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Explorama's "If You Go.." Tips and General Information

As you prepare to visit the exciting world of Explorama in the Peruvian Amazon, you may have questions about the timing of flights to Iquitos, layovers at the Lima airport, what to bring, what to wear, what to expect, etc.

The following information will help you through that stage of your planning so scroll down to read all of it or use these quick links to jump to a particular section:

If you have any further questions, require additional assistance in your planning, please contact us.


Timing your dock-to-lodge and lodge-to-dock boat transfers: Boat transfers to our lodges depart Explorama's dock daily at 1:00pm. Please plan your arrival to Iquitos at least 1 hour earlier to meet this departure. Earlier or later boat transfers to Ceiba Tops can be arranged for a fuel surcharge of US$50.00 per your confirmed reservation (not $50 per person). Boat transfers to other Explorama lodges cannot be made after 1pm. Boat transfers from our lodges to Explorama's dock in Iquitos arrive daily at 3:00pm. Please plan your departure flight no earlier than 5pm. Earlier or later boat transfers from Ceiba Tops can be arranged at a fuel surcharge of $50.00 per your confirmed reservation (not per person). Boat transfers from any other lodge cannot be made to connect to a same-day outbound flight.

E-Ticket: Explorama has access to reduced fares and welcomes the opportunity of assisting their guests in securing the very best price available. If requesting air, please review the following information and be guided accordingly.

  • Selection of flights: You will need to provide Explorama with the selected dates and flight numbers that you have chosen, and you can access flight schedules by going to LanPeru's website at www.lan.com. Follow the prompts and print out or copy what you have selected, retain that for your record and summarize the flight information to this office for pricing. (The Lan website prices are not the discounted prices that you can expect from Explorama.) Before we actually purchase the tickets we will contact you with the price and wait for your approval before proceeding. If the lag time between the time we quote a price and when you actually approve the purchase increases in excess of 5%, we will contact you for re-approval; if it is 5% or less we will proceed to purchase. Normally, however, the quoted and actual price will be the same if done within a reasonable time but we cannot guarantee that.
  • Personal Information Required: For Explorama to purchase your tickets we will need your passport names as they appear on valid passports to be used during your travel, your passport numbers, your citizenship and a credit card (Visa, MC or AE) to pay for the ticket purchase. (In some instances, a valid driver's license will suffice if a passport is not available.)
  • Conditions on E-ticket purchase: Once E-tickets have been purchased, Lan's policy is that under no circumstances will a passenger be allowed a refund or to change the schedule regardless of reason(s) - sickness, trip cancellation, wrong day, wrong flight, wrong time, family emergency, etc. No refund or change is permitted. If tickets need to be changed or cancelled, the originals are discarded and you start the whole process over again.
  • E-CODE and pick up of tickets: After Explorama has provided you with your E-ticket confirmation CODE you can go to www.lan.com to print out your boarding pass before you leave the US/Canada but it cannot be done much before 2 or 3 days prior to departure. Or, once you arrive at the Lima airport and next to the Lan counters, there are a row of machines that you punch in answers to the questions and out comes your boarding pass. Important information to have available to retrieve your boarding pass is your E-ticket CODE and the identification you provided to us at the time of purchase.
  • Flight Reconfirmation: When you receive your E-ticket CODE from Explorama, it will be your responsibility to reconfirm your flights with Lan and we suggest that you do this periodically from the time you receive the CODE until your use of the tickets. Lan may change the departure time and/or flight number and don't always alert travelers to changes; however, when you arrive Iquitos to begin your Explorama itinerary, Explorama will reconfirm your outbound flight for you. Lan's contact information is: www.lan.com or at any LAN office or airport counter. From the United States or Canada call toll free 1-866-435-9526.

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Lima Arrival: Your International carrier flight attendant will pass out a Peruvian Immigration Form to be completed by you prior to arrival. Fill out the bottom 1/3 exactly as you fill out the top 2/3rds and the Immigration Officer will stamp the bottom portion then hand it to you. Put this in your passport. Don't lose it as it will be required by Immigration when you leave the country and you will encounter all kinds of serious problems if you do not have the stamped stub. Again, don't lose this stub!

Lima Airport Layover: Lounging and dining facilities at the airport have improved considerably and travelers now have a number of excellent options while awaiting flights to Iquitos or International departures.

If arriving late evening with intentions of catching LAN Peru's early a.m. flight to Iquitos, you might want to consider lounging at the airport prior to check-in vs going to a hotel. Clearing Immigration and Customs can take the better part of 90 minutes which now takes you to early a.m. and with check-in required 1 hour before domestic flights, the wait at Peru Plaza with its Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Pizza & snack shops and the "4-D" restaurant or Cafe Britt makes waiting time fly by.

If you have a full day or the better part of a day to wait for your International flight you should first see if your International carrier will allow you to check in your luggage which they will often do. If not, there is a luggage storage area directly under the escalators going to Peru Plaza which is convenient and safe. Having taken care of your luggage, plan on doing a tour of Lima.

Go to the "Taxi Tour" stand which is the 'official taxi' stand at the airport and there's one located close to the luggage storage area by Peru Plaza. Do not arrange for day tours through anyone else claiming to be a taxi tour service; only thru the official Taxi Tour service.

