JBL Peru Expedition 2025

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Join the JBL research team at the Andes and lowland rainforests for underwater observations of discus, angelfish and other fish species. Experience undisturbed nature amongst indigenous people with us, and sleep in indigenous camps.

  • Application period: 01.09.2023 - 01.12.2024
  • Duration: September 2025
  • Duration of trip: about 12 days (extension possible)
  • Group size: about 30-40 people
  • Price: approximately 3.960,- €
  • Extension Machu Picchu: about 565,- €
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Peru - discus, jungle, Incas and Lake Titicaca

In September 2025, the JBL Expedition #20 will set off for the Andes and the jungles of Peru.

Join the JBL research team on a fascinating and exciting expedition that is hard to beat for its variety, starting in September 2025.

The JBL expedition will visit a wide variety of habitats, from the Iquitos at the Amazon (the ornamental fish centre of South America) to the remote regions of indigenous peoples in the lowland rainforests of Peru. Lake Titicaca with its toothcarps, located in the Andes at an altitude of 3800 m, is also on the agenda. An optional excursion to the world-famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu can be added for anyone who wants it.

Iquitos & Rio Nanay

The expedition starts in Iquitos near the Amazon. It is a remote town deep in the lowland rainforests of Peru and can only be reached by plane or daylong boat trips. In the blackwater river Rio Nanay we’ll go snorkelling in search of the Rio Nanay discus fish that live there! The clear, tea-coloured black water will give us uncommon insights into the habitat of the discus and the other fish species that live in great numbers in this river.

A second blackwater river, the Rio Itaya, will be a further destination. I wonder what fish species we’ll find there!

Our designated travel period in September falls at the end of the dry season and holds a huge benefit for us: the fish will be concentrated in the little water remaining. After the rainy season, the water level is much higher and the fish would be spread over much higher volumes of water!

Iquitos, THE ornamental fish centre of Peru at the Amazon. A visit to ornamental fish exporters and the fish market is of course also on the agenda.

The participants will always be divided into small teams on site, so that there are never too many people at one biotope at the same time. For 4 days, the biotopes in the jungle's rivers can be studied.

Tarapoto, an insider tip in the middle of nowhere

From Iquitos, we’ll take a one-hour flight over the impenetrable Amazon rainforest directly to Tarapoto, where we’ll be spending three and a half days looking for animals, snorkelling and taking water measurements, as well as enjoying the untouched nature. There are even rivers of clear water near Tarapoto, which are ideal for underwater observations. Little is known about the freshwater fauna of these areas! Terrarium enthusiasts will have the opportunity to search for creepy-crawlies on land and in the water at each location.

The famous Lake Titicaca

From Tarapoto we fly via Lima (one overnight stay with sightseeing) to Puno at Lake Titicaca. There, besides its fascinating culture, we have the search for endemic butterfly splitfins on the agenda. If you don't mind a water temperature of 13 °C, you can also observe the fish under water. On the floating islands of the Uros, time has stood still and we’ll get an insight into their traditions and see their famous boats made of reeds.

Return journey or optional extension to the dream destination of Machu Picchu in the Andes

From Puno we’ll be returning to Germany via Lima, or alternatively to the participants' home countries. Anyone who wants can travel further for an extra charge. Then it's off to Cusco by bus. On the way at an altitude of 5200 m, are the fairly recently explored Rainbow Mountains. The bus ride will thus be a little longer, but it would be unforgivable to drive past such a spectacular wonder of nature! So we’ll make a short detour to the coloured mountains.

We'll spend the night in Cusco and the next morning we'll take the train for the last 75 km along the snow-covered Andean peaks to Machu Picchu, which has to be the most famous Inca site in the world. It is a 3 km walk uphill to the ruins.

General information on the JBL Peru Expedition 2025

The expedition will last around 12 days (flight schedules are only available from the end of 2024) and ends at Lake Titicaca at an altitude of 3800 m, from where the return journey to the participants' home countries will begin. Optionally you can book a trip to Machu Picchu, which extends the total travel time by 3 days. The price for the expedition will be approximately €3,960. The extension option to Machu Picchu costs approx. €565.

Conditions of participation include: enough physical fitness for one-hour walks at 30 °C heat and 80 % humidity and a willingness to accept basic sleeping arrangements, possibly in a hammock under a mosquito net in an indigenous village. The most important prerequisite is a love and enthusiasm for tropical nature, including snorkelling in the waters to observe "our" ornamental fish in their natural habitats and to gather knowledge for successful care and reproduction in the aquarium. If you want to see the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, you have to be able to hike 3 km uphill at an altitude of 2500 m in thin air.

Travel period: September 2025 (exact date to come in September 2024 when flight schedules are published)

Group size: about 30-40 people. All details will be published in October 2024.

Application procedure: Deadline for registration is December 1, 2024. In December 2024, the places will be drawn by lot among all NEW APPLICANTS, who will then be notified. Anyone who cancels their registration then releases their place for subsequent repeaters. Repeaters will therefore not receive their acceptance or rejection until January 2025.

Application for the JBL Peru Expedition 2025

To apply for the expedition please log in with your access data or create a new myJBL profile.

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