Welcome! TRAVEL INFORMATION Passport Visas Money Tipping Special Diets Communications Electricity
MEDICAL INFORMATION Inoculations International Health Card Staying Healthy
HELPFUL INFORMATION Photography Being a Considerate Traveler Reading List Words and Phrases
PACKING LIST The Essentials WT Gear Store Luggage Weight Limits Notes on Clothing Clothing Equipment Personal First Aid Supplies Optional Items
We’re delighted to welcome you on this adventure! This booklet is designed to guide you in the practical details for preparing for your trip. As you read, if any questions come to mind, feel free to give us a call or send us an email—we’re here to help.
PLEASE SEND US Trip Application: Complete, sign, and return your Trip Application form as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Medical Form: Complete, sign, and return your Medical Form as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Air Schedule: Send us a copy of your Air Schedule once you've made your flight arrangements. Refer to the Arrival & Departure section of the Detailed Trip Itinerary for instructions. Please feel free to review your proposed schedule with Wilderness Travel before purchasing your tickets if you have any questions about the timing of your arrival and departure flights or would like to confirm we have the required minimum number of participants to operate the trip.
PLEASE CAREFULLY REVIEW
Travel Documents & Medical Information: Carefully review the Travel Documents and Medical Information sections of this booklet to familiarize yourself with Passport and Visa entry requirements for your destination, as well as any recommended inoculations. Optional Travel Insurance: Review the Trip Cancellation & Transfer Fee Schedule included in the Detailed Itinerary. We recommend that all trip members purchase Travel Insurance. Extra Services: Request any Extra Services (hotel nights, transfers, extensions) with your WT office contact using the Extra Services Request Form sent with your confirmation packet. Final Documents: Approximately three weeks before your trip, we will send you final departure documents, including hotel and local contact information and rendezvous instructions.
QUESTIONS? Call: 1-800-368-2794, go to our website: www.wildernesstravel.com, or e-mail us at: [email protected]
Travel Information PASSPORT A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Chile and Argentina. In addition, we recommend your passport has at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say “Visas” at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say “Amendments and Endorsements,” and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. You can request a new passport through a visa service agency or the US Passport Services Office (the service of adding pages for visas is discontinued as of January 1, 2016). Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.
VISAS US citizens do not need a visa for Argentina or Chile. If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements. Note: If you are visiting Brazil on your own or as part of an extension, you MUST have a visa for Brazil. You may contact the Brazilian Consulate to purchase your visa, or our recommended passport and visa processing service, Passport Visas Express (PVE). PVE can also be reached by phone at 888-596-6028. Let them know you are booked on a Wilderness Travel trip.
MONEY Chile is more expensive than most South American countries, with prices comparable to the US or Europe, while Argentina is moderately priced for Americans. Recently exchange controls were lifted, and the Argentine peso exchange rate is not as volatile as it once was. We suggest you carry money in US dollars in small denominations ($20s, $10s) or local currency. US dollars are more widely accepted in Argentina than Chile. Credit cards are accepted at major establishments in the bigger cities. You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, any meals not included in the trip itinerary, and personal items such as beverages. To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad. Please note that there is limited access to ATMs while on the trip. Please Note: The lodge in El Chalten (Hosteria El Pilar) does not have satellite or wifi coverage, and accepts cash only (USD or Argentine Pesos) as they are not able to process credit card payments.
TIPPING Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. A range of reference would be $150-$200 USD per trip member for the Trip Leader, $45-$65 USD for the driver, and $30-50 USD for the Assistant Trip Leader in Chile, which can be given in US Dollars or local currency. The Trip Leader takes care of gratuities for luggage handling, waiters at restaurants, and local guides who are with the group for only a short time.
SPECIAL DIETS We will do our best to accommodate special dietary needs, however, please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or limitations due to logistics can make it extremely difficult and at times impossible to accommodate dietary restrictions. Please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a restricted diet. It is important to bring a flexible attitude and supplemental snacks.
COMMUNICATIONS Time Zone Argentina and Chile 4 or 5 hours ahead of Pacific time, or 1 or 2 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time in the US may affect these times. Telephone The international dialing code for Argentina is 54; for Chile, 56. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use. Email & Internet Access Internet access is available at most of our lodges. Some have one shared computer and some have WiFi. There is limited internet access in El Pilar, Estancia Helsingfors, and Paine.
ELECTRICITY Argentina and Chile have 220-volt current. Plugs usually have two or three round pins or three angled flat pins. Bring a converter and plug adaptor kit for appliance use.
Medical Information The following recommendations should be used as a guideline only; consult your physician for medical advice. It is vital that you let Wilderness Travel know of any medical problems, allergies, or physical limitations you may have. Please fill out and return the personal medical questionnaire, and feel free to consult us if you have any questions about your ability to undertake this particular trip. Wilderness Travel is not a medical facility and has no expertise or responsibility regarding what medications or inoculations you and your physician decide are necessary for your safe participation in the trip. Traveler's health information is available from the Centers for Disease Control. Medical travel products are available from Travel Health Medicine and from Magellan's Travel Supplies.
