GENERAL INFORMATION & CONDITIONS

Thank you for your interest in traveling with Legacy Tours.  We consider ourselves lucky, indeed, to work passionately in a field we love.  Although dedicated primarily to ornithological goals, our focus is on the natural history of each region that we visit.  Many times, depending on the specific trip, we combine unique activities pertinent to an area, and include the opportunity to relax, explore hotel grounds, or wooden trails on your own.

Our travelers include people from all parts of the world.  The United States and Canada feature the majority of home ports.  However travelers from England, Spain, South Africa, Denmark, and Hungary have joined us in recent trips.  Individuals ranging from their early twenties to their eighty somethings, couples, singles, and not infrequently extended families have participated in our tour program. Many of our clients have taken their first excursion outside the United States, though the vast majority of participants are seasoned travelers.  Some having once asserted that they only travel independently have come to appreciate the small size of our groups, and the personal touch of a worry-free trip with Legacy Tours.  Our formula works for many people.  Over eighty percent of our clients travel with us again.

A number of our tours are designed to examine a specific region in depth.  We use the word HERITAGE to highlight these tours.  We have found these tours to be great companion trips, as other activities are mixed with the daily bird watching.  An afternoon among Mayan ruins offers an absorbing study in pre-Columbian history, while the birds of the surrounding jungle clamor for serious attention during the morning hours.  Lodges are chosen to maximize opportunities to take snapshots, explore local natural history, or simply relax ensconced in a rich tropical ambiance.  Excellent birding takes place daily but the route and climate often limit activity to early morning and late afternoon.  A post-lunch activity might include a visit to a unique point of interest, swimming in the pool, or relaxing with a good book.  Unless it is a travel-day all activities are optional.  Some folks simply enjoy a chance to rest in the incredible surroundings, while others may choose to explore on their own.  The number of participants is between five and sixteen, depending on the local, and variables like transportation and space availability at lodges.  Transportation for the group is by comfortable private motor coach, mini van, four-wheel-drive vehicle, boat or motor launch, charter airplane or commercial airline as the topography and itinerary demands.  A HERITAGE TOUR, generally features two or three nights in each lodge, with less packing and unpacking, and is on average ten to fourteen days in duration.  Naturally, the itinerary for each tour would outline specific details for the trip.  Finally, a serious bird watcher need not be concerned that companion is a euphemism for compromise.  For example, our Heritage Tour to Costa Rica consistently posts over 380 species in just two weeks, over forty of which are the key regional endemics.  We have never missed the Resplendent Quetzal!



RESERVATIONS

You may reserve space with Legacy Tours by sending to our office a completed registration form for a specific tour along with a deposit of US $300 per traveler (some custom tours require a $500 deposit).  All deposits are processed in the order in which they are received, and are not refundable. We are also happy to process your reservation by phone or fax should you prefer, but we must have a signed registration form returned to our office within fourteen days.  As ground transportation and lodging are usually prepaid, one third of the tour price is due four months prior to departure.  Final payment is due sixty days before the tour begins.  Up to US $300 of the cost of your tour, may be paid to Legacy Tours using Visa/MasterCard at no cost to you, after which the 4% fee charged to terminals to process credit cards is added to YOUR balance.  Signed registration forms shall be deemed consent to the following terms and conditions for participation with Legacy Tours, Inc.  You will be responsible for meeting your payment schedule on time. Upon receiving your deposit we will return to you a timetable for your payments.  Legacy Tours sends out only one payment schedule concerning your balance due.  We DO NOT send follow-up statements.  Any payment over 10 days late is subject to a $20 service charge.


WHAT TOUR COST INCLUDES

Accommodations
:  We use three to four-star hotels (or best available) with private bathroom facilities.  All reservations are based on double occupancy.  If a couple prefers two single queen beds please advise us in advance, and we will book it when available.  We reserve the right to substitute hotels of a like nature for those specified in a specific tour itinerary.

