Travel and health information

Overview Our trek dates are inclusive of travel time to and from North America. We are happy to make additional transport and hotel reservations if you are arriving early or staying late. As trips to Patagonia may require pre-trip preparation, we will work with you to ensure you have the proper health requirements, airline reservations and visas. Arrival in Patagonia Berg Adventures will pick you up at the airport in Punta Arenas, where you will be transferred to your hotel. One of our staff will be there at the airport with a sign that says Berg Adventures International. We will have a scheduled meeting that day. This meeting will include introductions, final review, overview of itinerary, helpful hints and an introduction to the South American culture. Trip Cancellation We highly recommend trip cancellation insurance for this expedition. As there are many unforeseen circumstances that may occur during or leading up to the trip, trip cancellation insurance is a very wise idea. In many situations, this may be the only way to receive a refund for unused services. We do offer insurance services, so please contact us if you are interested in purchasing your policy through Berg Adventures. Travel Notes In Punta Arenas, where you will meet your guide, the climate is coastal, and you’ll be arriving during the southern hemisphere’s springtime. It can cool off in the evenings so bring a light jacket - a useful part of your travel attire. Once we head up into the mountains, the temperatures will drop substantially and the wind will pick up. While traveling, you will want to have comfortable clothes and also have a nice change of clothes for our evenings in the city. During our hikes, it can get hot at midday when the sun shines strong at this altitude, but evening temperatures are often cooler than most places in North America. We’ll experience classic variable mountain weather - warm in direct sunlight, cool on cloudy days and at night. You will be adjusting your layers all day as you hike in Patagonia. Physical Conditioning The Torres del Paine Circuit Trek requires some endurance so you should be in good health and physically fit. The better your physical condition, the more likely you are to perform well and have an enjoyable experience. Expect some steep climbs and longer trekking days in potentially rainy and windy conditions. Our guides will inform you fully of any challenges an activity might present, and help you tailor each day to make the most of opportunities. Visas Canadians and Americans entering Chile for tourist purposes will be charged a processing fee payable on arrival and in cash only. For Canadians, the fee is US$125 and for Americans, the fee is US$131. Immunizations and Travel Health Good information for travelers and their physicians is available at click on the South America section. Canadian citizens may wish to visit the Health Canada website at Before traveling you should visit a travel medical clinic in your area, or see your family physician. Explain your itinerary and obtain the shots and prescription drugs that they recommend. Keep in mind, there are currently no specific immunization requirements for the areas we will be visiting. In addition we suggest that you speak with your doctor about a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Cipro for common travelers stomach distress. An over the counter aid, such as Imodium, for irregular stomachs is a good idea. Laxatives are sometimes useful because of irregular schedules when traveling. Besides your personal drugs, keep your first aid kits simple. BAI guides will carry complete medical kits, so a few personal items such as band–aids, moleskin, and antibacterial soap will be enough. Conditions are clean and healthy throughout the Patagonia region. However, common sense is useful. Wash your hands frequently. Light consumption of alcohol or no alcohol at all on the flight and early in the trip will help. For the most part, try to keep things as normal as possible for your body as it undergoes the stress of travel. If you use caffeine at home, use it on the trip at the same times of day your body is used to it. Drink a lot of bottled water, or purified water, to keep hydrated. You may find earplugs and/or blindfolds useful for sleeping on planes and in rustic lodges. We recommend you do not get any pedicures before your expedition. While enjoyable, they really take a toll on the strength of the skin on your feet and can cause major problems for trekkers. Reward yourself with a pedicure when you return! Personal Expenses Please review the costs included/ not included on our itinerary. Food Berg Adventures always brings along snacks and treats from North America for the trail. However, if there is a certain granola bar, trail mix or snack that you particularly like, please bring it along for yourself. Drinks The water is very safe and clean in this region, although you may want to bring a water purifying system or purchase bottled water at the lodges. Clean water and a variety of hot and cold drinks, such as tea, Tang, cocoa and juice, are provided as part of the trek. Cash American dollars are very easy to spend and change throughout South America. Be sure your US bills are crisp and clean (not torn or dirty), otherwise they may not be accepted. Larger denomination bills will be accepted for currency exchange more easily. We recommend that you bring $100, $50 and $20 notes. The Chilean currency is the peso, and you will need to change dollars to pesos for most small incidental expenses. For larger purchases, dollars may be preferred. You can change dollars for pesos in Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. Trekkers often take between $500 and $1,000 on the trek. This is for bottled drinks, souvenirs and for tipping the guides. You can get by with much less; we recommend that you base your decision on your budget for the trip. Do not be misled by the impression that you cannot spend money along the trail however! Tipping Trekkers generally tip US$200 to US$250 total per person to our local staff, guides, drivers, and other workers in the resorts. The amount will always be at your discretion and your trip leader will help you decide the amounts and the appropriate time to give tips. Generally, we will arrange a time to pool tips at the end of the trip which we will distribute amongst the staff. Tipping can be done with US Dollars or local Chilean currency; it makes no difference as long as the foreign bills are relatively new and undamaged Emergency Contact The best way for family or friends to contact you in emergency is through our office: 1-866-609-4148 or (403) 609-4148. In emergencies after business hours, you can contact us on the 24-hour phone at (403)609-7071. Contact with our office Since we pride ourselves on personal service, we encourage you to contact our office at any time. Direct emails can be sent as follows: Leila Silveira – [email protected] Wally Berg – [email protected] Sara Tiffany – [email protected]


Guard your medications

Guard Your Medications A huge chunk of the calls that pour into the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA's) Animal Poison Control Center every year involve pets poisoned by people pills. About 40 percent of the animal poison control calls--25,000 cases--revolve around pets exposed to human medications. "Pet exposures include pets eating dropped pills, owners gi

Sparcc abstracts, publications and book chapters

SPARCC Abstracts and Publications  1. Gladman DD, Rahman P, Cook RJ, Shen H, Zummer M, Thomson G, Nair B, Rohekar S, Ayearst R, Inman RD, Maksymowych W. The Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada Registry for Spondyloarthritis. J Rheumatol doi: 10.3899/jrheum.101102, First Release April 15/11. 2. Braun J, van den Berg R, Baraliakos X, Boehm H, Burgos-Vargas R, Collantes-Estevez

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