Important Information

Reservation and Cancellation Policy

Payments

Upon making a reservation, we require 50% of your total tour amount as a deposit. 75 days in advance of the departure date the additional 50% needs to be paid in full. If the departure day is within 75 days the trip needs to be paid in full to confirm reservations.

Cancellation policy

When cancelling up to 75 days before departure the cancellation fee is $250 per person administration costs in addition to any non-refundable flights or flight cancellation fees.
When cancelling between 75 days and 40-days cancellation fee is the full deposit in addition to non-refundable flights or flight cancellation fees. When cancelling within 40 days the cancellation fee is the price in full in addition to non-refundable flights or flight cancellation fees.
Tours depart with a minimum of 8 guests. If the count of 8-guests are not booked for the departure date you selected, Desa Travel offers the option to rebook your reservation to an alternative date or cancel the tour. If we have to cancel your tour date you will receive our full deposit back. Desa Travel advises to wait with booking international flights until departure of tour is confirmed.

Extend your stay

If you book your own international flights than please advise us from your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.

Desa Travel can assist with earlier arrival, or extended stay accommodations and transfers from the airport If you have booked an airport transfer the representative will be waiting outside the main arrivals gate with a Desa Travel sign – they will arrive 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival of your flight and wait for 2-hours only. Alternatively, taxis are cheap, safe and reliable. As you exit from Immigration you will see a sign for public taxis. Here you buy a coupon which is given to your driver. There is no bargaining – the system is straightforward.

Problems and emergency contact information

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Desa Travel Office on Bali can be reached on Tel: +62 361 722 188 or our 24/7 emergency number in the USA 207 000 0000

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact our office at 1(800) 991-6557 or your travel agent. For further contact details please visit our website www.desatravel.com

While we always do our utmost to provide the best possible travel experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your Tour Manager and/or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

Your unforgettable experience is of great importance to us and we will do our utmost to provide you with an unforgettable journey.

Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements based on feedback from past travelers’ and changing environments enroute. This may even happen during the tour because of reasons beyond our control. If this happens we will inform you immediately and send you an updated itinerary. If it happens during the tour our Tour Manager will update you on changes. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our office. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
we did our utmost to create a program that offers you the highlights of the region, as well as ‘in the know’ experiences and unique activities. We balanced your tour with moments to relax, or have some time to explore the area by yourself. We fully understand that everybody has different interests. For our guests who would like to explore some more we selected an array of optional activities on days the tour has a ‘rest day”. Your Tour Manager can assist you and you can be ensured that the tour is executed by professional tour guides and equipment. When there is more interest for a certain activity the Tour Manager may also join to assist.

Essential Trip Information

Important notes

When traveling alone you can be ensured that you have your own accommodations on all tours. Desa Travel doesn’t offer to share accommodations, but is happy to assist if we have more requests on the same tour.

Passport and visas

As a general rule, most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining after entering the country.  Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your travel concierge will contact you when this is required.
Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. During the tour, our travel manager will collect your passports for check-in purposes. You may decline but please be advised that you will lose the benefit of fast, no-line group check-ins. Desa Travel is never responsible for your personal passport and immigration documents.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your Travel Concierge will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarize yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

 

Per November 2017:

INDONESIA:
Under the Visa Exemption rule, American citizens are not required to have a visa to enter Indonesia if staying for tourism for 30 days or less. Entry under the visa exemption is for free but may not be extended. U.S. citizens visiting family or traveling for other purposes may apply for a 30-day visa on arrival.

 

Entry requirements: presentation of onward or return tickets, passport which is valid for at least 6 months. Visitors on Visa-Free Short Visits must enter AND exit from certain airports and seaports in Indonesia including: Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta Airport), Bali (Ngurah Rai Airport), Yogyakarta (Adisucipto Airport) and Surabaya (Juanda Airport). This currently excludes entry and exits from Lombok (Bandar Udara International Airport). Visa-Free Short Visits cannot be extended and cannot be transferred to another type of visa.

