Frequently Asked Questions.

What is included in the Pricing I receive from “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA”?

All “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” prices are valid as of the date of reservation received, and will be honored at the price we confirm with you. If prices change due to circumstances beyond our control, we will notify you as soon as we are advised of those changes to allow either modifications to itineraries, accommodations, or alternative plans to be made. We’re sorry, but “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” cannot be held liable to changes beyond our control or contractual influence. “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” shall not be held liable for any failure to perform its obligations where such failure is as a result of Acts of God (including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane or other natural disaster), war, invasion, act of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war is declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, military or usurped power or confiscation, terrorist activities, nationalisation, government sanction, blockage, embargo, labor dispute, strike, lockout or interruption or failure of electricity or telephone service. We also can’t guarantee receipt of email. But that doesn’t happen at home, either.

Our quoted prices include the level of accommodations as either requested or noted; any substitution required will be made at a higher standard of accommodation—if and where possible. Our pricing generally includes meals as specified; any transfers required; where additional entry fees are required, it will be so stated. Alcoholic beverages are the responsibility of the traveler, unless noted.

Baggage allowances for your trip are generally set by your international airline and the normal allowance is one piece per person for international flights with weight limitations. Most travelers will fall within the one pieces per person limit.

What about Gratuities?

These are generally included in our pricing for your hotel/restaurant staff, porter’s fees, and local guides. General worldwide convention is the clue; if you receive an excellent service from the hotel staff, waiter or your Tour Manager, we would hope that you feel a gratuity is in order. Gratuities are offered where an exceptional service is offered, but are never required —and should not always be expected. You make the call.

What Items are not included in my tour pricing?

“RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” does not include any allowance in our pricing for Passenger Travel Protection. We do suggest that you consider purchasing it. We do not include airport departure taxes and fees, which must be paid for at the time of departure. We don’t include beverages other than those noted in your Itinerary. Note: It may be possible to arrange short-duration changes in published itineraries. If other sightseeing, not included in the itinerary, is desired and directed, this will, of course, not be included in the itinerary price. Any personal expenses incurred are not covered in the published price.

Guaranteed Departures. Will the tour actually leave and will it leave on time?

All departures are guaranteed, with some dates subject to a minimum number of passengers to operate. We’ll share this information with you during the booking procedure. If the minimum booking number of passengers is not met, or the tour is cancelled for reasons beyond our control, we will do everything to assist in finding alternatives and present those options to you.

What about Itinerary Changes to your tours? Can these be made?

Our tour and hotel schedules are established well in advance. Occasionally, arranged sightseeing tours and plans are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances on our part, on the part of the contracted tour or rail operator, or due to circumstances beyond our control. Just as all other tour operations in the region, we find that some alterations may occur after the final itinerary has been issued. We will make every effort to accommodate you in an equivalent fashion or in a fashion superior to your initial accommodations requirements.

What if I have special requests?

They are truly our pleasure. Others may complain about special requests, but we want you to have the vacation and/or tour of your dreams. Let us know special requests when you book your reservations; we’ll make every effort to both meet and exceed your requirements!

I’ve been quoted a series of Prices for activities planned. How solid is the cost I’m being quoted?

It’s as solid as we can make it! We update our Webpages on a weekly—and sometimes, daily, basis. We want you to have the latest information and the latest prices—and the most reliable prices and services. We continually search out the best services at the most appropriate prices.

When can I Check-in at my Hotel on the arrival day?

As in most accommodations, each venue offers its own check in time and schedule. Often, upon request, you may either check in or check out earlier or later than the published schedule. If your personal situation requires this, please let us know and we will make the request on your behalf. It’s our pleasure to make your trip an excellent one.

Should I plan to arrive before the tour departs? Is this really necessary?

Well, no, it’s not always necessary. Everyone, however, understands lost luggage, weather delays, and stormy weather. Unfortunately, all of these can have an impact on your trip. It’s always a good idea to plan to arrive at least a day ahead of the start of your tour. You want to get there and get started on your holiday—but you also want your luggage to get there, too. In the vast majority of cases, you and your luggage arrive together, on time, and ready to tour. If it does not, it creates undue worry, tension, and can create additional cost. Plan to arrive a day early, and get ready to begin your travels rested and refreshed.

