— Reservations and payments
Do off-peak and peak seasons affect the prices?
Yes, you will see that the prices are different in accordance to the season. Peak season goes from the 15th of December to the 15th of January, on Easter Holiday (varies every year – in March or April) and from the 20th of June to the 20th of July. The rest of the year is off-peak season.
How do I book a trip?
To make a reservation for any of our trips or tours you must fill out and send us the RESERVATION FORMAT that you will find on our website. After you have done this, we will be in contact with you directly for you to make an initial payment that will secure your spot on the trip of your choice. Please be aware that this payment will be considered as a service order for SHIFT.
How does the payment procedure work?
Once you have booked the service and we have been in contact with you with all the details for your trip, we will send you a link to generate the program’s payment which you will be able to do through PSE, PAYPAL or PAYU. The trip will not commence if there is a payment pending.
What payment methods can I use?
We strongly recommend that you always make payments through our website and through the link that we will send to you. If you wish to pay for a non-included activity and you have already started your trip, our Insiders will have available an EFTPOS machine for you to make the payment of that new service.
How much are the additional expenses not included in the prices of the basic plans?
It is highly dependent on the destination and on the trip. For some of our services there are included and non-included expenses; this is specified in detail in the PDF of the program that you may download from our website.
When it is indicated that all expenses are covered, it means that the full price of the trip will cover for everything that is necessary for the program’s development.
Is the airfare included in the programs?
No, none of our trips includes airfare. However, we will be more than happy to assist you at the time of deciding which airline to choose from and what flight schedules we consider best for you; just contact us and we will reply to you as soon as possible.
What will happen if I need to cancel the trip?
We work side by side with small local suppliers who work hard to provide the best service and to have everything in optimal conditions before the arrival of each and every one of our travelers, which is why as soon as you book a trip with us we start working together with them to prepare and take care of the necessary details to make this experience outstanding for you. For this reason, we have established the following cancellation policies:
- For cancellation of the trip requested within a period of more than or equal to THIRTY (30) calendar days before the established starting date, there will be a charge of FIFTY PERCENT (50%) of the value paid to the date.
- If the traveler cancels the service between the days 29 and 15 prior to the starting date of the service, he/she will be reimbursed 30% of the total value of the service
- If the traveler cancels the service between days 14 and 0 prior to the starting date of the service, he/she will forfeit ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) of the paid value for the service
- If the traveler cancels the service during its course he/she will forfeit ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) of the paid value for the service
- SHIFT is not obliged to reimburse the traveler for any amount in the case of no-show of the traveler at the agreed time and location for causes or reasons beyond the control of the company (e.g. delayed, cancelled or missed flights, illness, roadworks and derived delays or any other situation that forbids the traveler to physically arrive to the departing location or at the time formerly agreed). Notwithstanding the above, SHIFT reserves itself the option of reimbursing whatever the company considers, however, it is not obliged to in case of cancellation of the trip by the traveler due to personal situations or reasons beyond his/her or the company’s control.
- If the traveler cancels the service with more than or equal to 30 days prior to the starting date of the service and he/she desires to postpone the date of the service, he/she may utilize that reservation for another service at any other time, without forfeiting the deposit. The new reservation will be subject to the availability and conditions given by SHIFT.
- SHIFT will endeavor to maintain the deposit specified on the statement above for cancellations that take place between 29 and 5 days prior to the starting date of the trip; however, it will not be obliged to do so.
Will I receive an invoice or receipt for the service?
Yes, once you have made the payment our team will be in contact with you and will send a receipt to the email you registered on our website for the service you purchased.
SHIFTtm is a brand from TRAVEX SAS, a legally constituted Colombian partnership that holds all the necessary permits to operate and invoice its services.
What is the maximum amount of participants allowed per trip?
