What trip arrangements do I need to make myself?
The only travel arrangements that passengers on our tours need to make are the international flights to their first destination and from their last after the tour ends. We make all other airline reservations as well as hotel arrangements and airport transfers.

Who travels on your group tours & cruises?
While travelers of varying ages from all over the world take our trips, most are Americans between 20 and 60. The more rigorous itineraries tend to attract slightly younger travelers than our other trips.

What's the average group size on the scheduled trips & cruises?
Depending on the trip, our scheduled group trips range from a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests.

Do you have age limits on your trips?
We accept bookings from travelers between the ages of 18 and 70. With prior arrangement, we also book some travelers outside that age range, depending on the traveler and the trip.

Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
Our tours tend to attract a mix of solo travelers and people traveling with families and friends, etc. We can provide solo travelers with private accommodations or, if desired, can usually match them with a roommate to save on single supplement costs.

What are the qualifications of your guides?
Our exceptional guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We hire only guides who are native to the destination and are licensed and/or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English, and some also speak indigenous languages. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All are trained in mountain/wilderness first-aid. Our team of congenial guides offers priceless insights into the true nature of their homelands, adding immeasurably to the enjoyment of the trip.

How do your passengers get to the hotel from the airport?
A Southern Explorations representative meets our passengers at the international airport after they have cleared Customs, escorts them to the hotel and assists with check-in. We also provide transportation to and from any other airports used on the trip.

Do your tour rates include international flights?
No. Our services begin when travelers reach the country of their first tour destination. Airline tickets for international flights may be purchased online, through a travel agent or we can help arrange these flights through an airfare consolidator

Do your tour rates include meals?
We try to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meals. Meals are included on tour days spent off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited. In the major towns with a wide variety of restaurants, meals are generally not included to allow our travelers to make their own dining choices. On these days, the hotel provides a light continental breakfast. Our local guide is a wealth of information about great restaurant options and is usually available to accompany groups that wish to eat together.

Can special diets be accommodated?
We can accommodate any diet. We ask passengers who require a special diet (vegetarian, diabetic, etc.) to notify us at the time of booking so we can make special arrangements before departure.

Can extra luggage be stored?
On all of our trips, excess luggage may be stored in the hotel where the trip begins or in our operator's offices. Luggage is returned on the last day of the trip, if the passenger is not in the hotel where the luggage was left. On Fly/Drive trips, luggage may be locked in the trunk of the car. Luggage may not be stored at the airport.

How does one do laundry during the trip?
Hotels charge very affordable rates to do a guest's laundry. In major cities, laundry facilities are open most days. Passengers wishing to hand-wash clothes should bring biodegradable soap.

What's the best way to communicate with people back home?
Email is the cheapest and fastest way to communicate while traveling in Latin America. All major cities and tourist towns have email services; internet cafes are very popular and easy to find. Not all internet cafes are equipped with computers that accommodate a flash drive. Major towns have telephone centers for local and international calls. Telephone, fax and email are available at most of the hotels we use. Our guides can offer assistance to passengers wishing to purchase an international pre-paid phone card on the trip.

Will my cell phone work?
It depends on the phone, the provider and the reception in the area where you try to use it. Check with your cell phone provider for the most up-to-date information.