Incahuasi Island, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Highlights of Bolivia

17 days
from
£3,349
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Trip code: 
APL
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Discover Bolivia's immense landscapes, ancient history and colonial cities 

Landlocked Bolivia is a quintessential South American country both in terms of the immensity of its landscapes and its strong indigenous culture. Although little-known, Amboró National Park boasts almost unparalleled bio-diversity and the charming, albeit rustic, gateway town of Samaipata also gives access to the nearby Pre-Columbian UNESCO site of El Fuerte. Nowhere else on Earth can you find salt flats of comparable scale to Salar de Uyuni; a comprehensive three day 4WD adventure reveals its multi-coloured lagoons, cacti islands and spouting geysers. In stark contrast to these natural wonders are the vibrant cities of Sucre, Potosi and La Paz whose heritage was shaped by both the Incas and the Spanish conquistadores. Finally, wind down with a night in an eco-lodge on the Isla del Sol overlooking the deep, tranquil waters of Lake Titicaca - fringed by snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real.

Highlights

  • Three day Salar de Uyuni 4WD adventure including the train cemetery, salt flats, Incahuasi (cactus) Island, Stone Tree, various lagoons, geysers and ancient volcanoes
  • Pre-Columbian UNESCO World Heritage Sites of El Fuerte and Tiwanaku 
  • Gentle daywalk to see the Giant tree ferns and spectacular landscape of Amboró National Park
  • Visit La Recoleta viewpoint overlooking the 'White City' of Sucre
  • Discover the colonial and silver mining heritage of Potosí
  • Walk to the 'Fountain of Eternal Youth' on the Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca
  • Full day city tour of La Paz including the cathedral, cable car and Moon Valley

Key information

  • 12 nights hotels, 1 night salt hotel and 1 night eco-lodge
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Time spent at altitude
  • Travel by private minibus, 4WD, boat and 2 internal flights
  • Some long drives and early starts
  • Day walk in Amboró N.P

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival and departure transfers
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Laguna Colorada, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

On this trip we use the services of a local operator, employing local staff throughout the trip, and we stay in locally-owned hotels wherever possible, including an eco-lodge on the Isla del Sol - partially owned by local shareholders of the Aymara community. Ecolodge la Estancia has been constructed using natural materials such as thatch and stone and designed using traditional Andean architecture so as to preserve the pre-Inca terraces found here. The lodge operates sustainable practices including solar energy for water heating, black boxes for room heating, recycling rainwater, growing vegetables, and waste composting. 

Drinking water is provided in large containers throughout the tour so you can refill your water bottle and avoid buying single use plastic bottles. There are plenty of opportunities to try street food or buy handicrafts from local markets.

The entrance fees for the sites we visit help support their maintenance, restoration and upkeep, from El Fuerte and Amboró National Park, to Tihuanaco and the museums and churches visited during the city tours in Sucre, Potosí and La Paz.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London

    The group flight is an overnight flight departing London today.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Santa Cruz

    The group flights are scheduled to arrive into Santa Cruz this morning. Early hotel check-in is included for passengers who book a flight inclusive package but not for those making their own flight arrangements. There will be a notice board in the hotel reception with details of where and when the group welcome briefing will be held.

    Armonia Hotel (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Drive to Samaipata, stopping to swim in Las Cuevas Waterfalls and visit the Pre-Columbian UNESCO site of El Fuerte

    Located some 120km from Santa Cruz is the little-visited laidback town of Samaipata, set amidst beautiful countryside. The drive takes about two and a half hours direct but we break up the journey with a visit and swim in Las Cuevas Waterfalls en route.

    In the afternoon we visit ‘El Fuerte de Samaipata’ (or Samaipata Fort), a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of UNESCO World Heritage status located about 10km outside the town. The hilltop ruins form an excellent vantage point over the pictures valley and although no standing structures remain, excavations (which continue today) have revealed over five-hundred dwellings. It incorporates buildings of three different cultures: Chanè, Inca, and Spanish. The main site is a gigantic stone slab (over 100m in length), covered in Inca and Pre-Inca carvings of geometric shapes and animal figures, thought to have been of religious/ceremonial significance.  We will also visit the museum which contains artefacts from El Fuerte.