Some nationalities are required to obtain a visa on arrival, or in advance. Citizens of countries who aren’t on the visa on arrival or visa free lists are required to apply for a visa overseas before traveling to Indonesia.

Nationals of all countries planning to stay for more than 30 days in Indonesia have to apply for the appropriate visa at an overseas Indonesian consulate or embassy before their departure.

Local laws require that you must be able show your valid passport at any time when required to do so by an immigration office. We recommend taking a clear photocopy of your passport photo page, and visa (after arriving), to carry with you.

 

SINGAPORE

All foreign visitors must ensure that they meet or possess the following entry requirements stated the Singapore Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority. US Passport Holders (regular, official and diplomatic) do not require a visa to enter Singapore for business or for social visit purposes.

The period of stay permitted is at the discretion of the Immigration Officer upon arrival at the Singapore Changi Airport. It is normally between 14 to 30 days. Regardless of the length of stay granted, visitors may request for an extension of stay by applying in person at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority before the expiry of the visa granted.

Entry requirements: presentation of onward or return tickets, passport which is valid for at least 6 months.

 

 

Medical and health information

Desa Travel advises you to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Desa Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Any medication should always be stored in your luggage. Please advise us in advance if medication needs special storage, like cooling.

What Vaccinations do you need?

Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid. Other vaccines to consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies. Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travelers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Health authorities in Bali have reported of an increase in the number of local people being hospitalized with rabies.

To avoid the risk of contracting rabies:
– Do not pat or touch any wild or domestic animals during travel
– Do not attempt to pick up an unusually tame, unfamiliar animal
– Do not attract stray animals by being careless with litter

Food and dietary requirements

We do our utmost to provide you with a variation of cuisines and local dishes during the tour. Our Tour Manager oversees our culinary program and will make sure it always meets our standards of diversity, quality and deliciousness. We selected all our restaurants because they have the best standard of hygiene and are notable for their culinary output. Some of the lunches or dinners may be simpler because we are en-route. On board of the train from Bandung to Yogyakarta we provide you with a lunch box. Not all meals are included, advise your itinerary on what is included. Sometimes a lunch or snack may be served onboard of an airline.

On days lunch or dinner is not included our Tour Manager will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip (and assist you with making reservations). To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price.

Strict vegetarians should be aware that a lot of Indonesian cooking contains fermented shrimp paste (terasi) as a basic ingredient. Although there are many vegetarian options available, please be specific when ordering food, as often a little chicken is included with most dishes.

Please advise us in advance of dietary restrictions and allergies. We will do our utmost to accommodate them but cannot always guarantee it will be available.

Breakfast is always included.

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY:
Every traveler has a different spending pattern. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

Budget for meals not included: USD 500-800

EMERGENCY FUNDS:
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

The official currency of Indonesia is the Rupiah (IDR) and Singapore Dollar S$

There are money exchanges and ATM machines available at the airport and all major towns. ATMs are the easiest and safest way to access cash, although we also recommend that you bring and carry some cash in a major currency for when ATMs cannot be accessed.

USD notes older than 2000 series, as well as foreign currency notes that are old, torn, worn or damaged notes can’t be changed in Indonesia.

Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, more common are VISA and Master Card, American Express is not always accepted. At local restaurants in Indonesia often only cash is accepted.

TIPPING
If you’re happy with the services provided a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Carrying small notes of local currency will make tipping easier. It is best to avoid tipping with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes, as this can be regarded as an insult.

Group Tipping Procedure
Upon arrival your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your Tour Manager pays the tips for drivers, local guides, and hotel staff (excludes restaurant tips). The Tour Manager will keep a running record of all monies spent which can be checked at any time, and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty at your own discretion, and you are welcome to manage your own tipping separately if you prefer. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your Tour Manager.