It depends on the destination, however we do not do massive trips; we offer personalized or semi-personalized services. On average, there will be 1 to 15 people on our journeys and activities. In case of there being more people interested, we will revise the conditions of the location to decide if the trip is still viable. Once we have determined if the conditions are suitable or not for the number of people in the group, we will contact you.
When traveling in large groups we lose the intimacy of the journey and the sense of disconnecting from the city that we aim to create.
Will we recycle our waste?
Recycling starts by thinking carefully about what products we and our suppliers buy for each of our tours, which is why we are constantly contemplating and planning on how to recycle these and thus generate the least possible impact on the environment.
If you bring products with you we kindly ask you that they can be easily recyclable, such as glass jars and cans.
It is important that during the trips, you ask our Insiders where you can deposit the garbage. However, we shall advise you that in many cases we will be forced to return it to a major city, as many of the places that we will visit do not have an adequate system of garbage collection.
Whenever possible please help us reduce the use of plastic by carrying your reusable water bottle, avoiding the use of plastic bags, straws and polystyrene packaging.
What activities are included in each program?
Each of our trips has activities specific to the approach you’ve chosen, whether it’s adventure, retreat, local culture and life, cuisine and farm life, or artisan techniques. You can find these activities described in the PDF of the program that you can download from our website.
How can I include an activity on my trip that is not part of the basic program that I chose?
You’ll have several options to do this:
- Once you have made the reservation through our website, we will contact you to finalize the details of the trip and find out if you would like to include any other activities. After this we will send you the link to generate the payment.
- If you have already paid for 100% of the trip you selected, you can write an email to us indicating that you would like to include an additional activity and we will gladly help you out.
- If you have already started traveling and you are at the destination, the Insider that will be accompanying you will have a wireless EFTPOS machine that will allow you to make the payment of the activity with your national or international credit card.
Is it necessary to have previous experience before booking an activity?
You do not have to have previous experience to participate in the activities, however, we do ask for a bit of an adventurous soul; our offer is varied and you can find activities of rest and relaxation as well as activities in high-mountain and other adventure exercises.
Are SHIFT’s trips safe?
Whenever you travel there will be risks. However, at SHIFT together with our Insiders and suppliers we are constantly working on minimizing these risks. At the beginning of each trip or activity you will have a safety talk about the risks that we can face so that you have the right expectations and all of the information is transparent. Nonetheless, although we are in control of our actions and of the equipment we use, we do not have dominion over nature. What we can do is prevent accidents from happening and provide as much safety as humanely possible. After providing you with all the necessary information, you should assume the possible risks and assist us in taking care of your own safety.
What is the profile of the Insiders?
Our Insiders are adventure and outdoor life professionals; according to the destination you choose, one of them will be with you throughout the trip and will have all the necessary certifications and training to do so.
Do I need an insurance to travel with SHIFT?
When you book any of our programs you will be provided with an accident and death insurance with limited coverage; you can find the insured values in our terms and conditions. Regardless of this we recommend our travelers, Colombian or International, to have additional travel insurance with complete coverage. SHIFT will not take care of medical or any other expenses in case of an emergency.
Is it safe to pay for the trip on SHIFT’s website?
Yes, it is safe. We work with payment platforms that count with all the experience necessary to receive your payments, process your data and ensure your security and ours.
Is it safe to travel to Colombia?
Yes, it is safe to travel to Colombia. In fact, many travelers and governments know this and can attest to it; “although, like anywhere else in the world there are risks of thieves, scammers etc.” Our recommendation is to always take precautions, research the destination you are going to travel to and have common sense. Do not expose your money or valuables and always take care of yourself and your belongings. SHIFT should not be held responsible for the loss or theft of any of your personal belongings.
Is Colombia in war?
The war in Colombia between the Colombian Government and the insurgent guerrillas and drug trafficking groups is increasingly incipient; it occurs in remote areas of the national territory and in places where tourism generally does not operate and to which SHIFT does not travel to.
However, the drug trafficking network of cocaine and marijuana is still very large and we recommend that you always stay away from that market. The sale and consumption of drugs is illegal in Colombia.
What type of accommodation is available for SHIFT’s trips?
In all of our trips we count with places that will allow you to properly rest and will provide you with the necessary comfort to do so. In every destination we visit we look for a deep connection with the place and although each location is different, we generally count with hotels that have rustic and picturesque cabins, with comfortable simple lodgings and with private ensuites.
Will I have to share the room with other guests?
No, when you book a trip with SHIFT we make sure that there are enough individual cabins or private rooms with their own bathrooms.
Do I have to buy tickets for the flights and for all other transportation necessary to arrive at the meeting point?
At SHIFT we do not include in our programs plane tickets or any other means of transportation to reach the meeting point. You will have to look for these and purchase them yourself. However, you will have our full support in giving you information about the place and all the necessary details for the local transport so that you can meet your Insider.
The meeting point, which is usually the airport of the nearest city of the chosen program, will be determined with each traveler.
Is it safe to take taxis on the street in major cities?
We recommend NOT to take taxis on the street and always request them through the authorized applications or to request them directly at the hotel or at the place where you are staying at (in Colombia you will be able to use transportation Apps like Uber or Cabify, amongst other options).
During SHIFT’s tours we will contract the transportation directly with authorized companies and therefore you will not have to worry about transportation during the trip.
Why doesn’t SHIFT offer plane tickets?
We believe that today there are many options to find a flights that suit the needs of each traveler and that it might be cheaper for them to buy them their own. At SHIFT we do not include international air tickets and only in very special cases we include domestic flights. However, we will always be willing and available to support you with the necessary information to coordinate your flight and to organize the logistics of your arrival after knowing the times of your trip and agreeing the meeting point with our Insider.
— Food and beverage
What can I eat during the trip if I am vegetarian, vegan or if I have dietary requirements?
SHIFT’s providers and hosts will do their best to give you options to suit your dietary requirements. However, if you have a special diet we do recommend that you bring food to complement your meals.
Where possible our hosts will adapt the menus to your needs. For this reason, when making your reservation please let us know of any dietary requirements or restrictions you have; remember that to be able to coordinate menus with the particularities that you request we will require for you to advise us with enough time ahead.
Is tap water potable?
Only in a few major cities. However, as you are probably not used to the minerals that are naturally present in our water, we suggest that you always fill your bottles with water in the places recommended by our Insiders or, failing that, we recommend for you to buy bottled water in stores; we ask that if you buy bottles of water then please reuse them. Plastic takes a long time to decompose and it is the main source of waste in our country, so please try to carry your own reusable bottle.
All of our trips take place in remote areas that do not have access to drinking water, which is why we suggest consulting with local people where the recommended places to acquire drinking water from are, as well as avoiding raw foods and beverages.
— Medical care
What medical aspects should I bear in mind when traveling to Colombia?
Colombia is a tropical country that has very varied climates as it counts with different altitudes and thermal floors. Due to this fact, the most important medical conditions to take into account are Malaria, Dengue and Yellow Fever, especially in jungle areas.
In addition, some of SHIFT’s programs are developed in high-mountain which due to its nature may cause conditions such as mountain sickness or altitude sickness, amongst others.
What vaccinations should I get before I travel to Colombia?
Vaccinations depend on the physical and health conditions of each traveler and on the destination in which SHIFT’s program will be developed. We suggest always consulting your doctor before the trip.
To travel to certain regions of the country it is required to be vaccinated against yellow fever (which you must apply, without fail, 15 days before the trip) and to have a current tetanus vaccine. We also suggest being vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
The yellow fever vaccine is harmful for people with HIV, pregnant women (consult your gynecologist), children under six months old, people with immunity problems, patients on chemotherapy treatment or those with egg hypersensitivity.
What is the risk of contracting tropical diseases in Colombia?
