Japan Pilgrimage Trail

About the Experience

Japan conjures up several images in an instant: cotton candy-pink cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, bonsai, sushi, sumo wrestling, origami, anime. But we want to take you even deeper into the colourful and cultural pockets of Japan from Osaka to Kyoto. This is a spiritual suspension into the enlightened paths and natural connection that revolves around legend, Zen approaches, Buddhist lessons, organics and meditation.

This country is deeply steeped in tradition, ceremony and tea! The transformative experiences in this journey stem from historical precision, religious dedication, ancient healing practices and rituals like the Geisha tea ceremony.

Meditation and reflection are the foundation of Japan–and the ancient  Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route is testament to this. Spend three days on this sacred and serene UNESCO-designated path walking 29km (18 miles) on peaceful sections from Takahara to the Nachi Grand Shrine.

The landscape will startle you at every turn–from the camphor and bamboo forests to the thousand year old conifers of the Kii Mountain region. It’s a step back in time, following in the shadowed footsteps of monks, philosophers and female pilgrims who were once forbidden to enter the holy sites of Koyasan.

On this journey into Japan, you’ll learn about the religious practice of Shugendō, the stories behind the elaborate shrines and temples and witness the evolution of the Women’s Pilgrimage Course. You’ll sleep in traditional ryokans (Japanese-style inns) on tatami mats for four nights, attend a fire ceremony and create parchment-like washi-paper. Purify in the healing waters of the Onsens and introduce your palate to some truly unexpected local flavours and surprises!

You’ll meet a female yamabushi (mountain dwelling ascetic), maiko (Geisha apprentice) and Dai Ajari (a priest who has completed extreme endurance feats)–being in their distinguished, enlightened company is a true marvel.

This is the Japan you didn’t know you were dreaming of and you’ll be experiencing it all in the camaraderie of Wild Women who are just as curious and tempted by Japan’s secrets as you are!

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Japan Pilgrimage Trail

About the Experience

Japan conjures up several images in an instant: cotton candy-pink cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, bonsai, sushi, sumo wrestling, origami, anime. But we want to take you even deeper into the colourful and cultural pockets of Japan from Osaka to Kyoto. This is a spiritual suspension into the enlightened paths and natural connection that revolves around legend, Zen approaches, Buddhist lessons, organics and meditation.

This country is deeply steeped in tradition, ceremony and tea! The transformative experiences in this journey stem from historical precision, religious dedication, ancient healing practices and rituals like the Geisha tea ceremony.

Meditation and reflection are the foundation of Japan–and the ancient  Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route is testament to this. Spend three days on this sacred and serene UNESCO-designated path walking 29km (18 miles) on peaceful sections from Takahara to the Nachi Grand Shrine.

The landscape will startle you at every turn–from the camphor and bamboo forests to the thousand year old conifers of the Kii Mountain region. It’s a step back in time, following in the shadowed footsteps of monks, philosophers and female pilgrims who were once forbidden to enter the holy sites of Koyasan.

On this journey into Japan, you’ll learn about the religious practice of Shugendō, the stories behind the elaborate shrines and temples and witness the evolution of the Women’s Pilgrimage Course. You’ll sleep in traditional ryokans (Japanese-style inns) on tatami mats for four nights, attend a fire ceremony and create parchment-like washi-paper. Purify in the healing waters of the Onsens and introduce your palate to some truly unexpected local flavours and surprises!

You’ll meet a female yamabushi (mountain dwelling ascetic), maiko (Geisha apprentice) and Dai Ajari (a priest who has completed extreme endurance feats)–being in their distinguished, enlightened company is a true marvel.

This is the Japan you didn’t know you were dreaming of and you’ll be experiencing it all in the camaraderie of Wild Women who are just as curious and tempted by Japan’s secrets as you are!

Day 1: 歓迎 (WELCOME) TO OSAKA

Upon arrival at Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX), there is a group transfer on the train from the airport to your hotel. 

At the hotel, you will meet your energetic Wild Women guide and gather with your fellow Wild Women for dinner. Swap stories and laughs–this is just the beginning of your transformative pilgrimage together.

Meals Included: Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Karaksa Hotel, Osaka
How much further? One hour (train)
Roadmap: Osaka

 

Day 2: THE SACRED KUMANO KODO 

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll board an early train from Osaka for a 2.5 hour journey to Kii-Tanabe. From JR Kii-Tanabe station, we’ll take the Ryujin bus to the Takijiri-oji bus stop (45 minutes)–this is the trailhead of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage!

