Camino de Santiago Challenge - Trip Notes

 

The Camino de Santiago Challenge

Trip code: ZTXC

 

For over a thousand years, pilgrims have been walking the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James). Here’s your chance to follow the trails of medieval pilgrims bound for Santiago de Compostela and have all the details taken care of – all you need to do is pack your bags!

Style

Comfort
 
Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!

 

Themes

Walking
 

Itinerary

 
Day 1 Sarria
Your trip starts with your arrival in the town of Sarria, located in the province of Lugo – just over 100 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela. There are a number of ways to reach Sarria. There is a direct overnight train from Madrid to Sarria or alternatively you can take a bus from Madrid city or Madrid Airport to Lugo (5-6 services per day/5-6 hours) and connect with a local bus service from Lugo to Sarria (7 services per day/25km). There is no walking scheduled for today, so you can arrive at anytime; however, we recommend you arrive with ample time to collect your Pilgrim Passport (see the ‘Important Information’ section for more information on the Pilgrim Passport). For dinner we recommend trying the charming restaurant at the Hotel Roma in Sarria, which serves a range of delicious regional fare.
 
Day 2 Portomarin
Today you begin the first stage of your walk. Through the course of the week you will become very familiar with the yellow arrows and scallop shell symbols that guide you. For centuries the shell has been the symbol of the Camino and there are a few interpretations of its meaning - from mythical and metaphorical to practical. The walk today takes you pass many small hamlets. As you walk along the Rua Maior (Maior Street) to the Magdalena Monastery and cross the beautiful Bridge of Aspera, you are actually bidding farewell to Sarria. Continuing through beautiful countryside and crossing a small idyllic stream, an uphill climb takes you to the villages of Vilei and Bardadelo. Barbadelo’s church is a perfect example of rural Galician Romanesque architecture. The Camino then winds along a dirt track through farming fields flanked by trees. As you walk through typical Galician countryside, you pass through the hamlets of Leimán and Peruscallo. The section from Peruscallo to the village of Brea (the official 100km mark) is one of the most beautiful sections of the route. As you continue through Mirallos, you arrive at Penas and then take a downhill stone track to Moimentos, followed by Mercadoiro, Moutros, Parrocha and Vilachá before a steep descent sees you arriving at Portomarin – a town full of history and your base for the night. After the construction of a dam on the Miño River, the town was abandoned with its remains resting under the water of the river. When water levels are low you can see a few of the old buildings and the old bridge. Today, the village of Portomarin sits in the upper part of town and its imposing church of San Nicolás and the smaller church of San Pedro were moved to their new locations stone by stone… an impressive feat.(Approximate walking distance/time: 23km/5-6 hours)
 
Day 3 Palas de Rei
With the Church of San Nicolás in your shadow, leave Portomarin today and make your way to Palas. Follow a beautiful uphill track and then walk along a road for a short section until an ascent takes you to a local farm and then to the town of Toxibo, where you will come to a very well preserved ‘hórreo’, which is a typical granary on stilts that is found in northern Spain. At the village of Gonzar you have to opportunity to stop for a rest at a peaceful pilgrim rest area. After you pass through Gonzar, a steep uphill trail takes you to the small village of Castromaior. Soon you'll reach a milestone that marks the 80-kilometre mark. From Ventas de Narón, a short ascent takes you to Monte de Ligonde. Once at the top, take a downhill trail to Ligonde and then ascend to Eirexe. From here, make your way to Lestedo – a very peaceful spot.The Camino follows the path from Lestedo to Melida. An uphill climb firstly takes you to Os Valos before slowly descending to the pretty town of Palas de Rei, one of the most important towns on the pilgrim’s route in Galicia. Its large and partially canopied town square is the focal point of the town and is home to a town hall, which is made from a mix of granite and whitewash render – a typical example of architecture of the region. (Approximate walking distance/time: 25km/5-6 hours)
 
Day 4 Santa Maria de Melide
Leaving Palas de Rei behind, enter beautiful rural countryside and farm land on your approach to the charming village of San Xulián. The trail then leads you through oak grove to the delightful town of Casanova, which leads to the border of the provinces of Lugo and A Coruña. When you reach Leboreiro you will notice its modest Romanesque church. Inside is a carved image of the Virgin Mary. In Furelos, you come across a four-arch medieval stone bridge. Your final destination today is Melide, one of the largest towns on the pilgrim’s route in Galicia.(Approximate walking distance/time: 15km/3-4 hours)
 
