Peru

Would you start a forum for Peru, or South America, for discussions about upcoming trips? We are looking forward to a "Two Worlds of Peru" trip with RS in September and a specific place to chat would be lovely. Thank you.

  • Have any of you traveled to Peru, and if so, do you have any insights or suggestions to share? Favorite stops, excursions, hikes, tour leaders, foods, shopping, etc. This is our first RS trip so any tips are welcome.
  • In reply to pksquilt030431:

    We traveled to Peru in 2014 to hike the Inca Trail w/ RS. This was an incredible trip. The sacred valley is wonderful. Great movie about the indigenous culture & the Inca Trail is called Mi Chacra ....well worth the investment. Great RS seminars on the local agriculture and music of the Andes. Also visit the local Salt harvesting location in Salinas. Excellent birding in Aguas Calientes and along the Inca Trail. The market at Pisac is wonderful as is the Alpaca factory in Cusco. Be very careful about eating vegetables and fruit as the digestive problems will spoil much of the trip.
  • In reply to jay031733:

    Thanks for the good tips. I'm glad that you enjoyed your trip there and made some lasting memories. The trailer for the movie looks great and I'll get the DVD soon.
  • I'll be on the Amazon river cruise in Peru in June. Looking forward to it, but the issues around getting the required Yellow Fever certificate are turning into a real PITA. Some providers say it's not recommended for people above a certain age. CDC says 60. Walgreen's won't give the shot to people 65+ without note from doc. Costco won't give shot at all without note from doc.
    It turns out that getting a waiver (contraindication certificate) might be even more complicated than actually getting the shot, which is in short supply. I opted not to o to a travel health clinic since I had already done all the research into what immunizations I needed and don't want to pay $70 -- on top of the elevated prices for all of the vaccines -- just to walk in the door. My doc doesn't do YF so I'm not sure she can sign the official waiver.
    Has anybody got any advice about getting YF vaccine or obtaining the appropriate waiver meet the requirement for travel in the Amazon region of Peru? Has anybody used a waiver to travel to this region?
  • In reply to GerryL:

    These are great questions. We went to a travel clinic through a local allergy specialist's office to get the yellow fever vaccine and prescriptions for anti-malarial medication as well as antibiotics.

    While your primary care physician may not be able to sign a contraindication certificate, can she provide a note for the pharmacy stating that you have been advised of the risks of getting the YFV and it is needed?
  • In reply to GerryL:

    I am 67 and my doctor said since I was in good health, there was no reason why I couldn't get the YF shot. So I went to a county health dept. clinic in Ohio (made an appointment) and got it without any problem. It was also cheaper than going to a travel clinic where they charge an office visit fee on top of the vaccine fee.
  • During the Amazon portion of the trip we'll be having lunch with a local family. Any thoughts on gift giving to our hosts? Is it appropriate? Any suggestions of welcome items? In other areas I'd probably pick up a bouquet of flowers, but that doesn't seem practical in this situation.
  • In reply to pksquilt030431:

    Just went to the Health Department this past week. Will be going to Lima, Macchi Picchu, Cusco, etc. we were informed that the Yelliw fever shot was NOT recommended for these areas....however Hep A, and Tetnus were needed.....Only Yellow fever in the lowlands and areas west of the mountains and in jungle areas. You can take malaria pills if you want, get from primary care Drs, can get Hep B for close contact (sexual) if you are going to have those activities. Can take an anti-dianrea, if needed.
  • In reply to pksquilt030431:

    Going in April 2018. I am concerned that the travel departure time from Boston could possibly have us arriving in Lima late in the evening. Is there flexibility with the RS Travel agency (Holbrook Travel) to allow us to choose a departure time on a airline that will give us a decent arrival time in the early evening?
  • In reply to mjsack12100312:

    I went with the Holbrook recommended flights when I went this past June. But when I arrived, I found that if you ask/push, you can get them to go with different flights. Several people on our trip did that successfully. If I'd known, I might have skipped flying all the way from the West Coast to Miami. You may need to pay for an extra night in Lima depending on what you are able to work out.
  • In reply to mjsack12100312:

    I went this past September. My Delta flt from Cleveland connected in Atlanta departing Atlanta about 6:00 and arrived about 12:30 am. Lima is on EST, but they don’t do “daylight savings time “. It take at least an hour to get to you hotel. I chose to leave on Thursday in order to have a day to rest /relax before starting the touring on Saturday morning. Being a single female traveling alone I also requested Road Scholar transportation from airport to hotel. Add cost for transportation and extra hotel night, but for me I thought it was well worth it. I also talked to my doctor about altitude sickness she prescribed something, I think it was Diamox which might act as a diuretic. I had no problems with altitude. There are not a large amount of flights to choose from and Most flts do arrive in Lima very late. Holbrook travel was very helpful, provided me with an option on American, but I stayed with the Delta flt and just left one day early. Hope you have a wonderful trip
  • In reply to mjsack12100312:

    Just booked flights this week with Holbrook for my July 2018 Inca Trail trip. I did flight research on my own beforehand. Laurie (from Holbrook) listened to my concerns (decent arrival time ... plus I added on an independent Amazon Lodge extension myself and Laurie coordinated that flight stuff) and gave me options. Great service and better flights so I highly recommend Holbrook.
  • In reply to mjsack12100312:

    I would suggest a red-eye so that you would arrive in Lima in the morning the day before the official start of the program. We did that and Road Scholar met us at the airport and took us and our luggage to the hotel where we thought the hotel could store our luggage until the official check-in. However, the hotel did better than that. The room was ready, so they let us check in early. No guarantees on early check-in, of course, but it's still a great way to have have more time to visit Lima also. We pretty much had to take a red-eye as we don't live in a major city. I just got back from the trip yesterday and it was GREAT! You'll love it no matter when you arrive.
  • In reply to pksquilt030431:

    One aspect of Peru that I didn't know about and was not psychologically ready for was that the plumbing is problematic and everyone is asked to dispose of used, ie, dirty, toilet paper in a can next to the toilet rather than flushing it down the toilet. You have to do that everywhere, even in the finest hotels. I was at first really appalled, but it only rarely smelled, so I got used to it. During the Amazon river excursion, the cabin stewards emptied that can several times a day, whenever we were out on an excursion. In the hotels, it was emptied only once a day, of course. I just wish I knew ahead of hand so that I could have psychologically prepared myself. I hope that sharing this info won't stop anyone from going because Peru is GREAT, really beautiful and interesting.

  • In reply to victoriawakefield081307:

    With regard to malaria pills, some of the side effects of Malarone, the most commonly prescribed anti-malaria, match that of food poisoning such as nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea. Most of the people on the trip I just returned from were felled by diarrhea or heat, but I was not. And I was not taking Malarone, but a different anti-malaria, as I had an allergic reaction to Malarone the last time I took it. I was prescribed doxycyline as the anti-malaria pill. I was one of the very few, maybe the only one, to not ever get sick or experience adverse problems due to the heat and humidity which was very surprising to me as I do have problems with heat at home. The downside of doxycycline as an anti-malaria is that you have to take it for 30 days AFTER you leave the the malaria area plus a little before and of course during. But it's worth it if indeed Malarone was the cause of my fellow travelers' troubles.