Our Facilities

Our Facilities

Our facilities include a laboratory building of 600m2 (6000 ft2) fitted with wireless internet access, divided into two floors and distributed as classrooms, library, offices and research space. Housing is available for about 60 visitors and standard food service is provided. A network of well-marked trails that extend for about 40km (25mi) allows access for all visitors to all habitats. Several restricted trails and long-term research plots (two 1km2 areas separated by about 1km in upland forest, each with a 100m grid system and geo-referenced) are only available to investigators and their collaborators. Two observation towers (36 and 39m) and one system of suspended walkways (approximately 100m in length, at 25 to 30m height), all in terra firme, provide access to the uppermost parts of the canopy.

For more information about the workings of our camp and operations in general, please see the section Visitor Information and the website in You Tube called Visting Tiputini.


Camp Design and Layout

Generally speaking, our camp consists of a series of buildings dispersed over a space of about 3 hectares (5-6 acres) adjacent to the north bank of the Tiputini River; no building is more than 200m from the river’s edge but all are situated on high ground that has no potential to flood. Each building is situated in its own clearing; we have made efforts to minimize the amount of deforestation that was necessary to accommodate our facilities so the rainforest is literally just out the door from every structure. The laboratory is the only two-story structure and is situated in the middle of our camp about 100m from the river.

To minimize our ecological footprint at the site, we import all food and other supplies, primarily from the nearest town, El Coca, which is about 100km away. Our water supply comes from rainwater or the river depending upon the season. In any case, it all gets filtered and chlorinated to protect the health of our visitors and staff. We only generate electricity during about 6 hours each day; electricity is available in the lab building 24 hours through a battery system. Most trash resulting from our operation is exported and incorporated into regional industrial or municipal operations.

Housing and Laundry Service

Visitors are housed in any of several cabins that are located within 100m of the central lab building. Each cabin has two rooms with large screened windows, for ample ventilation and light. In the scientists’ section of camp, each room has two single beds; in the students’ section of camp, each room has two bunk beds. Each room has a full bath with a flush toilet and shower; we do not have hot water but the weather is generally warm. Towels are changed twice per week and bed linens are changed once per week. Laundry service is available to visitors that stay for more than one week. You do not need any camping gear or mosquito nets.

Dining Hall and Food service

Our dining hall is located at about 100m from the lab building overlooking the river. The spacious open air building has room to seat over 60 individuals. The menu is rather international in general but we have incorporated a few typical Ecuadorian dishes that have proven to be popular with all our guests. We are happy to accommodate the needs of vegetarians or anyone who has allergies; please advise us of such requirements with some lead time, preferably when making reservations.

Meals are served at 6:30am, 12 noon and 7:00pm. We remind visitors that this schedule should be respected; our kitchen staff is limited and cannot attend to individuals throughout the day. If entire groups require a modification of this schedule to allow for specific activities, arrangements must be made in advance with the camp manager. A box lunch may be prepared for those who expect to be in the field right through any particular meal; this must also be arranged previous to the event; the kitchen staff will take orders each evening immediately after dinner in preparation for the next day.

Internet access and policies

Policies and Rules for Internet Access and Use at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station

These policies are established to ensure maximum quality service to all valid users with legitimate purposes. We would remind all visitors that your time in the field is limited and that you should be conscientious of your primary purpose for being at this remote site.

  1. Everyone must recognize that considering our location, connection to the world communication system is a privilege.
  2. Access is achieved through the station administrator who receives payment in advance and in cash for use depending upon the number of hours or days that one wishes/expects to use the system. Registration with the station administrator and payments are on a per-person basis, not a per-computer basis.
  3. Undergraduate students generally have access limited to a total of one hour per day while researchers may have essentially unlimited access as long as the system is not overloaded. If the number of users exceeds the capacity of the system, the camp administrator will impose a rotating schedule. Although users will experience some limitations during such periods, this strategy will ensure greater efficiency for all since the system will continue to function properly for designated users during their assigned access schedule.
  4. We must all be aware of the fact that abuse (violation of time or decency restrictions, etc.) can result in problems (collapse of the system itself, fines or loss of access to users, etc.) The system obviously has limitations and all users must be considerate of others. Use is monitored by centrally located hardware.
  5. All users must be willing to accept that our location and connection type mean that there will undoubtedly be complications due to climatic factors and other potential disturbances.
  6. Only the station administrator has access to system hardware. Intervention by any other individuals without specific request by the station administrator will be grounds for loss of access altogether.
  7. All users must recognize that access to this system is prioritized based on the content of material being downloaded or uploaded. Emergency messages and scientific information obviously have priority over communications of a personal nature and certainly entertainment is considered to be of least importance. It is expected that all users will be aware of this situation and will relinquish access to others who have greater priority needs. Skype use should be limited to non peak hours.
  8. Station administrators will be responsible for managing this system, for making judgments about its use, and for imposing any related sanctions upon consultation with TBS directors.