Day 5 Arzúa
Farewelling Melide, wind your way along quiet country roads and through beautiful countryside bound for the city of Arzúa – the spot where the Camino Frances (French Way) meets the Camino del Norte (North Way). En route, pass the ancient pilgrimage villages of Boente, Barona and Vilantime. Crossing a bridge, a downward path leads you to the interesting restored village of Ribadiso on the banks of the Iso River before arriving at Arzúa, your base for the night. A small park in the town is a popular meeting point for the locals and provides an interesting insight into local village life. Some of Arzúa’s main monuments include the 14th century Capilla de la Magdalena and the 20th century Iglesia de Santiago. It’s recommended that you try some of the area’s famous cheese (‘queixo’ in Galician or ‘queso’ in Spanish) while in Arzúa – it’s available for sale in many of the town’s shops and restaurants.(Approximate walking distance/time: 15km/3-4 hours)
 
Day 6 Rúa
Today you complete one of the final stages of the Camino de Santiago. This stretch of the walk sees you passing through agricultural meadows, landscapes of oak and eucalyptus, and a collection of sleepy villages such as Ferreiros, Boavista, O Castro and Salceda. Soon after Salceda, you pass a monument dedicated to the pilgrim Guillermo Watt, who died at this point when making his pilgrimage to Santiago. Next, pass through Xen and Ras into Brea. From Brea, continue along the road to Santa Irene. A highlight of the day is a visit to the beautiful chapel of Santa Irene with its unique statues of St James (Santiago). A continuous, quiet country road then takes you to your next stop Rúa, one of the quieter places before Santiago de Compostela.(Approximate walking distance/time 19km/4-5 hours)
 
Days 7-8 Santiago de Compostela
Today you embark on the final and key stage of the Camino de Santiago to your ultimate goal: the city of Santiago de Compostela. After leaving Rúa, pass through San Paio and then the village of Lavacolla. In ancient times, pilgrims would wash in the stream at Lavacolla before continuing their journey to Santiago. An uphill climb takes you to the village of Vilarmaior, then a gradual ascent sees you reach Monte do Gozo. It’s at this point that ancient pilgrims experienced their first views of the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago. This is a great spot to sit back, reflect and enjoy a well-earned rest before leaving the rural landscapes behind and heading into the urban sprawl of the city. As you come to the end of the final leg, walk through the town to the magnificent Plaza del Obradoiro and then to the gates of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. During medieval times, the cathedral was considered the third most important place of pilgrimage after Jerusalem and Rome. Today it is the jewel of the city and an exquisite example of Romanesque architecture. After you’ve rested and rejuvenated yourself, take the time to enjoy a wander around the old historic quarter of this culturally rich city. Other fine buildings of note in the Plaza de Obradoiro include the 15th century Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, which was once a pilgrim hostal and then a hospital but is today used as a ‘parador’ hotel. The 18th century Pazo de Raxoi is another impressive building in the plaza. You may wish to collect your Compostela certificate when in Santiago today, which is obtainable if you have stamps in your Pilgrim’s Passport as proof that you completed the last 100 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago (see important notes for more information). Your rewarding journey ends the next morning after breakfast in Santiago de Compostela. You may wish to book additional nights' accommodation to further explore this city. (Approximate walking distance/time: 19km/4-5 hours)
 

We also recommend

If you have more time before or after the Challenge, here are some wonderful trips in the region:
Real Food Adventure - Galicia (ZWZG)
Real Food Adventure - Northern Spain (ZMZZ)
North Spain Discovery (ZMSN)
Best of Spain (ZMSG)
Classic Spain and Portugal (ZMSJC)
Highlights of Southern Spain & Morocco (ZBKS)
Madrid to Marrakech (ZMSH)
 

Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.comPlease note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
 

Culture shock rating

2/5
At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
 

Physical rating

3/5
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
 

Physical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest. A reasonably good level of fitness is required to undertake this trip. You will be walking from 4-6-hours per day and the average walking stage is 22km (14 miles) per day. The Galician landscape is quite hilly so there will be some ups and downs but no hard ascents and descents, with approximately 150-500 metres of altitude change per day. The trail is a combination of rural (dirt) paths, stone footpaths, quieter country roads and some unavoidable main roads. To get the most out of your trip, we recommend undertaking some basic physical training beforehand.
 

Included activities

Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
 

Optional activities

A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
 

Money Exchange

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
 

Spending money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
 

Tipping

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
 

Departure tax

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
 

Important notes

SAMA CHAPERONE
This trip will be accompanied by an Intrepid Project SAMA chaperone.
 
