Land of Belize Trip Notes

Land of Belize

Last Modified: 25 Apr 2016
Land of Belize
Trip code: QVSE
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Discover the natural wonders and rich cultural history of Belize. This laidback paradise is packed full of lush jungle, spectacular ruins, long sandy beaches and first-class underwater attractions – and on this trip you’ll sample them all. From the buzz of Belize City, through the magic of the jungle-clad Tikal ruins and to the beachside island paradise of Caye Caulker, discover the best of Belize and Tikal on this epic adventure to some of Central America’s little-known gems.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationEmergency contact
ThemesAccommodation NotesVisas
Why we love itMeals introductionWhat to take
MapMealsClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryMoney mattersHealth
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderTravel insurance
Physical ratingSafetyA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining pointResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinishing point instructions
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Why we love it
- Discover the creative energy of Belize City
- Uncover the secrets of the San Ignacio ruins
- Embark on a jungle adventure in San Ignacio
- Experience the thrill of climbing the Tikal ruins
- Laze on Caye Caulker’s sandy shores
- Swim off the warm coast of Belize
- Listen to howler monkeys bellow through the jungle
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Belize City
Hello! Welcome to Belize.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Located where the Belize River meets the Caribbean Sea, this bustling former capital is full of history and culture.

Belize City isn't the nicest place we visit in Central America but it is the best option available for the starting point of this tour. Like any big city in this region, Belize City has some issues with street crime and we advise visitors to take every precaution when you're outside the hotel. Don't take any valuables when you go out and keep your camera safe. At night, always try to go out in a group and stay on the main streets.

The area around our hotel is the safest in the city - it's often called the tourist village. You can walk to the nearby lighthouse and enjoy the beautiful sea views. If you have some extra time and want to explore the city further we recommend you take a taxi, even when travelling relatively short distances. You can organise for a taxi to pick you up at the hotel and wait for you at each stop. This might be a little more expensive but it's safer and you can make the most of your time in the city.

There are some interesting places to visit. Belize City is divided by the world's only remaining manual swing bridge. On the north side is the coastal and maritime museum, housed in the beautiful restored former fire station. Also in the north is the Image Factory, displaying contemporary Belizean artists, and the National Handicraft Centre. The oldest Anglican church in Central America, St John Cathedral, was built in 1812 with bricks brought as ballast in European sailing ships. Opposite is Government House, a preserved colonial mansion.

Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America, which will make chatting with locals much easier. The Belizeans are known for their relaxed and easy going way of live. You will be amazed how many different cultures coexist harmoniously here.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 San Ignacio
Catch a local bus to San Ignacio (approx. 3 hrs) where your leader will take you on a visit to the Cahal Pech ruins.These ruins were once a major Maya ceremonial centre, standing tall on a hill overlooking San Ignacio.
Included Activities
  • San Ignacio - Cahal Pech Ruins
    Optional Activities
    • San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave - inc. transport, guide and lunch) - USD95
    • San Ignacio - Xunantunich Ruins - USD10
    • San Ignacio - River tubing - USD95
    • San Ignacio - Mountain Pine Ridge day trip (inc. transport and guide) - USD80
    • San Ignacio - Butterfly Farm - USD10
    • San Ignacio - Caracol Ruins (inc. transport and guide) - USD80
    • San Ignacio - Barton Creek canoe trip - USD80
    • San Ignacio - Barton Creek Cave day trip - USD80
    • San Ignacio - Yaxha ruins complex (transport, lunch and guide) - USD80
    • San Ignacio - Iguana Conservation Project - USD9
    • San Ignacio - Bicycle rental (per hour) - USD4
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 3 San Ignacio
      You have a free day to take on any of the many optional activities available.

      One of the optional activities here is a day trip to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ceremonial centre located with panoramic views over the countryside. The east side of one of the temples has a unique stucco frieze and the central plaza has three carved stelae. Getting to the site is half the fun as you'll need to take a hand-cranked ferry to cross the river.

      The cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal is a living museum of Mayan relics. Wade through water until you reach the Mayan ceremonial site. Here you will find ceramic pots and crystallised skeletons, preserved by the natural processes of the cave for over 1,400 years.

      Other options to fill in your time in San Ignacio include a day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls and warm swimming holes, as well as a huge cave system, the butterfly garden, canoeing or river tubing.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 4 Tikal
      Today we travel to Tikal National Park (approx. 4 hrs).
      Towering above the jungle of the Tikal National Park, the five granite temples of Tikal are an awesome sight and one of the most magnificent Maya ruins. Hidden in the jungle growth is a maze of smaller structures just waiting to be explored. The energetic can climb to the top of the ruins for spectacular views over the canopy. You may even spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds.
      Tonight we camp by this majestic Mayan site. We will set up tents for ourselves with sleeping mattresses. The weather will be warm so sleeping bags will not be required although you may like to bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. There are basic shared bathrooms and showers.
      Included Activities
      • Tikal National Park - Entrance
        Accommodation
        Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
        Day 5 Caye Caulker
        If you haven't had enough of Tikal you have the option to visit the site again this morning (entrance fee not included).
        We then travel by local bus to Belize City (approx. 6 hrs depending on border crossing conditions) where we board a water taxi to Caye Caulker.
        The Belize Cayes are a group of islands a short boat ride away from the coast. There are a number of these islands to choose from, but we base ourselves on Caye Caulker as this is one of the more popular islands with travellers. From here it is possible to arrange day trips to other cayes, to the best reefs for snorkelling, or simply to take a local boat out to the reef of Caulker itself. Each island has its own particular character, but all of them have the unmistakeable Caribbean pace and charm.
        Optional Activities
        • Caye Caulker - Guided snorkelling trip (full day) - USD70
        • Caye Caulker - Guided snorkelling trip (half day) - USD35
        • Caye Caulker - Sunset sail - USD37
        • Caye Caulker - Manatee tour - USD60
        • Caye Caulker - Sea kayaking (half day) - USD25
        • Caye Caulker - Stand up paddle board rental (per hour) - USD22
        • Caye Caulker - Bike rental (per day) - USD15
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Day 6-7 Caye Caulker
          Relax on the beach or head out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, home to the magnificent Blue Hole and the world's second longest barrier reef. Snorkel among the colorful corals and see tropical fish, sharks and manta rays.
          If you're interested in sampling local cuisine, Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster. Not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so good. Always make sure that you respect the season: the lobsters can only be caught between June 15th and February 15th. Some of the best meals on the island are cooked on the road side. How about some grilled shrimp and a lovely rum and coke made with the local fire water?
          Accommodation
          Hotel (2 nt)
          Day 8 Caye Caulker
          On the last day we take a water taxi ride to Belize City (approx. 45 mins). You can depart any time after 12pm (midday) as there are no other planned activities for the day. Please ask your tour leader If you need any assistance arranging extra transport to the airport. If you would like to stay longer, we can book your post-tour accommodation at our hotel in either Caye Caulker or Belize City if required.
          Itinerary disclaimer
          ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

          OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
          Physical rating

          Included activities
          San Ignacio - Cahal Pech Ruins
          Tikal National Park - Entrance
          Important notes
          A single supplement is available on this trip.

          Group size
          Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
          Your fellow travellers
          GROUP TRAVEL
          As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

          SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
          Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

          A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
          Accommodation
          Hotel (6 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
          Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

          If you've purchased pre- or post-trip accommodation you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
          Meals introduction
          While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
          Meals
          No meals included
          Money matters
          The official currency of Belize is the Belize dollar (BZD).

          The official currency of Guatemala is the Quetzal (GTQ).

          With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.

          Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.

          It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars is the most readily changeable currency.

          VERY IMPORTANT:
          USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

          Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.

          SPENDING MONEY
          When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

          If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

          The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

          Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

          Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest USD2-USD4 per passenger per day.

          Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

          Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

          In total, we recommend you budget approx USD5-USD10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

          Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

          Please allow US$15 when flying into Guatemala City airport and a further US$15 if you are flying out of Guatemala City airport. These payments must be made in cash at the airport and are in addition to the US$30 international departure tax which may be included in your international flight ticket.

          If departing Guatemala by land, please allow US$3 for departure tax.

          Please allow US$19 for departure tax from Belize.

          Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

          EMERGENCY FUNDS
          Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
          Group leader
          All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

          Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
          Safety
          Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

          We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

          Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

          For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

          TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
          Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

          BUSES:
          Due to safety concerns, we don't use 'chicken buses' (i.e. repainted US school buses) in Guatemala and Honduras - inter-city coaches are used instead.

          SEAT BELTS:
          Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

          PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
          While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

          FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
          Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

          WATER SAFETY:
          Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

          LIFE JACKETS:
          While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

          HORSE RIDING:
          Horse riding is an option available to groups on this trip. Please note however that horse riding is usually not covered by your travel insurance and helmets are not always available. If riding without a helmet is a concern then you should bring our own.
          Joining point
          Chateau Caribbean
          6 Marine Parade
          Belize City
          Belize City
          BELIZE
          Phone: + 5012230800
          Joining point instructions
          The easiest and most convenient way to get from Philip Goldson International airport to your hotel in Belize City is by taxi. Taxis are arranged from the official suppliers located outside the luggage collection area. You should expect to pay between 30-35.00 USD.
          Finish point
          Belize City

          Belize City
          BELIZE
          Finishing point instructions
          Your trip finishes on the last day of the trip with a water taxi ride from Caye Caulker to Belize City (approx. 45 mintues). Your leader will be able to help you arrange transport to the airport if needed.

          Please contact your booking agent if you need assistance booking extra accommodation in Caye Caulker or Belize City.

          Emergency contact
          In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local ground representative for Central America and Mexico, Viaventure, can be reached on +502 5778 4100 or +502 5778 4052

          For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:

          For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

          While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

          We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

          You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
          Visas
          Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

          BELIZE:
          Australia: Not required
          Belgium: Not required
          Canada: Not required
          Germany: Not required
          Ireland: Not required
          Netherlands: Not required
          New Zealand: Not required
          South Africa: Not required
          Switzerland: Not required
          United Kingdom: Not required
          USA: Not required

          GUATEMALA:
          Australia: Not required
          Belgium: Not required
          Canada: Not required
          Germany: Not required
          Ireland: Not required
          Netherlands: Not required
          New Zealand: Not required
          South Africa: Yes - in advance
          Switzerland: Not required
          United Kingdom: Not required
          USA: Not required
          What to take
          What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

          Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

          Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

          WARM CLOTHING:
          Temperatures can be low in the winter months, especially at altitude, so bring a set of warmer clothes including thermal underclothes and a fleece jacket.

          IMAGES FROM HOME:
          During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.

          WATER BOTTLE:
          Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
          Climate and seasonal information
          HURRICANE SEASON::
          Please note that hurricane season is June to November in this region, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors such situations should they arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.
          Health
          All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

          You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

          YELLOW FEVER:
          A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

          It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

          WHO REPORTS:
          The World Health Organisation has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies and malaria.

          Zika Virus:

          “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in parts of Central and South America. This virus is mostly concerning to pregnant women as recently in Brazil local authorities have linked the virus to an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull).
          In addition to the risk mentioned above WHO have reported that Zika symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
          In line with the above, Intrepid recommends all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to Central and South America.
          At this stage, WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to the Zika virus.
          More information on the Zika virus can be found at the following links:
          World Health Organisation: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/”
          Travel insurance
          Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

          When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

          If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
          A couple of rules
          Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

          Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
          Responsible Travel
          We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

          Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

          The Intrepid Foundation
          Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

          The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

          http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

          Feedback
          After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

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