Tour bookings & reservation faqs


Click on the question link below to find your answer.

1. How can I make a tour booking / reservation?

Simply tell us which tour you would like to book, for which dates, and for how many passengers, and subject to availability we will be happy to book it for you.

Please also send us the following information for each passenger:

  • Passport copies (picture page only)
  • Dietary requirements (vegan, vegetarian, allergies etc)
  • Are you celebrating something special? – Let us know!
  • Medical conditions we should be aware of
  • For the amazon, we need your shoe size for the boots.
  • For Galapagos we need your size as well as your shoe size for the wetsuit and fins. Please ask your travel advisor to give you a table of sizes.
  • Emergency contact.
  • Hotel you will be staying the night before the tour to know where to reach you in case of any emergency (optional)
  • Preferred payment option.

2. How do I know that Happy Gringo has made a booking for me?

As soon as we receive your booking request (see question1) we will go ahead and make a reservation for you. After coordinating and receiving payment, we will then send an email confirming that your booking has been successfully made - this email acts as your initial booking confirmation.

3. What are the terms and conditions of my booking?

Our full terms & conditions are found on our website. We strongly recommend thoroughly reading each clause. By making your payment to Happy Gringo you are accepting these terms, if you need any further clarification, please let us know before making your deposit.

4. What if I need to cancel my booking before travelling?

Your booking is completely confirmed with Happy Gringo once you send a payment for your reservation. We act as a third-party agency and enter into a contract with the service provider (e.g. Galapagos cruise operator) on your behalf, with obligations to pay for those services.

Service providers charge penalty fees for cancellation of service - these fees apply to both Happy Gringo and our clients. For this reason, tour cancellations are subject to the cancellation charges listed in our terms and conditions. In cancellation cases, we represent our clients and try to recuperate funds paid to service providers, but this is not always possible. The final decision always lies with the service provider, and we are bound by that. For this reason, we strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance that covers you fully in the event of trip cancellation.

5. Where, how and when can I collect my tour vouchers?

We'll send out all tickets, vouchers, and instructions electronically via email. When you travel you can either print out a physical copy to take with you or store the documents on a cellphone or tablet. Nothing could be easier!

Usually, we aim to send tickets out between 1 and 2 weeks prior to your tour departure, but this depends greatly on when we receive the vouchers from the yacht operating companies (Amazon lodges & tour companies or providers in general). If for any reason you need your tickets further in advance, please let us know so we can try to make the necessary preparations for you.


With last minute bookings, these times could change as well depending on when we receive your travel documents from the local operator.

6. Is it possible to contact Happy Gringo outside of office hours?

Our office hours are Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm Ecuadorian time, which is GMT -5. However, we understand that travel emergencies can happen at any time. Therefore, we provide a 24/7 emergency contact number, which is included in our website's contact us page, as well as in your tour pack, vouchers, and your travel advisor's signature. You can reach out to this emergency number if you encounter any issues during your trip.

For non-emergency inquiries, such as trip inquiries or sales-related questions, please send us an email or submit a request, and we will respond as soon as possible during our regular office hours.

7. Do I need a visa to enter Ecuador, Colombia, Peru or Bolivia?

Currently all nationalities need at least 6 months of validity on their passport, and visa requirements vary by country of domicile. These regulations are always subject to change at short notice, for this reason Happy Gringo cannot provide direct advice to our clients on these matters, nor can we be held responsible if your personal paperwork is not in order. This information is VERY IMPORTANT to check as your airline may deny permission to board the plane if your passport / visa is not in order. Also, it is important to always reach out to your embassy for further information on travel requirements.

8. What vaccines do I need for travel in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru or Bolivia?

We strongly recommend that you check vaccination advice with your doctor in your country BEFORE you travel.

Decisions about vaccine and malaria medication are a personal choice, so it is best to directly consult a doctor to see which options are recommended for your trip. It will also depend on which destinations you plan to visit in Ecuador, Peru or Colombia. If travelling to the Amazon rainforest or coastal areas then these decisions are especially important.

For COVID information, please check out our Ecuador & Galapagos Covid blog for all the latest information.

