Complete Colombia Trip Notes

Complete Colombia

Last Modified: 11 Apr 2016
Complete Colombia
Trip code: GGSMC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Bienvenidos and welcome to incredible Colombia, a country of surprising contrasts and sultry rhythms. Explore this enigmatic region on Intrepid's Complete Colombia tour, visiting the thriving capital Bogota, learning about local production on a lush coffee plantation, strolling cobbled streets of quaint colonial towns, soaking up the atmosphere of the 'City of Eternal Spring' and experiencing spectacular scenery in Tayrona National Park. Whether it be thrilling adventures, delicious cuisine, wildlife spotting, or just some rest and relaxation, Colombia has something for everyone.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Why we love itMeals introductionEmergency contact
MapMealsVisas
ItineraryMoney mattersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Why we love it
- Explore the cosmopolitan streets of Bogota, Colombia's charming capital
- Spend time in Colombia's picturesque coffee-growing heartlands
- Visit the charming 'City of Eternal Spring'
- Experience wild, remote beauty and incredible wildlife in Tayrona National Park
- Relax among Leyva's winding whitewashed villas and colonial cobblestone plazas
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Bogota
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Colombia.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm 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.
Your leader will take you on a orientation walk in downtown Bogota.
With well over seven million people living on a plateau at 2,640 m above sea level, Bogota is one of the biggest cities in the world at altitude. And with a wealth of cosy cafes, interesting museums and old churches, the cosmopolitan streets of Colombia's capital are full of surprises.
Head up the gondola on Cerro de Monserrate, where a 17th-century church overlooks the metropolis.
Museo Nacional is a good option if you're interested in learning about life in Colombia before and after the Spanish conquest.
Optional Activities
  • Montserrate cable car - COP17000
  • Museo Nacional - COP20000
  • Gold Museum - COP3000
  • Bike tour - COP25000
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Salento
    Take a short flight to Armenia and transfer to the picturesque mountain town of Salento. Take time to stroll through its quaint streets and admire 'paisa' architecture at its best. Looking for local food? Trout, prepared in several different ways, is the way to go.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Salento
    Take a jeep out to the magnificent Cocora Valley, home of the wax palm, the Colombia National Tree. Spend the morning walking among the breathtaking scenery and if you're feeling active there's time to hike up to Acaime Reserve where colourful hummingbirds come to feed. The hike to Acaime is quite strenuous and will take several hours so it's recommended that you bring good walking shoes, as well as plenty of water and snacks. If you prefer to take it easy, you can spend as much time as you like enjoying the scenery in Cocora Valley and then take a jeep back to town.