Your Tour Manager
You may also consider tipping your Tour Manager for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$4-US$6 per person, per day can be used. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Commissions
Unfortunately, commissions in exchange for recommending particular shops or restaurants are an ingrained part of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye though, we’ve tried to legitimize the practice with a centralized fund. Moneys are collected from recommended and fully vetted suppliers and funneled back into our business. This keeps the trip cost low (for us and for you) and makes sure you only get the best experiences. All the commissionable outlets you visit in the tour are approved by our Incoming Tour Agent and in compliance with Desa Travel’s outlines.

Luggage

What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

Essentials

Day pack for carrying essentials when exploring destinations.
Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight natural fiber clothing and layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling.
For visits to religious sites you will also need to wear clothing that covers shoulders and pants/skirts that go past the knee. Perhaps carry a scarf or sarong for these visits. Modest and covering clothing is also preferable when visiting areas outside major cities that are more conservative.
Walking shoes or hiking boots with a good grip: Closed-in shoes that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended for city and countryside walks, and are necessary for cycling activities
Sandals/flip flops
Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm
Insect repellent
Waterproof jacket
Swimming costume

Recommended
Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as, mild pain killers, adhesive bandages and electrolytes.
Camera with spare batteries/charger/power bank: You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items most days, however these are a good backup.
Electrical adapter plug
Hand sanitizer
Water bottle – some hotels may have filtered drinking water to refill your bottle.
Money belt or pouch

Optional
A good book, a journal and music player
Playing cards
Travel washing line and Bio-degradable washing detergent

Pens, school supplies or toys for school visit

Climate and seasonal information

Straddling the equator, Indonesia is a tropical country with a wet, hot, humid climate the entire year, with high temperatures often in the 90s F during the day and the steamy 70s F at night. Cooler temperatures prevail in the highlands. The humidity is usually between 70 and 90 percent. Building are well air conditioned and temperatures are cooler in the mountains

NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY
National Independence Day for Indonesia takes place on 17 August. Around this time, you may experience some delays to transport, or alternative accommodation may be needed to be sourced.

RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL
In 2018, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 15th May until 14th June and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days.
Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. Please note that drivers and leaders of Muslim faith are likely to be fasting over Ramadan. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it’s a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

BALINESE NEW YEAR
This takes place in March or April each year based on the lunar calendar (new moon). Known locally as Nyepi, custom requires that all people in Bali observe a Day of Silence and do not leave their homes. Although this is a Hindu celebration, it is respectful for tourists to remain within their accommodation. Flights to/from Denpasar airport will be suspended for this day and many other services do not operate. We try to schedule our trip departures to avoid this day where possible, although the exact date can be announced quite late.

Tour Manager

All Desa tour group journeys are accompanied by one of our Tour Managers. The aim of the manager is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. In addition, you will have local English speaking guides providing you with information.

Your Tour Manager will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website’s safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your Tour Manager will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your Tour Manager will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Desa itinerary, and Desa makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Tour Manager has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities.

BIKE HELMETS:
Helmets are provided for all included cycling activities. If you prefer you can bring your own to ensure the right fit and quality.

A couple of rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Desa travelers. Desa’s philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our Tour Manager has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Desa Travel, either between passengers or involving our managers, guides, local operators or locals.

Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a Manager and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

Travelling on a group trip

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all corners of the country and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Because of privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travelers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won’t be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Responsible Travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveler.

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

COFFEE/KOPI LEWAK:
Civet coffee, or Kopi Luwak as it’s known in Indonesia, is made from coffee beans that have been partially digested and then excreted by small cat-like mammals known as civets. High demand for this expensive drink, as well as the rising popularity of Kopi Luwak with international travelers has led to a proliferation of plantations across Indonesia. However, investigations by the likes of World Animal Protection reveal increasing animal cruelty to meet demands. Rather than sourcing beans from the wild, producers are capturing civets (highly active nocturnal animals) and keeping them caged in cramped, inhumane conditions on farms. Due to the numerous ethical questions surrounding the coffee beans, we strongly encourage our travelers to refrain from purchasing Kopi Luwak.
If you’d like to know more, visit https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/news/civet-coffee-cruelty-cup