Japan: Shrines, Temples, and Hiking

Trip Overview

In late March 2018, AdventureWomen heads to Japan to hike along sacred paths exploring the roots of Japanese culture. The Japanese culture, at its core, is centered around beauty as it fosters the pursuit of perfection and spiritual enlightenment. These aesthetic ideals are reflected in virtually all aspects of life in Japan: in its architecture, food, fashion, philosophy, art, and even in the symbol of the cherry blossom and the symmetry of Mount Fuji itself.

Your AdventureWomen tour in Japan includes visits to the must-see areas of Tokyo and Kyoto during the beautiful cherry blossom season. Kyoto is a city located in the central part of the island of Honshu, Japan, with a population close to 1.5 million. It is home to seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from the 10th to the 19th century, and each is representative of the period in which it was built. You’ll notice that even though Kyoto is one of Japan’s largest cities, it doesn’t have tall skyscrapers as you might expect. Few buildings or structures are taller than the pagoda of Toji Temple at 187 feet.

Walk along the Philosopher’s Path, with craft shops, cafes, shrines, and temples beside the clear waters of a small canal. Enjoy a special private experience with a maiko, an apprentice geisha, or geiko, as they are known in Kyoto. Walk though Nara Park, home to over 1,000 free-roaming deer, which are considered sacred messengers of the gods and experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Our hikes in Japan take us along the Kumano Kodo, one of only two ancient pilgrimage routes that have been given UNESCO World Heritage designation. The Kumano Kodo is associated with the Shugendo faith, a religion based on a form of mountain worship and blends a number of imported religions with native beliefs. At its core is an emphasis on physical endurance as a path to enlightenment. This area of Japan is home to shrines associated with the creation myths of Japanese culture in the Shinto tradition with a history stretching back over a millennium. As you hike from village to village, you’ll stay in traditional Japanese inns called ryokans, which feature communal baths using water from local hot springs.

We hike in and around Hongu, Japan one of the sacred shrines of pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodo. At the heart of these sacred mountains, Kumano was said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, the ‘other world’ to which spirits travelled in Japanese mythology.

Each night on our Japan adventure, you'll lay your head in "ryokans" (traditional inns) along the way, each with their own local "onsen" (hot spring and spa facilities), tucked into cedar forests with rivers and views of mountains. You get the chance to sleep on traditional Japanese futon-style bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) on the floor in one of the ryokans.

In Ise, we'll have a true "women-to-women" experience meeting the Ama divers, women who practice free-dive fishing as they dive without oxygen tanks or other mechanical help to collect seafood or pearl oysters. This traditional Japanese lifestyle is under threat and slowly dying out, as a younger generation of women choose not to follow in their mothers’ footsteps.

We then head to Tokyo, the capital of Japan, the eighth largest city in the world where we visit the Hama-Rikyu gardens, which contain the "Shio-iri-no Niwa" (garden with a tidal pond) on the sea, and its scenery varies with the ebb and flow of the tide. We'll witness the striking contrast between these gardens and the gleaming towers of the new Shiodome business area beyond.

Don't miss this new AdventureWomen Spring 2018 womens hiking tour to Japan. Experience this unique culture in all its facets! 

Main Attractions

  • Meet remarkable Japanese women who share their personal stories with you:
    • Get to know one of the few female “yamabushi”, or mountain ascetic priests, as you walk with her listening to her describe her training and faith.
    • Learn how these local spiritual leaders help preserve Japan’s regional traditions through both folk songs and dance.
    • Meet the Ama divers, Japanese women who free-dive for pearl oysters, and learn first-hand about this 3,000 year-old profession.
  • Hike from village-to-village along ancient pilgrimage routes resting at night in traditional inns known as ryokans
  • Experience the etiquette and tradition of a formal Japanese tea ceremony
  • Relax in the evening in natural hot spring baths with a glass of wine

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Buddhism
  • Cooking Class
  • Crafting
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Handicrafts
  • Hiking
  • Historical Sites
  • Hot Springs
  • Local Delicacies
  • National Parks
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Train
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Women-To-Women

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Japan: Shrines, Temples, and Hiking

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - Arrive in Kyoto

Arrive in Osaka today and transfer to Kyoto. Kyoto is a city located in the central part of the island of Honshu, Japan, with a population close to 1.5 million. Kyoto was formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than a thousand years, and is now the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture located in the Kansai region, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. Kyoto is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from the 10th to the 19th century, and each is representative of the period in which it was built.

