TRAVEL & WHAT TO BRING – VIA ILLUMINATA
1. Passport: A valid passport is required for entry into Peru. 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.
As tourist requirements may change, please contact the Peruvian embassy or consulate in your country for visa and passport requirements to enter Peru.
2. Flights: You are responsible for booking your own flights to Cuzco, Peru. And, if you arrive before the starting date of the expedition, you are also responsible for your transfer from the airport, hotel accommodations before the trip starts, and transportation to the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness in Urubamba, Sacred Valley, where the group is meeting.
As soon as you book your flight, please use the following link to provide us with your flight details and emergency contact information. Flight Information Form Links: Via Illuminata
3. Travelex Insurance: The Four Winds Society STRONGLY recommends that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in case extenuating circumstances force you to cancel your trip. If for some unforeseen reason you must cancel your journey, your deposit is non-refundable. 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 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. CST. Please refer to Location 09-0821.
4. Extra Nights: If you are arriving before the expedition start date, or staying on afterwards, we recommend the following hotels:
Sacred Valley: Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness: It is located at Antigua Hacienda Yaravilca, Huayllabamba, Urubamba.
Online reservations: http://www.aranwahotels.com/en/sacred-valley/
Lima Airport: Costa del Sol Wyndham: It is located at the International Airport Jorge Chavez.
Phone Number: 011-51-1-200-9200 or #011-51-1-711-2000
Email is: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com Online reservations: www.Wyndham.com or www.costadelsolperu.com
Lima City: Sonesta Hotel El Olivar: It is located at the Pancho Fierro Street #194, San Isidro – Lima, Peru.
Online reservations: http://www.sonesta.com/Lima
Cusco: Sonesta Hotel Cusco: It is located at the Av. El Sol 954, Cusco, Peru.
Online reservations: http://www.sonesta.com/Cusco/
Sacred Valley: Sonesta Posadas del Inca: It is located at Plaza Manco II 123, Yucay, Urubamba.
Online reservations: https://www.sonesta.com/pe/cusco/urubamba/sonesta-posadas-del-inca-sacred-valley-yucay/contact-us#
5. Meals: Daily breakfast at the hotel is included. Most days we will be hiking during lunchtime and a light picnic lunch will be provided at no additional cost; please feel free to bring power bars or other organic healthy snacks. Dinners and some lunches are not covered; the typical cost for a lunch or dinner ranges from US $15.00 to US $20.00. If you choose to eat at the hotel, your meals will be charged to the credit card on file for your room at the hotel and must be paid when you check out.
6. Vegetarians: If you are a vegetarian, you will have plenty of food options to choose from. Peruvian cuisine is very pure and natural.
7. Supplements and special dietary products: Please be sure to pack supplements you are taking and any special dietary products such as protein powder mix, tea, or other packaged goods that are absolutely essential to your diet. Please check with the Peruvian Consulate if these products can be brought into Peru.
8. Prescription medications: If you take prescription medications, be sure to bring enough for your travels. Containers should be clearly labeled with prescription forms to avoid problems at Customs. Packing a standard first aid kit is advisable, as well as bringing your own favorite personal “remedies.” Since we will be hiking, consider bringing moleskin dressing for blisters. Local pharmacies are well stocked with common pharmaceutical products.
9. Health and safety: You can visit the CDC website for information about traveling to Peru, including vaccinations you may need to have: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/peru. Keep in mind that the Four Winds Society cannot offer medical advice. It is best that you consult with your primary care physician, who knows your medical history and can best advise you.
Most illnesses while traveling are caused by contamination of food or water. Drink only bottled water and do not use ice cubes unless you know them to be safe. Freezing does not kill bacteria. Do not drink from the streams. Eat only cooked foods and fruits with peel. Avoid food from sidewalk vendors. Our hotels all have excellent hygiene and food preparation practices.
Hydration is the key to avoiding altitude sickness. We recommend you drink at least two full liters of water per day. Drinking wine or beer will dehydrate you, so limited consumption is strongly advised. Emergen-C Packets (containing vitamins and electrolytes) and simple Electrolyte Packets can be added to bottled water to assist hydration. If you experience sleeplessness it might be caused by dehydration; drink more water immediately.
- Should you require it, medical attention 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.
10. Money: Consider exchanging US $200-$400 at the airport, to be used for tips and other eventualities. When you bring US dollars or Euros into Peru, they must be new bills with no tears or rips. Damaged bills are not accepted in Peru. Should you need more money, you can find ATM machines in Lima, Cusco, and in Urubamba, very close to our hotel. You can also exchange US dollars and Euros at the hotel, other types of currency may not be easily exchanged. Note that Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards.
11. Tips: We collect tips for our guides, bus drivers, and porters. These are collected by a volunteer and given as a group donation at the end of each outing. We ask for US $10 per day so plan on having US $80-$100 for these gratuities/tips.
12. Airport Taxes: All Peruvian airports charge “Exit Taxes.” Most airlines include this tax in the cost of your ticket. Please contact your airline to confirm.
13. Optional healing sessions: Our shamans offer energy medicine sessions. The cost for each session is US $150 and must be paid in cash.
14. Temperatures and altitude
- Cusco: 60° Fahrenheit during the day and in the low 50° at night; 11,400-foot elevation
- Sacred Valley: 70° Fahrenheit during the day and 40° to 50° at night; 8,500-foot elevation
Check the weather forecast a week prior to ensure you pack according to the most current temperature forecast.
15. Packing Tips: Plan on bringing a daypack for your carryon and a main, checked, suitcase as your main bag. Save some space in your main bag or bring an extra bag for souvenir purchases. Laundry facilities are available at the hotels in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Those participating in the Sacred Valley Extension MUST bring a soft duffel bag. Remember that we use horses to carry our baggage during mountain journeys, and they can only carry lightly packed soft duffel bags. You will be able to store all your other items in your main suitcase at the hotel.
16. What to pack:
Each of us reacts to temperature differently. The following list is meant to provide a guideline, but you may need to adjust based on your temperature comfort level and needs.
- Sunglasses, sun hat, and sunscreen as the sun can be very strong at high altitudes
- Lightweight hiking boots (Gortex or water-resistant w/ankle support are best)
- Cotton socks or good hiking socks (extra pairs in case they get wet)
- Tevas or strapped hiking sandals (optional)
- Blue jeans or comfortable hiking pants
- Layered clothing for day hiking
- Long-sleeved lightweight shirts (the ones that wick away moisture are worth the extra expense)
- Fleece jacket
- Warm jacket for nighttime
- Comfortable clothes for yoga, and a travel yoga mat is recommended
- Rain poncho
- One dress, skirt, slacks, shirt, or nicer clothes for fun or evening ceremony
- Daypack or waist pack
- Pocketknife (for fruit, etc.)
- Organic and healthy protein bars or snacks
- Small flashlight with extra batteries
- Camera, digital cards and extra batteries
- Emergen-C or Electrolyte packets
- Water bottles
- Personal care items and toiletries: tissues, wet wipes and zip lock bags for day hikes (as with everything, what you carry IN during a hike must be brought OUT and disposed of properly). Ladies, be prepared with feminine hygiene products.