Tour Policies

ESSENTIAL INFO (MUST READ)

 

 

Terms and conditions, policies, requirements, protection, sustainability and others.

 

 

TOUR INFORMATION AND POLICIES

 

Note that booking policies are subject to change. When you book on a trip, we will send you an up-to-date booking form, and you should read it through completely before signing it and returning it. You will be bound by the booking form that you sign, as it supersedes the information on this website or in our printed tour catalog. We will not consider a booking to be confirmed until we receive both your deposit and your signed and dated booking form. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by e-mail  (info@cycling-journeys.com) or by phone at + 57 3132535683 in Colombia.

 

CYCLING – JOURNEYS undertakes to create a trip itinerary, to provide a trip leader to guide expeditions and to arrange for all travel services and accommodation. CYCLING – JOURNEYS reserves the right to substitute other suppliers of arranged services, and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary or advisable. The passage contract used by the airline shall constitute the trip participant’s sole contract regarding international air travel.

 

TRIP PRICE

 

The price of the trip includes all transfers, accommodation, gear and the service(s) of a leader, entrance fees to parks, reserves or places mentioned on the itinerary, as well as meals as indicated on the final itinerary. The price represents a complete package; itemization of individual costs is not available. Not included are flights between your home and the tour’s starting and ending destinations. Domestic flights required by the itinerary are almost always included in the tour price; there are however a few exceptions where it is more cost-effective to combine these with the purchase of your international ticket. All flights included or excluded from the tour price will be indicated on the final itinerary. Travel expenses such as departure taxes, passports, visas, immunizations, insurance, medical costs, evacuation, optional excursions, room service, beverages, laundry, excess baggage, tips, telephone calls and expenses of a purely personal nature or arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to causes beyond our control are not included. Routine tips for meals are included, but those for your porters, drivers, leader and local guides are not. If you have questions about the inclusion of a gratuity for any cost item, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

 

TRIP PRICE INCREASE

 

Due to a variety of possible circumstances beyond our control, the total trip cost is subject to change, although this is only as a last resort. Participants will be notified if any changes to the trip cost will be incurred. CYCLING – JOURNEYS tries its best to anticipate the rising costs of service in every area it operates, but when unexpected increases occur we will reserve the right to increase our price by 10% of the tour price. If greater increases are necessary, participants will be allowed to withdraw from the tour without cancellation penalty.

 

If you wish to avoid the cost of a single room (single supplement), we will attempt to find a roommate for you, but please be aware that this is not always possible and if we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement. Please note rooming preferences will be honored to the best of our ability, but not guaranteed. In some remote locations, this may not always be possible, and sharing arrangements need to be accommodated. Whenever CYCLING – JOURNEYS is aware of these situations, participants will always be informed prior to booking. When unexpected sharing has to occur (particularly in remote locations where communication is difficult), the lack of availability at a particular hotel or lodge is usually not known by us in advance and is only discovered on arrival.  Under these circumstances, your leader will do their best to accommodate the group’s preferences.

 

RESERVATIONS and PAYMENTS

 

To secure your reservation, a non-refundable deposit of 30% of the total trip price as well as the signing of the booking form containing the assumption of risk and release section, are required. CYCLING – JOURNEYS reserves the right to refuse or decline bookings for any reason whatsoever, at our sole discretion. A booking is accepted only from the date that CYCLING – JOURNEYS has confirmed acceptance in writing and issued a confirmation invoice and payment schedule for the tour. Only at this point does the contract between the participant and CYCLING – JOURNEYS come into existence. If payments are not received according to the payment schedule outlined in the booking form, CYCLING – JOURNEYS reserves the right to treat these bookings as cancelled and charge cancellation fees as outlined in the booking form.

 

The full balance is due 30 days prior to the departure date. Payments for bookings made less than 60 days prior to departure are due in full at the time of booking. Regrettably, failure to make deposits or payments on time may result in the cancellation of your reservation, and cancellation fees will apply.

