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Expedition FAQs

FAQ, Flight Information and Packing Lists

Passport: A valid passport is required for entry into Peru, and a ninety-day visa is given to US citizens automatically upon entry. For US Citizens, you can go to the US web site at http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html to renew your passport. All participants should carry a second form of photo ID, such as a driver’s license, as well as a photocopy of the personal data page of your passport. A copy of your passport is the easiest way to prove your identity if you happen to lose your passport.

If you are traveling with a passport from a different country other than the USA, please call the Peruvian Consulate nearest to you and find out if there are any visa requirements. In the USA, their number is 1-202-833-9860. You can also check the requirements for each country by logging on to www.peru.embassyhomepage.com . Upon entering Peru you will receive your visa. It is a small piece of paper, which you can keep inside your passport. Please be careful to SAVE this paper as you will need it when you exit the country.

Flights: You are booking your own flights to Peru. If you arrive before the starting date of the trip, you will be responsible for your own taxi transfer, hotel accommodations before the trip starts, and transportation to wherever the group is meeting.

Once you have your flight information, please email it to peru@thefourwinds.com This way we will be able to track your flights.

Flights for:

  • Amazon April 20-27 only: Fly to Lima. From there: Lima/ Tarapoto/ Lima
  • Amazon July 6-12 only: Fly to Lima. From there: Lima/ Pucalpa/ Lima
  • Salkantay only: Fly to Lima. From there: Lima/ Cusco/ Lima
  • Via Illuminata only: Fly to Lima, Peru. From there: Lima/ Cusco/ Lima
  • Ausangate, only: Fly to Lima, Peru. From there: Lima/ Cusco/ Lima
  • Amazon + Via Illuminata: Fly to Lima, Peru. From there: Lima/ Pucalpa/ Lima/ Cusco/ Lima
  • Via Illuminata + Lake Titicaca: Fly to Lima, Peru. From there: Lima/ Cusco/ land portion/ Juliaca/ Lima

Extra Nights: We recommend the following hotels:

  • Lima: Ramada Costa del Sol: It is located at the International Airport Jorge Chavez, in Lima, Peru. Their Reservation Phone is #011-51-1-711-2020 or 011-51-1-711-2000 Their email is:reservas2@costadelsolperu.com Online reservations: www.ramada.com orwww.costadelsolperu.com Ask for “The Four Winds Society” Special Rates.
  • Lima: Sonesta Hotel El Olivar: It is located at the Pancho Fierro Street #194, San Isidro – Lima, Peru. Their Reservation Phone is: #011-51-1-7126060. Their email is: reservasolivar1@sonestaperu.com Online reservations: http://www.sonesta.com/Lima/ Ask for “The Four Winds Society” Special Rates.
  • Cusco: Sonesta Hotel Cusco: It is located at the Av. El Sol 954, Cusco, Peru. Their Reservation Phone is #011-51-84-581200 Their email is: sonestacusco@sonestaperu.com Online for reservations http://www.sonesta.com/Cusco/
Supplements: Bring your daily supplements if you take any. If you are experiencing sleeplessness, you might be dehydrated and will need to drink more water immediately! Emergen-C Packets (containing vitamins and electrolytes) and simple Electrolyte Packets can be added to bottled water for keeping hydrated and rejuvenated. Hydration is the key to avoiding altitude sickness. We recommend you drink two full liters of water per day. Drinking wine or beer will dehydrate you, so limited consumption is strongly advised.Food and Water: Drink only bottled water. Most illnesses while traveling are caused by contamination of food or water. Do not use ice cubes unless you know them to be safe. Freezing does not kill bacteria. Do not drink from the streams.Special Diets: Please bring any extra food you might need to accommodate any special dietary requirements you may have.Vegetarians: If you are a vegetarian, you will have plenty of food options to choose from. The Peruvian cuisine is very pure and natural.Safety: Eat only cooked foods, and fruits with peels. Breakfasts include granola, cereals, yogurt, bananas, oranges, scrambled eggs or omelets, and breads. All of these foods are safe. Many lunches might have hot vegetable soups, breads, potatoes, and simple avocado sandwiches. Many dinners will include trout, hot cooked main dishes, soups, so there is an abundance of foods that are easy on your stomach. Avoid food from sidewalk vendors. Our hotels all have excellent hygiene and food preparations.

Travelex Insurance: If for some unforeseen reason you must cancel your journey, your deposit is non-refundable. The Four Winds Society STRONGLY recommends that you purchase travel insurance. One option is Travelex Insurance, which offers Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Trip Delay and Baggage insurance. We suggest you purchase travel insurance within three weeks of your initial trip deposit for the best coverage. For complete details, please visit: www.travelexinsurance.com or call customer service at 1-800-228-9792 Monday – Friday 8am – 7pm CST. Please refer to Location 09-0821.

Money: Consider exchanging $200 – $400 dollars at the airport. There are several types of ATM Machines in Peru: ATM Global and Banco de Credito. You will want to call your bank ahead of the trip to make sure that you have access to ATM’s in a foreign country and which ATM’s will work for your cards. When you bring dollars or Euros into Peru, they must be new bills with no tears or rips. Damaged bills are not accepted in Peru.

