This station is located in the lowland Amazon rainforest at 400 m elevation. Here daytime temperatures are generally above 30 ºC with high humidity -- nighttime temperatures are slightly cooler. In the late dry season, cold fronts from the south, also known as "friajes" occassionally move through the area, bringing a day or so of heavy downpours followed by several days of cooler temperatures such as those found above 1200 m in the Andes.
Pantiacolla is reached by traveling from Cuzco down the Manu road to one of the towns of Atalaya, Shintuya, or Itahuania and then hiring boat transport to the station. Researchers live in tents surrounding a covered central platform that sits near the Alto Madre de Dios River. We use the trail system provided by Pantiacolla Lodge, which includes over 600 hectares of mature growth lowland forest across floodplain and terra firme habitats, Guadua bamboo patches, successional Tessaria and Cercropia habitats moving away from river edges, and some areas on outlying Andean ridges up to 1000 m elevation.
The closest access to phone communication is in the Amazon colonial town of Itahuania 15-20 minutes downriver, or in case of emergency there is radio contact available through Pantiacolla Lodge. There is no internet access while staying at the station. Living conditions are rustic at this site. The lodge provides water for cooking, but all dish washing, laundry and bathing take place in the river. A simple latrine has been set up to accommodate our research group. The kitchen and dining area are found on the central platform, which is also used for equipment storage and hanging clothing. We provide all food for stations and a propane tank and stove for cooking. A soccer field is located nearby, with an old cabin that is used as a lab. Generator power is sometimes available at night for recharging electronic equipment.