You will be picked up by a shuttle and transferred to your hotel in Kyoto.

Meet your guide and AdventureWomen Associate in the hotel lobby at 7:00pm. Enjoy a special welcome dinner and trip orientation this evening.
Dinner

Overnight: Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa
http://kyoto-royal.ishinhotels.com/en/

Located on Kawaramachi Street, Kyoto’s main restaurant and entertainment avenue, the Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa is also centrally located providing easy access to the city. Relax in Prandia Restaurant and Haven Bar or choose to soothe your mind, body and spirit at the Kotoran Spa.

Day 2

Sunday, April 1, 2018 - Kyoto

Kyoto served as Japan’s political, spiritual, and cultural capital from the 12th to the 19th centuries. While political power has moved to Tokyo, Kyoto has retained a firm grasp on Japanese culture and traditions and is renowned for its temples, festivals, and cuisine.

You’ll notice that even though Kyoto is one of Japan’s largest cities, it doesn’t have tall skyscrapers as you might expect. Few buildings or structures are taller than the pagoda of Toji Temple, located in the southwest of the central Kyoto area, which is the tallest pagoda in Japan at a height of 187 feet. The current pagoda dates to 1644, but the original was built in 864.

Visit Ginkakuji Temple, or the Silver Pavilion this morning. This temple is popular for its gardens and tea house.

Walk along the Philosopher’s Path, with craft shops, cafes, shrines, and temples beside the clear waters of a small canal. Stop at Nanzenji, a tranquil Zen Buddhist temple with history dating back to the mid-13th century.

Enjoy a special private experience with a maiko, an apprentice geisha, or geiko, as they are known in Kyoto. Geisha are revered for preserving traditional arts of music and dance. There are only approximately 250 in Kyoto but they remain very much in demand for attendance at private functions. The world of the geisha is very closed and introductions are often only made through personal connections.

This afternoon, discover the back lanes and traditions of Gion, a famous district known for its tea houses, Geiko, and Maiko.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa
http://kyoto-royal.ishinhotels.com/en/

Located on Kawaramachi Street, Kyoto’s main restaurant and entertainment avenue, the Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa is also centrally located providing easy access to the city. Relax in Prandia Restaurant and Haven Bar or choose to soothe your mind, body and spirit at the Kotoran Spa.

Day 3

Monday, April 2, 2018 - Kyoto

Nara is home to some of Japan’s greatest cultural treasures, many of which are situated in or near Nara Park. Nara was capital of Japan from 710 to 794, prior to Kyoto and Tokyo. Nara is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Site temples.

Today, your larger bag will be sent ahead to Takahara, where you will arrive tomorrow evening. Pack your essentials in a smaller bag to keep with you for this evening.

Todaiji Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for housing the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. The building housing the statue is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.

Walk though Nara Park, home to over 1,000 free-roaming deer. The deer are considered sacred messengers of the gods. You can purchase special rice crackers to feed the deer if you’d like.

Enjoy lunch on your own and spend some time exploring Naramachi, an older section of town home to craftspeople and small boutiques as well as restaurants and cafes.

Return to Kyoto to experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. This afternoon, enjoy some free time in the Higashiyama district to browse the many small shops offering traditional handicrafts and tasty local treats, including pickles and yatsuhashi, a local sweet flavored delicately with cinnamon.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa
http://kyoto-royal.ishinhotels.com/en/

Located on Kawaramachi Street, Kyoto’s main restaurant and entertainment avenue, the Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa is also centrally located providing easy access to the city. Relax in Prandia Restaurant and Haven Bar or choose to soothe your mind, body and spirit at the Kotoran Spa.

Day 4

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - Kyoto to the Kumano Kodo

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Kumano Kodo became popular in the 11th century as a place of pilgrimage. Kumano, part of the mountainous Kii Peninsula stretching south from the Kansai cities of Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto, has been a sacred site associated with worshipping nature since prehistoric times. The Kumano Kodo is associated with the Shugendo faith, a religion based on a form of mountain worship and blends a number of imported religions with native beliefs. At its core is an emphasis on physical endurance as a path to enlightenment.