9. What is the difference between health insurance and trip insurance?

Health insurance typically covers medical expenses related to illness or injury, whether at home or abroad. It may include coverage for doctor's visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and emergency medical transportation.

Trip insurance, on the other hand, is designed to protect travelers against financial loss related to unexpected events before or during a trip. This can include trip cancellation or interruption due to reasons such as illness, injury, death of a family member, natural disasters, or other unforeseen circumstances. Trip insurance may also provide coverage for lost luggage, trip delays, emergency medical evacuation, and other travel-related expenses.

10. Is it mandatory to have health or trip insurance?

Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for travel in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and/or Bolivia, although not a requirement to enter the country. Technically the Galapagos Islands requires visitors to have an insurance policy which provides at least $50,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. This type and amount of coverage is generally found in even the most basic of travel insurance policies. Although the Galapagos province maintains this requirement, in practice they do not ask visitors for proof of coverage.

Due to the active nature of tours in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, the remote locations you will visit, and the general unexpected events that can occur in a developing nation, it is strongly advised that you insure your trip. Cancel for any reason (CFAR) insurance plans are the best option and generally need to be purchased within 7-14 days of making your trip deposit. Non-CFAR policies usually need to be purchased by the time of your final payment date, however some insurance companies will allow you to book limited policies up until the time of travel.

It's important to note that travel requirements can vary, and it is the passenger's responsibility to enquire about this beforehand.

We advise travelers to prioritize their safety and well-being by acquiring suitable travel insurance, which can prove invaluable in safeguarding against potential risks and providing assistance when needed. Therefore, having travel insurance not only offers peace of mind but also ensures preparedness for any potential emergencies or unexpected situations.

11. Can HG help with organizing health and trip insurance?

Unfortunately, Happy Gringo Travel is unable to assist with organizing health and trip insurance. As a travel company based solely in Ecuador, our services are limited to arranging tours and travel experiences within the country. Additionally, laws in Ecuador prohibit us from selling insurance products, as this falls under the jurisdiction of other government agencies. We recommend reaching out to insurance providers directly in your country to secure the necessary coverage for your trip.

12. What is the tipping policy in Ecuador?

We have an excellent blog regarding tipping in Ecuador and Galapagos (Cruises and Land Tours). Please look here:

13. What are the differences in electrical outlets and voltage standards among Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, and how does this affect travelers?

In Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, the electrical outlets and voltage standards are generally similar, but there may be some variations:

  • Ecuador: In Ecuador, the standard voltage is 120V, and the frequency is 60Hz. The most common power outlets are Type A and Type B, which accept plugs with two flat pins or two flat pins with a grounding pin, respectively.
  • Colombia: Colombia operates on a voltage of 110V with a frequency of 60Hz. The outlets commonly used are Type A and Type B, similar to those in Ecuador.
  • Peru: Peru's standard voltage is 220V with a frequency of 60Hz. The outlets are typically Type A, Type B, and Type C, accommodating various plug types commonly found in South America and Europe.
  • Bolivia: Bolivia shares similar electrical standards with Peru, with a standard voltage of 220V and a frequency of 50Hz. The outlets also support Type A, Type B, and Type C plugs.

To ensure compatibility with the electrical outlets in these countries, travelers should bring appropriate plug adapters and voltage converters if necessary. Many modern electronic devices are dual-voltage and can accommodate a wide range of voltages, but it's always advisable to check before plugging in. Additionally, it's recommended to consult with your travel advisor beforehand to confirm the specific outlet types and voltages at your destination.

14. Is TAP WATER safe to drink in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia?

While not directly related to booking, this is an important topic that always comes up. The guideline is the same for most all of South America, and it will hopefully save you from travel disruptions due to stomach problems.

 It is not recommended to drink tap water unless it has been properly treated or boiled. While some urban areas may have water treatment facilities, the quality of tap water can vary significantly throughout the country. Contaminants, including bacteria, parasites, and pollutants, may be present in tap water, particularly in rural areas and smaller towns where water infrastructure may be less developed.

To ensure safe drinking water, it's advisable to stick to bottled water or filtered water obtained from reliable sources. Bottled water is widely available for purchase at supermarkets, convenience stores, and hotels throughout the country. Additionally, many restaurants and accommodations offer filtered or purified water for guests.