General Information (Terms & Conditions)
We are pleased by your interest in traveling with Legacy Tours. We consider ourselves lucky, indeed, to work passionately in a field we so love. Although dedicated primarily to ornithological pursuits, our focus often embraces a broad understanding of natural history within the destinations we visit. Many times, depending on the specific trip format, we combine unique activities pertinent to a given local, and include the opportunity to relax, explore hotel grounds, visit points of interest, or happily walk trails on your own during rest periods.
Your fellow travelers include people from many regions of the world. The United States and Canada feature the majority of home ports, however travelers from England now represent well over one-third of our tour participants. Those from Spain, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Australia, Peru, and South Africa have joined recent trips. Individuals ranging from their early twenties to their eighty somethings, couples, singles, and not infrequently extended families have participated in Legacy’s various 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.
We are known throughout the birding community for our skill at ‘target-birding’ in Mexico. Nearly all of the top-listers have hired Legacy Tours for a number of the most difficult Mexican birds. We love the challenge and are grateful that birders seek us out deliver bird sightings within our ‘patch’.
However a number of our ‘far away’ 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 excellent ‘companion trips’, as other activities are mixed with the daily birding. 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 tour participants runs between five and fourteen, depending on the local, and variables like transportation and space availability at lodges. Transportation for the group as the topography and itinerary demands includes any combination of the following; comfortable private motor coach, minivan, four-wheel-drive vehicle, boat or motor launch, charter airplane or commercial airline. A HERITAGE TOUR, generally features two or three nights in each lodge, with less packing and unpacking, and is on average twelve to sixteen days in duration. Naturally, the itinerary for each tour outlines specifics as they apply to a specific trip. Finally, a serious bird watcher need not be concerned that companion is a euphemism for compromise, as the destinations include only countries where the number of target birds is ‘manageable’. For example, our Heritage Tour to Taiwan consistently posts over 190 species in two weeks, over thirty of which are key country/regional endemics. We have never missed the Taiwan Partridge, Taiwan Bamboo-Partridge, Mikado or Swinhoe’s pheasants!
Reservations (Terms & Conditions Concerning Mutual Commitments)
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 (custom tours require a $500 deposit). All deposits are processed in the order in which they are received, and are non-refundable. We are also happy to process your reservation deposit 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 fully one half of the tour price is due four months prior to departure. Final payment of all monies due is to be in our office sixty days before the tour begins.
Up to US $300 ($500 for custom tours) of the cost of your tour, may be paid to Legacy Tours using Visa/MasterCard at no cost to you, after that total the 3% fee charged to terminals that 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 email to you a personalized payment schedule. Legacy Tours sends out only one notice concerning your balance due. We DO NOT send follow-up statements. Any payment over 15 days late is subject to a $20 service charge.
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 or bottled beverages (other than 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 to the group will be at the individual’s expense. Legacy Tours is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage to baggage or personal belongings. We recommend trip insurance, and recovery insurance.
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.
A valid passport is REQUIRED for travel (except in the USA, Canada, and Mexico).
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.
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 comprehensive 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 no refund is assured though we will attempt refund costs, if any, as returned by individual providers. We will not return inseparable costs such as those for vehicle rental, leader’s 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
What We ask of You
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 requires of us that we begin in the early hours. Birds are by nature most active during early mornings, 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 nearly always optional) we plan a post-dinner excursion to explore 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 of various grades of steepness. We understand our daily activities to be 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 we review and compile a list of the birds seen on that day. 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. We try never to mix ‘apples’ and ‘oranges’ so that the trip is successful for ALL participants. Help us to do so for you…
Our Firm 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 support an alternate means of income for local economies 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 we do so within the framework of the various tour itineraries that we offer our clients. Our tours are designed to revolve around a small group. We are uniquely recognized for our personal service, and our commitment to have each traveler realize his/her tour expectations. Confident that we deliver the best service to each individual by limiting the group size we encourage you to decide in a timely fashion to avoid dissappointment. Legacy Tours consistently delivers three to four-star lodging, we use comfortable transportation in most circumstances, and we make a point of supporting delicious, healthy food options. We do so to make the “markers” of each day as comfortable as possible, supporting a successful tour. We want you to count on our indefatigable eye for detail to provide you with a worry-free, world class birding and natural history experience.
We very much look forward to traveling with you, and sharing the countries and cultures that remain close to our hearts.