FAQs | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Our roots are in trekking and river rafting, but over the years we have added a variety of other adventures to our program—like safaris, sea kayaking, hiking, wildlife and natural history, cultural journeys, small boat cruising, photo expeditions, and even camel treks! Use our Trip Finder to find something that interests you. 

Each trip is rated within four categories: "Easy," "Strenuous," "Moderate," and "Ultimate Challenge!" Except for a few trips, porters, pack animals, or support vehicles (or other conveyances such as rafts and kayaks) carry all the gear. All you carry is a daypack. That said, you'll get more enjoyment out of any trip if you are in good physical condition, so the best advice we can offer is to get in shape. Check with your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program.

Easy: Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. River trips involving Class I, II or III rapids would fall under the EASIER level.

Moderate: More active trips involving hiking over moderately strenuous and varied terrain, usually—but not always—with vehicle support and at elevations most often below 10,000 feet, or trips with significant hiking days, wilderness camping, or other mandatory activity. On some trips, you can elect to skip a day’s hike, depending on logistics.

Strenuous: Hiking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet. Also includes river rafting trips with more challenging Class IV-V rapids. Strenuous trips also involve trips where there are no options to skip or shorten activities, especially when camping is required.

Ultimate Challenge: The most demanding trips: hiking over steep, rugged terrain usually at high elevations, without vehicle support, and with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness where camping may be required.

Besides the destination and the activity, the most important thing about choosing your trip is making sure it best suits your interests and physical abilities. You can find a detailed description of physical requirements for each trip in the detailed itinerary but we also strongly encourage you to contact our trip consultants and discuss the physical requirements with them. They will be happy to assist you in choosing the trip that's right for you by asking detailed questions about your outdoor background, physical activity, and preferred style of travel. Most people will be able to get in shape for their upcoming adventure—if they start several months before departure and take their training program seriously. When signed up for a trip, we will send you a suggested training program for the trip you have signed up for. These are only guidelines and can of course be adapted to your preferences. Consult a physician before commencing any new workout program. Take your training program seriously—it'll be worth it! We want you to be on the right trip just as much as you do. If you have any questions please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.

You're probably wondering about the people with whom you'll share your adventure. Chances are, they're a lot like you. Our guests include families, couples, friends, and solo travelers from all walks of life. Spirited travelers, they share a passion for our wonderful world. They range in age from their late 20s to mid-70s, reminding us all that you can never be too young or too old to have fun! While you're here, let us dispel any misconceptions you may have about "group travel." Our groups are intentionally kept small—usually less than 15 people—so you will not feel herded around. With such a small number of people, we can take advantage of many unexpected invitations that would be impossible to extend to larger groups. The guides often have very close ties to the local community and we are readily welcomed into the lives of local people.

What’s Included

  • Expert leadership
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary (or similar)
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Additional guides where necessary
  • Entrance fees and permits, unless noted separately in costs
  • Basic medical and evacuation protection, purchased by Mountain Travel Sobek on your behalf


What’s Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Meals not noted in the itinerary
  • Extra airport transfers
  • Airport taxes (varies by location)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Cost of medical immunizations
  • Optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
  • Travel protection other than the basic medical and evacuation protection noted above (we recommend that you purchase the Optional Travel Protection Plan offered by Mountain Travel Sobek, which enhances the coverages under the Basic Medical and Evacuation Plan and helps protect your travel investment should you need to cancel for a reason covered by the Optional Travel Protection Plan)

For more information about what is and isn't included on a specific trip, please refer to the "What's Included" section of the itinerary. If you have any questions please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.