Meals:  We provide three meals per day based on the cuisine offered in each country.  Because we are frequently in-the-field at mid-day it is not unusual to expect a box or picnic lunch.  We ask that you remember that many areas outside the USA are limited in food service. Consequently our first priority will always be the health and safety of meals.  **Please observe:  meals and/or beverage service is sometimes not included in the cost of the tour, so please clarify this option based on your desired travel destination and tour style.

Transportation:  Normally, all transportation within a country from the on-set of a tour is provided.  It will be by private motor coach, mini van, four-wheel-drive vehicle, boat or motor launch, or charter airplane, as the topography and itinerary requires.  However, unless otherwise noted, commercial airlines flights in any country will NOT be included in the cost.

Taxes, Fees, and Gratuities:  All entrance fees for national parks and points of interest, all government taxes and services imposed for travel, hotels, and restaurants and all gratuities for all service providers--chauffeurs, local naturalists, wait staff, porters and hospitality staff at each hotel is handled COMPLETELY by Legacy Tours.  **Please observe:  for custom travelers this aspect of our commitment is negotiated with each specific tour.

Transfers and Baggage:  We provide for the handling of two average size pieces of luggage per traveler in major transfer situations (i.e. in-country air, boat or train travel).  To-and-from the vehicle or within a hotel lobby will frequently be your responsibility.  Consequently we ask that you pack with the expectation that you will carry your own bags.


TOUR MATERIALS

Upon our receiving your registration and initial deposit for a HERITAGE tour, we mail our recommendations for suggested reading, visa requirements, health provisos (if any), climate possibilities, appropriate apparel and packing suggestions.  In-country telephone numbers, a bird checklist, and a final itinerary will be sent to you following the receipt of final payment.


TOUR DIRECTORS

Michael Carmody
, our primary guide, has led groups of birders to the tropics for the past fifteen years.  Fluent in Spanish, Michael has a deep respect for the people of Latin America, in addition to first hand knowledge of over three thousand birds occurring in the Western Hemisphere.  An excellent teacher, Michael is an ever-enthusiastic guide who keeps a group on target, positive, and informed.  Clients note his endless energy in making himself available to each tour participant with equal consideration.  In his home state, Michael has recently completed his third term as President of the Washington Ornithological Society.  He is a member of The American Birding Association, The Neotropical Bird Club, and has written for publications that specialize in tropical avifauna.

Susan Carmody serves as second leader on many of the HERITAGE Tours, in addition to a number of the smaller trips on our annual calendar.  Susan is responsible for creature comforts from start to finish!  Trip itinerary, selection of lodges, meals, daily schedule, advertising, artwork and photography are all on her office door.


WHAT THE TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

All travel before and after the tour, including airport departure taxes, documentation fees for passport, immunizations if desired, insurance of any kind, excess baggage charges, medical costs, hospitalization expenses, or evacuation from remote areas.  Any alcoholic (not included by Legacy Tours) or bottled beverages (other than at meals, or directly stated in the itinerary), telephone calls, laundry, room service, meals taken when not choosing to accompany the group, any charge incurred through personal negligence, and all items of a personal nature.  Activities, accommodations and transfers additional to those provided in the tour will be at the individualís expense.  Legacy Tours is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage to baggage or personal belongings.  We recommend baggage insurance.


CUSTOM TRIPS

Increasingly we are asked to guide for individuals and custom groups.  We make ourselves available for custom trips on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The fee schedule and route options vary with projected party size and tour destination.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

A valid passport is REQUIRED for travel (except in the USA, Canada, and Mexico).


SINGLE TRAVELERS

Single travelers are always welcome with Legacy Tours.  If you are traveling alone and wish to have a roommate we process all registrations in the order they arrive.  We CANNOT GAURANTEE assignment of a roommate.  If we do not receive an application from another same-sex individual seeking a roommate you will be charged the single supplement charge for your specific tour.  The single supplement option, if you prefer, to travel without a companion is available on most tours.  The cost for single supplements varies, and we encourage you to inquire about the specific trip expense.