Meals: Breakfast is included every morning at the hotels. Lunches and dinners range from US $15.00 to US $20.00 for dinners. If you eat in the hotel these can be charged to your room and paid by credit card when you check out. Most days we will be hiking during the lunchtime, and a light snack lunch will be provided. Please bring any power bars or snack food as needed. All three meals are only included in the Amazon and the camping portion of the Salkantay and Ausangate expeditions.

Tips: We collect tips for our guides, bus drivers, and porters. We ask for $10 per day and this is collected by a volunteer to be given as a group at the end of each trip. Please bring $100 dollars for these gratuities/tips. On the journeys, the shamans do optional blessing despacho ceremonies for individuals. Bring an extra $150 for any healing sessions you may want to participate in.

Airport Taxes: All Peruvian airports charge “Exit Taxes”. Please budget $34 one way internationally, and $6 for each domestic flight.

Gifts: Some of you have asked about bringing gifts for Peruvian children you might meet along the way. Peruvian children love pads of paper, pens, pencils, magic markers, crayons, as they are always appreciated. Your presence with them in Peru is the best gift you could give them.

Health: You can visit the CDC web site for US government information about traveling to Peru. See www.cdc.gov/travel/tropsam.htm. Keep in mind that Four Winds cannot make a recommendation as to what each traveler should or should not pursue for preventative medicine. It is best that you consult with your primary care physician, who knows your medical history and can better advise you. Mosquitoes can be a challenge in the jungle and at lower elevations, so bring your favorite bug repellents with you.

If you take any prescription medicines, be sure to bring enough for your travels, containers should be clearly labeled with prescription forms to avoid problems at Customs. A standard first aid kit is advisable, as well as bringing your own favorite personal “remedies”. Since we are hiking during the day, consider bringing moleskin, just in case. The local pharmacies are well stocked with common pharmaceutical products.

Please note:

  • Should you require it, medical attention from the medic at the hotel will be available at an additional $50 charge per visit.
  • We recommend purchasing Emergency Evacuation Insurance from Travelex or any other Traveling Insurance Company.

Packing Tips Luggage: Your daypack or fanny pack can be your airplane carry-on. Everything else should fit inside your main, checked suitcase, preferably a soft duffel-like bag. Also remember to leave some “holes” in your main bag (or bring an extra bag) for souvenir purchases.

IMPORTANT for Salkantay and Ausangate: Please pack in SOFT DUFFLES. Luggage with wheels cannot be carried by horses and porters for the camping portion of the trip. Extra bags can be left at the hotel while you are on the mountain.

For the Amazon: You will leave your larger luggage at a safe storage area near the airport. Bring a SOFT DUFFEL for the journey. You may bring two bags total plus your backpack/or fanny pack.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Sunglasses & sun hat & sunscreen – the sun can be very strong at high altitudes. A #30 or #45 screen will be needed for the first days. Don’t forget to put lotion on the back of your neck, hands and ears
  • Lightweight hiking boots (Gortex or water-resistant w/ankle support are best)
  • Tevas or strapped hiking sandals (optional). Flip-flops are great for the shower and to walk to and from breakfast.
  • Emergen-C (electrolyte) packets & snack foods (protein or granola bars)
  • Water bottles
  • Layered clothing for day hiking.
  • Blue jeans or comfortable hiking pants.
  • Fleece jacket
  • Cotton socks or good hiking socks (extra pairs in case they get wet)
  • Long-sleeved lightweight shirts (the ones that wick away moisture are worth the extra expense)
  • Daypack or waist pack. Money belt for cash and passport is useful
  • Warm jacket for nighttime
  • Yoga pants or tights for layering.
  • Rain gear for Mountain and Amazon journeys.
  • Pocketknife (for fruit, etc.)
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries is handy
  • Camera, digital cards and extra batteries (they are expensive in Peru)
  • Items of a personal nature & toiletries. Bring Kleenex, wet wipes and zip lock bags for day hikes – as with everything, what you carry IN on a hike – must be brought OUT and disposed of properly. Ladies, be prepared with feminine hygiene products as well
  • Swimsuit
  • Bug spray/mosquito repellent –for the Amazon
  • Bring one dress, skirt, slacks, shirt, or nicer clothes for fun or evening ceremony

For Mountain Camping Trips

  • A warm, 4-season sleeping bag that will work well in sub-freezing temperatures (which can drop as low as 0).
  • A Nalgene water bottles that can hold hot water (you will insert these in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night to keep toes warm!)
  • Lightweight camping mat (inflatable is best)
  • A winter hat, fast-drying gloves, waterproof over-pants and extra socks
  • If you need camping gear and do not have a local store, try www.REI.com or www.backcountryoutlet.com/outlet

Amazon

  • Hiking clothes for this environment. Bring long sleeves and long pants for bug protection. The jungle can be cold, so include a lightweight fleece
  • Shorts
  • A pair of waterproof hiking shoes for walking in the rainforest

Temperatures

  • Jungle –humid, low 90’s day, low 70’s night
  • Cusco – 11,400-foot elevation, 60’s day, low 50’s night
  • Sacred Valley – 8,500-foot elevation, 70’s day, 40’s to 50’s night
  • C Salkantay – Ausangate 50’s to 60’s day, 20 or below at night. Please pack with care. There are laundry facilities available at the hotels in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Remember for the mountain journeys, horses will be carrying our soft duffel bags and they will need lighter packs. You will be able to store your other items in your second suitcase at the hotel.

Pack what you feel you absolutely NEED…but LESS IS MORE!