Our trips are planned as ones that we ourselves would like to go on, so they are very strongly oriented toward birds. All PBC leaders have varied interests in natural history and other more or less closely related fields, but the timing and itinerary of our trips are dictated almost entirely by ornithological considerations.
What the Trip Price includes
The trip price for tours includes lodging in comfortable hotels or their equivalent unless otherwise indicated, ground transportation, all meals unless their non-inclusion is specifically noted, trip materials and the services of the leader. The Single Occupancy Supplement listed for each tour provides a single room throughout the tour unless otherwise noted. Certain small lodges will not provided single rooms if they are heavily booked. In such cases, the portion of the Single Occupancy Supplement applicable to the lodge will be refunded.
The following items are not included in the trip costs: airfare to and from Brazil and the flights within the country, any airport taxes (there is an approximately $9 tax at each Brazilian airport and the roughly $36 departure tax), visa fees, optional tips to bus drivers, boatmen and cooks, laundry and other personal expenses, items not on the menu of included meals, beverages including mineral water, room service, gratuities for beverages, optional gratuities for hotel housekeepers and the customary end-of-the-tour gratuity for the naturalist guide. The average tip for a naturalist guide in South America is US$5.00 per person per day of the tour. This tends to go up if there are less than 10 persons in the tour group.
In general you will be pleasantly surprised with the traveling conditions on most of our tours. Even in remote areas, all but a few of the lodges we use have private bath with hot-water showers. Hotels vary from the very simple to deluxe. Each tour description accurately describes the accommodations that will be used.
Birdwatching holidays are best enjoyed in a small group. We firmly believe that a small group and a high leader-to-participant ratio are essential to the enjoyment and success of any birdwatching tour. It ensures that everyone gets full value from the tour in terms of seeing the birds and learning from the experience. It also means that leaders are able to devote time to the individual requirement of each member of the group. While most of tour operators consider 14 people as an small group and need a minimum of 5 clients to go ahead (with less than 5 the tour may have to be cancelled), we have restricted clients to a maximum of 06 participants per tour.
Restriction on Participation
Restriction on participation are a matter of common sense and we have no absolute ones. If you have a health problem or any physical limitation which may hamper or restrict your full involvement in any aspect of the tour, please advice us in detail and in writing at the time you reserve tour space. Participants should be able to complete gentle walks of one-half day’s duration, ride in any seat in tour vehicles and meet the simple schedule of the tour.
The Pace of our Tours
Our tours are appropriate for those in good health, regardless of age. In general, the pace of most of our tours is moderate. Some tours involve considerable walking, others require very little. Early departures are typical on our tours, as we like to be in the field when the birds are most active. Our birding tours typically start very early, and take very little time off except as heat or heavy rain dictate. On some tours there is an opportunity for a midday break when you can bird around the grounds of the lodge, or rest. Other trips (such as Emas NP) involve long days. We regularly go out at night, or in the dark of the very early morning in search of nocturnal species, but some evenings are generally free. While our tours spend a lot of time on our feet, they are not physically strenuous. Some tours involve more travel time, or spend time on particularly roads.
Payment and Refunds
Reservations for tours require a deposit of US$ 500 per person, of which US$ 300 is nonrefundable upon receipt. Reservations with deposits are accepted in order of their receipt. E-mailed or faxed reservations are accepted provided they are followed by the appropriate deposit within 10 days. Payment of the balance of the tour cost is due 70 days before departure date. We will send you an invoice before that time. Payment should be made by check, money order or bank transfer. Unfortunately we cannot accept payment by credit cards.
You may wish to consider purchasing travel insurance. It's moderately expensive but it can give welcome protection to those for whom a health-related trip cancellation is a concern. Please note that most travel insurance companies require insurance be purchased no later than the day the initial deposit(s) are sent to the travel company, and please note as well that all policies have fairly restrictive conditions. Trip cancellation insurance information is available through most travel agencies.