1. THE CONTRACT WITH ESCAPES LATIN AMERICA
1.1 The terms and conditions set out in this booking contract together with your booking confirmation form your agreement between Escapes Latin America and all those named on the booking confirmation on whose behalf the party leader is acting.
1.2 A contract cannot be made for young persons unless one member of the party is eighteen years of age or more and is the lead name on the booking.
1.3 Escapes Latin America is a trading name of Geo. Gibb Ltd (company registration number 11345366) with registered office address 23 Kenwyn Road, London SW4 7LJ.
2. MAKING A BOOKING
To make a travel reservation all you have to do is phone or email. Your enquiry will be handled promptly by a Travel Specialist. Our Travel Specialists are amongst the most experienced, highly trained and widely travelled in the travel industry so do be sure to call upon their expertise and advice whenever you need it.
3.1 We reserve the right to alter the prices of any of the holidays shown on our website. You will be advised of the current price of the holiday that you wish to book before your contract is confirmed.
3.2 When you make your booking you will be required to pay a deposit of 25% of the total holiday cost. Please note that increasingly many airfares, rail tickets and cruises may require full payment at the time of booking.
3.4 The balance of the holiday booking must be paid at least 60 days prior to your departure date - note that some travel arrangements may require the balance to be paid earlier or in full at the time of booking and you will be advised at the time of booking if this is the case.
3.5 If the deposit and/or balance is not paid in time we reserve the right to cancel your booking. Please note that the deposit and interim payments are non refundable.
3.6 Transport, accommodation and excursions costs can change on a regular basis and any increases will be passed on to you. We will inform you promptly of any price changes. In the event that costs decrease by more than 2% you will be entitled to receive a refund.
3.7 Payment can be taken via bank transfer or over the telephone by either debit or credit card. Debit card and credit card payments incur no transaction fees.
3.8 If you wish to amend any element of the booking we will do our best to help, however may not always be able to meet your request. Once the confirmation invoice has been issued an amendment fee of at least £30 will be charged per amendment plus any additional cost incurred in making this alteration.
3.9 Note that if the amended booking means a reduction in people, the booking may then be subject to under-occupancy charges.
4. CANCELLATIONS BY YOU
4.1 Upon written notification, you may cancel your holiday booking at any time. As cancelling your travel arrangements will incur cost, you will be required to pay the following cancellation charges within these timeframes prior to departure:
60 days or more - loss of deposit plus any interim payments
59-43 days - 30% minimum of total holiday cost
42-29 days - 60% minimum of total holiday cost
within 28 days - 100% of total holiday cost
4.2 Specific items sold as part of a package may have more restricted cancellation conditions; for example some flights and rail tickets are non-refundable from the date of full payment being made. You will be advised at the time of booking.
4.3 If you have had to cancel due to circumstances beyond your control you may be covered by your travel insurance policy. We always recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance to cover your holiday.
4.4 If you have had to cancel all or part of your holiday because your flight has been delayed or cancelled, you may be covered under the terms of our ATOL protection, and can therefore claim a refund from the CAA for any part of your holiday that has been disrupted by the flight disruption. This only comes into effect if the flight has been bought as part of the entire package. Privately sourcing your flights could forfeit your financial protection under our ATOL.
5. CANCELLATIONS AND ALTERATIONS BY ESCAPES LATIN AMERICA
5.1 The content on our website has been carefully compiled and correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting live. You will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
5.2 It is unlikely that we will make any alterations to your holiday however unavoidable alterations may have to be made and in some cases out of our control. We will always keep you informed of any changes. Where changes are necessary, we will always try to ensure they cause the least possible disruption to the holiday.
5.3 We will not cancel your travel arrangements less than 60 days before your departure date, except for reasons of force majeure (which could include war, civil or political unrest, or cancellation or postponement of an excursion). Any reasonable expense we have incurred will be deducted from your refund. All refunds are strictly limited to the money you have paid us, and we are not liable for any other expenses you may have incurred as a result of your booking. Your travel insurance may be able to cover these other expenses.
5.4 On occasion, alterations may have to be made on the spur of the moment by the tour leader or local operator, during the holiday itself. These actions are taken for your benefit, either to enhance your safety, welfare or enjoyment, or because of matters beyond our control. If you incur any costs as a result of any changes like this, you may be able to claim them back from us in writing within 14 days of your return (up to a maximum of £50), or from your travel insurance.
5.5 Under no circumstances can Escapes Latin America or any of our local operators be held responsible for any wildlife mentioned in our itineraries, but not actually seen during the holiday, or activities cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
6.1 We take customer service very seriously and welcome any positive or negative feedback to ensure we maintain our high standards. Any complaints about your holiday must be immediately brought to the attention of the tour leader or local operator so that the necessary action to rectify the matter can be taken. If this fails to rectify the matter, contact us directly and we will deal promptly with your complaint. However, if by the end of the holiday you still feel you have a valid complaint you must notify Escapes Latin America, in writing, within fourteen (14) days of the end of your holiday, so it can be effectively dealt with. You will always be given the opportunity to leave feedback upon your return from your holiday. If we are unable to reach an agreement with you, the issue can be taken to a Court of Arbitration.
