Fri 19 Oct - Sun 28 Oct 2018

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Vaccinations

Flights

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Typical day

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

Toilets

Phone and WiFi

Safety

Emergencies

Training

Training weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Brazil and Kayak Trek challenge is graded as Moderate. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, but perhaps haven’t taken on a strenuous challenge event before and are hoping to push themselves out of their comfort zone. You could tell your supporters that during the Brazil Trek and Kayak Challenge you will be:

  • Trekking between and kayaking 5-6 hours a day.
  • Trekking through undulating and uneven terrain.
  • Experiencing high temperatures and humid conditions.
  • Staying in local houses and camping at the beach with no electricity.

Money

Currency: The Brazilian monetary unit is the Real (plural, Reais). Pounds Sterling are not easy to change so if you plan to bring cash to change in Brazil, it is better to buy US dollar or Euros. For up to date currency exchange, go to: http://www.xe.com.

Credit Cards: Most major international credit cards are accepted in Brazil. Credit card receipts from stores and restaurants will be priced in Reais although you will be billed in the currency of your own country, the official exchange rate having been taken into consideration. Credit card fraud can be a problem in Brazil. You should always ensure you retain your copy of the transaction slip.

ATMs: There is an extensive network of ATMs at which visitors can use their cash cards. Check charges with your bank prior to travel.

How much to bring: You will not need large amounts of money during this trip, and other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in rural areas away from any foreign exchanges or banks. You will only need money for tips, additional food & drink, gifts & souvenirs. There are a wide range of things to spend money on including hammocks, gemstones, jewellery and so on.  We would advise around US$350.

Tipping: Tipping is personal and at your sole discretion. You should only tip if you feel that you have received good service. We recommend approx. US$10 per person per challenge-day, and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge who will distribute it among the support team, including guides, assistant guides, cooks, and porters.

Visa

UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter Brazil. However, passports must be valid for at least six months and a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds may be requested on arrival. A bank statement with evidence of around $50 per day available, plus your booking confirmation from your Account will be helpful just in case you are asked any questions at customs. Tourists will be admitted for a stay of up to 90 days.

Vaccinations

We recommend that you visit the NHS's excellent travel facility at Fit for Travel: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx. Although the Operations Managers at Charity Challenge are travel professionals, we are not medically trained and would advise you to speak to your GP or Travel Nurse. A yellow fever certificate is required if within the three months prior to your arrival in Brazil, you have visited or been in transit through certain countries. These are specified in the For for Travel website above. Malaria precautions are essential in Amazon regions all year round. There is very little risk in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.

NB: Requirements change and these are recommendations only.

Flights

Flights depart London and arrive in Rio de Janeiro  the same day. The total flight time is approximately 12 hours including transit times. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport. If you choose to book your own flights you must confirm with the Charity Challenge office before paying otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance).

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Group Size

The group size is intended to be around 11-16 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 7-10 people by charging a small group supplement of £75 which will be added to your final balance invoice (self-funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi) unless you would like to pay this yourself.

Leadership

Charity Challenge employ a number of first aid and rescue qualified challenge leaders, and a tour leader who will speak fluent English. There will be at least 1 guide for each 8 participants during the kayaking days. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Climate

The climate is tropical, and semi-humid. In June it is the dry season but also the start of their ‘winter’, and you can expect temperatures of 23-28C, dropping to around 9-12C in the evenings. Rainfall is generally low during this season, and so light waterproofs as a precaution should be all that is necessary, but you will need warm clothes for the evening. In the city of Rio & whilst trekking, the temperature will feel more humid than while kayaking on the open sea. In October is a bit warmer but can be slightly wetter, so you will still need warm clothes for the evening and waterproof bags to keep all of your clothes dry.

Terrain

The terrain is very undulating, and often takes people by surprise. There is very little vehicle access and so trekkers need to be capable of taking on the steep ascents and descents. Expect humid and warm conditions. You will be undertaking the kayaking section on bay within a bay, and the conditions are remarkably clear, with very few waves or rough movement in the water.

Luggage allowance and valuables

Try to keep luggage to an absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your kit list. Your rucksack/holdall (suitcases are not appropriate) must not exceed the maximum weight limit of the airline you are flying with (usually 20kg, however do check this with the airline or contact our flights team if in doubt). Each trekking day, your personal kit will be transported to the next stop by a support mule. Whilst kayaking your dry bags will be stored in the front and back sections of your kayaks. You will carry a daypack for your daily needs such as sun cream, lunch, water, camera and lightweight waterproofs.
We will do everything to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions. The general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism section.

Typical day

As described in the itinerary each day is quite different. Most days will begin at around 8.30am. During the trekking & kayaking days, there will be ample stops for briefings on local culture, rests and lunch, in order to ensure that everyone can reach the end point. During the day you should carry only what is strictly necessary in your daypack. There will be support mules to carry your luggage on the trekking days and support kayaks during the kayaking. For both parts you will need to protect your bag and keep it dry.

Accommodation

We will use hotels in Rio. We use basic but comfortable local homes and tents throughout the challenge. Accommodation at the local homes is in shared rooms, limited to 20 people, with up to 8 people in bunk beds per room. For more than 20 people we will provide tents. There will not be electricity at most of the local homes and campsites. Where we use tents on the challenge they are for two people. There will be communal bathrooms for all at the local homes. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please let Charity Challenge know in advance.

Food & Drink

During the day a typical packed lunch provided might consist of fruit juice, fruit, sandwich, cake and nuts. The evening meal at the campsite will be beef, chicken or fish, salad, rice, potatoes and vegetables. Dinners will vary from day-to-day. Although drinks aside from water are not included with every meal, there are a range of options on offer including tropical fruit juices, beer and soft drinks (Guarana being as popular as Cola).

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. You don’t need a clean pair every day, but enough to make sure you have dry socks each morning. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, and technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here, once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Toilets

The hotels and ranchos have regular western toilets and hot running water. During the camping night whilst on the kayaking part of your challenge, you will use chemical toilets and bathe in the stream so don’t forget your bio-degradable soap!

Phone and WiFi

Apart from when in Rio de Janeiro and Paraty, there will be no phone and WIFI signal. On some days, you might get the odd phone reception for a few minutes.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of its participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. In a nutshell, Our Challenge Safe brand formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the activity itself. Your welfare is paramount!
In terms of your Brazil Trek and Kayak Challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The weather conditions are hot and humid.
  • The terrain is uneven and undulating through trekking days.
  • You will be kayaking between 5-6 hours a day.
  • You will be staying in shared accommodation (up to 4 people) with shared facilities.
  • Some nights you will be camping by the beach with no electricity.

Emergencies

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s walking abilities. This is allowed for. There will be a staff member at the back of the group at all times to ensure that you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace. In the event of an emergency, all guides and leaders are maintaining contact via radio, and the backup vehicle will not be far away. If somebody is unable to walk at all, then we can transport him or her from one location to the next.

Training

Training and fitness are definitely required. Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be OK as long as you train regularly over a period of at least three months leading up to the expedition. Don’t forget that the temperature and terrain is totally different from the UK. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary focus. Walking up hills and climbing stairs are both ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. Take a long hike (6-8 hours) several times with a weighted pack, up and down hills or on small mountains (weigh your pack with water containers and pour out the water before your descent to minimise knee stress).

We use sit-on-top kayaks in Brazil, and although no training is really necessary, you will certainly find it easier to get used to paddling if you have tried it in your nearest water sports centre or on the beach. A familiarity with holding and manouvering the paddle is very useful, in order to be more efficient and adept when you get on the water in Brazil.

Training weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, including dates and prices, please click here.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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