las Piedras
Butterflies & moths
More about Finca Las Piedras & ASA
The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon (ASA) is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, formed in 2016, that is active in the Madre de Dios region, in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. Our mission is to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and the conservation of biodiversity for the benefit of all who live in and depend upon the Amazon rain forest. Due to its proximity to the equator and the biodiverse tropical Andes mountains, as well as its expansive tracts of pristine tropical wilderness, the region’s rain forests are home to more species of plants and animals than nearly anywhere else on earth. Unfortunately, this incredible biological richness is threatened by rapid, uncontrolled development and other human activities, including unsustainable agricultural practices and the extraction of natural resources. We envision a more sustainable Amazon, one in which the region’s great natural wealth sustains local human livelihoods and biodiversity without diminishing the ability of future generations to enjoy its many benefits.
While human density in Madre de Dios is currently low, and forest cover is high compared to many other Amazonian regions, both planned and unregulated development and extractive activities are emerging as significant threats to the region’s biodiversity. With the recent completion of the Interoceanic Highway, which connects the city of Cusco in the Andes with the regional capital of Puerto Maldonado and Rio Branco in Brazil, a flood of colonists from the Peruvian highlands has descended upon the rainforest in search of economic opportunity.
Our work focuses, in particular, on the rapidly expanding deforestation front along the margins of the Interoceanic Highway in Madre de Dios. Click here to read more about our research, conservation, and education programs in the region, and what we’re doing to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and the conservation of biodiversity for the benefit of all who live in and depend upon the Amazon rainforest.
Finca Las Piedras is located in the Madre de Dios Department of osoutheastern Peru, where the Andes Mountains meet the vast Amazon basin.
Madre de Dios is among the most biodiverse regions on the planet—more than 1,300 species of butterflies alone have been recorded to date.
Finca Las Piedras is the ASA's research base in Madre de Dios, and provides access to varied Amazonian habitat that shelter more species of plants and animals than anywhere else on earth.
Most of the site is covered in upland, 'terra firme' rain forest. Bertholletia excelsa—the source of Brazil nuts—is a dominant canopy species.
Orchids comprise the most diverse family of plants in the world and are especially abundant in the rainforest canopy at Finca Las Piedras.
Students on a field course help plant native trees for reforestation in the ASA shadehouse.
Seedlings of copoazú,Theobroma grandiflorum, grow in the ASA's shadehouse. This is one of numerous native species that we are working with to enhance the biodiversity value of the rain forest-agricultural matrix that surrounds us.