The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a major priority of Intrepid.

Read Intrepid’s Safety Policy

With this in mind, we monitor world events very closely. Intrepid makes operations decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources.

1. The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT)

For any Intrepid-operated trip, if DFAT’s advisory is at ‘Do Not Travel’ then Intrepid will either cancel the trip or reroute the itinerary to avoid the areas concerned.

Australia

2. Staff on the ground

With over 400 leaders on the ground in operational destinations and subsidiary companies in our main hub cities, Intrepid has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the mood and feeling within the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.

3. Other government travel advisories

Most countries’ governments provide their own travel advice. See below for links to some of the larger ones:

Current updates

About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from the slopes of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire (Volcan Fuego) as red-hot rock and ash spewed into the sky and cascaded down. There have been no reports of such flows reaching populated areas, such as the nearby town of Antigua. The airports remain open at this stage. Our trips are unaffected and all leaders have been contacted to continue running the trips as normal. 

Earlier this year we saw several protests brake out over social security reforms in Nicaragua. We have been monitoring this situation closely through our ground team and local operators. There have been no recent reports of protests or roadblocks which previously could have interrupted the running of our trips, or worse, jeopardize the safety of our travellers and that of our leaders. We have now determined that returning to Nicaragua early 2019 is feasible and safe.

All trips running on a modified route were updated on our website and travellers were contacted. We always had high hopes to return to Nicaragua so trips early 2019 were showing the original itineraries that included Nicaragua, and this is confirmation those reverted itineraries will run at this stage.

While we endeavor to operate all trips as described we reserve the right as per booking conditions to change the trip itinerary if the situation changes. If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming trip please contact your booking agent for more information. 

 

TRIPS AFFECTED

The seasonality represented on our website is unchanged and this is just confirmation we will return to Nicaragua as per dates below.

 

'Guatemala & Beyond' (QVRK)

2018: Modified route for 2018 departures; Joining city NOT affected, however it has a new ending city (Antigua to El Tunco). Flights can be booked into Guatemala City and out of San Salvador.

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 01Feb2019. Joining and ending cities confirmed (Antigua to Granada); Flights can be booked into Guatemala City and out of Managua.

 

'Nicaragua & Costa Rica' (QVRL)

2018: Cancelled for 2018. 

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 26Jan2019. Joining and ending cities confirmed (Granada to San Jose); Flights can be booked into Managua and out of San Jose.

 

‘Central American Journey’ (QVRJ)

2018 until 03Feb2019: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Antigua to San Jose).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 11Feb2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Antigua to San Jose).

 

'Ultimate Central America' (QVRRC)

2018 until 05Jan2019: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to Panama City).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 19Jan2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to Panama City).

 

'Central America Explorer' (QVRZC)

2018 until 05Jan2019: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to San Jose).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 12Jan2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to San Jose).

 

'Complete Central America' (QVBDC)

2018: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to Panama City).

2019: Discontinued

 

'Central America Discovery' (QVBCC)

2018: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to San Jose).

2019: Discontinued

 

'Central American Adventure' (QVRXC)

2018 until 19Jan2019: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Playa del Carmen to San Jose).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 26Jan2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Playa del Carmen to San Jose).

 

'Best of Central America' (QVRQC)

2018 until 19Jan2019: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Playa del Carmen to Panama City).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 02Feb2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Playa del Carmen to Panama City).

 

'Amazing Central America' (QVRPC)

2018 until 03Feb2019: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Antigua to Panama City).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 03Feb2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Antigua to Panama City).

 

'Real Guatemala to Costa Rica' (QBYJ)

2018: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Antigua to San Jose).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 02Jan2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Antigua to San Jose).

 

'Epic Central America' (QBYZC)

2018: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to San Jose).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 08Jan2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Mexico City to San Jose).

 

'Epic Mexico to Costa Rica' (QBYXC)

2018: Modified route; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Playa del Carmen to San Jose).

2019: First departure to return to Nicaragua is 01Jan2019; Joining and ending cities are NOT affected (Playa del Carmen to San Jose).

Recent media reports have been covering the fraudulent helicopter rescue scams occurring in Nepal. Travel insurance providers have threatened to stop cover for tourists visiting Nepal if the local authorities didn’t start cracking down on the issue.

We have been aware of this practice being common from other tour operators for some time and are pleased to see that the Nepalese Government is now implementing well-overdue measures to mitigate against it. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and relies heavily on tourism. The actions of unethical operators puts both the local tourism industry and traveller safety at risk.

Intrepid Group is the largest trekking operator in the country and our incidence of helicopter rescue is very low. In 2017 less than 2% of our customers trekking at altitude needed a medivac by helicopter due to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). This rate is low not only because we don't take kickbacks for helicopter evacuations but also because trekking leaders receive specialist training on how to recognise and treat AMS symptoms, so that they are able to identify when AMS is serious enough to require descent. In many cases, AMS can be treated by descending a few hundred metres and does not require a helicopter evacuation.
 

Madagascar is experiencing a new plague outbreak which has been ongoing since August 2017. Plague is endemic in Madagascar and cases have been reported nearly every year since 1980, between the months of September and April.

Two forms of plague are present in Madagascar: the bubonic plague and the pneumonic plague. The first one is transmitted from animals to human beings via flea bites. The second one is transmitted from person to person by inhaling infectious droplets. In both cases, the illness can be cured with standard antibiotics, available in the country.

WHO advises against any restriction on travel or trade on Madagascar based on the available information. It recommends travellers take some basic precautions which our outlined on their website: http://www.who.int/csr/don/02-october-2017-plague-madagascar/en/

The Australian Government’s level of travel advice for Madagascar has not changed. Similarly they recommend that travellers practice good hygiene and speak to their health provider before travelling.

Based on this advice Intepid will not be cancelling any of our departures. We will however be suspending any city center market visits in Antananarivo, and Tamatave. In addition we recommend travellers have their meals in tourist hotels and restaurants where the sanitary conditions are strictly controlled.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely via our local operations team, and government advice. Should there be any changes we will update this page.