Do I need a visa?
Maybe. Some South American countries do require visas for USA citizens. While we will do our best to offer current advise at the time of your booking, immigrations requirements are subject to change at any time and you always need to do your homework before making any trip to see if any changes have occurred. Check for current requirements for tourist visas for the country or countries you wish to visit here: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
Staying up to date on the documents required for your destination and making sure you have the necessary paperwork with you when you travel is the responsibility of each individual traveler.
Are immunizations required?
Generally, US citizens are not required to have any specific immunizations when entering Latin America countries, but may be required to have yellow fever shots when moving through jungle areas and crossing the borders of other countries.
Like visa requirements this can change and requirements can be looked up here: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html.
Always check with you healthcare provider when making travel plans as they may recommend vaccinations and/or prophylactic treatments based on your health needs and the risks of visiting a certain area even if there are no government requirements.
Are these countries safe to travel in?
Much of Latin America consists of third world developing countries that certainly have more than their share of problems. Using trustworthy travel hosts is your best protection for seeing these areas in safety. Not only do we know which places offer the greatest enjoyment and interest to leisure travelers, but we also know which places are best to avoid.
Life itself has its risks no matter where you go and you always need to stay aware of your surroundings and use some common sense strategies when going out. Traveling can be done very safely with experienced suppliers and hosts who know the ropes.
Traveling in groups and staying together also reduces the likelihood that you will be singled out as a target.
What payments are required?
Deposits and final payment requirements vary depending on the suppliers used and availability. We may require a non-refundable research retainer based on the complexity of the trip. Certain types of transactions may require a service fee.
How far in advance should I plan?
The sooner you start, the more apt you are to get exactly the trip you want. Planning major trips a year in advance is not too early. Some popular venues have limited capacity and space can sell out well in advance. Hiking the Inca Trail is one example where the number of people allowed on the trail each day is restricted and spots often sell out months in advance. Larger groups traveling together also tend to require more attention and the ability to accommodate everyone may be limited.
What are the best times to go?
A region’s climate and weather conditions will often impact the enjoyment of a trip and are taken into account when making recommendations. Because a wide variety of climates exist in the Latin American countries, the best time will vary depending on where you are going.
High demand seasons in high traffic destinations will drive pricing higher. If you are on a budget and have flexibility in your schedule, avoiding spring break and holiday travel dates can help stretch a budget.
What if I need to cancel?
A lot of work goes into planning and preparing for your arrival. The cancellation process is time consuming and costly too. Research fees will not be refunded. Suppliers will each have their own policies on when and how much of a refund they will give. Usually as departures get closer, deposits are forfeited and final payments are refunded according to a schedule based on the number of days remaining before the scheduled departure. Some suppliers may at their discretion allow you to change you travel date without penalty or with only a modest change fee required. Some charges are strictly non-refundable once a booking has been made.
You are entering into a binding contract(s) when you make a reservation. Please do make sure you are prepared to follow through on your commitments before making a reservation.
Travel insurance is always recommended to help protect your travel investment from some of the many unexpected events that can cause plans to change.