Preparation/Gear Checklist

 
PREPARATIONS AND GEAR FOR SPIRITQUEST SHAMANIC RETREATS IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON

ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVEL TO PERU
IMPORTANT NOTE: Visitors are issued a tourist pass by Peruvian immigration authorities upon entering the country.
BE SURE to keep it secure with your passport at all times. This pass must be surrendered when you leave the country.
If you lose it there will be a fine and delay upon your departure from Peru.

1. valid passport which does not expire before your departure date from Peru.
2. airline tickets (international roundtrip tickets to Lima are required to enter Peru unless have a residency visa
3. Airport departure taxes … approximately US$40 for international departures. There is no airport tax for flights to and from Iquitos.
4. cash/ATM/credit cards for cash while traveling.
5. money belt for money/passport security

CURRENCY AND MONEY EXCHANGE

Because of complications in exchanging foreign currency in Peru, it’s a good idea to use your ATM card to withdraw cash from ATM machines from your home accounts as needed. ATM machines are available in airports, banks, and on the street in larger cities. This will assure your currency is negotiable within Peru.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to notify your bank card provider that you will be traveling in Peru to assure they do not block your card for security reasons.

Upon arrival at the Lima airport, we recommend you exchange $200-300 USD to Peruvian soles at the airport currency exchange center. This will assure you have Peruvian money for expenses such as tips, taxi, meals, etc.

US dollars and other foreign currency must be in near perfect condition to be readily negotiable in Peru. Bills which are torn (even a small tear along the edge), chipped, worn out, heavily creased, or inked are not accepted in Peru. Be sure your bills meet these criteria. Always carefully inspect money you receive to be sure it is genuine and in good condition.

Conceal your traveling currency in a money belt inside your clothing. This is the safest way to carry your cash. Keep only what you need for routine expenses in your pocket, wallet, or handbag.

Neverremove money from your money belt in public. Someone is always watching. If you need money from your concealed money belt, do so in the privacy of the restroom.

Its a good idea to carry your cash in plastic sandwich bags inside your money belt to protect from moisture.

Remember, Your currency must be untorn (even small tears along the edges will disqualify them), unchipped, and not heavily creased or inked.

It’s best to bring US$50 and US$20 bills instead of US$100 bills since they are easier to exchange. If you bring $100 dollar bills, be sure they are not in the CB serial number series. These bills are not accepted in Perú due to a counterfeiting issue..

Traveler´s checks are not recommended in Peru. Many merchants and restaurants do not accept them. They are generally negotiable only at banks and cannot be cashed on weekends. Banks also charge a fee to cash traveler’s checks and there are always lines, so it can be a very time-consuming process.

The currency exchange rate in Peru changes daily. On March 28, 2012 the bank exchange rate is S/.2.60 peruvian soles per US dollar.

Personal Gear
CLOTHING
The Amazon climate is tropical and mild year-round. The weather ranges from sunny to partly cloudy or overcast, with daytime highs in the ’80’s F (27-30 C) and night lows in the ’70’s F (20-25 C). It typically rains every other day or so, usually showers of short duration.
• lightweight sturdy water resistant walking or hiking shoes for outings
• sandals or thongs for casual time at the Sanctuary
• 2 pair walking shorts/1 pair long pants – light weight or quick-dry
• 2-4 short sleeve shirts or T-shirts and 1 light long sleeve shirt
• 5 changes of socks and underwear
• sleeping and traveling clothes
• lightweight rain poncho
• light windbreaker jacket
• sunglasses
• swimming attire
• hat or cap

Outings
day pack
• one liter water bottle
• ziplock bags to protect belongings from moisture and water
• digital camera (a good point-and-shoot camera is recommended)
• lightweight AA-cell flashlight with extra batteries

Optional items
• compact inflatable sitting cushion
• journal and pens and/or tape recorder and tapes for personal notes
• compact binoculars

Recommended
• personal mp3 player (iPod or cd player)
• earplugs

Personal Items
Toiletries:
• dental care items
• lip balm
• comb/brush
• personal soap and shampoo (biodegradable)
• light wash cloth (towels are provided at the sanctuary)

Health Precautions

GENERAL GUIDELINES
• sunscreen for maximum ultraviolet protection – the equatorial sun is strong!
• personal medications and vitamins
• insect repellent (organic options recommended … DEET is most effective)
• anti-diarrheal medication – Motril is effective in most cases.
• compact personal first aid kit
• tetanus vaccination should be up to date.

Note: All food and drink at the Sanctuary is prepared with purified bottled water for your safety.

PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE

CDC HEALTH INFORMATION FOR TRAVEL TO PERU
http://goperu.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=goperu&cdn=travel&tm=1356&f=10&tt=3&bt=0&bts=1&zu=http%3A//wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.htm

VACCINATIONS FOR PERU
http://goperu.about.com/od/healthandsafety/tp/Vaccinations-For-Peru.htm

Yellow fever, hepatitis, cholera, and typhoid vaccinations are NOT required to visit the Peruvian Amazon. There is presently no yellow fever in our area.

Malaria
During most of the year malaria is not a high risk for visits to the Peruvian Amazon. However preventative measures are recommended, especially from March-June.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends either Malarone or mefloquine (Lariam) as the malaria preventatives of choice.

Malarone is taken daily while Lariam is taken only once weekly. Unpleasant side-effects are rare in both. Based on our observations, neither Lariam nor malarone appear to be contraindicated with Ayahuasca. Nonetheless, in general it is best not to take any medication or supplement on the day of ceremony or the day after. Therefore, for those planning to partake of Ayahuasca in the Amazon, Lariam is probably the better choice since it is taken only once weekly.