We’ll visit the Kumano Kodo Kan Pilgrimage Center to learn more about the Kumano Kodo’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage sacred site and pilgrimage route.There will also be an opportunity to purchase any last-minute gear.

Across from the pilgrimage center, Takijiri-oji is one of the five major oji (subsidiary shrines) in the region–this is the main entrance to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. From this point onward to Takahara, the trail is very steep as we climb into the panorama of the Hatenashi mountain range. We’ll be quickly surrounded by the fragrance and shade of the camphor forest and encounter our first challenge. We can test our mettle by climbing through the narrow crack of the massive boulders that create the appropriately named Tainai-kuguri cave. Tainai means “birth canal” in Japanese and kuguri means “to pass through.” 

We will arrive at Kiri-no-Sato, senses satiated, to immerse in a soak in a healing traditional onsen (hot spring) before a fun multi-course dinner together. Tonight’s accommodation in Takahara revolves around organics from the wood it was constructed from to the coffee, wine and hyper local ingredients.

Today’s pilgrimage:  6.7km/4mi (2.5 hrs)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Kiri-no-Sato, Takahara
How much further? 2.5 hours (by train), 45 minutes (bus)
Roadmap: Osaka to Takahara

 

Day 3: SOAKING IN YUNOMINE ONSEN

Leaving Takahara on foot, we’ll head higher into the mountains along the forested Nakahechi trail. We’ll see relics of history in the abandoned beehives, former teahouse, shrine gates and charcoal-making kilns. We will be joined on a section of our undulating walk by one of the few female yamabushi (mountain ascetics who practice the religion of Shugendo) in Japan.

Pressing on through the silence and serenity, we’ll reach the Hashiori-Toge pass after a short climb. Our descent follows a cobbled path and staircase to Chikatsuyu, a small village. 

Our final stretch of the day involves a climb up to Tsugizakura-Oji, famed for its giant cedar trees and glass clear springs. From here we’ll transfer by vehicle to Yunomine Onsen, deep in the belly of the sacred mountains of Kumano. It is said that the waters here change colour seven times over the course of a single day. Yunomine Onsen is vitally linked to the thousand year old pilgrimage tradition and is thought to be one of the oldest hot springs in all of Japan.

After our time in the company of a yamabushi, we’ll retreat to our ryokan (Japanese-style inn) where we’ll drift off on tatami mats made from Japanese rush grass.

Today’s pilgrimage: 12.4km/7.7mi (5 hrs)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Yunominesou, Yunomine Onsen
How much further?
Roadmap: Takahara to Yunomine Onsen

 

Day 4: PILGRIMAGE TO HONGU TAISHA 

After a typical breakfast, we’ll take a local bus to Hosshinmon-oji to begin today’s walk. This meandering route follows a ridge through small villages and verdant forests before descending to Hongu Taisha.

In Hongu Taisha, we’ll have the option to try Otonashi, a 30-minute Japanese washi paper-making experience. This paper is unique to the Hongu-sho area as it is made from local wild plants like the paper bush (which has a parchment paper-like bark) or the Kazinoki tree. Originally created by the Shinto talisman and distributed to major shrines in Kumano there was no successor to carry on this tradition—the art was reintroduced in 2009.

After lunch we can walk the Dainichi-goe route back to Yunomine Onsen. It is a short (2km/1.2 mile) but relatively steep section over Mt. Dainichi. Expect steep and uneven steps. Near the upper ridge there is a shrine that was historically associated with the Shugendo sect in the area. Alternatively, we can take the bus from Hongu Taisha to our hotel. 

Tonight is all about recharging and reflecting in the healing hot waters in Yunomine Onsen. Before bed, we’ll have to repack our gear for the next two nights. Our guide will let us know what items we will need in our daypacks. The rest of our luggage will be shuttled ahead to Kyoto in the morning (of Day 5). Note: We will not have access to that luggage for two nights!

Today’s pilgrimage: 7.5km/4.7mi (3 hrs) not including the optional 2km/1.2mi Dainichi-goe route

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Yunominesou, Yunomine Onsen
How much further? 30 minutes (bus)
Roadmap: Yunomine Onsen

 

Day 5: RISE AND SHRINE

This morning, we’ll hand over our luggage to be forwarded to Kyoto for our arrival on Day 7. After breakfast, we’ll take a bus to Michinoeki Kumano-gawa (approximately 25 minutes) and travel in a traditional wooden flat-bottomed boat down the Kumano River to the Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine. This river is an object of worship and was historically an essential travel artery for mountain communities and pilgrims alike.

