Escape the Classroom.

This is the adventure of a lifetime. In the Radford Amazonian Research Expedition (RARE), Radford University students travel to the Amazon, explore the Peruvian rainforest and conduct personally-designed scholarly projects with global impact. The Amazon provides an unforgettable experience—students get up close and personal with macaws, walking palms, howler monkeys, rainbow boas, giant kapok trees and many other exotic flora and fauna. They explore deep forests, swim and raft on remote rivers, get to know amazing new people and exciting and vibrant local cultures. Escape the classroom and learn like never before.

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Learn with Us.

Life at the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station

Students live and work at the remote Las Piedras Biodiversity Station, but also travel to different locations within the Madre de Dios region to conduct their research. Since the projects are designed by the students, each year’s trip is unique and customized to your different interests, goals and passions.

The Las Piedras Biodiversity Station is home to students for almost a month each year. Las Piedras is a river in southeast Peru, part of the watershed for the Amazon basin. It meanders for more than 600km from its origin at Alto Purus, through majestic rainforest with beautiful riverside scenery, including huge river cliffs and beaches, waterfalls, deep forests and green canyons.

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Student Explorers


Luis Arias, Biology

"I now view myself as a global citizen."


Nicole Diambra, Dance & Recreation, Parks and Tourism

"My life perspective is forever changed."


Becca Cox, Nursing

"I was able to make this trip my own."



A Cultural Experience

At RARE, you will experience nature in an immersive and thrilling environment, engage with a new culture, eat scrumptious food, explore the rainforest and emerge a gloabl citizen with a new appreciation for this planet.

Peruvian Food

The Las Piedras Biodiversity Station includes a full kitchen with a chef cooking classic Peruvian dishes like tacacho, made with plantains, beans, cilantro, sausage and rice.

Meet Panchita

Panchita is a collared peccary, a wild pig that lives in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. She is just one of the many animals students meet in the Amazon rainforest.