INOCULATIONS No inoculations are required for this trip. We recommend that you discuss the following with your physician: Yellow Fever A Yellow Fever vaccination is strongly recommended if you plan to take the Iguazu Falls Extension and visit the Brazil side of the falls. The shot is good for 10 years. Have proof of the shot recorded in your International Health Card. Hepatitis The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries. Tetanus Booster It is very easy to get a small cut. A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years). Typhoid The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna.
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CARD A Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended if you plan to take the optional Iguazu Falls Extension and visit the Brazil side of the falls. Have the shot recorded in your International Health Card and carry the card with your passport as proof of vaccination.
STAYING HEALTHY There is little problem in Patagonia with contaminated food or water. The tap water is safe to drink in most of Chile and Argentina. Bottled water is available for purchase at the lodges and shops. Do not drink water from streams, no matter how clear the water looks. You might want to bring iodine crystals for water treatment if you plan to refill your water bottle from streams during day hikes.
Helpful Information PHOTOGRAPHY For most people, a compact digital camera or even a cell phone with a fixed zoom lens works well, and newer point-and-shoots and phones can produce excellent quality pictures. For higher quality images, especially for printing, and the ability to use longer telephoto lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a digital SLR is well worthwhile, though heavier. Lenses of 200mm or 300mm, with image stabilization, allow you to hand-hold the camera with minimal camera shake. A polarizing filter is useful, especially to reduce reflection on water surfaces and to deepen the blue of the sky. Pack your equipment well and use plastic bags to protect it from dust or moisture. Bring wipes and a dust blower to keep your lenses clean. Most digital cameras and phones now have video options, and you may even want to consider bringing a GoPro. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider insuring your equipment. Camera equipment is available for rent from Borrow Lenses with a 10% discount offered to Wilderness Travel clients. We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards. If you take a lot of pictures and save them at a high resolution, it can be helpful to bring a digital storage unit or laptop so you can download your pictures and free up your memory cards for reuse on a regular basis. Bring a backup battery or set of batteries so one is always charged and ready to use, and bring your battery charger (and appropriate plug adapter). If your camera uses replaceable batteries, bring spares with you. Note: for trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger. When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Heed your Trip Leader’s guidelines for what is appropriate, and always use gestures or simple phrases to ask permission. If people do not wish to be photographed, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which only makes it harder for other travelers to take pictures and to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. We find that our clients create wonderful images that really define the unique aspects of our adventures. We would love to make use of your images in our marketing materials and our photoblog, and request that you send us a small sample of your best images and a simple email giving us permission to use the photos. Please email your photos to [email protected]
We look forward to receiving them!
BEING A CONSIDERATE TRAVELER Please show respect for the cultures we are visiting by observing local customs concerning appropriate dress, particularly in sacred places. Your Trip Leader is always available to answer any questions that you may have regarding this. If it is necessary to use a cell phone during the trip, please do so privately. Smoking is rarely an issue these days, but if you do smoke, please do so only away from the group.
READING LIST A recommended reading list can be found at Longitude Books.
WORDS AND PHRASES Although English is widely spoken and you can manage well without any Spanish, it is always fun (and appreciated by locals) when you try to use a few words. yes/no
thanks very much
thanks, same to you gracias, igualmente you’re welcome por nada please por favor
agua mineral café/te con leche limonada
good morning good evening good night goodbye bye! see you later may I? OK my name is... I’m from... sorry! excuse me/pardon sorry, I don’t understand do you speak English? I don’t know
buenos días buenas tardes buenas noches adios chao! hasta luego se puede? está bien me llamo... soy de... disculpe! perdón/con permiso
coffee/tea with milk real lemonade carbonated soft drinks orange juice apple juice bananas beer white grape brandy rum FOOD egg salad chicken broth shrimp sea bass
lo siento, no entiendo
I would like...
please speak more slowly
por favor, habla más lento
habla inglés? no sé
how are you? cómo está/ cómo va? nice to meet you mucho gusto/ tanto gusto what time is it? qué hora es? what a beautiful day! qué dia tan hermoso! how far is it to..? que distancia hay hasta...? what’s the name of.. cómo se llama...? ? it’s beautiful es hermoso today/yesterday hoy/ayer tomorrow mañana day after tomorrow pasado mañana this morning esta mañana this afternoon esta tarde
sauteed beef with onions/potato grilled meat meat/fish in red sauce chicken in chile sauce chicken with rice potato with yellow chile sauce french fries creme caramel ice cream NUMBERS
gaseosa naranja manzana plantanos cerveza pisco ron huevos a la rusa caldo de galina camarones corvina
lomo saltado parillada adobado aji de galina arroz con pollo papa huancaina papas fritas flan helado
two three four five six seven
dos tres quatro cinco seis siete
this evening do you have..? (shopping) how much is this? that’s too much! I’ll give you.. that’s fine. I’ll take it. just looking the bill, please (restaurants)
cuánto vale esto?
es mucho! Le doy...
está bien. me lo llevo.
sólo estoy mirando
la cuenta, por favor
Packing List THE ESSENTIALS Air tickets (or E-tickets) Passport One other picture ID, such as a driver’s license International Health Card (“Yellow Card”) with proof of Yellow Fever inoculation within the last 10 years (strongly recommended if you are taking the optional Iguazu Falls Extension and visiting the Brazil side of the falls) Expense money
WT GEAR STORE To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store .
