Considerations to book a Tour
Our tours are done in the Rainforest in wild and remotes areas, some with limited or none communications access. it is essential that you understand that some of our trips carry ‘risks’ that are inherent within the activity. Our team is trained and experienced enough to recommend you what is best to minimize any risk, please during trips follow Guides suggestions and don’t push to do activities that can increase any risk. For example, to go out walking when it’s raining, its better (wildlife-wise and safety-wise to go out when the rain stops)
Due to our strict safety policy we don’t organize or sell tour for Zip-lining, Canopy walks or any other similar ones, this is due to lack of regulation of the Peruvian Government and Canopy and Zip-Lining providers take advantage of a Legal Vacuum.
We also highly recommend you take out adequate travel insurance. Insurance provided by credit cards is generally not sufficient. Please ensure your policy covers the activities you are doing, not all policies do.
Because our tours are in remote and wild places, transportation is expensive and, in some cases, very difficult, therefore all our tours are operated in “groups”, this is to minimize the operating cost and make the prices of the tours more economic
We, however, always thinking about your comfort and a superior experience, try to keep a very low number of participants in the group, and always
ABOUT THE TOURS
The name “3 days 2 nights”, “4 days 3 nights”, “5 days 4 nights” or any other similar one, DOES NOT have a literal meaning, it is just a name of a tour for general understanding, all Tours are based to start from midmorning to midday on the first day, on last day tours end after breakfast, normally departures start 7:30 am from any of the lodges , this is due to a universal check in and check out of rooms, also the remote areas and the very expensive cost of transportation, especially on the rivers, we have scheduled one shuttle a day from the lodges, sometimes we customize your departure and transportation, but this is highly restricted to operational availability and regulations, for example, we run our tours inside the Tambopata National Reserve, and by regulations a Naturalist certified guide must be with you all the time.
For us to be able to accept a tour reservation, we must have 3 availabilities:
1: Room available
2: Bilingual Naturalist Guide
3: Adequate transportation
Only with these three characteristics can we accept the reservation to what we call “operational availability”
The itineraries and timing on those are based on the flight arrival, we recommend you to arrive on the earliest flight possible, this would allow us to manage possible delays better, the latest flight you can book for arrival it’s the one landing in Pto Maldonado al 1 pm (Latam 2074) this flight however its difficult to manage time in case its delayed. Ideally are StartPeru and Avianca airlines for arrival.
On the last day you can book any flight that fits you, however, you must consider that due to the remoteness of our location, highly expensive cost of river transportation and Naturalist Guide availability we have only one shuttle schedule a day, from any of the lodges it takes 2 hours to get back to the city, and arrival to the city its from 9: 30 am to 10 am (for StartPeru and Avianca flights) if you have a later flight you can stay in our office, or visit the town until your flight time, we assist you until your flight time
If you arrive by bus, we wait for you at the bus station, and the tours start by midmorning or midday when the other guests arrive by plane.
On last day if you have a bus in the night, departure from the lodge it’s the same as mentioned before, one shuttle a day and considering the earliest flight, we assist you in town until the bus time, all our guests have the option of a hot shower at the office whenever.
We try hard to customize departures as much as we can, but this is restricted to our availability, as a team we try to make you feel as comfortable as we can, and we continuously invest to make this availability possible.
ABOUT ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
We would love to be able to customize the arrivals and departures, but this is not possible due to the location of the lodges, restrictions of the national parks, high operating costs, and adequate transportation and a universal time for check in and check of the rooms
That is why the tours start from Puerto Maldonado and we pick you up from the airport, hotel, bus station or wherever you indicate, however the tours start when all the tour participants are together, considering that sometimes guest arrive on different flights, we usually wait until everyone arrives, this wait only has a maximum of 1 hour of waiting, if some of the flights are delayed or there is a lot of difference between flights, then we use all our operative capacity to do 2 shuttles to the lodge.
If the day of the tour you arrive by bus, which is usually at 7 am, we wait for you at the bus terminal and transport you to our office and wait for the other participants who arrive by plane.
On the day of arrival we recommend arriving on the earliest possible flights, this is because, if there is a flight delay we can handle it easily, if arriving on a flight later it is more difficult and costly for us to reschedule, in any case, we do not recommend flights arriving later than 1 pm, all flights until that time is fine, if you have a flight later than 1 pm email us letting us know to check and do our best to confirm operational availability.
The itineraries made are based on these arrival times, in any case, the tours that start between 10:30 am and 2 pm does not affect the itinerary or the tour experience.
The names: “3 days 2 nights”, “4 days 3 nights”, “5 days 4 nights” does not have a literal meaning and is used only to understand the nature of the tour, all itineraries begin when flights arrive between 10:30 am to 1 pm and end the last day after breakfast.
Considering the location of the lodges, the rooms check out time, regulations of the national park and the special transport required, the departures of the lodges are scheduled once a day, this is considering the first flight of the day, regardless of the flight that you have, in case you have a flight much later, we give you total assistance in the city until your flight, with a special room in our office to rest, you can go to lunch at a traditional restaurant, return and take you to the airport, you can also shower in the office as many times as you wish.
However, our policy is always to think about your comfort and we always do our best to schedule more than two shuttles a day, and we invest more and more in creating operational capacity for it, we must always consider that a naturalist guide should be with you all the time and this is also considered for departures later than scheduled
ABOUT THE PAYMENT
Usually we ask for an advance of the total payment, this is required not only to secure the reservation but for important expenses that have to be done before your arrival, for example, the entrance tickets to the Tambopata national reserve cost between 20 to 50 USD per person and this must be purchased before arrival, the information of names, nationality, passport number, age and profession that is requested for the formality of the reservation is information that the government asks us when we plan to visit the protected area , the advance also covers basic operating expenses when generating the reservation, the advances are preferable via PayPal, in case we have to return money due to cancellations or any other event, through PayPal is faster, easier and more secure than any other platform, there are other methods such as credit card and bank wire, but the complication with these methods are: difficulty to track and the high costs in bank commissions , we also ask to cover the fees of the deposits to be made, this is because our prices do not include the Visa or PayPal commission, we already pay high commissions from our side, for example by PayPal in addition to the 6% commission that the client pays, we pay an additional 2% to the bank + 15 USD fixed fee for each transaction, high commissions are common practices in third world countries; To reduce the high cost of commissions, we try to ask the payment advance just enough to cover the essentials and the rest is paid upon arrival using any of the options that we give by email; the deadlines for the advances we tell you by email, based on the type of tour you chose.
We fully understand that people have to cancel for a good reason, so will always do our best to refund you what we can. Please always consider that we pay out a lot of things up front, much of which is not fully refundable, and we also must consider that for lodges and free-lance guides we must pay No-show fees if cancelation its done before few decent days.
But we will do our best to help and based on the variables we have no issue refunding your money.
Being direct tour operator, we can be very flexible with the cancellation dates, you just must send us an email for the cancellation, and we promise to help you and do the best we can to return 100% of the advance.
WHAT TO BRING
Because of the location of the lodges, we do not carry all the luggage, just enough for the days in the forest, we give you duffel bags for it, a porter will carry them, bring light clothes and if possible quick dry, long sleeves, short sleeves, shorts and additionally the following items are very essential for your comfort:
Insect repellent: average 15% DEET, it works very well, always in spray type, insect repellent in natural formulas usually do not work well, DEET is proven to work well.
Plastic rain poncho, please keep in mind that the rain jackets do not work for the rainforest, the best is a plastic poncho for the rain