 

IMPORTANT: WHENEVER YOU MAKE A PAYMENT, WHETHER IT BE AN INITIAL DEPOSIT OR FINAL PAYMENT, YOU MUST TELL US BY PHONE OR EMAIL THE AMOUNT OF THE PAYMENT, FORM OF THE PAYMENT, AND THE DATE IT WAS SENT. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN A DELAY

 

CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT OF YOUR FUNDS

 

We accept payments per wire transfer, but you need to pay for bank surcharges.  We can accept payments by credit cards, but you need to pay the 4.5% or other commission charged by the credit card company.

 

INSURANCE

 

All trip participants are responsible for their own personal travel insurance to cover accidents, medical expenses, evacuation, repatriation, and loss of effects. We suggest you check your health policy to determine if it provides any overseas coverage. In addition, we strongly recommend trip cancellation/interruption coverage. We cannot stress how important this is to protect your investment. Please note that most traveler insurance companies require policies to be purchased within a short period following booking, depending on the insurer, so bear this in mind when booking and applying for travel insurance.

CHANGE OF ITINERARY or LEADER

 

CYCLING – JOURNEYS reserves the right to make tour changes if the need should arise due to unforeseen circumstances. If the trip leader/guide determines it is best to deviate from the activities described in the trip program, he/she will make reasonable efforts to substitute an activity of comparable interest and satisfaction to the trip participants. If significant changes are necessary prior to the start of any tour, participants will be informed. If a change of itinerary or operation mode is imposed upon us for any reason, such as airline strikes, weather or political unrest, the additional costs, whichever these may be, shall be the participants’ responsibility.

 

Finally, CYCLING – JOURNEYS reserves the right to assign or substitute any of its leaders on any tour.

 

GROUP SIZE

 

A suitable maximum group size to enjoy a tour will depend very much upon the location and type of habitats visited. On set-departure tours, the maximum number of tour participants is 8 with one leader. Customized tours can be arranged on request with a participant-to-leader ratio in accordance with the clients’ wishes.

 

MEDICAL CARE

 

All applicants with medical problems that could interfere with or limit participation on the tour, or with communicable diseases, are required to make them known to us. The trip leader/guide has the right to disqualify anyone at any time from certain activities, if he/she has reason to believe that the person is not capable of safely participating in the activity. CYCLING – JOURNEYS makes no representation that there will be a doctor on any particular trip, and we assume no liability whatsoever regarding provision of medical care. If a participant is injured or becomes ill, CYCLING – JOURNEYS or the trip leader/guide may, at the participant’s cost, arrange medical evacuation or other emergency services.

 

RESTRICTIONS AND PARTICIPATION

 

Our tours do not normally entail very strenuous activity but, if this cannot be avoided, it will be made clear in the tour details. Nevertheless, participants must be able to complete moderate rides of several miles a day, on gravel or slippery surfaces, to participate fully in the activities of the tour. To cater for the needs of all levels of riders, our tours sometimes involve long rides in the field and travelling long distances.

 

AUTHORITY OF TRIP LEADER/GUIDE

 

Please let the trip leader/guide knows of any problems or dissatisfaction; he/she will usually be able to remedy the situation. If a schedule change is necessary, he/she will ordinarily consult with trip participants. However, on matters relating to the safety and proper conduct of the trip, the leader’s decision is final. CYCLING – JOURNEYS accepts no responsibility for a participant who breaks the laws or regulations of any place visited, who is judged detrimental to the safety or welfare of others on the trip, or whose behavior impedes the operation of the trip or the rights, welfare or enjoyment of other trip participants. Such a person may be asked to leave the trip and CYCLING – JOURNEYS shall not be liable for any additional expenses incurred by a person excluded from further participation on a trip, including but not limited to, ground costs and airfares.

 

TRAVELER’S RESPONSIBILITY

 

Trip participants’ responsibilities include: selecting a trip appropriate to their interests and abilities; determining that particular destinations and activities are appropriate for them; determining that they are in sufficient health and fitness to undertake the trip and particular activities along the way; acquiring necessary passports, visas and immunizations; securing adequate insurance coverage; bringing appropriate clothing and equipment; passing through customs. Participants are responsible for the fate of any personal belongings they choose to bring on the trip. The primary focus of our set-departure trips is cycling with a secondary focus on other aspects of history, culture, cuisine and/or photography. Unless otherwise stated in the tour itinerary, these must not interfere with the primary focus of the trip.

