Booking Your Tour
To book your trip (tour program) with Ideal South America, LLC (ISA), we require a deposit of 40-50% of the total value of the program, with some flexibility, to begin confirming the reservations. Payments are typically made by credit card, processed by a secure merchant payment portal. Other methods may be available upon request. On the final page of your agreed tour program you will see a list of what is included in your tour, as well as what is not included. Please read this carefully and ask your travel consultant if anything is not clear and requires clarification. Once the deposit is made, we move forward with the reservations and confirmations as per the program proposal agreed with your travel consultant. We will do everything we can to make the bookings agreed upon, but if availability presents a problem, we will endeavor to make alternate booking of the same class and quality – flights, tours and hotels.
Visas and Passports
A valid, up-to-date passport is required to travel on our trips, expiring no earlier than 6 months AFTER your travel dates. You are responsible to making sure this is completed. You are also responsible for verifying and applying for any visas needed to travel to the respective countries, depending on your citizenship. Although we will of course do our best to guide and assist you with this process, this is your responsibility and you must make sure and take care of all of this in the appropriate time before travel.
We recommend that you purchase a travel insurance plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. The particular carrier and coverage is up to you, but it should cover your trip with ISA, as well as your departure from your home country and back. We do not offer this directly and in any case believe it is in your best interest to obtain it independently. For your convenience we offer travel protection plans through Travel Insured International, Squaremouth, and Travelex and can assist you with the process. We recommend that you take out your travel insurance no later than 14 days after booking your trip.
Trip Itinerary Services and Changes
ISA and its officers, contractors and employees (we) are acting simply as agents for the local tour operators and suppliers that provide the on-the-ground services, and therefore are not responsible for their actions or potential misdeeds. Furthermore, ISA and these local suppliers reserve the right to make changes to agreed itineraries, last-minute or otherwise. This may be due to issues such as adverse weather conditions, passenger safety or availability or other reasons unstated. ISA cannot guarantee the same services – tours, hotels, flights or yachts – will be offered, but will do its best to replace them with others of the same type or quality. ISA cannot be held responsible, financially or legally, for passengers’ dissatisfaction with said services – either agreed or replaced.
We cannot be held responsible, legally or financially, for changes in your booked program or itinerary made as a result of or due to changes made by flights delays, local operators, weather conditions, flight cancellations, illnesses, passenger change of mind, natural disasters, strikes, acts of god, force majeure and other circumstances and conditions not entirely controllable. Finally, we are not responsible for monies paid to us for the services of local tour operators that go out of business after a deposit was paid to them, but before travel departure and the procurement of their services. In this case, monies sent to them by ISA will be forfeited and must be recouped from your (traveling passenger) travel insurance carrier and then paid again to ISA.
Regarding the financial and payment terms, we typically require a deposit of 40-50% of the total value of the tour program to move forward with the booking. Once we receive it, we turn around and begin confirming tour, hotel and yacht reservations, purchasing flights, etc. In some cases we are paying the respective operators and suppliers quickly and their terms may vary. For example, most Galapagos operators require full payment 60 days before departure, so we and you are equally liable as such. We also typically purchase the most economical flights available, to keep your price low, and that usually means they are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you want to pay more for more expensive flights, it is your responsibility to indicate this to us at the time of your booking. In other words, all flights purchased are non-refundable unless otherwise agreed. Below is a partial list of cancellation, refund and deposit terms. If you cancel your tour:
- After the deposit is made, typically 25% will be retained, along with any deposits made to or costs charged by tour operators or suppliers, including any flights issued, that go above this amount (25% of deposit).
- 90 days before tour departure – typically 50% refund of payments available, excluding flights and Galapagos yacht or hotel deposit.
- 60 days before tour departure – IF Galapagos is not part of your program, typically 50% refund of payments still available, excluding flights. IF Galapagos is part of the program, the full value of that portion of payments made is lost and non-refundable.
- 45 days before tour departure – typically no refunds available. We will still do what we can to recoup something, depending mostly on the mercy and kindness of the local suppliers and operators and return to you what we can
By booking your trip (tour program) with ISA, you accept and agree to all the aforementioned.