City tours can include sightseeing in the old section of Lima to the Plaza de Armas & Presidential Palace, a number of museums (and the Larco Herrara Museum is probably one of the best as is the Archaeological Museum ), the massive market place, etc. Know exactly what the cost will be before agreeing to the tour and fully understand what the driver will be responsible for - including wait time for lunch, returning you to the airport at the appropriate time, tipping, etc. Always jot down relevant information such as license plate number, number on the taxi and name of driver just in case you need to follow up for leave-behinds.

Lima Airport Security: Check-in time for International flights is 3 hours prior to departure and you'll come close to using this much time. Prior to check-in you will be asked questions about who packed your bags and have they been with you all the time, etc; then, as you put them on the scale, they'll be checked again before being tagged. Hand carried luggage is subject to the same process (only more extensive) especially as you approach the departure lounge when a final check may be done prior to boarding. Security precautions are very extensive and time-consuming so plan accordingly.

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Dining at Explorama's Lodges: Explorama's lodges offer a wide variety of foods, both local and international, cooked in a simple and appetizing style and served in our tropical palm-thatched dining rooms. Guests may return to the buffet as many times as they like. Our breakfast includes one entree, a pastry selection, fruit and local fruit juice. Our lunch and dinner buffet includes:

  • One entree of chicken, beef, local fish or pasta and fresh salad
  • A variety of rice and bean dishes, hot vegetables, bread & butter
  • A choice of desserts including local fruits such as papaya or pineapple or prepared desserts such as rice pudding of flam

Complimentary coffee, tea and drinking water are available 24 hours a day. Bar service, including soft drinks, is also available at guest expense. Special dietary requirements? Please let us know. Explorama uses soybean oil for cooking.

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What to Bring, What to Wear:

  • A photocopy of the picture page of your valid passport to be used by Explorama to reconfirm your outbound flight. Explorama will ask for the photocopy - and your Iquitos/Lima return ticket - when you arrive but return both prior to your departure.
  • A sun hat -- floppy, wide-brimmed or a baseball-style cap. Sun glasses, too.
  • Light, drip-dry cotton or safari-type clothing. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are fine and bring enough for changes as it is unlikely that you will have an opportunity to wash & wear. Also, bring a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of pants/slacks for trail hikes.
  • Two pairs of broken-in sneakers or light-weight hiking boots. You need two pair of sneakers in case one gets wet. Sandals may be worn for leisure activities but not on hikes.
  • A toss-away poncho or plastic raincoat and a plastic bag to hold soiled laundry. (Inexpensive ponchos are sold at Explorama)
  • Any DEET (30% or less) insect repellent. Sunscreen lotion is recommended.
  • Binoculars and a small flashlight.
  • Personal toilet articles. Explorama provides hand soap and towels.
  • Your camera with plenty of film and a ZipLoc bag for moisture protection.
  • Luggage Weight Limit: When traveling down river on your Explorama itinerary, each guest may take 15Kg (33 pounds) of luggage with them on the boats to the lodges. If your luggage weighs more than this amount, please plan on storing the extra in Iquitos in the Explorama office in our secure storage area until return.

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Electricity & Communications: Electricity at Ceiba Tops is 220V & there is one 110V outlet in the bathroom in all rooms. There is limited electricity at Explorama Lodge, ExplorNapo Lodge and ACTS to recharge video and camera batteries and computers.

Communications & Internet Access:

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General Points of Information:

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Medical Information: You should talk with your personal doctor before leaving. Not only can he/she answer many of your questions, they can tailor medicines and vaccines for your personal needs.

Probably the most important item is an update on your tetanus (usually dT, or diphtheria-tetanus), if you have not had one in the last five to ten years, and assuming you have not previsouly had an allergic reaction to this vaccine. Yellow fever vaccine and malaria prophylaxis are two you may wish to consider and while some of Explorama's visitors do take these precautions, many do not.

Neither are required for entry into Peru nor for reentry to the US but may be required for stop-overs in other South/Central America countries (Honduras, for example, requires Yellow fever inoculation if coming from Peru.)

Medical facilities include a well-equipped and professionally staffed clinic directly across the street from Explorama's office in Iquitos and a smaller, private clinic staffed by a US trained and licensed doctor located down river at Explorama Lodge. (Lienna J. Smith, M.D., FACP) For more information, please visit their The Amazon Medical Project

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Tipping: We are often asked what is the appropriate tip for Explorama's guides but there is no clear-cut answer, formula or suggestion. Our guests range from children in Middle school on workshops to affluent professionals experiencing the natural wonders of the Amazon so it is nearly impossible (and not at all practical) to try to set tipping standards. Some guests become very friendly with their guides and tip generously while others are treated to the guide's same high degree of professionalism but will tip on a lower scale

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Airport Departure Taxes: In nearly all instances, International and Peruvian Domestic taxes/fees are included in the cost of your airline tickets. This may change without notice so you should always check with your carrier to be sure.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy:You may cancel up to 30 days prior to arrival without penalty except for a 5% bank fee charge if original payment is made by credit card. Within 30 days and up to 7 days prior to arrival you may cancel for full refund less a $100 per person reservation/administrative fee. Within 7 days of arrival, there is no refund. All cancellations and refunds must be processed via phone so please call us (Tollfree in USA & Canada) at 1-800-707-5275 or Direct at 781- 581-0844.

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