FAQ

Why choose us?

beth1-768x1024There are many tour operators which means that you have many choices, so thank you for putting us on your shortlist! We are the ONLY tour company that is Tarahumara-owned and-operated with a mission to provide authentic tour experiences for you that benefit the Tarahumara people. A percentage of your tour goes go directly to the families we’ve partnered with, their communities, and benefit an art/cultural identity program Chunel created called Kolimi (rainbow).

We don’t sugar coat our tours and we do talk about challenges facing the Raramuri people so you get a unique prespective. We believe this is the only way we should operate with a true ecotourism mission right here from Creel!

Also, we have spent a lot of time creating itineraries to maximize your experience with the locals and the surroundings. Check out our “about us” page to get to know us. We look forward to exceeding your expectations!

 

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The kids who participated in our Kolimi workshops!

What is your deposit, cancellation, and refund policy?

With the exception, of our week long all inclusive tours, we don’t offer refunds on our Day and Stay Tours listed on our site. Need to reschedule, no problem!

For week long tours if you need cancel your trip we will not be able to return the final payment if you cancel within 45 days of the trip. This is why we recommend taking out an all-inclusive travel insurance policy so you are protected in case of anything.

What’s included?

Please visit Stay Tour and Day Tour pages to get details of what is covered. Please refer to your itinerary. Each Stay Tour (multi-day) trip includes a Tarahumara native guide, lodging and most meals, immersion experiences, and local transportation for excursions listed in the individual itineraries. Prior to your trip you will receive a welcome packet that will provide you more info.

What’s not included?

For our Stay Tours we do not cover international airfare, incidental expenses, travel insurance, fees into and out of the country and tips. For our Special Retreats we also do not include airport transportation (to and from Creel). Check out El Chepe train schedules or local bus schedules. Want a private tour that fits your needs? Email us at hello@ecoalternativetours.com

Should I tip my guide?

We know you’re going to love our guides so to celebrate them and show your appreciation for the incredible experiences you’re going to have. We thank you for your tip to your lead guide at the end of your tour and while any amount is welcomed, it is customary to tip 5-15% of the cost of the tour. Your tip will be divided with all your guides and hosts. 

How do I get there?

Many travelers take the famous train into the Sierra Tarahumara. You can take the train from Los Mochis, Sinaloa or Chihuahua City, Chihuahua. Here are some tips from a traveler in Spanish about traveling El Chepe train. 

International flights will fly into Chihuahua City just 4 hours from Creel where we are based. If coming from the United States you can pick up a direct flight from Denver, Colorado to Chihuahua City (CUU) if flying in on a Saturday. See here for flight information http://www.volaris.com/. An economical option for those nearby Tijuana is to get a flight from there. You can book a Mexican airline like Aeromexico– if you do please note that many of those flights will take you through Mexico City which mostly means that your travel time will be longer. If you go that route we suggest leaving a day before your tour begins.

Do I need travel insurance?

Eco AlterNATIVE tours requires all travelers on week long trips with us to show proof of travel insurance before departure. You are responsible for acquiring your travel insurance.

It is mandatory that all tour participants obtain travel insurance with a minimum coverage of $200,000 USD while traveling with us; this will cost around 100 dollars. Travel insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, loss of or damage to luggage, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Your regular medical insurance will most likely not cover you in Mexico therefore we ask you to purchase just to be on the safe side.

You choose whom to purchase from but one option is World Nomads. Failure to provide proof of insurance will lead to cancellation of your spot on the trip.

What if my trip doesn’t have enough participants?IMG_3772

All our Day and Stay Tours have a two-person minimum (adults). If you’re travelling solo you need to purchase two adult tickets and if someone joins that same tour you’ll be refunded. If you know someone booking that same tour you may book separately. 

What about visas?

You are responsible for obtaining a visa and covering any visa fees. When you fly in through Mexico City you will be asked to fill out a visa application on the plane before landing. If by chance you are coming in by land, you will need to stop by immigration services near the border and obtain a tourist visa. Check your guidebook for locations. Let us know if you need help with this!

Will I have time to myself?

Absolutely! We have a lot on our week long itineraries but there will be days where you will have time on your own to roam, purchase crafts and take it all in. You decide what to participate in, but a lot will be included in the overall trip prices.

IMG_3774How to stay safe and healthy?

Northern Mexico does have some hot spots, though they are mostly by the border or away from  tourist areas. We live here with our two small children and can say that it’s a safe, tranquil, family-oriented area, but like anywhere in the world you need to be aware and smart. As tour operators, we will always take every necessary precaution. Thousands of tourists have come and gone from all over the world despite negative media attention and advisories.

For our week long tours, we’ll provide you more details in your welcome packet. This packet will include emergency contact information, hotel information, information on local currency, recommendations for packing, and other travel tips.

Should I pack my positive attitude and flexibility?

Yes! Be prepared. Although we have hand picked a select group of small business owners and families to work with to make your trip unforgettable, weather, terrain and other unforeseen circumstances sometimes happen while traveling in Mexico. The best remedy is to be flexible.

What else should I pack?

This should get you started. We really like this list as suggestions on what to bring especially the Travel gear and Travel Clothing sections. But less is more! http://expertvagabond.com/travel-gear-guide/ Please check the weather prior to packing.

Still have questions chat with us, email us, or give us a call! We’re happy to help!