  • Hotels, Lodges & Inns: Many of our trips feature accommodations in cozy country lodgings with a delightful ambiance and character. Often family-run, you'll be treated as an honored guest and feel right at home. Lodgings may range from an "eco-lodge" in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon to a delightful renovated farmhouse in the hills of Tuscany. In larger cities, we use first-class hotels with all the amenities. They are often located in the old part of town, away from the main tourist scene but close to local points of interest like small shops and colorful markets.
  • Small Boat Cruises: Our small boat cruises are just that: adventurous outings on small boats that allow an intimacy with the environment. No formal dinners, gambling casinos, or nightly entertainment (other than the kind we can cook up for ourselves!). All boats feature spacious common areas (dining area, bar, decks) where you can relax and take in the views. All boats are captained by experienced crews. Please see each of our small boat cruising adventures for more information about individual boats, including deck plans.
  • Camping in Comfort & Style: Many of our trips take you to destinations far from well-traveled routes and suitable nearby lodgings. On these trips we stay in our own mobile camps. By their very nature, they feature more rustic accommodations, but you'll be pleasantly surprised by how comfortable we can make you feel. We provide roomy tents, dining tent or canopy, bathing facilities (ranging from "bucket baths" to solar showers), and "toilet" tents or other private toilet facility. African safaris are the most elegant, with spacious tents (the kind you can stand up in), comfortable bedding (cots or beds with foam pads, pillows, blankets and cool, crisp sheets), a dining tent with tables and stools where we share some spirited conversations (and great meals!), bathroom tents, and shower tents so you can rinse off the dust after an exhilarating day of game viewing. On most of our camping trips, a friendly support crew takes care of all the details while you relax and enjoy yourself. They'll set up tents, prepare tasty, wholesome meals, clean up, and see to it that you stay healthy. However, on most of our rafting, kayaking, exploratory trips (and a few trekking trips) everyone helps with camp chores, which adds to the teamwork required for these trips.

​For questions about specific accommodations, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.


One of the nicest things about traveling in foreign lands is discovering fantastic regional cuisine. We include most or all meals on our trips, so when we stay in hotels or inns we dine in intimate restaurants and sample a variety of tempting local dishes, usually topped by a glass or two of the regional wine. Even in more rustic settings, like camping, you'll dine equally well. The camp cooks are experienced professionals who manage to prepare amazing culinary treats in the most remote places. (Imagine feasting on fresh blackened salmon and pesto while sitting on the banks of Alaska's Alsek River.) In some regions the supply of produce may be more limited and consequently the food will be less varied. But you can rest assured that it will always be hearty, healthy, and tasty. We will try to accommodate any special diet requests you may have (e.g. vegetarian and vegan), but ask that you please discuss your requests with us when signing up for a trip.

All you need to bring—besides your spirit of adventure—is your personal gear. Don't worry, we'll send you a detailed clothing and equipment list in your pre-departure information package so you know what you'll need. We provide the rest: top-quality, state-of-the-art tents, rafting and sea kayaking gear, camping and commissary equipment, and vehicles.

Yes! Our trips are a perfect way to share and celebrate special occasions with friends and family and ideal for special-interest groups and corporate training programs. You can reserve an entire trip departure just for your group or let us create a special trip tailored to your specific needs and wishes. If you can imagine it, we can make it happen! We take care of all the details: guides, accommodations, meal arrangements, transportation, and equipment. ​For questions about custom and private travel, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.


Adventure travel works best with a small group of people. In order to operate these small groups, our trips are priced according to the number of full-price travelers on the trip. Mountain Travel Sobek staff, trip doctors, and other discounted travelers are excluded from the count for this purpose. We invoice you at the highest tier price (the smallest group size we can operate) until final payment is due. If the price drops due to an increase in group size before your trip departs, you will be refunded the difference.

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions page for deposit information and payment schedules. For any questions about deposits and payments please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.

Accommodations (hotels, tents, and cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single accommodations, you must pay a single supplement fee, which is listed in the Trip Itinerary. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, you are required to pay a required single supplement fee, which is usually half of the regular single supplement (shared accommodations are guaranteed on some trips). On a few trips, single accommodations are not available. 

Although Mountain Travel Sobek purchases the Basic Medical and Medical Evacuation Travel Protection Plan (Plan Number F485M) on behalf of all Mountain Travel Sobek travelers to provide coverage for medical expenses or emergency medical evacuation services while on your trip, we recommend the purchase of our Optional Travel Protection Plan (Optional Plan F485S) which enhances the coverage limits under the Basic Medical and Medical Evacuation Travel Protection Plan but, more importantly, helps protect your travel investment should you need to cancel for a reason covered by the Optional Travel Protection Plan. Click here for details of the Basic Medical and Medical Evacuation Travel Protection Plan and click here for details of the Optional Travel Protection Plan.

