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Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center

Visit the Tahuayo Research Center

Explore 1000 acres of trails in pristine forest
View several monkey species & other wildlife

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tahuayo lodge map

tahuayo river amazon research center

The Tahuayo River is home to many different animals including Giant River Otters and many other aquatic and semi-aquatic rainforest animals. On the Tahuayo River, you will find the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve containing over 300, 000 hectares of tropical rainforest, initially established to protect the rare uakari monkey.

Along the Tahuayo River, you can also find two lodges for experiencing the Tahuayo River’s unique and breathtaking flora and fauna. You have the Tahuayo Lodge, which is the tourist lodge in the reserve, and then the Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center, which, while inviting tourists to experience the animals on the primate grid system, is predominantly for the study of reserve biodiversity. Both lodges can be experienced by contacting the Tahuayo Lodge through their contact bubble below.

Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center

The Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center (TRARC) began life in 2007 with help from Chicago’s Rainforest Conservation Fund, Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and consultation with government offices in Iquitos (Loreto, Peru). The Tahuayo River villages’ Comite de Gestion agreed with the establishment of the TRARC at the 2007 meeting provided the research is shared with the region’s indigenous villages. A requirement the center was more than happy to agree with.

The new exciting Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center will promote a collaborative approach to research in conservation biology, environmental studies, cultural anthropology, and more at the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. Additional support is provided for research projects of particular benefit towards promoting sustainable development among ribereño culture in this large and important section of western Amazonia.

In 2011, our staff biologist Alfredo Dosantos and Dr. Michael Pereira, scientific advisor to the Research Center, placed a dozen motion activated night vision cameras positioned on a rotating basis on 72 places of the trail grid. These have been collecting population data on the Amazon’s nocturnal mammals. This is the first systematic study on nocturnal mammals in the Amazon basin, providing data of critical importance for conservation management. Photos from the cameras are below. Other photos from Alfredo Dosantos can be found on many of the rainforest life articles e.g. Amazon Rainforest snakes, crocodilians, spiders, and birds.

tahuayo river photos

  • Jaguar (Panthera onca)
  • 3rd largest cat
  • Near threatened
  • Keystone species
  • Likes access to water
  • Solitary
  • Nocturnal

There are exciting new prospects for research in plant science that will add to the local knowledge of rainforest life while shedding light on the diversity within the reserve.

Additionally, TRARC’s major collaborator, RCF, has launched new work with Planned Parenthood South America along the Tahuayo River, while continuing to grow ongoing programs in agroforestry, environmental education, and more.

Over the first five years, the noted primatologist Dr. Michael E. Pereira will direct the TRARC in its mission and safeguard the reserve’s primate fauna. The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is home to 14 primate species and populations will be recorded in a reserve wide population census

tahuayo river photos

  • Margay (Leopardus wiedii)
  • Solitary
  • Nocturnal
  • Near Threatened
  • Prefers Dense Forest
  • Aggressive Mimic

Visitors and students can participate in habituation projects to study the lives of particular primate species: Cebus apella, C. albifrons, Saimiri sciureus, Lagothrix lagothricha, Alouatta seniculus, and Cacajao calvus. This work will occur in remote sections identified by villagers as no hunting areas.

tahuayo river photos

  • Tapir (Tapirus sp.)
  • Three Latin Species
  • Horse Relatives
  • Nocturnal
  • Vulnerable
  • Feeds on Fallen Fruit

Students and tourists can also assist the center in other areas such as documenting trends in village demography around the reserve. Much needed research will also be conducted with Dr. Cynthia Gerstner (Columbia College), village fishermen, and RCF to evaluate Tahuayo and Blanco River fish populations, contrasting impacts of legal fishing by local villagers with effects of poaching by outsiders to the region. Another project initiated by Dr. Pati Vitt of the Chicago Botanic Garden, will investigate the geographic distributions, dependencies, and vulnerabilities of canopy orchids and other epiphytic flora in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.

tahuayo river photos

  • Brocket Deer (Mazama sp.)
  • Small to medium size
  • Nocturnal
  • Shy & skittish
  • Feeds on vegetation
  • Form mated pairs


Behind the research lodge is a primate trail grid that stretches across 1000 acres.This is the largest grid system in the Amazon Rainforest and offers the best hikes for viewing monkeys in their natural habitat.

Recently we have set up a motion activated video camera and have recorded many different mammals inluding jaguar, mountain lion, tapir, deer, and tamandua. The grid is also home to coati, giant anteater, tapir, peccary (2 species), ocelot, paca, agouti, agouchi, armadillo, pygmy tree squirrel, Amazon tree squirrel, opossum (many species), rat (many species), sloth (2 species), kinkajou, tayra, and bat (approx 70 species)

tahuayo river photos

  • Puma (Puma concolor)
  • Very large range
  • Generalist
  • Nocturnal
  • Ambush predator
  • Solitary

Scientific studies are mainly conducted on the trail grid, which is the dominant feature of the TRARC as the 52 miles is laid out on transect lines making research easier for students and scientists. This is the largest research transect grid in the rainforest. Most of the research planned by visiting scientists at the Tahuayo River Research Center takes place in the summer months, when scientists and students are free from University classes.

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    Eight Days

    Tahuayo Lodge Iquitos, Peru

    You can visit the highly regarded Tahuayo Lodge & Amazon Research Center as part of this tour of the bio-diverse Tahuayo Reserve. You are assigned a private guide & you can choose an itinerary to reflect your interests. Boasting the most itinerary options in Amazonia, you can whiz through the trees on the canopy zipline, view poison dart frog initiatives, & observe different monkeys on the A.R.C primate research grid.
    Private Guide, Zipline, Primate Research Grid
Ash - Author & Travel AdvisorAbout the Author: is a frequent visitor to the Amazon Rainforest and is passionate about helping people get the best experiences from the Amazon. Ash is a contributor to both TourTheTropics.com and ThinkJungle.com writing about tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the Amazon Rainforest. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away.


Related Pages
The Tahuayo Reserve
The Tahuayo Lodge
Celebrate Your Wedding at the Tahuayo
Survival Training at the Tahuayo
Iquitos Jungle Tours

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