Real Food Adventure - Mexico Trip Notes

Real Food Adventure - Mexico

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 03 Jun 2016
Real Food Adventure - Mexico
Trip code: QVZA
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Get an authentic taste of Mexico on this luscious journey through some of the country’s most famous culinary regions. Meander through Oaxaca’s aromatic markets; take to the streets of Puebla to sample some the city’s local specialties; indulge in fresh seafood on the beach; and take to the streets of Mexico City on a taco crawl to experience a delightful culinary heritage that goes back thousands of years. If you’re after cultural richness, authentic experiences and flavoursome food that’s tinged with fiesta, then this Real Food Adventure is for you.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryGroup leaderHealth
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesAlternate joining pointResponsible Travel
Important notesAlternate joining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeAlternate joining point instructionsFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point
Style
Original
Themes
Food
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please be aware that in many countries dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!
- You will be covering a fair amount of ground on this trip, so be prepared for some driving. Mexico is a big country. However, there's only one very long bus trip (approximately 9 hours) – a comfortable overnight jaunt from Oaxaca to Mazunte.
Why we love it
- Mexican cuisine is one of the hottest new food trends. This trip take you to the source of some of the nation's most iconic foods, from tacos to mole and beyond
- In Oaxaca you'll enter the heart of pre-Hispanic cuisine; taste chiles, chocolate, mezcal and the surprisingly delicious chapulines (grasshoppers)
- It may not be edible, but a Lucha Libre (theatrical 'freestyle wrestling') match in Puebla is an entertaining and memorable cultural experience
- A fishing expedition out on the Pacific Ocean will have you eating fresh ceviche on one of the best beaches on Mexico's south-west coast
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Mexico City
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico City. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place. This evening your leader will take you on a 'taco crawl' around town. You'll taste Mexico City’s delicious street-food staple, tacos al pastor, among others. Along the way you'll stop in for a sip of mezcal at one of the many mezcal bars that have started popping up all around Mexico City.