7.1 You must be suitably insured either through our recommended partners or with another insurer offering at least equivalent cover before you travel. You accept full responsibility for ensuring that all members of the named party comply with the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy purchased.
7.2 Should you while on the holiday choose to take part in any activity (e.g. hang gliding, hot air ballooning, white-water rafting, etc.) which can be deemed as being of a hazardous nature, it is essential to ensure that cover is provided under the terms of your travel insurance. The organisers of some adventure activities that you may choose to take part in may request you sign a waiver of their liability for risks involved. We must draw your attention to the fact that by signing such a document you may well lose any rights to claim for damages in respect of death, injury, or loss of or damage to property even if negligence on the part of the activity organiser is proven to have occurred.
7.3 You are encouraged to seek out activities and excursions in the locations you visit, however, when privately booking local excursions or activities, any assistance you may receive from our local representatives does not imply they have acted as an agent or that these activities have been approved and are offered for sale by the company.
8. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS
8.1 You will comply with the laws, regulations, and Escapes Latin America's terms and conditions, whether in respect of health, immigration, currency exchange control or any other matters, of all the countries visited during the holiday.
8.2 Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates before departure date. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements.
8.3 You will obtain a valid passport and visas, and have enough blank pages in the passport for the holiday. Many countries will require passports to be valid for at least 6 months after the holiday ends.
8.4 You must be responsible for ensuring that any existing medical conditions or disabilities, which may require assistance, are declared to us before you book your holiday or, if newly diagnosed, before date of departure. We can only accept your booking upon the clear understanding that we cannot be liable if you do not inform us of such a condition and an airline or cruise-line refuses to accept you or any member of your party as a passenger.
8.5 You accept that, due to the adventurous nature of the holiday, and the countries visited, each holiday involves an element of personal risk and can be potentially hazardous or unpredictable, with safety standards and emergency services of a lesser quality than what you might be used to. It is an essential requirement that all passengers have appropriate travel insurance, have received all necessary medical inoculations before departure, and take malaria tablets where necessary.
8.6 If the tour leader or local operator believes that your health or fitness may jeopardise anyone's safety, welfare or enjoyment, they may exclude you from any part of the holiday, without any right to refund or compensation from Escapes Latin America.
8.7 The tour leader or local operator who represents Escapes Latin America has overriding authority on your holiday. If you commit any illegal act during the holiday, or the operator or tour leader thinks that behaviour is detrimental to the safety, welfare or enjoyment of the group as a whole, you may be excluded from that part of the holiday, or the entire holiday, without any right to a refund or compensation. Any costs incurred from this are entirely your own responsibility, although we will continue to provide advice and assistance where possible.
8.8 You must be responsible for the behaviour of yourself and your party. We reserve reasonable discretion to refuse your booking or to remove you or a member of your party from any holiday, if your demeanour or behaviour, or that of a member of your party, is disruptive, dangerous or annoying to other people. We will make no refund or payment of any costs incurred by you under these circumstances.
8.9 You accept that any personal possessions such as valuables, cameras or any money that is carried on any transport, or that is left in any accommodation provided by Escapes Latin America or its suppliers during a holiday are carried at your own risk. Escapes Latin America does not accept responsibility for any personal possessions or valuables that are lost, damaged or stolen during the course of a holiday. It is an essential requirement that all passengers have appropriate travel insurance.
8.10 The responsibility of any airlines used is limited to the carriage of passengers and baggage in accordance with the conditions of their carriage.
8.11 We reserve the right to decline any booking at our discretion.
9. ESCAPES LATIN AMERICA'S LIABILITY TO YOU
9.1 We accept responsibility for ensuring that the travel arrangements that you book with us are supplied as described. If any part of these travel arrangements is not provided as promised, we will pay you appropriate compensation if this has affected your enjoyment of your travel arrangements. Our liability cases (except in cases involving death, injury or illness) shall be limited to a maximum of twice the cost of your holiday and in all circumstances shall only include flights and accommodation.
9.2 Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to: (a) The contractual terms of the companies that provide the transportation for your travel arrangements. These terms are incorporated into this contract; and (b) Any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions.
9.3 Under EU law you have rights in some circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from your airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Full details of these rights will be publicised at EU airports and will also be available from airlines. However reimbursement in such cases is the responsibility of the airline and will not automatically entitle you to a refund of your holiday cost from us. Your right to a refund and / or compensation from us is set out in paragraph 4. If your airline does not comply with these rules you should complain to the Civil Aviation Authority on 020 7379 7311 or www.caa.co.uk.
10.1 The law of England and Wales governs this contract and exclusive jurisdiction is conferred on the English and Welsh Courts. No Escapes Latin America employee or representative has the authority to vary these terms and conditions or the information within the website or any company literature or enter into verbal agreements with our customers.