    Hotel Quinta Pirai (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Daywalk to discover Amboró N.P., one of the world’s most botanically rich national parks

    Samaipata is also the gateway to the southern part of Amboró National Park, which stretches from the Andean foothills to the Amazon Basin. It is one of the most botanically rich and wildlife abundant national parks in the world, owing to its sharply divided topography, range in elevation (from 300m to over 3,000m) and unique geographical location spanning three different eco-systems.

    Following a short transfer we set out on foot for a gentle jungle walk in the park. We will see Giant tree ferns which reach up to an impressive thirteen metres tall, and visit a viewpoint which unveils a panorama of sheer sandstone cliffs rising high above an endless expanse of tropical jungle.

    Our guide will help us spot some of the 830 species of bird found here (including Cock of the rocks, Blue horned curassows, hummingbirds, toucans and macaws) as well as identify some of the endemic plants. Elusive mammals (ocelots, Spectacled bears, tapirs, jaguars and pumas to name a few) also reside within Amboró but we are not likely to see them, especially in the daytime.

    Hotel Quinta Pirai (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free morning in Samaipata; afternoon return to Santa Cruz

    The morning is free to relax or explore the town (the hotel is located a few kilometres outside of Samaipata but transport into town can be arranged for those who wish to explore). In the afternoon we make our way back to Santa Cruz (approx. 2.5hrs drive).

    Armonia Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Short flight to Bolivia's capital, the 'White City' of Sucre (2,800m); afternoon city tour

    We take a morning flight to Bolivia’s capital, Sucre (approx. 45min flight), which with its narrow streets and fine colonial white-washed buildings, is often said to be Bolivia’s most beautiful city; protected by its UNESCO status.

    After checking into the hotel we’ll embark on a guided tour of the sights, including La Recoleta viewpoint, monastery and museum of indigenous art, situated at the base of Churuquella Mountain overlooking the city. We’ll visit the main square, ‘Plaza 25 de Mayo’ and adjacent historic Casa de la Libertad (House of Liberty) where Simon Bolivar signed the Act of Independence in 1825. Following on from this we’ll come to the San Francisco Basilica, complete with its ‘freedom bell’, so named as it was allegedly rung so hard to mark Bolivian independence that it broke! A stroll through the manicured Bolivar Park and cemetery are also part of the tour.

    Hostal de Su Merced (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Free day in Sucre; optional excursion to the indigenous community of Jatun Yampara

    There are no planned activities today but your leader will be able to recommend some things to do and see.

    It is possible to arrange an optional excursion to the indigenous community of Jatun Yampara, about half an hours’ drive from Sucre. They produce some ceramics but are largely a weaving community, producing traditional textiles and llama fabrics with complex patterns in vivid colours. Taste the traditional ‘chicha’, a fermented corn drink with an acquired taste to say the least!

    Hostal de Su Merced (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Drive to Potosí (4,090m); walking tour to discover its colonial and silver mining heritage

    The drive to Potosí takes around three hours. You will notice the increase in elevation as Potosí lies at over 4,000m.

    This afternoon we have a tour of the city, which was the centre of the silver rush in the 16th Century. The silver was mined from nearby Cerro Rico (‘rich mountain’) and was predominantly used to make coins but also other objects as it was so plentiful. We visit the famous museum ‘Casa de la Moneda’, the National Mint of Bolivia – the coinage minted here during this period was world renowned.

    Potosí developed into a large and prosperous city with thousands of colonial buildings. The consequences for the indigenous miners and African slaves however were tragic – some estimates speculate that there were as many as nine million casualties.

    Amongst other sites, we also visit the local market, San Francisco Church, notable for its 6th Century architecture, catacombs and colonial art and San Lorenzo Church with its ornate 16th Century stone carvings.

    Colonial Hostal (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free morning; optional tour into the silver mines of Cerro Rico; afternoon transfer to Uyuni

    This morning is at your leisure.

    Although not suitable for everyone (not for those with claustrophobia), for those who are fit enough, there is the option to take a half day tour into the mines below Cerro Rico. You will have to squeeze through tight spaces and pull yourself along or crawl in parts. Protective clothing, a helmet and head torch is supplied and you would be guided by an expert local guide.