Take the train from Kyoto to Kii Tanabe this morning. Once in Kii Tanabe, you will take a bus to Takijiri.

Enjoy lunch before you start your hike.

Begin your walk on the Nakahechi portion of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. From Takijiri the path climbs steadily for about two hours to the ridge-top village of Takahara. Your lodging tonight features hot spring baths made of cypress wood. Your delicious evening meal is made with organic, locally-sourced ingredients.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-Sato
http://kirinosato-takahara.com/english.html

Enjoy the view of the Hatenashi Moutains and the stunning surroundings from your hotel. This is an incomparable place to relax after your hike on the Kumano Kodo. Appreciate the tranquility of this location, as well as the local Onsen (Japanese Spa) located inside of the hotel. Enjoy unique traditional Japanese cuisine, centered on countryside cooking with fresh vegetables and local products.

Day 5

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - Kumano Kodo

The Nakahechi route of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage network has been used extensively since the 10th century, when Japan’s Imperial ancestors first began the tradition. The classic pilgrimage circuit began in Kyoto at Jonan-gu shrine and finished with a visit to Kumano Nachi Taisha. On the return journey to Kyoto, pilgrims either retraced their steps or took the mountainous Ogumotori-goe and Kogumotori-goe passes to Hongu.

Enjoy an early Japanese breakfast before departing your inn. Follow the trail as it winds through small settlements and peaceful countryside. You will pass several Oji shrines before finally descending to the village of Chikatsuyu. The paths are clearly defined, and flagstones have been laid in some places to make the climbs easier.

Enjoy lunch and meet a local women’s group, which preserves local folk songs and dances.

Take some time to relax before dinner, which is served at your family-run minshuku guest house. Enjoy a soak in the hot springs bath, or perhaps take a short walk to the local shops where you can purchase popular Kumano foods to try. (Note that in the traditional hot springs, you will need to cover any tattoos or body art).
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Minshuku Chikatsuyu
http://www.kumano-travel.com/index/en/action_ContentsDetail_Detail/id51

Minshuku Chikatsuyu is a small guesthouse located in the Chikatsuyu village along the Hiki-gawa River, with a local onsen (hot spring bath) next to the inn. The water is famous for its smooth texture. The view from the dining room opens onto the river and mountains beyond. Rest and relax in this peaceful location.

Day 6

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - Kumano Kodo

Today, hike in and around Hongu, one of the sacred shrines of pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodo. At the heart of these sacred mountains, Kumano was said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, the ‘other world’ to which spirits travelled in Japanese mythology.

From Chikatsuyu, take a local bus to Hosshinmon- oji, where you will walk a gentle section of the trail to the Kumano shrine at Hongu, one of the three ‘Grand Shrines of Kumano’.

During your walk, you will be accompanied by one of the few female yamabushi, or mountain ascetic priests. Learn more about the training of yamabushi and the Shugendo faith. Enjoy lunch at a local cafe.

Arrive in Hongu, where you will make traditional Japanese washi paper. The Kotsuga village in Hongu has long been famous as a center for handmade Washi paper. Otonashi paper is made from fibers of the mulberry plant, and was once dedicated at the Hongu Grand shrine in the form of paper amulets called Gou Shinpu. Create your own piece of Washi at the workshop, and return to Hongu to have it stamped with a special Shuin red seal at the Kumano Grand Shrine – a traditional pilgrim’s souvenir and work of art.

From the Kumano shrine at Hongu, walk the Dainichigoe to the Yunomine Onsen, one of the oldest natural hot spring onsen villages in Japan, famous for the thermal water bubbling to the surface of the crystal clear stream. Spend the night in Yunomine Onsen. Enjoy a relaxing soak in a Japanese bath before or after your delicious dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Yunominesou
http://www.kumano-travel.com/index/en/action_ContentsDetail_Detail/id51

Minshuku Chikatsuyu is a small guesthouse located in the Chikatsuyu village along the Hiki-gawa River, with a local onsen (hot spring bath) next to the inn. The water is famous for its smooth texture. The view from the dining room opens onto the river and mountains beyond. Rest and relax in this peaceful location.

