Hkwoody thx for the info!
Krystie I will look into finding a 2nd advice for the medication but I think will take all the precautions necessary.
For the rabies comment I meant that the mosquito nets could protect from the bats, which carry rabies as well. Would that be accurate?
I don’t even like ice so I won’t have to worry about that.
The electrolyte powder was meant to help with hydration that is what she said, I just misremembered!
Thank you for your input I addressed some of the other things in the update below.
They responded back saying that they want to present the itinerary that I have + a signed notarized letter describing my travel plans.
So that should be easy enough - I'll try to get that done after I figure out a date/agency for the Pantanal, and when my passport comes back( should be next week)
I think I'm going to go with the unlocked phone - it seems the simplest option rather than dealing with Skype, because who knows when I'll have access to the internet.
So I have already unlocked my phone - now it is just a matter of putting the foreign sim card into it.
I have a few questions about this:
I have been researching companies online because there are companies that offer to give you the foreign sim card for the country even before you leave, this way you have the sim card already and you do not have to worry about buying it over there. However, all these companies charge about $2.50-$3.00 a minute. My question is, I know that when I land in Lima, I can buy a foreign sim card at the airport, but what will there rates be? Will they be significantly cheaper? If so, I will wait on buying the sim card. Also, are there any other hidden fees? If I buy my SIM card at the airport in Lima, how will they charge me? Will they ask me for my credit card information? Or will I just pay as I go?
I think I will just buy SD cards and not take a laptop.
From what I understand, here is the differences between USA, Peru, and Brazil:
United States - 120 Volts, K Shape Outlet, 60 frequency
Peru - 110 Volts.. 220 secondary Volts, K Shape Outlet, 50/60 frequency
Brazil - 110 Volts.. 220 secondary Volts, B and K Shape Outlet, 60 frequency
This site is helping me out in determining whether or not I need a adaptor and/or converter:
Besides my cell phone charger, camera charger, and maybe an electric razor, I don't think I will need to bring any other things that would require an outlet.
Flight from Chicago to Lima:
I'm currently comparing different airlines, the best deal I have found is 344$ with Continental Airlines at despegar.com (the weird part is that Continental at other websites is almost 200$ more). The 2nd best deal I have found so far is 450$ LAN airlines based on statravel.com (I think it is a student discount), along with Continental via Studentuniverse(450$).
Transportation from Lima Airport to Loki Hostel in Lima:
I will just get Loki Hostel to send a taxi for me, I believe it is 15$
Transportation from Lima to Cuzco:
For bus, I am trying to use http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe/inicio_2.php - the website is in english, but as soon as I put my arrival and departure date and hit submit, the results are in spanish and I cannot find a button anywhere to convert it to English. I believe it's about 50-60$ though.
If I decide to fly, Taca and Star Peru do not charge much over a 100$
Transportation from Cuzco to MP:
I don't think I have much choice besides using a train for this, I have been referred several times to perurails.com - but I cannot seem to find a price or make a reservation. Every date that I put, it comes back with the result that there is no availability. Am I doing something wrong? Or is it really all sold out? I emailed them and this is what they said:
"At the moment we are not processing reservations or modifications yet because we are modifying train tickets and reservations that already where made you can check our available spaces in our web page www.perurail.com ones everything is done contact our Callcenter for more information calling to this phone number 0051-84-581414."
From what I gather, they are saying I cannot make a reservation right now. But it still doesn't explain why every result yields no availability, and why I cannot see the rates.
Travel Health Insurance:
I called my health insurer and they said I will have the exact health benefits that I have in the US, overseas - and they will only pay 80% of the cost, and I pay the remaining 20%, up to 1500$. Also, this does not cover all the things that a travel insurer would - it only covers medical expense and evacuation.
So I don't think that is good enough so I will just go with one of the following:
Statravel - 165$
Travelassistnetwork - 180$
TravelGuard - 119$
WorldNomads - 127$
It would seem like TravelGuard is the best deal, but I haven't compared the policies. I think it will take a while to compare the policies.There are a few others as well that I need to find the prices for.
Food & Drink in SA:
I think I have a firm grasp on this now - just stick to water bottles. How will I know if the dairy is pasteurized? If the fruits/vegetables have not been washed in local water? I'm assuming when I am staying at the hostels, I will have to buy food at their cafe, and then also eat out at restaurants, along with any meals the tour agency provides while I am at Manu/LakeTiticaca/Pantanal. So I guess I will just have to continually ask these questions every time I am served? Also, one thing that I don't think I mentioned is that I am vegetarian (lacto-ovo). This will probably make it more difficult! Hopefully not too much.
ISIC CARD: I'm going to obtain this from the study abroad office at my university. They require 22$ and a passport photo - it seems like I can get some nice discounts, so it couldn't hurt.
Pantanal: I'm still in communication with several pantanal agencies
Thanks for your help!