Travel to Peru is convenient, safe and guests book their flights on the Internet or through a travel agent with Iquitos as their final destination.
A passport is required to enter Peru.
You will be given a 90 day tourist visa when you enter Peru. Extended visas are available at the local consulate in Iquitos. From most countries around the world you will land first in Lima, Peru and then fly to Iquitos. You will be greeted by the Refugio staff at the Iquitos airport and taken by speedboat 30 miles upriver to Refugio Altiplano.
Copa Airlines flies directly to Iquitos from their International hub in Panama City. Available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, this can save a day of travel time if you are arriving from North America. Copa’s gateway cities in North America are Los Angeles, Orlando and Miami. Copa is a Star Alliance member, so United Airlines, US Air and other member airlines can connect you from their hubs.
The airport in Iquitos is small, and a porter will meet you in the baggage claim area and bring you outside, where one of the Refugio secretaries will be waiting with a private car to take you to our office in downtown Iquitos.The Refugio Altiplano office is located at calle Raimondi 323. A Refugio secretary will bring you to the Belen market where you can find essential jungle equipment like flashlights and rubber boots. They can show you where medicinal plants and local handicrafts are sold and help you exchange money. If you have any delays en-route or changes in your itinerary, please call the Refugio office at (5165)-222-001, and send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many international airlines serve Lima, and there are three efficient companies serving the Lima-Iquitos route: LAN, Peruvian and Star Peru. One of our secretaries will meet you at the Iquitos airport and accompany you to the Refugio office and upriver to Refugio Altiplano. Try to arrive in Iquitos by 3:00 PM, so you can enjoy the boat trip upriver before sundown
Airports in Peru charge fees ranging from $4 to $35. Sometimes the fee is included in your ticket price. We recommend you bring extra cash with you for any unexpected expenses.
Vaccinations and Malaria
Malaria sometimes appears in Iquitos, but we haven’t had any problems at Refugio Altiplano. We are on high ground here and our houses are well-sealed with mosquito netting. We fumigate every two weeks during the high water season to make sure we are safe from having to live with too many mosquitos or other insects. Most people choose not to use anti-malaria medicine or vaccines because of their possible side-effects. The malaria medicines available now in 2013 are more gentle in their side effects and most people don’t feel any changes in their body or mind. Consult your doctor if you plan to travel to other destinations in Peru after visiting Refugio Altiplano.
The Peruvian currency is called the Sole. Our rates are quoted in US dollars and most guests pay in cash when they arrive in Iquitos.
A bank transfer received two weeks in advance of your arrival is another option. US dollars are easily exchanged for Soles in Iquitos. There are reliable exchange offices for most currencies in the Lima airport, and our staff can help you exchange US dollars when you are in Iquitos. ATM machinesare plentiful in Iquitos with your normal daily limits, but credit cards are not widely accepted, and credit card advances at local banks are usually limited to $1000. Allow two hours if you wish to use any bank services in Iquitos, such as cashing travelers checks or taking out a credit card advance. It is a good idea to notify your bank of your travel plans, because they often automatically block cards when they are being used far from their usual neighborhood. Because use of credit cards is not as prevalent here as it is in occidental countries, we recommend bringing sufficient cash, so your visit is properly financed and free of delays.
Peru is a Spanish speaking country, and very little English is spoken. Four of the Refugio Altiplano secretaries speak English and Spanish, and they are always willing to assist you. Scott hires translators for Russian, French, Italian, and German clients when they are useful, so let us know how we can make your stay with us comfortable
What to Bring with you
Recommended pack list:
- Sufficient cash (Get Peruvian Soles before leaving Iquitos)
- Two or more travel pants or denim jeans, Several long sleeve, loose-fitting cotton shirts
- A light jacket or sweatshirt
- A swim suit for swimming and saunas
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Rubber boots and a couple flashlights
- Good books or other reading material
- Notebook & pen
- Insect repellent
- Personal hygiene items
- Any vitamins, supplements or medications you use regularly
Other destinations in Peru
Peru is a large, diverse country with rainforests, mountain ranges, deserts, and beaches on the Pacific ocean. If you plan to visit other Peruvian destinations after your visit to Refugio Altiplano, Scott’s secretaries will make reservations for you with guides and hotels who coordinate regularly with us from other parts of Peru.
Feel free to contact us for more detailed information.