Expeditions to Explore South American Wildlands and Biodiversity

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  • Have you explored where nature's abundance flourishes like nowhere else on earth and biodiversity reaches its maximum expression?
  • Have you seen the wild heart of the planet?
  • Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there's nothing else to gaze on?

Well, here is your chance! You can join Pacific Biodiversity Institute on an expedition to explore and document South America's immense wildlands. PBI's expeditions focus on big wild areas and biodiversity hot spots. We explore big wild areas, often over one million acres in size, which are very rare in today's world, but still exist in South America. The biodiversity of these areas is often 10 to 100 times higher than in similar areas in other parts of the world.

Into the Big Wild!Pacific Biodiversity Institute engages in three types of biodiversity expeditions in South America. All of our expeditions are tied closely to our South American Wildlands and Biodiversity Project. The expeditions vary in their mission, scope and the degree of comfort and physical difficulty. All expeditions have many of the same elements (exploration of amazing places, participation in science and conservation, birding, experience of the big wild, general wildlife observation, cultural-social connections, archeological sites). The three types of expeditions are:

  • Type 1. Exploration And Conservation Of Biodiversity Hot-Spots
  • Type 2. Biodiversity Science Expeditions
  • Type 3. Exploring Deep Into The Big Wild Heart of the Planet


  • Watch a larger screen version of the above video
    of the 2013 expedition to Nevado de Cachi
  • Watch a video of the 2013 expedition to the Sierra de Zenta
  • Watch a video of the 2012 expedition to the Sierra de Famatina
  • Volunteers are invited to join these research expeditions and help us to explore the tremendous biodiversity and beautiful landscapes of some of the largest wildland areas left on Earth. We are currently working to map, explore, document and work with conservation partners on protection measures for the vast remaining wildlands of South America.

    Our expeditions offer a unique opportunity to explore unfragmented wildlands that are millions of acres in size. The landscape is vast, but our experience of it is intimate. You will be able to meet and get to know people who live near these wild areas and enjoy the rich culture of rural Argentina.

    We visit some of the most magnificent places in South America, yet few people know about them. We're exploring lands well-off the tourist trail - wild and spectacular places full of wildlife, amazing botanical diversity and surprising archeological sites from Inca and pre-Inca cultures.  We interview local people about their use and perceptions of the surrounding wildlands. We take time to enjoy the local cuisine, wine and warm South American hospitality.

    As a participant, you are contributing to our research effort and gathering valuable information, photos and videos that will be used to map and describe these areas in ways that will further their protection. Volunteers are invited to apply to any or all of our expeditions. Space is very limited. Read the left side bar on this page for current expedition dates.


    To apply for one of these expeditions, please download an application below and return it to us.

    Application form for Type 1 and 2 Expeditions (PDF). (MS Word)

    Application form for Type 3 Expedition (PDF). (MS Word)

    Return your application to expeditions (at) pacificbio.org

    Read or download a personal gear list

    Read or download our group gear list (we provide these items)

    Additional information can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions.

    Learn more about the 2014 - 2015 expeditions

    Reconnaissance expedition to Salta Province, Argentina to determine status of high biodiversity, unexplored wildlands. March 15-30, 2014

    Exploring the ancient Inca trails of the Sierra de Zenta, November 15 - 30, 2014

    Quebrada del Condorito, Mar Chiquita and the Sierra de Famatina, Argentina, December 6-18, 2014

    Catamarca, Salta and Jujuy Flamingo Science Expedition, Jan-Feb. 2015

    Sierra de Famatina to Ojos del Salado, March 2015

    Valle de Fiambala to Volcan Llullaillaco, March 2015

    Quebrada de los Condoritos, Mar Chiquita and the Sierra de Famatina, Argentina, April 4-16, 2015

    Bird and biodiversity hotspots of Misiones, Corrientes and the Chaco - Northern Argentina - April, 2015


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    PO Box 298, 517 Lufkin Lane
    Winthrop, WA 98862 509-996-2490