This super scenic boat ride (90 minutes) offers a gorgeous glimpse of yesteryear–these waters rush from the sacred Kii Mountains and empty into the vast expanse of the Pacific. Located on the shore of the river, the Shinto Grand Shrine is a storied one with several annual celebratory events like the Oto Matsuri fire festival. 

Hayatama Taisha embraces natural wonders like the 800-year-old Nagi-no-Ki conifer tree and Gotobiki-wa, a sacred rock that figures large in Shinto creation myths. 

After absorbing the spiritual magnitude of the Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine, we’ll travel by private van (30 minutes) to the Kumano-Nachi Grand Shrine and walk up the Daimon-zaka Shrine Approach. Daimon-zaka (“large gate slope” in Japanese) is a 600m (1,969ft) long cobblestone staircase of 267 stairs which climbs from the base of the valley to Kumano Nachi Taisha, Seiganto-ji Temple and the Nachi waterfall. It is fringed with ancient Japanese cedars, cypress, camphor trees and bamboo groves. At the slope’s base, the Meitosugi (“husband and wife cedar trees”) have roots that entwine beneath the path–a reminder of the Kumano Kodo’s beauty above, below and unseen.

We’ll have a 3-hour ride to tonight’s accommodation at Katsuragi Onsen so lean back and enjoy the pastoral landscape as it zooms past. 

In keeping with this journey’s theme, we will have a traditional dinner and soak again! The hot spring in Katsuragi is known for its powerful high salt concentration of “fossil seawater” (ancient seawater). 

Today’s pilgrimage: 2.2 km/1.4mi (3.5 hrs)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Katsuragi Onsen Happunoyu
How much further? 25 minutes (bus), 1.5 hours (boat), 30 min. (private van), 3 hours (private van)
Roadmap: Yunomine Onsen to Katsuragi

 

Day 6: TEAHOUSES AND TEMPLES

We’ll rise, shine and board an early morning train to Kii-Hosokawa station (approximately 1.5 hours). Our 5-hour pilgrimage will start at Chioshi Michi at Kii-Hosokawa station and finish at the Daimon Gate, the entrance to Koyasan. 

The 24km (15 mile) route is known for its 180 stone pillars (known as chioshi) that pepper the trail–we will walk a 14km (8.7 mile) section of this mystical trail. The 3m (10ft) chioshi, often found near the entrance of shrines and temples, are representative of a place of purification. 

Our guide will share stories like that of Jison-in Temple where the mother of Kobo Daishi Kukai could not enter due to the prohibition against women entering Koyasan. She passed away here, and Kobo Daishi built the Miroku-do Hall here for her. The temple has been affectionately called Nyonin Koya (Women’s Koya).

This route is colourful with peonies, cedar groves, Guardian Kings, legend and teahouses like the one at Yadate that makes yakimochi (grilled rice cakes), a specialty of the Hanasaka area. 

After the end of our nature and heritage-infused hike, we’ll check into Eko-in Temple and enjoy a healthy body and soul-friendly menu of seasonal vegetables, seaweed, beans and edible wild plants. Eko-in Temple is a Buddhist monastery that offers morning religious services and Goma prayers, meditation and sutra copying (hand copying Buddhist sutras is said to invite supreme enlightenment) to guests. The serenity and history make for an unforgettable stay.

*Depending on the length of our walk, we may be back in time to experience an Esoteric Buddhism meditation method called Ajikan.

Today’s pilgrimage: 14km (8.7 miles) 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Eko-in Temple, Koyasan
How much further? 1.5 hours(train), 5 hours walking
Roadmap: Katsuragi to Koyasan

 

Day 7: THE WOMEN’S PILGRIMAGE COURSE 

At 7am, we will have the option to attend a religious service and offering to the spirits in the main hall and the Goma (Homa) fire ceremony that follows. We’ll have breakfast after the service and after a few cups of recalibrating green tea, join a private meditation led by one of the monks of Koyasan.

Today we will experience the Women’s Pilgrimage Course that winds and loops around the perimeter of Koyasan from the Fudozaka-guchi Nyonindo past the ruins of Nyonindo to the entrance of the enormous Okunoin cemetery. Of the 200,000 gravestones and memorials, this is where the tomb of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism is located. 