PILGRIMS' PASSPORT AND COMPOSTELA CERTIFICATE: Many walkers of the Camino de Santiago may wish to receive the Compostela at the end of their journey, which is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing the Camino de Santiago. To earn the Compostela you need to have walked a minimum of 100km of the Camino de Santiago. In order to prove you have walked 100km, you must obtain what is called the Pilgrim’s passport (or the credencial) in Sarria before starting the walk. The Pilgrim’s passport costs approximately EUR2 and can be purchased at one of the following places in Sarria;Monastery of the Magdalena (top of the old city) – Open Monday-Sunday 10.00-13.00h & 16.30-19.00hChurch of Santa María (at the beginning of the Rúa Maior, in the old city) – Open Monday 19.00-20.00h / Tuesday-Sunday 11.00-13.00h and 17.00-21.00hChurch Nuestra Señora del Rosario (new sector, close to the bus station) – Open Daily except Wednesday: 10.30-13.30h and 17.00-20.00hShop Peregrinoteca (at big stairs that lead to the old city, also close to the river and the NH Alfonso IX) – Open Monday-Sunday (commercial opening hours)You must obtain two stamps per day in your Pilgrim’s passport. The stamps can be obtained in the cathedral or local church. If the church is closed, the town hall or office of tourism can provide a stamp, as well as many shops, bars and restaurants in the villages along the way. As the Camino approaches Santiago, many of the stamps in small towns are self-service due to the greater number of pilgrims, while in the larger towns there are several options to obtain the stamp. When you arrive at Santiago you will need to take your passport to the Pilgrim’s office to obtain your Compostela certificate. You will be asked your reason for undertaking the Camino which you must state was for spiritual or religious pilgrimage. Please note that there can be a wait at the Pilgrim’s office to obtain the certificate. Obtaining the Compostela certificate is of an optional exercise and completely at your discretion. The cost is not included in the tour price and you are responsible for obtaining it yourself locally and having it stamped each day.
 

Group size

Maximum of 16 travellers per group.

 

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
 

Single travellers

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
 

Accommodation

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
 

Meals

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Meals included:
7 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
 

Transport

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE:
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
 

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
 

Joining point

Hotel Carrís Alfonso IX
Rua do Peregrino, 29
Sarria
27600
SPAIN
Phone: +34 982 530 005
 

Arrival complications

We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) please follow the instructions on your voucher in order to find our driver. Should you have any problems locating your driver, please call the number for our transfer company on the voucher in the first instance. Should you continue to experience any difficulties, please call the emergency number for our local operations team which is available on the 'Emergency Contact' section of these trip notes.No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
 

Finish point

Hotel Bonaval
Bonaval, 2-4
Santiago de Compostela
15703
SPAIN
Phone: +34 981 558 883
Fax: +34 981 574 633
 

Emergency contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Ground Operations team at Tee Travel can be reached on Tel: +34 986 56 50 26. For further contact details please use the following page:
www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/
 

Emergency funds

Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
 

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
 

Issues on your trip

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
 

What to take

WALKING THE CAMINO TRAIL: As your luggage is transferred from one hotel to another by a transfer company, each person is permitted only one suitcase/ bag each. Extra bags can incur charges.Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel or sausage bag is the ideal form of luggage. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized travelpack (45-50 litres) is another good option, but preferably one without a frame. Many hotels used in Europe do not have lifts, so you must be able to carry your own luggage.Please refer to the specific country section for climate details, as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the lists that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Remember that quality rain gear is essential for any destination - you’ll enjoy your holiday to the fullest if you’re prepared for all kinds of weather! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
 
Travel documents:
Passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
Spare passport photos
Money: cash/credit card/debit card
Money belt and small padlocks
Small first-aid kit
Daypack to carry your water, camera etc. during your walks
Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Electrical adapter plug
Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
Insect repellent
Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
Refillable water bottle
Phrase book
Warm clothes/fleece - when travelling in cooler climates or for the evening/early morning
Wind and waterproof jacket
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
Binoculars (optional)
Pocket knife (do not pack in carry-on luggage during flights)
Compass
Walking poles
Water bottle
Note: If you are purchasing new footwear for your trip we recommend that you undertake some walking before-hand to ensure that they are comfortable and are the correct size. In any event we advise some preparatory walking before you commence your trip.
 
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day

 

Health

All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
 

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

 

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:

 

Responsible Travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
 

A couple of rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
 

The Intrepid Foundation

Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way. The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website: www.theintrepidfoundation.org
 

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. Once you’ve left your feedback with us you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.
Leave your feedback here - www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback