Colonial Colombia Trip Notes

Colonial Colombia

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016
Colonial Colombia
Trip code: GGSM
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 13 Jan 2017
Discover South America's best-kept secret on this adventure through the verdant mountains, aromatic coffee plantations and powdery beaches of Colombia. Discover Bogota's colonial heart, laze on palm-fringed stretches of Caribbean shoreline and meet the locals that make Colombia one of the world's friendliest countries. If you're looking for an adventure full of rhythm, music, colour and life, then jump onboard this trip and experience the best that Colombia has to offer. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017: There will be significant changes to the Colonial Colombia itinerary in 2017. In order to improve our trips we regularly review feedback from past travellers and our local operations team. As a result of that process, we've decided to extend the overall trip duration to 12 days and add new destinations in San Gil and Barichara. We've also added an extra night in Bogota at the end of the tour. In order to accommodate this change Villa de Leyva has been removed from the itinerary. The 2017 itinerary will operate as follows: Days 1-2 Cartagena Day 3 Tayrona National Park Day 4 Guachaca Region Day 5 Guachaca Region / Overnight Bus Days 6-7 San Gil Days 8-9 Barichara Days 10-12 Bogota
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersFinish point description
ThemesAccommodationFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Accommodation NotesEmergency contact
Why we love itMeals introductionVisas
MapMealsWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersHealth
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderTravel insurance
Physical ratingSafetyA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining pointResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Is this trip right for you?
- There's one night of camping – in the awesome Tayrona National Park. Be prepared for basic conditions in this jungle location. Sleeping in a hammock among the buzzing South American wild is sure to be well worth the lack of creature comforts.
- Colombia enjoys a stable year-round climate, but it can get particularly hot and humid on the coast. Be sure to drink plenty of water and wear adequate sun protection.
Why we love it
- Wander beneath the floral balconies of Cartagena, the World Heritage-listed town combining Carribean splendour and irresistable old-world charm
- Tayrona National Park seems to have it all, from perfect beaches and mountain backdrops to wildlife-filled jungle. Laze in a hammock as dusky titi monkeys and red squirrels play in the treetops
- Step back in time in the cobbled alleyways of Villa de Leyva. This village is quite possibly Colombia's finest arena of perfectly intact colonial architecture
- Bogota is the treasure trove of Colombia's rich history – the ideal place to end your adventure. Stay on and explore its museums, galleries and excellent Paloquemao Market at your leisure

Day 1 Cartagena
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Colombia. Cartagena is one of South America's most historic cities. The old town area, particularly the inner walled town, is the main attraction – it's packed with beautiful churches, monasteries, plazas and mansions. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. 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. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk in Cartagena after the meeting.