The Women’s Pilgrimage Course is said to be shaped like a lotus flower as it stops at seven traditional sacred precinct shrines. Women were forbidden to enter the Koyasan in the past and were only permitted glimpses of the holy sites. The entire route is 17km (10.6 miles) and a grounding journey along ribbons of streams, old-growth forest, historic shrines and time-worn deities and iconic red torii gates of the Kii mountains.

History reverberates here. In 1872, the incoming Meiji government declared that Buddhist monks were allowed to marry and have children–it’s around this time that female pilgrims were finally allowed to enter the holy sites of this mountain temple complex. 

We’ll board an express train (approximately 3 hours) and make our way to Kyoto where we’ll check into our hotel, refresh and relax.

Today’s pilgrimage: 7km/4.3mi (2.5 hours)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel Vista, Kawaramachi or similar
How much further? 3 hours (train)
Roadmap: Koyasan to Kyoto

 

Day 8: FINDING ZEN 

After breakfast, we’ll take the local train or a shared taxi to Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion, a Zen temple in Kyoto’s eastern mountains. Several theories surround the name of the pavilion as it’s not silver in colour—is it because of the moonlight that reflected off the black lacquer exterior giving it a silvery glow? The surrounding gardens are unique–of spongy moss and dry sand known as the “Sea of Silver Sand”. There are pockets of ponds, tiny bridges, islands and intriguing plants to photograph.

From here, we’ll begin our walk along Philosopher’s Path, a 2km (1.2mi) long path that runs parallel to a small canal that is popular during the cherry blossom festival at the end of March. This famed meditative path is where Nishida Kitaro, a famous philosopher who taught at Kyoto University, used to walk–he also founded the Kyoto School of Philosophy. It’s easy to detour from this path–several shops, shrines and spiritual sites are found on the side streets here.

The path ends at Nanzenji, a Zen garden.One of the charms of Nanzen-ji is the ambient tea room with a waterfall view near the front of the temple complex. A regional favourite and Junsei specialty is the yodofu tofu–a hot tofu and kombu (seaweed) dish. We’ll have time to absorb the serenity and enjoy green tea. 

There will be free time this afternoon to simply wander and wonder about Zen or tofu!

Tonight we will be privy to an elegant Geisha dance performance and seasonal dinner in Gion, the Geisha district of Kyoto. If time permits, we may have the opportunity to play simple traditional games with the Geisha, such as ozashiki asobi.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel Vista, Kawaramachi or similar
How much further? 2km/1.2 mi (walking)
Roadmap: Kyoto

 

Day 9: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MONKS

We have another early bird morning departure to Hieizan Sakamoto Station via train (approximately 30 minutes). At Mt. Hiei, we will be in the company of a Dai Ajari to walk the sacred Gyoja Pathway. A Dai Ajari is a priest who has completed an extreme feat of endurance and is considered a living saint or a Buddha within Japan. To achieve such status is so difficult that only 51 monks have been successful in this training in over 450 years. 

We will follow in the industrious footsteps of the monks who trained on this mountain, immersed in the full rhythm of nature before visiting the Dai Ajari’s temple to share our feelings and thoughts about the essence of spiritual practices and take part in his unique incantation.

After this guided tour, we’ll return to Kyoto brimming with reflections. We’ll gather later for our last dinner together and share some laughs, epiphanies and favourite moments of the trip.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel Vista, Kawaramachi or similar
How much further? 30 minutes (train)
Roadmap: Kyoto

 

Day 10: 決別 (GOODBYE) KYOTO!

After an early breakfast, we’ll take a group transfer to Kansai International Airport (KIX) where we’ll squeeze each other goodbye and share a few laughs and tears after our remarkable 10-day journey together.

It’s time to exchange contact info, photos and ideas for a reunion! Where next? Another pilgrimage perhaps?

Meals Included: Breakfast
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: In the window seat of the plane
How much further? A few Hollywood movies, a cat nap and 100 pages of a book
Roadmap: Homeward bound

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX)

    • Please arrive by 2pm on Day 1 (to ensure you arriving in time for your group orientation at 5pm)
    • Group transfer details to the hotel on Day 1 will be provided closer to departure, once flight arrival times are compiled.
    • Note that the group transfer arranged may be public rail transportation from airport to hotel with a local Japanese speaking escort, or a private shuttle van.
    • If arriving earlier than Day 1 or the day before Day 1:

Train line details from KIX to JR Namba Station and Karaksa Hotel: https://maps.app.goo.gl/EpzkwbnuPs9pzSbFA

Group Rendezvous Point

  • Date: Day 1
  • Time: 5:00 PM
  • Location: Hotel lobby of the Karaksa Hotel, 2-9-13 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 542-0086

If you wish to add extra days to your trip, you can book at Karaksa Hotel, where your trip begins in Osaka.