When traveling there is always the risk of contracting a disease, however, in most cases it can be treatable when diagnosed early. For this reason, if during the trip you observe any changes in your health, please discuss it with the Insider that accompanies you; he/she will give you the pertinent recommendations and will refer you to a doctor if necessary.
We suggest that you travel with clothes that cover most of your body – especially in places where we may encounter a large amount of mosquitoes- and that you always use repellent.
— Necessary equipment
What kind of bag or suitcase should I bring to the trip?
At the time of making a booking and/or payment we will send you the details of all the items you should bring on the trip. We recommend that you do not carry too much luggage and that you use a small and comfortable bag pack that, if possible, can be carried on your back.
Some of our trips are in areas that are difficult to access so we suggest you not to take wheeled suitcases, as it can be uncomfortable to carry and it would interfere with the quality and enjoyment of the trip. In addition, on some domestic flights there are luggage weight restrictions per person usually between 10 and 15 kg of checked luggage.
May I bring electronics such as cameras, computers or tablets?
Yes you may, but as anywhere else in the world you must be responsible and careful with these elements. SHIFT will not be responsible for your personal items.
In addition, Colombia is a country that has very humid areas and rainy seasons, so we recommend you take waterproof protectors for your electronic equipment.
How much is the electricity flow in Colombia?
In Colombia the flow of electric current is of 110 watts and the sockets are American type with two flat input pins. Generally the flow of electricity is regulated in hotels and major cities; in some destinations our hosts use a power plant to produce energy with which you can charge your electronic devices.
In main cities it is easy to get adapters and power converters, however we suggest you to come prepared, since once we are on the trip or tour it will not be easy to find an adapter to purchase or borrow.
Where can I do my laundry?
Only a few of our hosts will have this service, so we suggest you to do your laundry in major cities. However, some hotels may provide this service for you. Remember also to bring with you your adventurous and carefree spirit.
Should I bring a towel and/or my own sheets?
You must bring your own towel, however not your own sheets. The places where we will stay will have all the necessary bedding. We suggest you bring a lightweight and quick drying towel.
— Logistics and capacity of the destinations
When will I receive the details and itinerary for my trip/tour?
Once you confirm the reservation and make the payment for the service we will send you all the necessary information in detail. This information will contain a suggested list of the clothes that best suit the activities and the elements that will be useful during the trip, a suggested reading about the destination, tips for getting in shape (if applicable) and much more. Approximately 2 weeks before departure we will send you the contact details of the Insider who will receive you and the emergency contacts of the destination you are going to. If after reading all of the information you still have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How many people can travel with me?
Usually, on our trips we have between 1 and 15 travelers; in case of there being a larger amount of people in your group we kindly ask for you to contact us with enough time ahead so we can coordinate the logistics of the trip. Bear in mind that ‘Parques Naturales Nacionales de Colombia’ (NPs) as well as the destinations that we will visit have a maximum capacity and allowance of visitors per day.
What is the minimum amount of people for a trip?
We specialize in personalized itineraries for all the destinations we travel to and we do not have a minimum number of people per trip, however, all of our trips will be accompanied by an Insider who will be a facilitator with the local communities, will give you relevant information about the culture of the place, relevant aspects of the biodiversity of the place and will look after your safety during the trip.
Do the trips have an age limit?
All of our trips have minimum or maximum age specifications; in all cases, the criteria used correspond to safety indicators for the travelers. If you have any questions regarding this please contact our team directly.
Can I bring my pet on the trip/tour?
On some of our trips you may be able to bring your dog, however for none of the destinations where we operate we are allowed to take any other types of animals.
Taking your pet to certain places could have a negative impact on the flora and fauna of the destination, as well as there being a risk for your pet. We invite you to learn about the programs where you can take your dog to in our emotion finder. If you can’t find the information on our website, please ask us directly.
We will be updating this section with the most frequently asked questions of our travelers. Please do not hesitate to write to us if you have any questions.