NOTE: Doxycycline is an antibiotic contraindicated with Ayahuasca. It is therefore NOT recommended as a malaria preventative for those attending our retreats.

An herbal malaria preventative recommended by the World Health Organization is Artemisia annua. This plant contains the compound artemisinin which is toxic to the Plasmodium parasite which causes malaria. As with all medicines, there can be side-effects so use with caution. Pregnant women should not take Artemisia since it may induce abortion. This herb can be purchased online from a number of herbal medicine suppliers.

You’ll find detailed information about Artemisia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_(genus) … Here is an excerpt …

“Artemisinin and its derivatives are a group of drugs that possess the most rapid action of all current drugs against malaria. Treatments containing an artemisinin derivative (artemisinin-combination therapies, ACTs) are now standard treatment worldwide for P. falciparum malaria. The starting compound artemisinin is isolated from the plant Artemisia annua.”

OTHER PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
• B-complex vitamins commenced three days before arrival may reduce frequency of insect bites.

INSECT REPELLENTS
• Use insect repellent only when mosquito or gnat activity is noted. .
• Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535.
• Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent.

Alternatively, organic insect repellents containing citronella, clove oil, lemon oil, and peppermint oil are effective but must be re-applied more often than DEET and are somewhat less effective.

Grapfruit seed extract is reputed to offer protection agains insect bites and malaria.

Skin So Soft lotion is an effective insect repellent for many people and is pleasant and safe to use.

If sunscreen is needed, apply before applying insect repellent.

Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

For more protection, clothing may be sprayed with a repellent containing permethrin. (Don’t use permethrin on skin.)

SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary
The Premiere Shamanic Healing and Higher Consciousness Center in the Peruvian Amazon
The Eden-like spiritually-inspired SpiritQuest Shamanic Sanctuary is an extraordinary rainforest ceremonial retreat center dedicated exclusively to holistic healing and evolution of higher consciousness. The SSS is the perfect place to encounter deep healing and spiritual realization through communion with the sacred plants and impeccable human company in intimate contact with nature. The centrally-located temple maloca in which our ceremonies are conducted is of pyramidal design with a circular base, incorporating metaphysical geometry which is itself a vehicle of higher consciousness.
The Sanctuary features comfortable guest accommodations with spacious screened rooms, private bathrooms, convenient shower access, electricity for lighting and charging your devices, free wi fi internet access, excellent organic meals, an extensive topical reference library, and friendly family-style guest services. Though standard accommodation is double occupancy, single rooms are usually available at no added cost.

SpiritQuest Sanctuary sustains, protects, and manages a beautiful 250-acre rainforest nature reserve teeming with plant and wildlife diversity. SpiritQuest Nature Reserve is a significant and enduring contribution to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest. An extensive trail network is maintained for guided and casual walks through the verdant splendor of old-growth rainforest. Everything at SpiritQuest Sanctuary is integrated with nature, and so shall you be as well. Activities vary according to weather conditions and time of year. We have a small fleet of canoes for outings on the beautiful Rio Momón or our own creeks and sloughs at our front door.

OUR STYLE
At SpiritQuest Sanctuary, spiritual love, compassion, ancient wisdom, and natural beauty combine to produce the perfect ambience for deep personal shamanic healing and spiritual realization. SpiritQuest Sanctuary is unquestionably among the premiere retreat centers dedicated exclusively to Amazonian/Andean shamanism.

Our plant medicines are potent and prepared from carefully-selected plants which are cultivated or wild-crafted and ethically harvested. Our mastery of the ceremony process and the movement of the energy is second to none.

Our message speaks from the heart and from ancient wisdom which we readily share with those who bring an honest and sincere intention for themselves and others. We are genuine and would expect you to be also.

Our work stands apart from all the others in the depth of our experience and knowledge in the principles and practice of core shamanism. There is much more to work with the healer-teacher plants than what’s in the cup, and we’ll help you realize it in ways few can. Deep experience, high integrity, and consummate professionalism defines our work, which emphasizes quality and intended for the sophisticated seeker of shamanic healing and transformation.

Climate Data for Locations in Peru
http://www.limaperunet.com/climateall.html

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may be a good idea for peace of mind and emergencies when traveling to Peru.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON TRAVEL WITHIN PERU

LIMA AIRPORT
http://goperu.about.com/od/gettingaroundperu/p/Lima-Airport.htm

CDC HEALTH INFORMATION FOR TRAVEL TO PERU
http://goperu.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=goperu&cdn=travel&tm
=1356&f=10&tt=3&bt=0&bts=1&zu=http%3A//wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.htm

VACCINATIONS FOR PERU
http://goperu.about.com/od/healthandsafety/tp/Vaccinations-For-Peru.htm

ALTITUDE SICKNESS IN PERU (Does not apply to the Amazon)
http://goperu.about.com/od/healthandsafety/a/Altitude-Sickness-In-Peru.htm

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LIMA
http://goperu.about.com/od/citiesandregions/tp/Top-10-Things-To-Do-In-Lima.htm

CRIME IN PERU: OPPORTUNISTIC THEFT
http://goperu.about.com/od/healthandsafety/a/Crime-In-Peru-Opportunistic-Theft.htm

SWINDLES AND SCAMS IN PERU
http://goperu.about.com/od/healthandsafety/tp/Swindles-And-Scams-In-Peru.htm