Departure from Kyoto to Kansai International Airport

  • A group transfer will be provided after breakfast to KIX Airport
  • If you are extending your stay in Japan and do not require the group transfer this day, you are responsible for arranging your personal transportation.

Your last night is in Kyoto, but your trip officially ends with a group transfer to Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka.

If you wish to say longer on Kyoto, we recommend extending your stay at Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Kawaramachi, which is the last night hotel on Day 9. Otherwise, you may wish to return to the same hotel where you stayed in Osaka: Karaksa Hotel.

There are also several hotels near the Kansai International Airport (KIX):

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/HotelsNear-g298566-qKIX-Osaka_Osaka_Prefecture_Kinki.html


You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements.Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact: 

Megan and Zale | Now Boarding Travel Travel Specialist

 

Email: wildwomen@nowboarding.travel

 

Note: Now Boarding Travel only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

 

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

 

Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

  • Visa

Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter.

If you would like additional assistance in securing your visa, we recommend you consider using the services of CIBTVisas: https://cibtvisas.com/?login=WildWomenExp
Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


Tipping is not a common practice in Japan (at restaurants, taxi drivers, etc). However, tipping your lead guide is appreciated as a quiet thank you for their passion, knowledge, leadership and a great trip experience. A guide tip of 10,000-20,000 JPY at the end of your trip (per client) is suggested but not mandatory.


  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on a twin share (minimum of two women per room/tent), so we’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share with your travel partner.

  • Private Upgrades

Single rooms are available and are subject to availability. Please contact support@wildwomenexpeditions.com to request for a single room. Please note, due to the size of the some of the smaller accommodations, private rooms are not available at on all nights of this trip.

  • Potable Water

Tap water in Japan is potable and safe to drink. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water while traveling in Japan. Metro train stations have public water fountains, but otherwise these may be hard to find (compared to vending machines). The best way to guarantee you’ll have water when you need it is to fill up your reusable bottle at your accommodation before you leave for the day.

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

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Water To Go




  • Electricity

The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C. There are two kinds of frequencies in use—50 Hertz in eastern Japan and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka). Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)

  • Time Zone

Time zone in Japan (GMT+9) Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo

  • Calling Code +81
  • Food

Being vegan or vegetarian is not very common in Japan, especially in small towns. Tofu is plentiful but many tofu and veggie dishes may contain fish.

Maintaining a fish free diet will be a challenge. You may find yourself eating a lot of rice and seaweed (also delicious). But you may want to be prepared to stop at convenience stores to stock up on protein bars and nuts. We will do our best to accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions but some small hotels are not able to adjust meals.

If you are willing and able to eat sustainably sourced fish it will be easier.

A gluten free diet can be accommodated though may be a bit bland if soy sauce is a concern.


In Osaka, the summers are short, hot, and mostly cloudy; the winters are very cold and mostly clear; and it is wet year round so be prepared for rain! Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 34°F to 91°F and is rarely below 29°F or above 96°F.

Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc. and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

Japanese Yen or JPY, is the official currency of Japan.

If you need to change currency you will usually find a currency exchange counter at international airports. You may have to show your passport in order to be able to exchange money and a fee is usually associated. Best to change large amounts so you only pay the fee once.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

One of the most convenient ways to get cash is by using an ATM. You will often receive better exchange rates, even though you have to pay a service fee, as with most ATMs outside your bank network. Ask your bank if there are branches at your destination where you can avail of free cash withdrawals.

  • Credit Cards

Credit, debit and prepaid cards of international brands are generally accepted throughout the country.

  • Cash

Cash is the easiest and most reliable way to pay for inexpensive items in the smaller communities we will be visiting, but most shops will accept credit cards. Local artisans and craft shops may not have credit/debit machines. As well, cash is best for tipping your guides.


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.

A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.

 

Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their medical travel insurance or personal expense.

Getting Fit

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.

That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.

 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill training.

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Practice ‘backpacking’.

Grab your backpack (or borrow one) and head for the hills! If you’re bringing your own backpack, practice adjusting the various straps so you know how it feels in different positions. We aren’t multi-day hiking every day, but you’ll be carrying a day pack almost everyday, so it’s well worth a bit of practice. Backpacks sit differently and so change your centre of balance when it’s full of gear so make sure you put a few pounds of weight in it in training.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.