    In the afternoon we drive to Uyuni town (approx. 4 hours driving).

    Samay Wasi Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Begin a three day 4WD adventure to discover the incredible landscapes of Salar de Uyuni, including the train cemetery, salt flats, colourful lagoons and cactus islands

    Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, covering over four thousand square miles (ten thousand square kilometres). It is incredibly flat and the reflective vast white surface causes an optical illusion - a loss scale and perspective (perfect for photo opportunities).

    We first visit the train cemetery located just outside of Uyuni town. The railway was originally built to transport minerals from the salt flats but when the mining industry declined in the 1940's the tracks themselves, together with a number of trains were abandoned ‐ a peculiar sight in the midst of this vast open landscape.

    Next we drive via San Cristobal village and through the rocky valley where we see a remarkable stone formation. Finally we arrive at Villamar, where our hotel is located.

    A picnic lunch is included today.

    Hotel Jardines de Malku Cueva (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Second day to discover more sights of Salar de Uyuni by 4WD

    We wake early to see the sunrise; a beautiful spectacle at this altitude and over this vast landscape. A different highlight awaits today as our 4WD adventure brings us into Eduardo Avaroa National Park and to the Sol de Mañana hot springs, meaning 'morning sun'. This sulphur spring field is one of the few places where you can get up close to volcanic (hydrothermal) activity. Across this expanse lie boiling mud lakes and steam pools, and there are several geyser‐like features where pressurized steam spouts up to fifty metres into the air!

    Continuing on, we should reach the Polques Thermal Baths by late morning. Those who can brave the cold air temperatures before getting into the warm waters can enjoy a dip.

    We will visit many beautiful lagoons, each with different characteristics and colours – vivid red or green due to the algae or chemical composition, and set against a backdrop of volcanoes and mountains. Flamingo breeding grounds are found here and we’re certain to see flocks of them at the lagoons, and possibly wild vicunas and Andean geese

    We spend the night in a beautiful hotel in Colchani, constructed entirely out of salt bricks.

    Hotel Palacio de Sal Salt (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Third day to discover Salar de Uyuni; afternoon fly to La Paz (3,640m)

    We spend the morning on the salt flats. Pyramids of salt are mounded up and in the dry season the ground is desiccated and hexagonal tiles of salt form as far as the eye can see.

    In the middle of the salt flats we come to Inca Wasi Island, known for its giant cacti and unusual fossils.

    In the afternoon we return to Uyuni and fly to La Paz (3,640m), the highest administrative capital in the world.

    Hostal Naira (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    La Paz city tour including the cathedral, cable car and Moon Valley

    We begin the tour at the main square, Plaza Murillo, in the old town, where we find the Presidential Palace, government congress buildings, and the Cathedral. Next we visit the Basilica of San Francisco, famed for its mestizo-baroque façade depicting masks, dragons, tropical birds and snakes. There’s also a stone tunnel stairway which leads to the roof.

    From here we take a wander along the steep and narrow cobbled street, ‘Calle Jaén’, one of the best preserved colonial streets, lined with brightly painted houses, museums and shops. We go on to visit an open-air museum about Tiwanaku culture.

    A visit to La Paz would not be complete without riding the innovative cable car system for views over the entire city. Venturing a short distance outside the city we will also visit ‘Moon Valley’, known for its intriguing landforms of eroded canyons, pinnacles and cacti.

    Hostal Naira (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Travel to Isla del Sol (4,100m) on Lake Titicaca; walk to the ‘Fountain of Eternal Youth’ and stay in an eco-lodge

    We drive to Copacabana, crossing the Tiquina Strait by boat (a short ten minute ride) and following the shores of Lake Titicaca for much of the journey (the total drive time is around four and a half hours). We board a boat from Copacabana and travel for an hour to Lake Titicaca’s beautiful Isla del Sol, disembarking at Pillkokaina port where we ascend the steps to the 'Fountain of Eternal Youth'. It's about an hour's walk to our eco-lodge, which allows us to take in the stunning surroundings; deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca in contrast to the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real. There is the option to walk to a viewpoint for sunset if you wish.