 

DOCUMENTATION

 

A passport valid for six months after the date of departure is required for all trips. It is the responsibility of the traveler to determine their visa requirements for all destinations and countries visited within a tour, though CYCLING – JOURNEYS can help you with this upon request or visit the next link to know if you need a visa:

 

https://www.cancilleria.gov.co/tramites_servicios/visa/requisitos

 

By selecting your country, passport and type of travel you can know if a visa is needed.

 

IMMUNIZATIONS

 

We assume that you will be up to date with vaccinations. No vaccination certificates are required to enter Colombia, but it is important that you have the following information:

  • Most reserves do not have major problems with mosquitoes.
  • Typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines are strongly recommended.
  • Yellow Fever is very rare in Colombia.
  • Malaria can be found in many lowland areas of Colombia. While it is not known near any of our reserves it is present in some towns in the regions of the Eastern, Central, and Western Andes; and in Magdalena, Santa Marta, Guajira and Choco. In these areas it is desirable to reduce the number of insect bites by wearing long- sleeved shirts and trousers and using repellent, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Dengue fever, while rare, is also a possibility, so try to minimize mosquito bites and be aware of the symptoms.
  • Leischman’s disease from sand-fly bites is also a remote possibility in lowland areas, and once again visitors should be aware of the symptoms. It has only been rarely reported from communities in Magdalena Valley, although not from within the reserve.
  • Chiggers are in long grass around the Caribbean Coast if walking off the road. Cover your legs/trousers, shoes and waist with insect repellent.

 

CANCELLATION BY TRAVELER

 

We require written notice of cancellation, which is effective upon receipt by us. If you need to cancel your booking, you must inform us immediately via email or phone and we will confirm your cancellation. Based on the date that we acknowledge your cancellation notice, cancellation fees will apply per person. This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post-trip extensions as well as any transfers from one tour extension to another. For cancellations received 60 days or more prior to the first day of the tour, the cancellation fee will be your non-refundable deposit.

For cancellations received 59 days or less prior to the first day of the tour, the cancellation fee will be the full cost of the tour. Please note that bank charges may be deducted from the refund you receive. Under no circumstances can CYCLING – JOURNEYS waive or reduce cancellation fees, so it is highly recommended that you purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

 

CANCELLATION BY CYCLING – JOURNEYS

 

We always try to run a tour even if few people have signed up, and sometimes at a loss. Certain tours are designated as “guaranteed departures” which means they will never be cancelled due to insufficient bookings. Trip cancellations by CYCLING – JOURNEYS are a matter of last resort, in case that CYCLING – JOURNEYS needs to cancel the trip we will comeback all the money deposited.

 

TRIP GUIDELINES

 

INSURANCE

 

Make sure you have travel insurance with medical coverage and keep details of your policy separate from your valuables. Many insurance policies exclude certain departments of Colombia.

 

To best protection, we recommend highly Global Rescue services (optional) (www.globalrescue.com), As the ‘Official Provider of Emergency Medical and Evacuation Services’ to CYCLING – JOURNEYS, Global Rescue provides best-in-class advisory, field rescue and evacuation services, in both medical and security emergencies. Global Rescue’s ability to perform a Field Rescue from the point of injury, no matter how remote, and their commitment to evacuate a member back to their home hospital of choice is unmatched in the industry. Through an exclusive relationship with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Global Rescue members benefit from the advisory services of some of the world’s finest physicians. Recent missions performed by Global Rescue include evacuations from Nepal, Bhutan, Egypt, Bolivia and many other remote locations.

 

PHYSICAL DIFFICULTY

 

Generally good riding conditions, although heavy rains could make trails muddy and slippery, so you need good riding skills, waterproof gear would be needed and other gear (please read: packing list and apparel). Great care should be taken on this journey; all non-essentials are carried by support vehicle.