Notes: Your hotel in Cartagena doesn't provide hot water. Thankfully, this isn't much of a problem in the tropical heat on the coast.
Included Activities
  • Cartagena - Orientation walk
    Optional Activities
    • Bogota Ciclovía Urban Adventure - USD32
    • Breakfast Food Tour in Bogota Urban Adventrue - USD62
    • Private Custom Bogota Urban Adventure - USD35
    • Sunday in Usaquen Urban Adventure - USD27
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 2 Cartagena
      Enjoy a free day in Cartagena. Wander the old city, enjoy Caribbean views from the impressive city walls, or perhaps enjoy a drink in one of the many bars and cafes. Visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest of the fortresses built to protect the city. Alternatively, venture out of town to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo. This strange volcano emits a cream-like mud instead of lava, and you can take a bath in it. The mud is said to contain many healing properties. There's a lagoon nearby you can take a dip in afterwards to wash.
      Optional Activities
      • Cartagena - San Felipe de Barajas - COP20000
      • Cartagena - Day Trip to Playa Blanca - COP50000
      • Cartagena - Volcan de Lodo El Totumo - COP50000
        Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast
        Day 3 Tayrona National Park
        Take a shared van to Tayrona National Park. Discover its unreal landscapes, with the massive Santa Maria mountain range plunging dramatically down to the Caribbean Sea. Wild and untouched beaches are scattered along the coastline, bound by sea-sculptured boulders and reachable only by jungle trails. On arrival, you will walk (approximately 1 hour) to the camping area, where you will sleep in hammocks. Small lockers are available for the safe storage of valuables. Spend some time spotting monkeys and squirrels and relaxing on the nice white sands. It will get quite cold here at night, so be sure to wear layers and bring a blanket or sleep liner. You'll also need a towel, insect repellent, a torch and a small backpack to carry your things. Your main luggage can be left at the park entrance.
        Included Activities
        • Tayrona National Park - Entrance fee
          Hammock (1 nt)
          Day 4 Guachaca Region
          Spend the day exploring the national park or relaxing on the beach before travelling the short distance to your base in the Guachaca region. Your accommodation for the next two nights is a small family-run hotel in a quiet location. Here a variety of decent walking trails are on offer. The main attraction, however, is the beach, so take the opportunity to relax. It's just a short walk to the shoreline from your hotel.
          Family posada (1 nt)
          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
          Day 5 Guachaca Region
          Enjoy a nice continental breakfast at the hotel, then spend the day relaxing. With the beach just a short walk away, you can come and go from the hotel quite conveniently. If you're feeling active, perhaps try some kayaking, rafting, surfing or trekking. While the white sands and lovely clear waters of the beach are hard to beat, the hotel itself is also a nice place to spend some time in, especially if the weather turns. You can take to one of the hammocks in the garden with a good book.
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
          Day 6 Villa de Leyva
          Today is a long travel day as you head back to Santa Marta for a flight to Bogota (approximately 1.5 hours). From Bogota you will travel by minvan to the charming town of Villa de Leyva (approximately 4–5 hours). This old village has some gorgeous colonial architecture which, unlike in many other Colombian towns, has been well preserved over the years. Stroll around at your own pace, chat to the locals, and make the most of the many photo opportunities.
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 7 Villa de Leyva
          Enjoy a full day of free time in Villa de Leyva. Be sure to visit the mercado municipal, where a traditional farmers market offers a wide array of excellent fresh produce and some tasty local snacks. If you're feeling active, make the short hike to the 'sagrado corazon' lookout for some nice views over the village – it's a Jesus statue up in the hills on the east side of the town. It takes about an hour to get to the top, and there are some steep parts, so bring your walking shoes. Another good option is to visit the Pozos Azules just outside of town. Here you can take a short circular walk around some luminous blue sulfuric pools.
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 8 Bogota
          Head to Bogota by private minivan (approximately 4–5 hours). With a wealth of cosy cafes, interesting museums and old churches, cosmopolitan Bogota is full of surprises. It's also one of the largest 'at altitude' cities in the world (at 2,640 metres above sea level and with a population of 7 miliion). While you're here, be sure to visit the Paloquemao Market, where you'll find exotic local fruits like feijoa, araza, guanabana, maracuya and lulo – many of which are seldom found outside of Colombia. The Gold Museum is also highly recommended.
          Optional Activities
          • Bogota - Gold Museum - COP3000
          • Bogota - Montserrate cable car - COP17000
          • Bogota - Museo Nacional - COP20000
          • Bogota - Bike tour - COP25000
            Hotel (1 nt)
            1 breakfast
            Day 9 Bogota
            Take an orientation walk in Bogota with your leader, after which the day is yours. Your trip comes to an end here. If you're departing, make sure not to book your flight for any earlier than 4 pm.
            Included Activities
            • Bogota - Orientation walk
              1 breakfast
              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
              Cartagena - Orientation walk
              Tayrona National Park - Entrance fee
              Bogota - Orientation walk
              Important notes
              A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information. On the following nights the single supplement isn't available:
              Day 3: Tayrona National Park
              Days 4-5: Guachaca region

              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. On the following nights the single supplement isn't available:
              Days 3-4: Guachaca region
              Day 5: Tayrona National Park
              Hotel (7 nights), Hammock (1 night)
              The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

              Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

              CHECK-IN TIME
              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-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), 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.
              7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
              Money matters
              The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP).

              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.

              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.

              DEPARTURE TAX
              All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

              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:
              We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
              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.
              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:


              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.

              MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
              In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

              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!

              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.

              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.

              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.
              Joining point
              Casa Villa Colonial
              Calle de la Media Luna #10-89
              Phone: 05 5 6605497
              Joining point instructions
              Rafael Nunez airport is approximately 2 km from the hotel and a taxi will cost roughly US$5 and is recommended. There are also taxis from the airport to Plaza San Francisco are considerably cheaper.
              Finish point
              The Book Hotel
              Cra. 5 #57-79
              Finish point description
              Located in Bogota, just 13.5 Km far from El Dorado International Airport. The hotel complex has Sun Terrace, Safety deposit box, 24-hour front desk, restaurant, bar, and snack bar. Please be aware that Wifi is available. The staff are friendly and helpful as well.
              Finishing point instructions
              If you have pre booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

              If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
              Emergency contact
              In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local operations team can be contacted:

              If you’re in Chile or Argentina, please call +54 9 11 5348 8823.
              If you’re in Uruguay, Brazil or Colombia, please call +55 21 96940 9208.

              Alternatively, please contact Intrepid's Peru operations office on +51 996 055 559.

              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:

              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.

              +55 21 96940 9208
              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.

              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
              United States: 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:


              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.
              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 Travel 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:”
              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.

              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.


              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:


              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.