What physical limitations must I meet to successfully take a tour?

There will not be sit-ups or push-up tests to pass, of course, but a certain level of athletic ability will be required for specific trips. We don’t expect everyone to want to climb mountains or even hike through the rainforest. A minimum level of ability is required for certain tours. If you have questions about your ability to participate in the activities, ask us when you call about your reservations. “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” must reserve the right to deny participation to anyone whose condition is such that it could create a hazard to himself/herself or others, or otherwise affect the enjoyment of other passengers on the trip.

What are the risk factors in Tours like these?

A trip to your local shopping center contains a certain amount of risk. Certainly, a trip to a different country and a trip into a unique and beautiful region such as South America is not without certain risks. You must weigh those risks carefully in planning your trip. “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA”, our owners, agents, marketing groups, and employees will attempt to make your trip as risk-free as possible, but certain risks are inherent in traveling. In addition to this, we strongly discourage children under the age of 14 from touring. If you elect to bring your children on the tour, discuss this with us at the time of booking, and we will advise you of any restrictions or minimum age requirements which are a part of your specific itinerary. You are responsible for any inoculations, medicines required, etc, which are mandated by your home governments.

Do I need a Passport and a Visa?

Yes. If you’re coming from the USA, valid U.S. passports are required for travel. Check with us for the latest visa requirements. If you live outside the USA, or you are a non-U.S. passport holder, we’d suggest that you obtain the required documentation applicable for entry. Ask us about this at the time of booking.

What are the Registration and Payment Schedule requirements?

Give us a call and we can discuss these. Ground Operators have specific standards and some hotels mandate certain times where reservations cannot be cancelled. This varies as to tour timing, tour pricing, and applicable elements of your tour. We will be pleased to discuss this with you at the time we book your reservations.

Some of my trip includes air travel. Is that covered?

If we specifically book your travel on your behalf, your airfare will be included in your tour price. If we have not booked your travel, it will not be covered. Additionally, we must let you know that each individual air carrier sets the rules of carriage, and sets times for departure, boarding, and other travel rules. We’ll discuss this with you at booking.

What if I have a claim or want to file for a Refund?

This should never happen, but if—for some reason—it does, we ask that you file for any refund or claim against any of our sub-contracted tour providers or operators within 30 days. Resolution of a claim or refund is much easier for all parties involved if it’s taken care of quickly and efficiently. “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” will work with you to address any issues such as this quickly, efficiently, and to your benefit.

What are “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA’S” limits on responsibility?

Our greatest responsibility is to your comfort, your service, and your enjoyment. If you enjoy your tour, you will either return to our beautiful region, or you may tell others to visit, and to enjoy the trip of their lifetime. “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” its employees, shareholders, officers, directors, successors, agents and assigns (collectively “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA”), does not own or operate any entity which will be providing either goods or services for your trip. We purchase transportation for you (by aircraft, coach, train, vessel or otherwise); we arrange and purchase hotel and other lodging accommodations, restaurant, ground handling and other services from various independent suppliers. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. They are not employees, as generally defined, of “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA”. As a result of this independent contractor relationship, “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” is not liable for any negligent or wilful act of any such person or entity, or of any third person. In addition--and without limitation-- “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay or damage to personal property in connection with the provision of any goods or services or for failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart on time. If you are injured or find the service by one of these third person contractors unacceptable, please let us know immediately. Our objective is a worry-free, tension-free and uneventful trip for you and your fellow travelers.

There are certain inherent risks in travel. It is your responsibility to discuss these risks with us when you plan your trip.

Are there currently any travel advisories or warnings?

No, but it’s your responsibility to become informed about the most current travel advisories and warnings by referring to the U. S. State Department's travel Web site at or by phone at 1-888-407-4747.

Are there any other Legal terms and conditions?

Of course. Our Attorney wants us to tell you that any controversy or claim arising out of or relating in any way to these Terms and Conditions, to the website, or any information relating in any way to the trip, or to the trip itself, shall be settled solely and exclusively by binding arbitration in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. We also reserve the right to decline to accept anyone on a trip. We reserve the right to remove from the trip, at his or her sole expense, anyone whose condition is such that he or she could create a hazard to himself or others, or otherwise impact the enjoyment of other passengers on the trip.

Peter Lauffer
Owner, Rail South America