General information about your holiday
1) Planning your holiday
Detailed information is available on our website. Most people arrange their holiday with us by telephone. However personal visits to our offices are most welcome. You will find us at Riverbank House, 1 Putney Bridge Approach, London, SW6 3JD. Office hours are 8.00am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday. Saturday appointments can be made by prior arrangement.
2) How to book
Once your holiday has been planned and you wish to book – please advise us by telephone or email. You will then be asked to give us a deposit of 15% of the cost of your holiday. Once this deposit has been received (not before), we will make the reservations necessary to confirm your holiday and send you a confirmation invoice. A contract will then exist. Please ensure you have read this general information and our booking information as these documents form the basis of this agreement. Three months before you are due to depart, we will send you an invoice for the final balance. About two weeks prior to departure you will receive your travel documentation including a final itinerary and air tickets.
3) Passport & Visas
Passengers must carry passports valid for a full 6 months after the date of return travel. Holders of passports which are not British should take particular care as visa requirements may differ and it is essential that your passport contains the correct visa for your journey. If you let us know at the time of booking what kind of passport you hold, we will be pleased to advise you accordingly.
However, it is your personal responsibility to make sure your passport is valid and contains the necessary visa for your journey. Passengers intending to enter or transit the United States of America under the Visa Waiver Program must have a valid, machine-readable passport. Visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ to check requirements and conditions for entry.
Health and vaccination requirements change frequently and it is advisable to check the up-to-date position before departure. We suggest that you contact your General Practitioner for up to date advice. You can also contact the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad (MASTA) on their ‘travellers' health line’ telephone number 0906 550 1402 or visit www.masta.org.
All passengers arriving in Brazil from the following countries MUST have a Yellow Fever Vaccination and Certificate taken at least 21 days earlier: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Venezuela.
5) If you are disabled
We are happy to give advice and to assist you choosing a holiday that will meet your requirements. The nature of our holidays does however mean that they are often not suitable for those with disabilities, or those who are not independently mobile. Please advise us before booking if you have any disability or pre-existing medical conditions that you feel might be relevant and we will be happy to advise you accordingly.
6) Foreign Office advice
The Foreign Office (FCO) provides information to British Nationals. Travel advice notices for the countries featured in this brochure can be obtained before you book your holiday from the Foreign Office Travel Unit. For the latest information visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel. Once you have booked a holiday with us, we recommend that you sign up for the FCO’s automatic update feature. This will enable you to receive automatic updates if there are any changes to FCO travel advice for the specific countries you are visiting on your holiday.
7) Travelling in Latin America
Many of our trips visit remote areas of Latin America and it is important to recognise that no matter how well we plan your holiday, things may not always run as planned. If you travel with us, it is imperative you realise this and have a positive approach to travel, recognising specific local conditions and that, on occasion, people will have a more relaxed approach to time-keeping than we are used to.
It is also important to recognise before you book your holiday that standards of health, safety and security in many parts of Latin America do not meet European standards. Whilst Latin America's general infrastructure and facilities for tourists are improving all the time, it remains largely an under-developed continent.
Some areas, specifically the jungle, high Andes and desert regions are not synonymous with luxury or comfort. Many of the tourist facilities in Latin America have been developed to European standards and you might be pleasantly surprised by the high quality of some hotels/lodges and cruise ships. However, many areas still have lower standards of safety in hotels and for transport than those required in Europe. With this in mind, we recommend that you take a few sensible precautions at your hotel or lodge (such as checking where the nearest fire exit is and exercising caution when entering the swimming pool).
Many of the lodges that we work with may offer optional activities such as horse-riding, kayaking, cycling and hiking. If you choose to do adventure activities, you do so at your own risk. You should also check prior to travel that your travel insurance covers you for any activities you will be doing on holiday.
Crimes against people and property are a fact of life throughout the world and you should take the same care of valuables and personal safety as you would do at home. Walking or driving at night should be avoided as it is unlikely you will be familiar with local surroundings, avoid wearing expensive jewellery or watches and do not leave valuables visible in vehicles or hotel rooms.
We give you a guideline 'from' price for hotels or lodges featured in this website. This is because these can vary massively depending on the season in which you are travelling, the type of room you choose and the length of your stay. In our property descriptions on this website, we do our best to bring the property to life for you and let you know what you can expect in terms of comfort and service. We will always provide you with a full quote along with your itinerary suggestion.
When you receive your full quote you may feel that some services look more expensive than if you were to buy them locally. Our rates reflect the convenience of having them arranged and paid for before you depart from the UK. It is true that in some case, during quieter times, local operators can and do offer discounts on rates, but we do not have access to these rates, nor are we given warning of them. Please also note that travel arrangements are not purchased in local currencies and therefore any apparent changes in the local price have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.
9) Difficulties whilst abroad
If you experience any difficulties that cannot be solved by the hotel or lodge where you are staying, then please contact our local representatives. Their contact details will be on your itinerary. If they cannot be contacted, then please telephone us in London. We will be happy to refund the cost of the call. Please remember, we are unable to help if you only voice problems after the holiday has ended.
In the event of a medical emergency, it is essential that you use the emergency telephone number provided to you by your travel insurers. In the event of any other situation that might give rise to a claim under your travel insurance – consult your individual policy for the correct course of action. Any instances of theft should be reported to the local authorities and a report obtained.
10) Air Travel
Specific seat request are usually accepted, but never guaranteed, by most of the international airlines we use. Please let us know your seat preferences at the time of booking. Please note that most airlines have now introduced total smoking bans.
The prices quoted in this brochure are all based on scheduled flights using special ‘inclusive tour airfares’. These offer excellent value but are very inflexible. Changes to tickets before departure are not always allowed, and when they are, an amendment fee is usually charged by the airline. Should you wish to extend or shorten your holiday after departure, you will have to pay an amendment fee to the local office, or purchase a new ticket.
11) Premium Economy, Business and First Class Travel
We can offer very competitive upgrades. Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class travel can greatly enhance the comfort and enjoyment of a holiday. Benefits can include limousine transfers, dedicated check-in desks, extra luggage allowance, pre-departure lounges, much more space on the flight, and superior food and in-flight entertainment. As with economy fares, restrictions do still exist on these tickets and if a flexible ticket is required please ensure this is mentioned at the time of booking.