    Your main luggage will be left at the hotel in La Paz so you need only take an overnight bag to Isla del Sol (we recommend keeping any valuables with you).

    Ecolodge La Estancia (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Return to La Paz via the Pre-Incan ruins of Tiwanaku

    We make the return journey back to Copacabana and visit the Pre-Columbian ruins of Tiwanaku, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on our way back to La Paz (approx. 3.5hrs driving to Tiwanaku). Founded around 1500BC, Tiwanaku became the capital of a massive empire that lasted almost thousand years, developing into a sophisticated urban ceremonial complex. We’ll have lunch at Tiwanaku village before driving the remaining two and a half hours or so to La Paz.

    Hostal Naira (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 16

    Depart La Paz

    The group flight is an overnight flight and is scheduled to depart very early this morning. For those travelling on a land only basis, the tour ends after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Arrive London

    The group flight is scheduled to arrive into London this morning.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Bolivia

British Citizens, most Western European nationals, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities do not require visas. US citizens who are not of Bolivian origin need a visa of which full details are available on www.boliviawdc.com. If you are in any doubt, please contact the nearest Bolivian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Bolivia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. A Yellow Fever certificate is required for travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Malaria is present throughout the year however, with the exception of the northern provinces of Beni and Pando (the Amazon region), and Nor Cinti province in the south, the risk of Malaria is low and antimalarial tablets are not usually recommended, although may be considered for certain higher risk travellers. If visiting the Amazon region in the north, Malaria precautions are essential. If visiting Nor Cinti province, Malaria precautions may sometimes be recommended for certain travellers.

You should be aware that Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever are present in the Amazon region in northern Bolivia - these are non-preventable diseases caused by daytime biting mosquitoes. You should always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and a known risk in Bolivia. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 5 dinners are included. 

In Uyuni sometimes we will have a packed lunch. Where meals are not included your leader will recommend and book a variety of local restaurants.

Drinking water will be provided in large containers to minimise the amount of single use plastic used; please bring a refillable bottle with you.

Bolivian cuisine is a fusion between Spanish and Andean traditions and varies from one region to the next. In the lowlands fruit, vegetables, yucca and fish are abundant whereas in the altiplano these are less readily available and you tend to get more spiced dishes to combat the cold. Bolivian cuisine has a reputation for its meaty dishes but corn (maize), quinoa and potatoes are also part of the staple diet.

Common street food and snacks include ‘salteñas’ (baked pastries filled with spiced meat or vegetables), ‘buñuelos’ (sweet or savoury bread – often stuffed with cheese) and ‘papas rellenas’ (deep-fried battered stuffed potatoes).

Popular main dishes include ‘pique a lo macho’ (a kind of beef stir-fry, served with chunky chips), ‘picante de pollo’ (spicy chicken) and ‘tucumanas’ (a sort of pasty). In Sucre try ‘mondongo’ (a dish made of chicharron – crispy fried pork usually accompanied by corn, potatoes and a rich chilli sauce) and in La Paz check out a ‘sandwich de chola’ (pork sandwich).

Weather

Differences in topography and climate separate Bolivia’s lowlands and highlands into distinct areas. Weather conditions vary significantly from region to region.

Lowlands, including Santa Cruz - A humid tropical climate with clear-cut wet and dry seasons and an average temperature of 30 °C (86 °F). One of the wettest regions in Bolivia, the rainy season extending from late September to May, sees an annual rainfall average between 1000 and 4000 mm (40 – 150″). The heavy rainfall is caused by winds blowing in from the Amazon rainforest. From the month of May there is less rain and more blue skies due to drier winds. 

Altiplano (highlands), including Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí and Uyuni - Climate varies from cool and humid to semi-arid. The average annual temperature ranges from 15 to 27°C (60 – 80ºF) but in the dry season its more likely to be 10 to 15°C with the coldest temperatures occurring in the south-western portion of the Altiplano during the months of June and July. Nights can get very chilly, dropping to around 0 °C. In Salar de Uyuni, night time temperatures in the dry season may fall as low as -15°C (particularly from May to August). Between April and September there is a chance of snow, especially to the north of the highlands, but it is not very common. The unrelenting rainy season occurs between December and March but we do not run any departures as getting around can be difficult and trecherous. 

