Information for Scientists
Non-Bolivian scientists interested in working at El Refugio must obtain a research permit from the Director General de Biodiversidad (DGB). Because El Refugio cannot provide assistance with the permitting process, it is the responsibility of individual researchers to obtain the necessary permits. Researchers should contact Bolivian scientists at research institutions or universities in order to form an inter-institutional partnership (convenio) to begin the process of obtaining a research permit.
Visitors from North America and most of western Europe can enter Bolivia for up to 90 days with a free visa, granted upon entry into the country. Visitors from other countries should contact a Bolivian consulate for visa requirements. Visitors wishing to stay in the country longer than 90 days may request extended-stay visas from Bolivian immigration, but this will require extra paperwork and time. The institution with which you form a convenio should be able to help you obtain a long term visa.
All visitors to Bolivia must have the Yellow Fever vaccination, and we recommend that visitors to El Refugio also have a current tetanus vaccination. Visitors may wish to have Hepatitis A and Typhoid innoculations as well. Concerned researchers may want to bring malaria prophylactics (chloroquin), but no known researcher or resident has contracted malaria at El Refugio. Although people have contracted leshmaniasis on top of the nearby meseta de Huanchaca, no one has ever had leshmaniasis at El Refugio.
Locals and some scientists drink piped water from the river with no apparent ill effects. However, researchers concerned with water quality have three options: boil water on site; bring iodine tablets or a filter for sterilization; buy bottled water in Santa Cruz or San Ignacio (approximately US $0.50 per two liter bottle). After September 1, 2005, it will be possible to buy bottled water at El Refugio.