Day 7

Friday, April 6, 2018 - Kumano Kodo

Kumano Nachi Taisha is an example of Buddhist and Shinto syncretism (Shinbutsu shugo) nestled in the Kii Mountains, near Kii Katsuura, Japan. Cedar forests surround the site.

Today, your larger bag will be sent ahead to Tokyo. Pack your essentials for the next two nights in a smaller bag.

Visit a local tuna market, the source of the tuna that ends up at the larger wholesale markets in Osaka and at Tsukiji in Tokyo, as many fish land here off of ships departing from local ports. Enjoy lunch in the market.

Visit the shrine as well as the nearby Nachi waterfall, which is said to be inhabited by the kami spirit

Kiryu Gongen. Nachi-san is one of the shrines of pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodo. The temples of Nachi-san are set in primeval forest, and are marked by an ancient stone approach, the Dogenzaka.

The adjacent Nachi-no-taki or waterfall crashes to the rocks below and is the focus of the traditional worship of natural spirits.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Urashima
http://www.kumano-travel.com/index/en/action_ContentsDetail_Detail/id51

Minshuku Chikatsuyu is a small guesthouse located in the Chikatsuyu village along the Hiki-gawa River, with a local onsen (hot spring bath) next to the inn. The water is famous for its smooth texture. The view from the dining room opens onto the river and mountains beyond. Rest and relax in this peaceful location.

Day 8

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Kumano Kodo to Ise

Ise has been considered a sacred place for 2,000 years, and the shrine is surrounded by 1,000-year-old cedar trees, but the buildings themselves are rebuilt every 20 years. The site is eternal and ancient yet characterized by regeneration and youthfulness.

After breakfast, take the train to the Ise area.

The outer shrine, or Geku, is dedicated to the goddess of food, clothing, and housing. Devotees come to offer prayers of gratitude, and to maintain the purity of the shrines, visitors pray outside. Only the high priests, shrine maidens, and the Emperor are allowed to enter the buildings.

The Okage Yokocho is an area of older buildings relocated here that previously stood on the old route of pilgrimage to the shrine. Most of the buildings are now shops or restaurants catering to pilgrims’ more earthly desires. In additional to local delicacies and bean paste sweets, you’ll find shops featuring local handicrafts and products, such as Matsusaka Momen - items made from indigo-died local cotton.

End your day with a visit to the solemn inner shrine. The inner shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu-omikami who ruled the celestial world of deities. She is viewed in Shinto as the ancestral deity not just of the Japanese line of Emperors, but also of the Japanese people. Visitors are sometimes surprised by the juxtaposition of the ancient and the new.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Toba Hotel International
http://www.tobahotel.co.jp/en/

Endlessly blue ocean and sky, soft ocean breezes, and sophisticated hospitality welcome you at the Toba Hotel International. Relax on the terrace and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean. Enjoy Ryokan Shiojitei’s indoor/outdoor hot spring baths during your stay here.

Day 9

Sunday, April 8, 2018 - Ise to Tokyo

Ama divers are women who practice free-dive fishing - they dive without oxygen tanks or other mechanical help - to collect seafood or pearl oysters. Archaeological evidence shows that Ama diving has been practiced in the area for nearly 3,000 years. However, this traditional lifestyle is under threat; it is slowly dying out as the younger generation of women choose not to follow in their mothers’ footsteps.

Spend the morning with the Ama Divers and learn about their lives and unique profession. Enjoy a special seafood lunch with the women.

Take a regional and a bullet train to Tokyo.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Shiba Park 151 Hotel
http://www.shiba-park-hotel-151.com/

Fall in love with Japan and experience the true meaning of Japanese hospitality, omotenashi, at the Shiba Park 151 hotel. The rooms are relaxing and elegant environments featuring a taste of Japanese culture. On the second floor, there is a Japanese Culture Salon “SAKURA”, where, as the name suggests, you can experience Japanese culture, entertainment, and elements of lifestyle during your stay.

Day 10

Monday, April 9, 2018 - Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and is the eighth largest city in the world. Tokyo was originally a small fishing village named Edo, which means estuary. Its name was changed to Tokyo (to: “east”, and kyo: “capital”) when it became the imperial capital under Emperor Meiji in 1868. You’ll discover the city as the Japanese do today - by subway and train.

