Holy Land Pilgrimage - Fr Galo González, L.C.

 

General Information

Visa Requirements / Passport

Mexican citizens only need a valid passport to visit Israel. No visa is required. Passport should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of your return as indicated on your airline ticket. However, since you will be traveling through the United States, you must have a valid US visa.

When visiting Bethlehem and Jericho you must have your passport with you. 

Please make a copy of your passport and place it in a separate place. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. Keep a copy of your itinerary with you, showing flight numbers and hotel names and phone numbers.

 

Entering and exiting Israel

When you arrive in Tel Aviv you will go through immigration first. Have your passport, itinerary, and paperwork related to the trip with you. Afterwards, you will be able to pick up your baggage and go through customs. Your tour guide will meet you outside the sliding doors at the Arrivals Terminal. 

Exiting Israel at Ben Gurion airport is often more difficult. Make sure you arrive at least three hours prior to departure time. Security checks are carried out routinely for your protection and safety. Expect to be asked thoroughly about the purpose of your trip, where you have been and the usual questions regarding the contents of your luggage. This is standard procedure; there is nothing to worry about.  

 

Time Change

Israel is eight hours ahead of Mexico's Central Standard Time.

 

Electrical Appliances

The electric current in Israel is 220 Volts. Israeli sockets are three-pronged. Most hotels provide 110 Volts outlets for shavers only. The rest of electrical appliances require a converter and/or adaptor which you can purchase prior to your departure. 

 

Calling Home

To direct dial home from Israel, dial 001- , then the area code and then the rest of the number. The international dialing code for Israel is 972 (from outside Israel) To direct-dial Israel from overseas, omit the "0" in the local Israeli area code. 

Your personal cell phone may work in Israel. Contact your service provider to activate the “out of country” feature or international data plan.

 

Currency

The Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (ILS). The approximate rate is 3.70 ILS to $1 USD.

Payment in dollars is widely accepted so there is no need to exchange large amounts of money. However, it is helpful to have a handful of 1 shekel coins to operate public restrooms or leave the requisite tips for people who clean them. Foreign currency may be exchanged at the airport or at any bank and in many hotels throughout Israel.

It is also recommended to bring small denomination bills (around $50 in $1 dollar bills and several $5, $10, and $20 bills) since it is a very convenient way of making small purchases. 

Linked with major American systems, ATMs are prevalent throughout Israel. Holders of Visa or MasterCard credit cards may withdraw funds at the foreign currency counters of affiliated banks or at certain ATMs.

Major credit cards -American Express, Diners' Club, Visa, and MasterCard- are widely accepted throughout Israel at the more established stores and restaurants. 

 

Weather

Average temperatures in Israel during spring range between 8°C and 21°C; in the summer, between 15°C and 32°C. During fall they range between 12°C and 23°C; and in the winter between 8°C and 15°C.

Mornings and evenings tend to be chilly in the summer. It is advisable to check the weather in Jerusalem and Tiberias (www.weather.com) prior to your departure to get an accurate forecast and pack accordingly. 

  

Luggage

Most airlines will allow one checked piece of luggage and one carry-on bag without charge. Usually, there is a maximum weight limit of 50 lbs. per checked bag as well as a size restriction. Airlines may have different restrictions so it is always best to check with your airline to get their exact requirements. 

Always place items like cameras and prescription medicine in your carry-on bag. Be certain to have your personal information clearly written on luggage tags on both the outside and inside of all your bags and luggage. And make sure that you have what you need to survive should your luggage not arrive at your destination on time.

 

 

 



Packing Guidelines

General packing guidelines

  • Pack comfortable clothing that can easily be layered. 
  • Most holy sites ask that all pilgrims dress modestly, so take this into consideration when packing. Avoid shorts, sleeveless blouses and low necklines; if you plan on wearing skirts, please make sure that they hit below the knee. 
  • Travel light: bring only one suitcase and one carry-on bag. 

  

What to pack

Besides packing enough changes of clothes for the duration of your pilgrimage, we suggest that you include the following items in your luggage:

  • Two pairs of comfortable, broken-in walking shoes (sneakers or good rubber sole walking shoes are the best options)
  • Light sweaters/pullovers for layering
  • Light jacket or raincoat during spring and fall or warm jacket during winter
  • Cap or visor and sunglasses to protect you from the sun
  • Bathing suit and flip flops or sandals for swimming in the Dead Sea
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Small collapsible umbrella and/or poncho
  • Small Bible
  • Antibacterial gel or hand wipes
  • Laundry soap in case you need to hand wash personal items
  • Small first aid kit: include a good supply of your prescription medication, as well as aspirin, cough drops, allergy and stomach medicine, Kleenex, band aids, etc.
  • Electrical adaptor
  • Chargers for electric devices
  • Headphones 
  • Camera or cellphone with camera
  • Extra layer or light blanket and neck pillow for the flight
  • Copies of your itinerary, passport, credit cards, insurance card (or travel insurance policy), and flight information
  • Small backpack to carry your personal items during the pilgrimage

 



About Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center

 

Originally called Notre Dame de France, the complex was built by French Assumptionists between 1884 and 1904 to accommodate French pilgrims. Badly damaged during the War of 1948, it was eventually turned over to the Holy See on March 2, 1972. By special decree of Pope John Paul II on December 13, 1978, it was erected as Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. Considered an “Ecumenical Holy Place,” the Center is canonically assimilated to a Territorial Prelature, of which the Apostolic Delegate is the prelate. Under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See, the Center was entrusted to the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ on November 26, 2004 by a Motu Proprio of Pope John Paul II. The activity of the Institute is religious, cultural and educational in nature.

 

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