After we receive your deposit, we'll send you a detailed document with a clothing and equipment list, visa kit (if required), invoice, insurance information, a Participant Information Form, a Physician's Certificate Form where applicable, and other information needed to prepare for your trip. Final trip details and rendezvous instructions are sent about three weeks before departure.

Visas may be required for your destination and are not included in the Land Cost of your trip. We will send you the necessary forms (if your trip requires a visa) in your pre-departure package. You must apply 45 to 90 days before departure because the process takes time.

You may transfer to another trip without a fee up to 90 days before departure. If you transfer from one trip to another within 89 days of departure, however, you are subject to the usual Cancellation Fees (appropriate to the date you notify us of your wish to transfer). No transfers are allowed on Galápagos, Turkey, Antarctica or Arctic Cruises, Private Trips, and Special Departures. We recommend that you purchase the travel insurance package to protect yourself. For questions about transfers, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.

Mountain Travel Sobek reserves the right to cancel any trip due to inadequate sign-up or other cause that makes the trip unfeasible for us to operate, but will inform you at least 45 days prior to departure. In such a case, a full refund of Land Cost is given, but Mountain Travel Sobek is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by members preparing for the trip (e.g. nonrefundable "Advance Purchase" air tickets, visa fees if applicable, clothing, equipment, medical expenses). Do not purchase your air tickets before speaking with your Adventure Coordinator.

The cost of delays is not included if any trip is delayed due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which Mountain Travel Sobek or its agents cannot make provision. Trip Costs and/or Land Costs are subject to increase without prior notice, even after you have signed up on the trip. We often publish our prices more than a year in advance. Between that time and the time of the trip's actual departure, we are occasionally faced with significant cost increases that we cannot absorb, i.e. international currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, or increases in cost of services. We regret this situation, and we do everything we can to avoid raising prices, but sometimes it is unavoidable. We will do our best to limit such increases and will notify you at least two months before departure.

It is vital that persons with medical problems make them known to us well before departure and to reflect them in the Health Information section of the Participant Information Form. The trip leader has the right to disqualify anyone at any time during the trip if he or she feels the trip member is physically or mentally incapable or if a trip member’s continued participation will jeopardize the individual involved or the group. Refunds are not given under such circumstances. Hospital facilities are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Mountain Travel Sobek assumes no liability regarding provision of medical care. You will need to provide us with your medical history and any dietary restrictions as requested in the required documentation. If you participate on certain designated trips including those with the Activity Level of “Ultimate Challenge”, the Physician Certificate must be signed by your physician. Once you have been confirmed on a trip, normal cancellation fees apply if your doctor does not approve the Physician Certificate. We can send you this form prior to you making your reservation so your doctor can pre-approve you. State Department www.travel.state.gov and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov periodically issue statements, advisories, and warnings about risks to travelers. These statements are country specific and contain important information. Mountain Travel Sobek urges all participants to review these sites.

Trip members have certain responsibilities to Mountain Travel Sobek and to other trip members. Trip members are responsible for understanding the conditions implied in the Trip Itinerary and selecting a trip in consultation with Mountain Travel Sobek that is appropriate to their interests and abilities, and for preparing for the trip by studying the trip itinerary and supplemental trip information sent by Mountain Travel Sobek. Screening for fitness (for trips rated "Strenuous" or "Ultimate Challenge") is made by our Regional Specialists at the time of booking. At the trip leader's discretion, a member may be asked to leave the trip if the leader feels that the person's further participation may be detrimental to the individual or to other trip members.

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions page for payment and cancellation policy details. For any questions about payments and cancellations please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-831-7526.

As a condition to acceptance of participating on a Mountain Travel trip, each Participant must sign the form entitled PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM, BOOKING VERIFICATION, MEDICAL HISTORY, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE. A copy of this form, inclusive of the liability release, can be found at www.mtsobek.com/pdf/participant_info.pdf (or call 1-888-687-6235 and request a copy).