La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia

Is this trip for you?

Bolivia is less developed than many of its South American counterparts and things do not always happen as planned; expect the unexpected and approach travel here with an adventurous spirit.

There is a daywalk through the jungle of Amboró National Park and a walk to our lodge at the top of Isla del Sol. The sightseeing around archaeological sites and tours of some of the cities involves walking up and down steep streets or on uneven steps/ground. As such, you should have a good level of mobility and a reasonable level of fitness.

Although graded Leisurely/Moderate (level 2), the altitude can make physical activity feel more tiring than at sea level. As this trip spends considerable time at altitude we ask you to refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for more information and advice on how to limit the effects of altitude sickness. The tour allows for gradual acclimatisation, spending two days in Sucre (2,800m) before continuing to Potosí (4,090m), Salar de Uyuni (ranging from between 3,650m and 4,850m), La Paz (3,640m) and the Isla del Sol (4,000m). The maximum altitude on this trip is 4,850m at Sol de Mañana – please ensure that your insurance covers you up to this altitude.

Due to the altitude you should expect some low temperatures, particularly during the Salar de Uyuni adventure when it can fall below freezing at night. The three day 4WD Salar de Uyuni adventure involves spending considerable time in the vehicles but we make plenty of stops and the scenery is outstanding.

There are some long drives during the tour and in Uyuni you will spend a considerable amount of time in the 4WD vehicle, although there will be plenty of stops to enjoy the landscape, take photos, and to explore on foot. 

Samaipata is little-visited and accommodation and facilities here and also in Uyuni town are basic.

Strikes are not uncommon in Bolivia and whilst these are generally peaceful protests, they can result in roadblocks and disruption to travel. In this event, your leader will amend your itinerary if necessary to minimise the impact.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Salt Hotel & Eco-lodge

12 nights hotels, 1 night salt hotel and 1 night eco-lodge – all nights based on twin-share with en suite facilities.

The hotels usually used are listed within the itinerary and below, however occasionally these may vary by departure date due to availability. The hotels are generally a 3-star local rating and have been carefully selected for their location, quality and character. Accommodation standards in Bolivia are generally lower than their South American counterparts and standards of accommodation on this trip vary from one location to another.

Our hotel in Santa Cruz is new and contemporary in style; rooms have air-conditioning and there is an outdoor swimming pool. Accommodation choice within Samaipata is limited and so we stay at Quinta Pirai Cabanas, located on a hillside with views over the valley, about 1km from town - it's a little basic but has a pool and is very tranquil. Hostal de Su Merced in Sucre is a family-run boutique hotel. This converted colonial house has a roof terrace and the rooms are furnished with antique furniture. In Potosí, Hostal Colonial is full of charm; rooms are well equipped and there is a central courtyard.

In Uyuni town we stay in Hotel Samay Wasi, a basic no-frills bed for the night. Salar de Uyuni tours have a reputation for being a bit of a hardship but we have selected some of the better hotels available. We begin with Hotel Palacio de Sal, being unique in that it is entirely built with salt, from the walls, floors and ceilings to the furniture and sculptures! It has hot water and heating (electric/central depending on the room), a games room, and a viewing room to observe the starry nights, sunsets and sunrises across the salt flats. We spend our second night in a cave hotel, Hotel Jardines de Mallku Cueva, which has been hewn out of the rock face. The rooms have a cosy feel and the views are fantastic.

We spend one night in an eco-lodge on Isla del Sol (Lake Titicaca). Ecolodge La Estancia comprises of fifteen cottages with private bathrooms; all have a view over Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera Real, and there is a comfortable restaurant and bar. For more information regarding the lodge's sustainable practices please see the Responsible Tourism section of these Trip Notes or visit their website.

Finally in La Paz we stay at Hostal Naira, a colonial building with an unbeatable location opposite the Basilica of San Francisco.

Should you wish to extend your stay, Exodus can also arrange extra nights in Santa Cruz or La Paz for you before or after the tour. Single supplements should be requested at the time of booking and are subject to availability.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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