The Peruvian Amazon rainforest is a beautiful and vibrant environment, but you’ll want to take some precautionary measures before arriving. Awareness and common-sense will help reduce your exposure to potential infection, and preventive medicine and good preparation will do wonders in keeping your healthy and happy.
Disclaimer: We do not offer, nor claim to offer, any medical advice. These resources are merely to help you make an informed decision. We do not accept any responsibility for your following, or rejecting the advice herein.
Health Care in the Peruvian Amazon
If you require any daily medications, please advise us before organizing your travel so that we can confirm that they are compatible with Ayahuasca or the Master Plants you’ll be working with. You’ll also want to have a complete supply of your medications because tracking them down may prove difficult in Iquitos.
Iquitos has a fully functional hospital, but it is roughly an hour-and-a-half to three hours away.
There is a Travel Health physician in Iquitos:
Juan Carlos Celis Salinas
Lima: Av Alfonso Ugarte 1002 of205
Iquitos: Hospital Regional de Loreto
Vaccinations for the Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon is vibrant, diverse, and powerful. Along with that are different strains of viruses and bacterias that Northerns aren’t accustomed to.
Prior to your travel, we recommend scheduling a visit with a health care provider specializing in Travel Medicine. You can find one in your area by searching online for “travel doctor [your city]”. Bring your immunization and vaccination records with you, your travel itinerary, and mention you’ll be traveling to Iquitos, Peru and staying in the Amazon rainforest. The physician will help determine which vaccinations and preventative medication you may need. Please schedule your visit at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your arrival to Iquitos to allow ample time for any vaccinations to take effect, and any potential booster shots you may need.
Travel to Peru does not require any vaccinations, but the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does recommend the following vaccinations and preventative medicines:
- Routine Vaccinations: Ensure your routine vaccines are updated before your trip. Vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Reduce Germ Exposure
- Hepatitis A: CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Peru, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Eat & Drink Safely
- Typhoid: You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Peru. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Eat & Drink Safely
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual contact, contaminated needles or surgical equipment, and blood products. This vaccine is recommended if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures while in Peru.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Avoid Sharing Body Fluids, Avoiding Non-Sterile Surgical or Cosmetic Equipment
- Malaria: While traveling in the Amazon, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. Long sleeves, long pants, hats, and bug repellent are advisable. Mosquitos are most active during the morning, night, and in the deep rainforest. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your travel medicine specialist about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.
- Preventative Tips: Take B-complex vitamins during your diet before arriving, dress appropriately & avoid bug-bites, avoid known areas with malaria outbreak, and use preventative prescribed medication. We advise against using Lariam as a medication.
- It is NOT possible to take any antibiotics with Ayahausca.
- Rabies: Rabies does exist, but is not a major risk for most travelers. The rabies vaccination is recommended for long-term or adventure travelers who will potentially be exposed to wild animals like bats, and other forest mammals. Children are also recommended due to their greater potential for receiving bites on the head and neck and playing with animals.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Keep Away from Animals
- Yellow Fever: The Amazon rainforest of Peru has a higher risk of Yellow Fever. This vaccine is highly recommended for all travelers 9 months of age or older. You’ll need this vaccination at least 10 days prior to your arrival.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Dress Appropriately, Avoid Known Areas with Malaria Outbreak
Travel insurance is a personal preference. For long-term travelers, it is highly recommended due to the length of travel, the proclivity of bringing many prized or expensive possessions such as laptops, etc., and for the medical services offered by many travel insurance providers.
Coverage can include: medical, emergency evacuation, travel protection, baggage protection, and accidental death and dismemberment. Every plan is different with some plans offering more coverage to “explorers” or people who are taking more risks during their travels.
The Frugal Traveler has a piece about travel insurance in the New York Times to better educate yourself to see if it’s right for you.
InsureMyTrip.com has a robust comparison shopping tool for insurance plans.