COST INCREASE

Legacy Tours takes great pride in only taking our clients to locations where we have first-hand experience.  Consequently, in order to assure the best possible lodging and transportation, trips are booked and priced up to fifteen months in advance.  It is feasible that fluctuations in either tariff or exchange rates could seriously impact our projected cost per participant.  Although it is extremely rare (to date, we have exercised this option only twice), we reserve the right to increase the over-all cost of a tour package by up to ten percent.  If the cost increase exceeds this percentage clients may withdraw without penalty.


RESTRICTIONS ON PARTICIPATION

Those who travel with Legacy Tours need only to adhere to basic common sense ground rules on participation.  Those with health problems, or any physical limitations, should advise us in a detailed written fashion at the time of registration.  We are happy to provide information you may need to judge your capacity to participate fully in the trip.  We do not normally consider our mainstream daily activities to be strenuous physical activity - if there is an exception to this rule it will be noted in the initial itinerary.  We do expect individuals to participate in gentle walks of one to four hours duration, ride in any seat on tour vehicles, and participate in the basic tour itinerary.  Legacy Tours, Inc. reserves the absolute right to terminate (with no guaranteed return of previously paid tour cost) the trip for people unable or unwilling to conduct themselves in a manner that is satisfactory for the enjoyment and safety of the entire group and its operation.  Legacy Tours, Inc. reserves the right to decline or accept anyone as a tour member.  Participants are completely responsible to judge the appropriateness of these daily activities to their physical and emotional capabilities.  Legacy Tours, Inc. and its affiliates will take no responsibility for special arrangements or problems incurred by participants unable or unwilling to complete daily activities as planned.


TOUR CANCELLATIONS, ITINERARY ALTERATIONS, AND REFUNDS

Legacy Tours works carefully to outline a tour and its complete itinerary, however it is occasionally necessary to make changes while the trip is in progress (as forced by weather related problems, political issues, airline rescheduling or strike and other changes out of our control).  If we confront such situations please note the additional costs, if any, are the responsibility of the individual traveler.  Legacy Tours, Inc. will not refund any amount for the unused portion of a tour unless it has been agreed to in writing prior to departure.  We strongly recommend the purchase of trip interruption insurance.

Legacy Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel a tour prior to departure and a full refund (including initial deposit) in this case will be issued within 30 days. This will constitute full and complete settlement to the registrant.  Legacy Tours will not accept any liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred due to the purchase of a non-refundable ticket to the trip departure city and return, or will not be responsible for any personal expense in preparation for the tour.  Rarely has a tour been canceled by Legacy Tours, but it has happened. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance.

For cancellation by participants, Legacy Tours, Inc must receive notification of cancellation in writing.  If cancellation is received 120 days prior to departure, then payments, less the initial non-refundable deposit, will be returned in full within 45 days.  If cancellation is received less than 60 days from departure we will refund costs, if any, as returned by individual providers.  We will not return inseparable costs such as those for vehicle rental, leaderís expense, advance tour expenditures, or other fixed-expense services.  In that real emergencies do happen, we strongly recommend that you purchase of trip cancellation insurance.


RELEASE  FROM  LIABILITY

Each participant traveling with Legacy Tours, Inc. acknowledges that he or she is aware tours may involve certain risks and dangers that include but are not limited to the feasibility of accident, or illness, while traveling in a foreign country and/or wilderness area.  Legacy Tours, Inc., its officers, directors, employees, contractors, agents, suppliers and/or assigns will be in no event liable to any tour participant or his or her heirs or executors for any loss, annoyance, damage, inconvenience, unfulfilled expectation, injury (including death) additional expense due to delay or change in services of any kind, sickness or injury of Legacy personnel or agents, quarantine, weather, war, strike or negligence.

Legacy Tours, Inc. reserves the right to take photographs or videotapes of any tour, and may use such images for promotional and/or commercial purposes.