Notes: It can take some time to adjust to the heat and humidity in Mexico City, and it's normal to experience some lethargy and loss of appetite. Be sure to drink plenty of water and try not to do too much in one day.
Included Activities
  • Mexico City - Taco crawl
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 dinner
    Day 2 Mexico City
    Enjoy a walking tour of Mexico City's Centro Historico. Take in the beautiful Bellas Artes Palace, travel down the Paseo de la Reforma (the city's main thoroughfare) and marvel at the impressive Zocalo (Latin America's largest main square). Along the way you'll visit Mercado San Juan, the city’s main food market, then roam the surrounding streets and watch local vendors at work. If you come across tortillas being freshly pressed, be sure to try them warm with a sprinkle of salt. Pull up a chair at one of the best seafood stands in the city for a late lunch. The rest of your day is free for your own exploration. Perhaps relax in Chapultepec Park or take in some of the city's notable museums, including the renowned Museo Nacional de Antropologia (anthropological museum), which is considered one of the finest in the world. Alternatively, head to the leafy district of Coyoacan – a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Mexico City. There you can enjoy the Sunday markets or perhaps check out the home of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. This evening you will again be able to explore more of Mexico City’s vibrant dining scene.
    Included Activities
    • Mexico City - Centro Historico food tour and lunch
      Optional Activities
      • Mexico City - Bosque de Chapultepec & Natural History Museum - USD5
      • Mexico City - Coyoacan visit - Free
      • Mexico City - Frida Kahlo Museum - MXN140
      • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals - Free
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 lunch
        Day 3 Puebla
        Enjoy breakfast at a Mexico City institution: a two-storey bakery brimming with cakes, breads and biscuits. Then travel by local bus to Puebla (approximately 2 hours). Although it's a rapidly growing city, Puebla has managed to retain a strong sense of its past. This city is also obsessed with food and is regarded by many as the gastronomic capital of Mexico. Its cuisine is a mixture of pre-hispanic fare and Spanish influenced dishes, including mole poblano and chiles en nogada (the latter is seasonal and should only be eaten in restaurants between May and September). Enjoy a culinary tour that spans some lovely food and beautiful architectural and historic sites. Try dishes like cemitas (similar to Mexico City's tortas – crusty sandwiches filled with goodies) and tacos arabes (meat-filled tacos cooked on a large spit and served with salsas and fresh lime). Finish up at Calle de los Dulces, or 'Sweets Street', to sample camotes (yam-based candies flavoured with fruits) or Tortitas de Santa Clara (round shortbread-type cookies topped with a sugary pumpkin-seed glaze). You'll also witness a 'Lucha Libre' performance today. This popular sport combines wrestling and theatre.
        Included Activities
        • Puebla - City food tour
        • Puebla - Lucha Libre show
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 lunch
          Day 4 Oaxaca
          Catch a local bus to Oaxaca (approximately 4 hours). It will soon become apparent why Oaxaca is known for its cuisine. Visit some of Oaxaca's renowned markets for an introduction to some distinct regional specialties – taste everything from cactus fruit to grasshoppers to the heavenly Oaxacan cheese, queso oaxaca. Finish at the less crowded but equally interesting Mercado 20 de Noviembre. Any carnivores will relish the pasillo de carnes asadas (grilled meats hall), where freshly purchased meat is barbecued right in front of you. In the evening you'll dine at a restaurant where the local chef is dedicated to the preservation and sharing of dishes and specialises in ancient cooking methods from all over the state of Oaxaca.
          Included Activities
          • Oaxaca - Mercado Abasto tour
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 dinner
            Day 5 Oaxaca
            Breakfast this morning is at a unique local restaurant which preserves the many varieties of corn grown throughout the state of Oaxaca. Corn has been a staple of Mesoamerican cuisine for over 7,000 years. At any one time, the restaurant has at least three different types of corn dough made up of corn gathered from various farmers' cooperatives. The corn tortillas, eses, memelitas, quesadillas and tamales are the perfect start to the day. Lunch is just as exciting: a cooking class with a local chef, in which you'll discover the secrets to preparing Oaxacan delicacies at home. Feast on your creations over lunch. Your afternoon is free to explore the markets as well as Oaxaca’s many other culinary delights. Those with a sweet tooth can find several shops on Calle Mina (just south of Mercado 20 de Noviembre) at which to learn about the production of real Oaxacan chocolate – and of course taste this regional specialty. Alternatively you can visit the archaeological site of Monte Alban, an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre. The terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Alban were carved out of the mountain.
            Optional Activities
            • Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins (entrance fee) - USD10
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch
              Day 6 Oaxaca
              Today you will venture out of Oaxaca for an insight into regional life. Visit Mercado Tlacolula, one of the oldest markets in Mesoamerica. This is a unique opportunity to witness the ancient Zapotec cultural traditions of dress, cuisine and language, as the community gathers together from neighbouring villages. Here you will indulge in a meal of Oaxacan barbacoa. Then head to the ancient ruins of Mitla. Mitla (the Nahuatl word for 'underworld') is an important Zapotec archaeological site and was the main religious centre for the Zapotec people. On the way back to Oaxaca, stop into a mezcaleria (mezcal distillery). Although this tequila-like drop is experiencing a resurgence in popularity all over Mexico, it is largely produced in Oaxaca. It's generally enjoyed straight-up, so it's not for the faint-hearted! In the evening, jump on an overnight bus (approximately 9 hours) for the Pacific coast, where delectable seafood and lovely beaches await.
              Included Activities
              • Oaxaca - Mercado Tlacolula visit
              • Oaxaca - Mezcaleria visit
              • Oaxaca - Mitla ruins visit
                Accommodation
                Overnight bus (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 7 Mazunte
                Arrive in Mazunte early in the morning. This is your chance to relax and unwind, as this town is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of beach on Mexico's Pacific coast. It's also quieter and less touristy than some of the bigger beachside spots. Pull up a chair at one of the restaurants or laze in a hammock outside your bungalow on the water. Perhaps pay a visit to the seafood market at the port in Puerto Angel.
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 8 Mazunte
                Head out on an early morning fishing expedition. If you're lucky you might spot turtles, stingrays or even dolphins while you're out on the water. Sail back to shore with your catch of the day. Back on land, enjoy a masterclass on preparing Mexican coastal-style ceviche (raw fish cooked in citrus juice). The rest of the day is free for you to explore or simply relax by the water. Make a toast to the end of your adventure with dinner and glass of mezcal by the ocean.