LUGGAGE Soft-sided roller bag with small padlock (must be unlocked for international travel). Daypack, large enough for a fleece jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail. It should be a shoulder pack (not a fanny pack) with a supporting waist belt. Packs with a capacity of 1450-2000 cubic inches (or 30-40 liters) are recommended. Hike with your pack before the trip to make sure it is comfortable.
WEIGHT LIMITS There is a baggage weight limit on checked luggage for internal flights within Argentina. You are limited to 33 lbs. per person for checked bags and 11 lbs.per person for carry-on bags. Excess baggage fees may apply and must be paid directly to the carrier.
NOTES ON CLOTHING Our best advice for anticipating weather on this trip is to be prepared for everything! You'll want to pack lightly, leaving space for souvenirs, but you also want to be prepared for all kinds of weather. Fabrics An insulating base layer (top and bottom) beneath your hiking clothes will keep you warm and comfortable. Capilene, fleece, and other synthetic fabrics are excellent, as are lightweight wool insulating layers by Patagonia, Icebreakers, and SmartWool. Cotton is not a good insulator, especially as a first layer next to the skin. Once it gets wet from perspiration, it stays wet and keeps you cold. Burrs Some Patagonian plants are spiny and have stickers or burrs that load up on socks, pants, and especially on pile clothing. Gaiters can be helpful in protecting your pant legs from burrs and keeping mud off if it is rainy. Wind pants reduce the burr load on pant legs. A pocket comb or Swiss army knife is helpful for removing burrs. Laundry There will be limited opportunities to do laundry on the trip. Please bring enough items to last the entire trip or plan to wash clothes yourself. Items should be lightweight so they can dry overnight.
CLOTHING Fiberfill, down or thick fleece jacket. Temperatures can be as low as 40 Fahrenheit. Fleece sweater. Some people prefer vests. Excellent quality rain/wind shell jacket with hood and good quality rain/wind pants. Gore-Tex is best. Hiking pants. Synthetic, quick-drying fabric is best. Jeans are not suitable because they are made of heavy cotton. Sturdy hiking shorts (optional—it is rare but it may be warm enough for shorts on some days) Polypropylene, Capilene, or wool long underwear, bottoms and tops Long-sleeved shirts. Quick-drying “travel” fabrics are best. T-shirts Shade/sun hat with wide brim. A hat with a chinstrap is best in the Patagonian wind! Fleece or wool hat for warmth Lightweight polypropylene gloves Lightweight or medium-weight hiking boots with Vibram-type soles and waterproofable uppers Running shoes or tennis shoes to change into after day's hike (and Tevas if you plan to take the Iguazu Falls extension) Gaiters to protect socks and pants from burrs, thistles, and stickers Insulating headband for protection against wind Hiking socks. Thorlo brand (moisture-wicking synthetic with padded toes and heels) are a good choice. Make sure you bring enough so you always have clean, dry socks. Casual socks for city wear Underwear. Synthetics dry faster. Sleepwear (long underwear can double) Lightweight casual city/hotel attire (it will be hot and humid in Buenos Aires)
EQUIPMENT Two sturdy reusable water bottles, 1 qt. capacity. Widemouth bottles are easier to fill. Good quality sunglasses with case. A spare pair of sunglasses is invaluable should your first pair be broken or lost. Collapsible walking stick or trekking poles. Hiking with a collapsible hiking pole, such as those by Leki, REI, and Black Diamond, helps to distribute your body weight, takes pressure off your knees, and improves your balance. Waterproof pack cover Ear plugs, eye shades for air travel Flashlight and extra batteries (or flashlight app) Travel alarm clock (or use your phone). Many of our lodges don’t have clocksor phones so this is important for wake-up calls. NOTE about contact lenses: Patagonia is constantly windy, and this can make wearing contact lenses miserable. We strongly suggest that you bring a pair of eyeglasses just in case!
PERSONAL FIRST AID SUPPLIES Every trip member should bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices. Sunscreen SPF #30 or higher Lip balm with sunscreen and/or zinc oxide Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headache, Tylenol PM Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts Small amount of insect repellent Blister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. “Liquid band-aids,” such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister. Dramamine or other medication for motion sickness (for long days of road travel) Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing Antihistamine such as Benadryl and cold remedy such as Sudafed Imodium for diarrhea. Prescription medications properly labeled
OPTIONAL ITEMS Converter/plug adaptor for appliance use in hotels. . Assorted plastic bags to keep items dry in your bag (it's also a good idea to bring plastic baggies for disposal of toilet paper while on hikes) Sports bra for women Camera, spare batteries Headband or ear muffs for wind protection Reading/writing material. A few long days of bus travel are required to travel the long distances between the wilderness areas we visit. Binoculars Bandanna Money belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.
Revised: October 12, 2017