    Later, return to Salento and enjoy some of the local atmosphere while exploring this charming town.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Day 4 Salento
    Enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation and processing centre, then sample some coffee at a local cafe in Salento.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast, 1 lunch
    Day 5 Medellin
    Today we travel via comfortable public bus (6 hours) to Medellin.
    The rapid transformation that has taken place in Colombia's second largest city is one like no other. Having spent the 1980s and 90s with an international reputation as one of the world's most dangerous cities thanks to Pablo Escobar's infamous drug cartel, Medellin has turned itself around to become one of the most exciting cities in South America. And with some of the country's finest museums, parks and architecture as well as a much safer and comfortable atmosphere, it's easy to see why more and more travellers have flocked to the city in the past few years.
    Your leader will take you on an orientation walk in Medellin.
    Included Activities
    • Leader-led walking tour
      Optional Activities
      • Metrocable - COP1600
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 6 Medellin
        We have a free day to explore Medellin. Maybe take the cable car to Santa Elena or an optional day trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia.
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 7 Cartagena
        Today we fly to Cartagena (approx 1 hour).
        Cartagena is one of the most historic cities in South America. It is legendary both for its history and beauty and tends to be a favourite of all travellers who visit it. Having been the centre of many battles, the city is heavily fortified and huge defensive walls surround its narrow cobbled streets and colonial buildings. The city is made up of various districts, the new town with its high rise hotels, apartments and nightspots; and the older colonial parts of the city. The old city is the main attraction particularly the inner walled town, packed with churches, monasteries, plazas and mansions. Wandering through the streets you get a real feel of the sense of history of this amazing city.
        Your leader will take you on an orientation walk in Cartagena.
        Our hotel in Cartagena doesn't offer heated water, which isn't a problem due to the tropical heat on the coast.
        Included Activities
        • Leader-led walking tour
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 8 Cartagena
          Enjoy a free day in Cartagena. Wander the old city, enjoy Caribbean views from the impressive city walls or have a drink in one of the many bars and cafes.
          Maybe visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest of the fortresses built to protect the city. Or head out of town and relax in the mud bath at Volcan de Lodo El Totumo.
          As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
          Optional Activities
          • San Felipe de Barajas - COP20000
          • Rumba tour - COP30000
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 9 Tayrona National Park
            Take a local bus to Tayrona National Park.
            Tayrona National Park features unreal landscapes, with the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria, one of the highest coastal mountain ranges in the world, plunging dramatically down to the Caribbean Sea. Wild and untouched beaches are scattered along the coastline, bounded by sea-sculptured boulders and reached only by jungle trails. This equatorial rainforest is among the most biologically diverse of any coastal zone in the Americas. Dusky titi monkeys and red squirrels compete in the tree tops with over 200 species of birds, collared peccaries snuffle along the jungle floor and the park is even home to an elusive jaguar or two. Palm trees swaying in the breeze, tranquil turquoise water and white sand complete a picture-perfect beach to while away a few hours.
            On arrival, we walk for around an hour to the camping area where we sleep in hammocks. Small lockers are available for the safe storage of your valuables.
            Please note that it can be cold at night, so it's recommended to bring a blanket or sleep liner and several layers of clothing. 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
              Accommodation
              Hammock (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 10 Guachaca Region
              Spend the day exploring the national park or relaxing on the beach before travelling the short distance to our base in the Guachaca region. Our accommodation for the next two nights is a small family-run hotel in a quiet location where your most difficult decision you will have to make is what hike to take and what time to go to the nearby beach.
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 dinner
              Day 11 Guachaca Region
              Today is free to relax at the hotel or go to the beach.
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 12 Villa de Leyva
              Today is a long travel day as we travel back to Santa Marta for a flight to Bogota... and then a minivan ride to the charming town of Villa de Leyva (approx 4-5 hours).
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 13 Villa de Leyva
              We then have a full day to make the most of this photogenic town. Take a short hike to a viewpoint offering expansive views over the town.

              A must visit is the local mercado municipal - a traditional farmers market with great food on offer.
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 14 Bogota
              Travel to Bogota by private minivan.
              With well over seven million people living on a plateau at 2,640 m above sea level, Bogota is one of the biggest cities in the world at altitude. And with a wealth of cosy cafes, interesting museums and old churches, the cosmopolitan streets of Colombia's capital are full of surprises.
              Optional Activities
              • Gold Museum - COP3000
              • Montserrate cable car - COP17000
              • Museo Nacional - COP20000
              • Bike tour - COP25000
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 15 Bogota
                There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                Meals
                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
                Leader-led walking tour
                Tayrona National Park
                Important notes
                The itinerary of this trip was updated on 18 January, 2016. The current itinerary is different to what is advertised in the 2016 brochure.

                A Single Supplement is available on this trip except on the following nights:
                Day 9 Tayrona National Park
                Days 10-11 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.
                Accommodation
                Hotel (13 nights), Hammock (1 night)
                OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                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.

                TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
                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.

                PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                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.
                Meals
                14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
                Money matters
                The official currency of Columbia is the Columbian 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 are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is 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 based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

                Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
                Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
                Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 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 US$5-US$10 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 don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

                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.

                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
                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:

                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.

                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.

                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.

                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!
                Joining point
                The Book Hotel
                Cra. 5 #57-79
                Bogota
                COLOMBIA
                Joining 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.
                Joining point instructions
                The best way to get from Bogota's El Dorado International Airport to downtown Bogota is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxi counters on your right. These are the only taxis you should use, as other informal taxis are considered unsafe.

                Official taxis will charge you approximately 20,000 – 25,000 Colombian pesos for a trip to your hotel. The following will be useful in getting to the hotel:

                Por favor lleveme al The Book Hotel, que se encuentra en la Cra. 5 #57-79
                Finish point
                The Book Hotel
                Cra. 5 #57-79
                Bogota
                COLOMBIA
                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:

                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.

                PEAK South America: +51 9 9605 5559
                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.

                COLOMBIA:
                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. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                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.
                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:

                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.

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