                Notes: In the event that sea conditions are too rough to allow a safe and comfortable fishing expedition, this activity will be replaced with an alternative. The off-season for fishing is from August to mid November. If no fish are caught while at sea, fresh fish will be purchased from the seafood markets for the ceviche demonstration.
                Included Activities
                • Zipolite - Fishing Expedition and Ceviche Breakfast
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 9 Mexico City
                  Fly back to Mexico City, arriving at Benito Juárez International Airport at around 2 pm. Your trip comes to an end here. Outbound flights are best booked for after 6 pm to allow for any delays.
                  Special Information
                  Please note that this tour ends on arrival at Mexico City Airport (MEX). Please do not book onward flight from MEX prior to 6pm.

                  If you wish to extend your time in Mazunte, please advise your agent at the time of booking and we can arrange for the date of the included flight to be changed. We can book accommodation in Mazunte for you at additional cost.
                  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
                  Mexico City - Taco crawl
                  Mexico City - Centro Historico food tour and lunch
                  Puebla - City food tour
                  Puebla - Lucha Libre show
                  Oaxaca - Mercado Abasto tour
                  Oaxaca - Mercado Tlacolula visit
                  Oaxaca - Mezcaleria visit
                  Oaxaca - Mitla ruins visit
                  Zipolite - Fishing Expedition and Ceviche Breakfast
                  Important notes
                  ENDING TIME:
                  Please note that this tour ends on arrival at Mexico City Airport (MEX). Please do not book onward flight from MEX prior to 6pm.
                  If you wish to extend your time in Mazunte, please advise your agent at the time of booking and we can arrange for the date of the included flight to be changed. We can book accommodation in Mazunte for you at additional cost.
                  INTERNAL FLIGHT:
                  This tour includes a flight from Zipolite to Mexico City on the final day of the tour. Luggage allowances on this flight are pretty generous as each passenger is allowed to take 2 x check-in bags up to 25kgs each and 10kgs of carry-on luggage.
                  PASSPORT DETAILS:
                  Passport details are required at the time of booking as they are needed for the included flight.

                  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 (7nt), Overnight bus (1nt)
                  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.

                  Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings 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.


                  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 we will endeavour to cater to dietary requirements where possible, please note that many meals and food activities on Real Food Adventures are set in advance in order to deliver a well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. In many countries, dietary restrictions are uncommon and not well understood. If you have dietary requirements and are concerned about whether this may impact on your ability to participate fully in all food-related activities on this trip, please contact your agent at time of booking for further information. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, you must notify your booking agent prior to departure so it can be determined whether your dietary requirements can be met.
                  Meals
                  4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
                  Money matters
                  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).

                  The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN).

                  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.

                  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 USD25 for international departure tax from Mexico. This is sometimes included in your international airfare.

                  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. You can expect your Intrepid Food Adventures group leader to be passionate about the local food scene and keen to share their insider knowledge on the best authentic local food and drink experiences throughout your trip.

                  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/contact-us/safety

                  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.

                  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!

                  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.
                  Joining point
                  Hotel Metropol
                  Luis Moya No. 39,
                  Centro Histórico
                  Mexico City
                  MEXICO
                  Alternate joining point
                  For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                  17 Sep 2016 (QVZA1609172)
                  Hotel San Francisco Centro Historico
                  Luis Moya No. 11
                  Centro Historico
                  Mexico City
                  MEXICO
                  Alternate joining point description
                  Alternate joining point instructions
                  Finish point
                  Mexico City Airport

                  Mexico City
                  MEXICO
                  Finishing point instructions
                  This tour ends on arrival at Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City (MEX). Please do not book onward flights prior to 6pm.
                  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.

                  MEXICO:
                  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.

                  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.

                  INTERNAL FLIGHT:
                  This tour includes a flight from Zipolite to Mexico City on the final day of the tour. Luggage allowances on this flight are pretty generous as each passenger is allowed to take 2 x check-in bags up to 25kgs each and 10kgs of carry-on luggage.
                  Climate and seasonal information
                  HURRICANE SEASON:
                  Please note hurricane season is June to November when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors situations as 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 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.

                  DENGUE FEVER:
                  Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

                  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.

                  DRINKING WATER:
                  As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

                  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, we recommend 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