Frequently asked questions
The following are some questions we hear frequently from our members. If you do not find your answers here, please contact us and we will be happy to help you in any way we can.
1. Will I need a visa to enter a foreign country?
No. If you hold an American passport, you can enter any of the current destination countries without a visa.
2. Do I need a passport?
Absolutely. You must have a current passport that will be valid at least 6 months after the date of your return ticket. If you do not have a passport, you should apply for one immediately at your local post office, it can take a couple of weeks for your passport to be processed.
3. What will I need to pack?
We will send you a detailed packing list as your trip approaches. While trips vary by climate and the nature of the activities, all are active and informal. You will need sturdy, comfortable footwear, outdoor clothing, casual clothing for dinners, warmer layers for cool evenings, and, of course, your swimsuit.
4. How active will the trip be?
All trips are moderately active. Although each group plays a part in determining the activity level of the group—some are slower paced than others.
5. How many people will be in my group?
Generally our groups range between 12-20 people. We try to keep our groups small so you do not feel like you are traveling in a herd. Note: We also arrange private trips. Contact us for further details.
6. How old will the other people in my group be?
Our members are of all ages. Average age ranging from mid 30’s to 60’s.
7. What will the hotels be like?
We go out of our way to choose trips that encompass the finest lodging available, in particular those with a cultural flare. Picture yourself in your own private villa under the papaya trees or deep in the jungle at a four-star lodge nestled on the shores of a lagoon where the eyes of rare caiman shimmer in the moonlight. This is exactly the sort of experience we look for in hotels when choosing trips for our members.
8. What will the food be like?
You will have ample opportunities to brave the local fare, but we ensure that there are a wide range of options, familiar and otherwise, so that everyone is sure to be satisfied.
9. What is included in the price of the trip?
The price includes most meals, non-alcoholic beverages, guides, accommodations, in-country transport, park entry fees, and all scheduled activities. What is not included are optional activities offered during periods of free time, although we will be happy to help you arrange these additional activities. For example, during a free afternoon, some group members might opt for a scuba diving excursion, which costs extra, while other group members prefer to lounge in a hammock by the sea.
10. Is airfare included?
Please see the details of each trip.
11. Who should I tip?
We recommend that you tip your guide at the end of your trip. Appropriate tipping varies by country and specific tipping information will be included in your packet.
12. Will I have to stay with the group the whole time?
Absolutely not! This is your vacation! If you want to skip a hike and relax in a hammock in the hotel garden, then go ahead! Just be sure to let us know so we do not wait for you. There is also scheduled free time when you can explore on your own or just take it easy.
13. Will I need any vaccinations or need to take malaria medication for my trip?
You should always consult with your doctor and/or a Travel-Vax clinic prior to overseas travel. Protecting yourself from insect bites (wearing long sleeves and bug repellent), washing your hands regularly, and drinking only purified water are the best ways to stay healthy. Detailed information will be included in your pre-departure packet.
14. What if I get sick and need to cancel my trip?
Disasters happen. This is why we recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We recommend Travel Guard which covers trip cancellation for medical reasons. It also covers trip interruption, trip delay and lost baggage. Please see the link at the bottom of our web-site for more details on Travel Guard Insurance.
15. What if the airlines loses my luggage?
Again, this is a good reason to purchase travel insurance. While it rarely happens, lost baggage is an enormous inconvenience when traveling. You should always pack essentials (medications, eye glasses, etc…) in your carry-on luggage. It is possible to replace other belongings in all of our destination countries.