CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Updates, Testimonials & FAQ’s

Coronavirus Latest

An Update From Us

September 2020. We are glad to see that infection rates in Latin America are slowing and in most countries cases are steadily declining. Some countries have opened their borders to international tourists. We have re-scheduled all our trips due to depart up until the end of this October to next year. A big thank you to all our customers who have chosen to re-book their trips. By doing so you have not only helped us, but all our local partners and many of the local people and communities in Latin America who depend on tourism.

As things stand, we will be reviewing all our tours due to depart from November onward at 70 days before travel. We will contact each customer at that point to discuss the different options.

We are a relatively small, but very well established family run company that has been going for over 12 years. As many of you will know we also operate The China Travel Company and The Trans-Siberian Travel Company.

We would like to reassure all our customers that we are financially secure. We offer the gold standard of consumer protection through our ATOL license, ABTA membership and additional IPP insurance. This means all monies paid to us are 100% protected.

Many of you are now starting to contact us about your 2021 travel plans, and we are ourselves looking forward to returning to Latin America as soon as we can!

Book with a tour operator you can trust.

Testimonials

Since the borders began to close in March 2020 we have been hard at work firstly assisting customers that were currently traveling to return home safely, and then to re-schedule all of our upcoming departures.

This has been a challenging time for the travel industry, but many operators and airlines have not been following the law on refunds. We have always put our customers first and we were delighted to receive this review as an appreciation of our personal service.

“We have had to call off our proposed holiday to Peru and the Galapagos due to the Coronavirus. We had paid a significant deposit and were caught in the position of, do we pay the remainder or lose the deposit.

This dilemma was thankfully removed by John and The Latin America Travel Company. They suggested we did not pay the remainder and subsequently repaid all the deposit. Legally they did not have to do this. Other companies have not acted in this way. They have taken away all the worry.

John and the company have handled this with outstanding ethics and real integrity.

I would recommend them for how they have dealt with us but I would also point out that the reason we went with them was that the price was the same as others but John’s knowledge and his recommendations were excellent and the flow of the itinerary, hotels, boats etc were far superior to the other companies we approached.

I will post again when we eventually get to Peru and the Galapagos – hopefully 2021.”

Russ H, June 2020.

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Country by country

COVID Status

Airline News

– KLM will be restoring their international routes in September.

– Iberia are to restart international flights to Central and South America from August.

– LATAM airlines will no longer be operating domestic flights in Argentina, leaving Aerolineas Argentinas as the only operator of domestic flights.

– British Airways will resume their flights to Costa Rica from London Gatwick on 31st October.

Argentina

– Borders are still closed but are expected to open in October. Argentina has had one of the longest lockdowns but is now reopening with restaurants, food courts, and other businesses opening up. Buenos Aires has the vast majority of cases with the virus either not present or barely present in most other areas of the country. Iguazu national park is now open for domestic tourism and other national parks due to follow.

Brazil

– Since 29th July borders have re-opened and international air travel into Brazil has resumed. There is no quarantine on arrival for international tourists. The only requirement for entry is proof of health insurance that covers covid treatment. The main cities of Rio, São Paulo, Recife, Fortalez and Manaus are in advance stages of reopening. Most hotels in Rio plan to open fully by November and many are already open. Regional flights have started operating at greater frequency.

Chile

– Chile has a continued downward trend in infection rates and is in advanced stages of reopening. Chile currently holds the record for the highest amount of covid tests and the lowest cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Rates of infection are falling the most rapidly in Chile. Limited domestic and international flights are now operating. There is still no date for the full opening of the borders.

Costa Rica

– Costa Rica’s borders are now open to UK and EU tourists and there will be no mandatory quarantine on arrival, however you will need to present a certificate showing a negative result for a covid test taken within 72 hours of your flight departure time. Tourists must also complete a health questionnaire and have adequate insurance during their stay that includes cover for possible covid19 related expenses. Costa Rica has so far been highly effective in managing the pandemic and is the least affected destination in Latin America. Beaches and hotels are now open. International flights have resumed from Europe and the United States. British Airways resume their flights from London in October.

Ecuador

– Ecuador borders are now open and international flights are now arriving. All arrivals to Ecuador must present a negative PCR covid test taken within the last 10 days. A further test is required to enter Galapagos and can be obtained in Ecuador. We can assist with this and the test will be taken at your hotel, then the result emailed to you. Over 90% of the confirmed cases in Ecuador are confined to the two major cities. There are very few cases in most other areas of the country and in some regions there are zero cases.

Galapagos

– Galapagos currently with under 10 active cases with Isabela Island covid free. Only 3% of the Galapagos is inhabited, the remaining 97% is protected national park. Galapagos has re-opened to international tourists with new safety protocols for flights and cruises in place. There will be no quarantine for arrivals to Galapagos, but every arrival will have to present a negative covid test certificate taken within 96 hours before arrival. This test will be taken on Ecuador mainland.

Peru

– Infection rate shows a promising downward trend and society is opening up more and more. Domestic flights started operating a limited service from 15th July. There will be new protocols at the airports. Only people flying will be allowed in the terminal and masks will be mandatory. Train services to Machu Picchu have resumed with new safety protocols in place. New protocols are now in place for the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. There will be a new maximum capacity of 75 people per hour. This equates to 700 people a day compared to 5000 a day previously! Group sizes will be no more than 8 people and they will be staggered throughout the day. The most affected regions are northern Peru and the outer districts of Lima. The Andes region (where you will find Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca) has only seen a very small number of cases.

Peace of Mind

Flexibility with Booking Conditions

We’d like to emphasize that our approach to the coronavirus situation from the beginning has been to give our customers as much flexibility as possible.

As a smaller, independent company, we will always work with all our customers to find the best solution. We’d like to reassure you that should there be any future outbreaks or any other factors that prevent you from traveling, you will always be able to change or cancel your booking.

The Safe Travels Protocol

WTTC Certification

WTTC SafeTravels Stamp

The World Travel and Tourism Council alongside governments, health experts and other official industry bodies have launched the SafeTravels protocols in order to maintain a global standard of health and hygiene across a range of sectors including tour operators, cruise, aviation, hospitality and more.

These protocols take into account all the latest advice from the World Health Organization as well as other leading public health bodies. Their aim is to ensure all staff and travellers are safe in the context of covid19.

Over 1200 travel and tourism businesses have earned the certification. We are pleased to report that all of our partners have been awarded the badge. Please ask your consultant for any further details.

Taking bookings for 2021

Start Planning Your Trip!

The advantage with our tours is that they are all tailor made. This means we can skip the cities and take you straight to remote, rural settings. We can include private guides, self drives and as much or as little as you need. Get in touch to start planning your epic comeback trip for 2021!

All trips are operated by HeadsEast Ltd, UK Company registration number 6717612
© Copyright 2008-19 HeadsEast Ltd

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