Visit the Hama-Rikyu gardens this morning, located near the mouth of the Sumida-gawa, a large river that flows through Tokyo. The garden is divided into two major sections. The southern garden was the site of a villa where the Shogun (commander-in- chief) could relax, enjoy duck hunting, and entertain visitors from the 17th to 19th century. It contains the Shio-iri-no Niwa (garden with a tidal pond) which is on the sea, and its scenery varies with the ebb and flow of the tide. There is a striking contrast between the gardens and the gleaming towers of the new Shiodome business area beyond.

Stop at Nihonbashi (the “Japan Bridge”), which is considered to be the “center of Japan), and the starting point of all of Japan’s main roads since the Edo period.

Spend some time in the elegant Ginza shopping district. Enjoy lunch along the way.

Explore the Grand Meiji Shrine, near Harajuku this afternoon. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji, who was instrumental in modernizing Japan. This tranquil oasis is on the doorstep of Harajuku and Omotesando – areas known for avant-garde fashion and architecture.

Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening and celebrate the end of an exceptional trip.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Shiba Park 151 Hotel
http://www.shiba-park-hotel-151.com/

Fall in love with Japan and experience the true meaning of Japanese hospitality, omotenashi, at the Shiba Park 151 hotel. The rooms are relaxing and elegant environments featuring a taste of Japanese culture. On the second floor, there is a Japanese Culture Salon “SAKURA”, where, as the name suggests, you can experience Japanese culture, entertainment, and elements of lifestyle during your stay.

Day 11

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Tokyo and Depart

Enjoy one last morning in Tokyo before departing for the US.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport in Tokyo for your flights home.
Breakfast

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Japan: Shrines, Temples, and Hiking

Traveling to Japan



Traveling to Japan

Arrive: Arrive in Osaka, Japan (KIX or ITM - either airport is fine) on March 31, 2018, before 2:00pm.

Depart: Depart from Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan (NRT) on April 10, 2018 after 10:00am.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas:

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Health Considerations:

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Japan, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Japan.

We rate this trip as moderate. You should be able to hike for 6-7 miles with a steep steady ascent. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you to ensure that you are prepared for the trip. Visit https://fitfortrips.com/partners/adventure-women/ for more information.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Money:

The currency of Japan is the Yen. As of May, 2017, US$1 = ¥113. There is sporadic access to ATMs, primarily in large cities. You should exchange money upon arrival at the airport. Credit cards are only accepted at large department stores. Smaller stores and restaurants accept only cash.

Suggested Gratuities:

  • Guide: $5-7 per day

How To Register:

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking "Sign Up for this Trip" on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment:

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before December 31, 2017.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Japan: Shrines, Temples, and Hiking

Included:

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Airport transfers on the group arrival and departure days
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • English-speaking guides throughout the trip
  • Bottled water
  • Soda, tea, and coffee at meals
  • Snacks in the vehicles
  • Gratuities, except for your guide
  • One AdventureWomen Associate

Not Included:

  • International airfare to and from Japan
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Japan: Shrines, Temples, and Hiking

What to Bring

Packing Considerations: The islands of Japan extend from sub-Arctic climates in northern regions, to sub-tropical climates in the southern and western Islands. Your itinerary is based in the Kansai and Kii Peninsula areas, which have a moderate climate. March marks the end of winter with daytime highs of around 60°F, but cold nights. There may

be snow in the mountain villages. April is very pleasant, with daytime highs of around 60-70°F. Nighttime temperatures and temperatures on the Kumano Kodo may be a few degrees cooler, so you should be prepared to layer your clothing.

While April is not a particularly wet month, there can be occasional rain so you will need to bring rain gear.

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag or small suitcase
  • Packable duffel (for when your main bag is sent ahead)
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are broken in!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • 4-5 pairs hiking socks
  • 1 pair of cozy socks for walk- ing around the ryokans (slip- pers are not allowed inside)
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1-2 sets of nicer clothes for dinner
  • 1-2 bathing suits
  • Gore-Tex jacket
  • Gore-Tex pants
  • Hat for sun protection

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Write down/print out travel  insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lens- es, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Prescription medicine you usually take (in original containers)
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.