VACCINATIONS AND MEDICATIONS

Vaccinations are not required for most areas.  If there is an exception we will note it in the itinerary.  Because we cannot be aware of individual health issues for each participant we recommend consulting your doctor for a personal decision in this matter.  It is always wise to prepare for the following:  (1) Diarrhea; most hotels offer treated or filtered water.  During the day bottled water is generally available.  Dietary changes may induce diarrhea.  Consequently, we advise you bring a prescription to help prevent the symptoms of diarrhea or over the counter remedy you are comfortable with.  Bottled drinks are always advised.  (2)  Fungi; bring an anti-fungal foot powder to use daily in the moist, tropical climate.  (3)  Insects; repellent is a tropical country is ESSENTIAL!  (4)  Sunoke; level 15 and 30 sunscreen is a must, and if you can comfortably wear a hat all day it is an excellent idea.


WE RECOMMEND INSURANCE

While trip insurance is not required, it is STRONGLY ADVISED.  The financial commitment for a quality tour such as those offered by Legacy Tours is substantial for most travelers.  Consider, as a minimum, trip interruption coverage to insure for sickness or injury during the tour.  To date, we have had nineteen clients extremely grateful for this provision - everything to family emergencies and airline strikes!  We recommend you contact us to learn about ways to insure yourself, your baggage, and your tour expenses in the event of serious difficulty.  We will in turn give you toll-free telephone numbers where you can to pursue concrete answers to your specific questions.


DAY-BY-DAY WITH LEGACY TOURS

In that Legacy presents a variety of tour options; we ask that you clarify, prior to registration, the pace of the day-to-day activities relative to the specific tour you are considering.  However, in general keep in mind that birding at its best calls us to begin at unusual hours.  Birds are by nature most active during early morning hours, so a pre-breakfast walk or early breakfast is frequently part of our schedule. In addition, we often pack a picnic lunch to provide for travel time or optimum time in the field. On occasion (and it is always optional here) we plan a post-dinner excursion to show you the world of owls, nightjars, and potoos!  It is possible that while birding we will push through vegetation, uneven or wet ground, and climb hills.  We see our daily activities as active, but not rugged.  In extremely warm climates it is our general program to rest during the heat of the day (the birds do this also), and pursue a late afternoon walk.  On most evenings, before or after dinner, we review and compile a list of the birds seen on that day  a great tool to sharpen your memory on field marks!  We ask that should you have specific ornithological targets you let us know beforehand.  Our goal is to deliver to you the very best possible birding and natural history experience.  The more we know about you the better we will serve this intent.


OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

Legacy Tours is a family owned company committed to providing our clients with the very best exposure to birds in their native habitat.  In this process, we feel we can contribute an alternate income for local economies to consider in lieu of destroying much valued and ever decreasing habitats.  In our travels we enthusiastically address the overall ecosystem, local culture and natural history, however our focus is primarily on the pursuit  and identification of birds.  We address the goals of both lister and non-lister personalities, and are happy to do so within the framework of the tour itinerary.  Our tours are designed to revolve around a small group. We are specifically recognized for our personal service and desire to have each traveler satisfy his or her tour goals.   Confident that we deliver the best service to each individual by limiting the size of each tour we encourage you to look ahead ....our tours fill quickly.  Legacy Tours consistently delivers three to four-star lodging, we use comfortable transportation in each circumstance, and we make a point of offering delicious, healthy food.  We do so to make the ≥markers≤ of each day as comfortable as possible.  In addition, with due consideration to the above, we want you to count on our insatiable eye for detail to provide you with a worry-free, first class birding and natural history experience.


FINALLY

We very much look forward to traveling with you, and sharing the countries and cultures that remain close to our hearts.

Michael Carmody
Susan Connolly Carmody   
Legacy Tours
PO Box 8156
Spokane WA 99203

Tel: 509 624-1889
Fax: 509 624-1885
Email: MDCarmody@comcast.net