 

ESSENTIALS

 

  1. Passport: be sure is valid for the next 6 months.
  2. Local currency: also contact your bank/credit card to notify the upcoming trip
  3. Emergency contacts: has been provided it on the travel information format but please have those contact on hand.
  4. Health insurance information: we provide a health insurance in every trip but also strongly recommended have your own insurance.
  5. Medications
  6. Please limit your luggage to one medium-sized suitcase (16 kg) and one carry-on (under 10kg): this apply for almost all air companies.
  7. Cell phone and charger
  8. Photography gear and charger
  9. Power/plug adapter: In Colombia the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. The standard voltage is 110 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Colombia, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 110 – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries).
  10. Toiletries
  11. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and other sun protection gear
  12. Insect repellent

 

RECOMMENDED ITEMS

 

On the Bike

  1. Cycling jerseys or athletic shirts: enough of them for the trip
  2. Cycling shorts: Bibs or padded shorts
  3. Cycling shoes: Only if you bring your own pedals
  4. Sneakers or hiking shoes: we recommend hiking shoes. (if you don’t bring your own pedals)
  5. Athletic socks
  6. Arm/leg warmers: helps to protect against the sun
  7. Lightweight, waterproof, wind-resistant jacket or vest
  8. Bike gloves
  9. Bike saddle/cover (if you prefer your own)
  10. Sunglasses: give you extra protection anytime
  11. Lightweight headband or buff
  12. Chamois cream

 

Off the Bike

 

  1. Hiking shoes: Best choice for day by day activities
  2. Long and short-sleeved shirts, including hiking-walking apparel
  3. Sweater/jacket for evenings
  4. Hat
  5. Dinner attire (dressy casual) + casual shoes
  6. Swimsuit (Depends on the trip)

 

CLOTHING

 

  • Casual, comfortable clothes and shoes for travel/evenings at lodge, e.g. tennis shoes
  • Light sweater
  • Light rain jacket
  • Hiking boots – lightweight hiking boots.
  • Socks – at least 1 pair per day
  • Shirts and/or t-shirts – long sleeved, light field shirts for intense sunshine and mosquitoes; trousers – light cotton trousers that dry easily
  • Underwear
  • Swimming things
  • Small towel
  • Biodegradable soap and shampoo (avoid damaging bacteria in sewage systems at reserves)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal toilet articles (nail scissors, comb, moisturizer, etc)

 

LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS:

 

  • Please keep luggage as light as possible for travel and mobility.
  • We strongly recommend that you hand-carry your money, passport, camera, medicines, and any irreplaceable or valuable items.
  • Hard suitcases are not recommended.
  • Soft collapsible wheeled bags with handles are best.
  • Empty your wallet of cards and everything but the most essential material.
  • Plenty of Zip-lock plastic bags for keeping cameras, etc. dry
  • Plastic bags, a plastic rubble bag (i.e. thick rubbish bag) inside your duffel bag with valuables; dry clothes in plastic bags inside are also recommended.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

Visas are given at immigration on arrival for 30, 60 or 90 days (if you need more than 30 days make sure you insist on this at arrival). On departure there is a departure tax of around $40 which can be paid in pesos or dollars. Most international airlines include this in the fare (check with airline).

 

PRECAUTIONS

 

Be careful of your money and valuables in the airport as pickpockets are around. Also if you are riding any internal buses be careful of hands dipping into your hand luggage when you drop off to sleep on long journeys. Do not accept any food or drinks on public transport – even from ostensibly friendly people.

 

MONEY

 

Exchange rates vary (e.g. USD$1 = $3,300 pesos; $1 Canadian dollar =$2,800 pesos). Bring some US dollars for emergency, but otherwise recommend your cash be withdrawn from ATMs (all accept foreign debit cards) that can be found in large and medium sized towns. Credit cards are widely accepted. When they ask for “CC” use your passport number. We advise drawing some cash at the airport when you arrive from ATMs in the upstairs area to avoid the risks of visiting cash machines at night in Bogota.

 

 

 

 

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