White Water Rafting Cotahuasi, Peru
Although there are no immunizations required to travel
in Peru, it is recommended that typhoid and diphtheria-tetanus protection
be current. Hepatitis A, taken just before departure, is also recommended.
The cholera vaccination is no longer officially required and cholera can
be avoided by practicing strict food and water precautions. In general,
we advise that you consult your physician regarding recommended immunizations
and other health precautions. ATAC does not take responsibility for which
medications or inoculations you and your physician deem necessary for
your safe participation on the expedition.
A valid passport is required to enter and depart Peru.
Tourists must also provide evidence of return or onward travel. U.S.
citizens do not need a visa for a tourist stay of 90 days or less. Visitors
for other purposes must obtain a visa in advance. U.S. citizens whose
passports are lost or stolen in Peru must obtain a new passport and
present it, together with a police report of the loss or theft, to the
main immigration office in the capital city of Lima to obtain permission
to depart. An airport tax of $25 per person (price in 2002) must be
paid in U.S. currency when departing Peru. There is also a small airport
fee for domestic flights. For further information regarding entry requirements,
travelers should contact the Peruvian Embassy at 1625 Massachusetts
Avenue, NW, Suite 605, Washington, DC 20036; telephone (202) 462-1084
or 462-1085; or the Peruvian consulate in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles,
Miami, New York, Patterson (NJ), San Francisco, or San Juan.
We will be traveling over a 15,000-foot pass on our way
to the Cotahuasi River. Some people experience small headaches or even
nausea. We recommend that you avoid alcohol and using tobacco while
at altitude. If you feel sick, be sure to rest, breath deeply, drink
lots of fluids (bottled water), and perhaps take a mild pain killer
for headaches. Locally brewed coca tea also seems to help. At the altitudes
we will be traveling, severe altitude sickness is rare, but can occur.
It is essential to stay well hydrated while traveling,
but one must take precaution to prevent sickness. We advise you not
to drink any of the tap water in Peru - this includes ice in your drink.
Bottled water is fine to drink and can be ordered at most restaurants.
Ask for agua mineral sin gas (non-carbonated) or agua mineral con gas
(carbonated). When ordering sodas, it is best to request them without
ice sin hielo, as the ice is usually made from tap water. Additionally,
be sure to brush your teeth with bottled water and not tap water.
While dining in Peru, take precaution with raw, unpeeled
fruits and vegetables including lettuce. We recommend that if you can't
peel it, don't eat it. Most restaurants wash vegetables in tap water,
or don't wash them at all - this will make you sick! The high altitude
also affects one's digestive system, thus it is recommended to eat in
moderation and avoid rich, thick foods such as mayonnaise. However,
don't be afraid to try new foods and dishes - just be cautious. We want
you to experience new flavors and cuisine, but there are some things
to consider when making food choices.
Despite the many precautions we take to stay healthy,
occasionally one may experience diarrhea. The major problem associated
with diarrhea is fluid loss, thus it is important to drink lots of fluids.
If you get diarrhea, avoid milk and caffeine. The best drinks are weak
tea, mineral water, and caffeine-free soft drinks. Although it is best
to let diarrhea run its course, you may want to bring over-the-counter
diarrhea medicines from home to minimize possible discomfort. We also
advise that you carry your own supply of toilet paper, as most of the
restrooms in South America either don't have TP, or they charge you
If you take prescription medications that you need to bring,
be sure to have a plentiful supply as well as the doctor's prescription.
It is best to carry medications in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage.
If you wear prescription glasses or contacts, we advise that you bring
a spare set.
In most major towns, it is possible to call home from
a telephone center. While on the trip, we carry a satellite phone for
Electrical current in Peru is 220 volts AC.
Although the Peruvians are a warm, friendly people, thievery
is a common problem. While traveling, always be cautious and aware of
your surroundings. When traveling in a group, watch out for each other.
Large crowds are prime locations for thieves. Keep your money in a money
belt or hidden pouch that you wear around your neck and under your shirt.
When purchasing items, do not pull out lots of money. We advise that
you leave all valuable jewelry including watches at home. Thieves often
work in pairs or groups - one tries to distract you by squirting food
or paint on your clothing while the other takes your belongings. At
night stay off of side streets and don't walk alone. Take a taxi back
to where you are sleeping even if it is a short distance.
We can arrange your flights for you or recommend a travel
agent. There are usually choices in arrival times to Lima. Try to avoid
the midnight arrivals into Lima because there is no easy comfortable
place to stay near the airport. Most flights leave to Arequipa in the
early morning. If you have no other choice, we can arrange an airport
taxi to the Mira Flores section of town where there are many hotel options.
Although there will be lots of time to relax, read, and
rest, this trip is physically demanding. The hike into the gorge is
10-hours long on uneven terrain, but mostly downhill. To best enjoy
your experience, we recommend that you be in prime physical condition.
Begin a fitness routine, especially one that includes regular hiking.
we have compiled a list of web sites that may help you find answers
to questions you may have. If you have any further questions, please
don't hesitate to call or email us.
http://www.xe.net/ucc/ - This is a universal currency converter
www.oanda.com/ - Exchange rates and currency forecasts.
http://www.visa.com/pd/atm/main/html - A list of ATM machines worldwide.
- Expedition clothing.
- Expedition gear and clothing.
- Tents, sleeping bags, expedition wear.
- Lightweight travel clothing.
- Excellent travel gear and tips.
- The best prices on camera and video gear.
- Anything you could ever want for the river.
- Gear and clothing.
- All the latest recommendations on vaccinations and information on
health concerns worldwide.
- Advice on how to stay healthy while flying.
and Embassy Information:
- How to get a passport fast and a list of embassies worldwide.
- Find out the weather anywhere in the world.
- State department warnings for overseas travelers.
- Friends of the River.
- The Sierra Club.
- Environmental Defense Fund.
- The Nature Conservancy.
- International Rivers Network.