July 13-25, 2014
Peru: Via Illuminata
Premiere Journey to the Sacred Valley
with Dr Alberto Villoldo
Logistics information to assist in preparations for your journey
1. 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, click here for a NEW passport, or click here to RENEW. All participants will want to carry a second form of photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and have a photocopy of the personal data page of your passport. Your copy of your passport is the easiest way to prove your identity if you were 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, the number is 1-202-833-9860. You can also check the requirements for each country by logging onto peru.embassyhomepage.com. Once you enter Peru, and receive your visa paper which is small inside your passport, please be careful to SAVE this paper until you exit the country.
Once you register with a deposit you will receive a downloadable packet of information with three forms that must be complete 8 weeks prior to the expedition: Flight Information Form, Emergency Travel Form, and Release Form.
2. Flights: You are booking your own international flights to Lima, Peru and from Lima to Cusco. Most individuals fly from their home city to Lima, Peru and then from Lima to Cusco, Peru. If you arrive before the starting date of the trip, you will be responsible for your own taxi transfers, hotel accommodations before the trip starts, and transportation to wherever the group is meeting.
Flights for Via Illuminata:
Take an international flight to Lima, Peru
From there: Lima / Cusco / Lima
3. Extra Nights: Extra nights are available in Lima, Peru if you decide to arrive one day early or if your flight schedule requires you to stay in Lima one night. Ramada Costa del Sol - located at the International Airport Jorge Chavez Lima, Peru Reservation Phone #011-51-1-711-2020 or 011-51-1-711-2000 Online reservation: www.ramada.com or www.costadelsolperu.com Ask for Four Winds Society Special Rates.
Extra night in Cusco, in our Peru Reservation Form choose upgrades and register for: Pre-Expeditions 1 & 2-day lodging in Cusco.
4. Herbs and Supplements: Bring your daily supplements if you take any. If you are experiencing sleeplessness, you might be dehydrated and you want 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. Arnica cream or comfrey might be helpful to rub on sore muscles or rashes. Ginger, chamomile, or licorice can calm a stomach that’s been exposed to spicy foods. Peppermint essential oil is also great for a multitude of things– including bug bites.
5. Food and Water: Drink only bottled water. Most illnesses while traveling are caused by contamination of food or water. It doesn’t take much contamination to make you sick, and some diseases can be severe enough to ruin your trip. Please be careful. Drink only bottled water. Please be careful. Drink only bottled water. Use bottled water for brushing your teeth. It is easy to purchase. 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 such as gluten or lactose intolerance, etc.
Vegetarians: If you are a vegetarian, you will have plenty of foods to choose from. The food is very pure and natural.
Menus: Breakfasts are included with the hotels and are usually buffet style so you can choose what you like. Lunches and dinners are NOT included in the trip costs except in the jungle and the camping portions of the trips. There are excellent restaurants in the hotels and nearby to explore. Bring protein bars, trail mixes, and any other of your favorite snacks.
Safety: Eat only cooked foods, since lettuce and other foods might be washed in non-bottled water. Eat only fruits with peels for the same reason. If you want to experiment further with salads and fresh fruits, eat small portions the first day and see how your tummy does. Many breakfasts include granola, cereals, yogurt, bananas, oranges, scrambled eggs or omelets, and breads. All of these foods are totally 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 deluxe hotels have excellent hygiene and food preparations.
6. Travelex Insurance: If for some unforeseen reason you must cancel your journey, you deposit is nonrefundable. 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 customers service at 1-800-228-9792 Monday – Friday 8AM – 7PM CST. Please refer to Location 44-0014.
7. Money: Consider exchanging $200 - $400 dollars at the airport, as well as get a roll or two of small coins (soles). Also bring one and five dollar bills to tip the hotel staff and taxis. 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. Traveler’s checks are only accepted in some places. When you bring dollars into the country of Peru, they must be new dollars with no tears or rips. Damaged dollars are not accepted in Peru.
8. Meals: Breakfast is included every morning at the hotels. You will want to put aside money for lunches and dinners ranging from $15.00 for lunches up to $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 lunch time, and a light snack lunch will be provided. The hotels can sometimes prepare a box lunch for you too. Please bring any bars or trail mix as needed. All three meals are included in the Amazon only and for the camping portions of Ausangate, Salkantay, and Choquequirao expeditions.
9. Tips and Despacho Ceremonies: We collect tips for our guides, bus drivers, and porters as part of the culture. 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. Bing an extra $150 for healing sessions.
10. Airport Taxes: All Peruvian airports charge “Exit Taxes.” Please budget $34 one way internationally, and $6 for each internal flight including Lima to Cusco and Cusco back to Lima.
11. 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.
12. Health: You can visit the CDC web site for US government information about traveling to Peru. Visit the web site at 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 to consult with your primary care physician, who knows your medical history and can better advise you. Yellow Fever vaccination is required for the jungle expeditions. 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” for the common possibilities. These might include a remedy for headaches, bacterial infections, stomach, colds, and dehydration. Remember, you are responsible for your own health. Since we are hiking during the day, consider bringing moleskin, just in case. The local pharmacies are well stocked with some common pharmaceutical products.
There will be an additional $50.00 cost for medical attention from the medic at the hotel or while camping.
We recommend purchasing Emergency Evacuation Insurance from Travelex, otherwise the cost for evacuation from one of the Holy Mountains is $400.00.
13. Packing Tips: Luggage: We urge that your daypack or fanny pack 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.
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. Be sure to bring a hat and sunglasses.
• Lightweight hiking boots (Gortex or water–resistant w/ankle support are best)
• Emergen-C (electrolyte) packets & protein bars (granola bars), nuts, trail mix, etc.
• Water Bottles
• Layered clothing for day hiking. Zip–off pants are great. Ideally you could wear all your clothes layers at once if needed (tank under button-down hiking shirt under fleece under rain gear etc., like a Russian nesting doll).
• Blue jeans or comfortable hiking pants You only need 3–4 pair of pants total.
• Fleece Jacket
• Cotton socks or good hiking socks (2 extra pairs in case they get wet)
• 2–3 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 mat for morning classes.
Cusco – 11,400 elevation, high 60’s day, low 50’s night
Sacred Valley – 8,500 elevation, high 60’s to 70 day, low 40’s to 50’s night
Please pack with care. There are laundry facilities available at the hotels in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. They are quite good at getting your clothes back to you quickly.
Pack what you feel you absolutely NEED… but LESS IS MORE!
A few frequently asked questions.
Q: How should I prepare physically for my Peru trip?
A: You will get the most enjoyment out of your expedition if you are reasonably fit – especially for those who will be visiting the mountains where altitude can have an effect on some. Any physical activity including walking, for at least 30 minutes, three times a week can be beneficial.
Q: How do you accommodate people of varying abilities?
A: Our trips attract people of varying abilities so there’s typically someone else traveling at your speed. Our guides and leaders will work with individuals requiring special assistance to ensure that their needs are adequately met.