Preparing for a trip to another country can be challenging, especially when you’re going to the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon rainforest is not as intimidating as you might imagine, at least not the parts where you’ll be going. It is quite rare to see a wild animal, and if you do it will most likely be a bird, a lizard , or a monkey. You will see a variety of insects, and when you’re in the jungle some of them will probably bite you, most especially mosquitoes. So, it’s a good idea to understand and accept that fact. Here are some other tips for traveling to the Iquitos area:
THERE ARE BANK MACHINES IN IQUITOS
You do not need to carry a large amount of cash with you, or to purchase traveler’s checks. Bank machines dispense both US and Peruvian currency, and it is easy to exchange both Dollars and Euros for Peruvian Soles. You most likely have a daily withdrawal limit on your ATM card, however, so please make sure you know how much you can take out per day to accurately calculate plans for using an ATM machine.
ONLY US DOLLARS AND EUROS CAN BE EXCHANGED
If you have any other currency that you want to exchange for Peruvian Soles, you will need to exchange your money in the airport in Lima. That will be your only opportunity to exchange anything other than dollars or euros to soles.
NOT MANY PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH
It’s a good idea to pick up a Spanish phrase book and at least skim through it before arriving in Peru. There will be bilingual translators and facilitators assisting during the programs, but it helps to know a little of the local language.
DRINK MORE THAN ENOUGH WATER
Dehydration can sneak up on you in the Amazon, where temperatures and humidity are typically high. It is common to be dehydrated after travelling a great distance in an airplane as well so it is especially important to drink more than enough water to ensure that you are properly hydrated during your stay in the rainforest. Bringing your own water bottle is a great idea.
Average daily temperature in Iquitos is around 90°F (32°C). However, at night it can get chilly, especially if it rains, and when you are in a ceremony late at night, you might find that you need your sweatshirt, or at least your long sleeve shirt. Sometimes, when you wake up in the morning, it’s still chilly as well, and a long sleeve is a nice thing to wear before heading out for the day. Socks are recommended because they keep your ankles free from insect bites, and pants are recommended when going out for jungle hikes or even just walking around outside. There will be some walking involved so you may want to bring hiking boots. Most items can be purchased in Iquitos if you forget something.
Suggested Items to Bring
– Flashlight or headlamp
– Water Bottle
– Bathroom items – toothbrush, floss, shampoo, etc.
– 2 towels, 1 small towel
– travel alarm clock or watch
– Raincoat or poncho
– Hiking Boots (optional but a good idea)
– 3 pairs pants
– 3 pairs shorts
– 7 short sleeve shirts
– 2 long sleeve shirts
– 1 hooded sweatshirt
– 8 pairs of underwear
– 8 pairs of socks
If you need any assistance or advice on how to best book your flights, feel free to contact us. To get to Iquitos you must book a flight through Lima. We recommend arriving no later than 2pm on the first day of the retreat, which is a Sunday, and leaving no earlier than 2pm on the last day of the retreat, which is a Saturday. If you have a long flight, it may be a good idea to arrive a day or two early to get some rest and to acclimate to the environment. If you plan on traveling in Peru before or after the course, then you’ll want to book a flight to Lima separately and then book your other flights separately.