Travel Advisories for Peru and Ecuador

Given recent events, US State department travel advisories for both Peru and Ecuador have changed (and after we made our reservation and paid in full). Any insight about how to contact Tauck about safety/security returns? We have travel insurance, but it doesn't appear that the US government advising "do not travel" is covered. Wondering what our options are - any insights appreciated.


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    Remember, State Dept, is almost always overly cautious. Many of the advisories only apply to certain areas, especially where tourists don't typically go, or to areas in cities prone to riots or demonstrations. Consider what is going on in some towns in Mexico. If the State Dept were from another country, their guidelines would say do not travel to the US!

    Tauck monitors the situations in the countries where they operate. If it is unsafe they will cancel the tours.

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    We did the Hidden Galapagos and Peru this year. We stayed at the Hotel del Parque one night before boarding the ship and one night after disembarking. It was like a cocoon. Nothing much around except a mall across the street. There was not much time for exploring. We got there late the first afternoon, got tested and had dinner. The last night was testing and the farewell dinner. The hotel is in a small park and you get free access to the small zoo because you are a hotel guest. Grounds and waterfront not much and we did not see a very long walk? Maybe we missed it. Director gave us no guidance on facilities and concierge did not speak much English and was seldom there. That said, the staff was polite and tried to be helpful. However the hotel rooms were very nice. Restaurant just ok and communications regarding our meals was confused from both the hotel and tour director. We used the time to relax.

    We spoke to other Tauck travelers who ventured out on the Sunday after the tour. They found little to do even with a guide and most places were closed. They were disappointed and decided to return to the hotel as it was a bit scary beyond the confines of the hotel and its park. My recommendation - don't bother staying an extra day in Guayaquil.

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    If you haveTauck travel insurance, you can cancel for any reason. There has been violence in Guayaquil this week, I posted about it, so that is why there is a change in the state departments recommendations. If you don’t leave the hotels you should be ok. You will only miss a walk along the river front, but it’s not a must see thing to do.
    Many countries still advise Do not travel. Tauck will not let you go there if there is any danger, it’s not good for them to lose customers.
    You can register on STEP, so that the US embassies know where you are. We sometimes do this, we just registered for our upcoming trip.

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    edited August 2022

    We did the Peru and Galapagos tour (September 2021) and stayed at the Hotel del Parque in Guayaquil for an extra day at the end of the tour because of our flight arrangments. We walked quite a bit of the town around the hotel and never felt insecure. There's a nice mall not too far from the hotel and we spent some time there. The had a guard at the entrance taking people's temperature for Covid.

    I can't say there were a lot of exciting sites around the hotel but it seemed safe and the hotel people encouraged us to venture out, with assurances that no one would bother us.

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    edited August 2022

    I am reposting the news article I read five days ago. At the end of the article it says Guayaquil is the fiftieth most violent city in the world.

    Ecuador: Guayaquil blast 'declaration of war' by gangs - officials https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-62544570

    We have been there twice, the first time was about 2008 and the second time about four years ago. We knew what it was like even back then, you just have to be careful. Don’t go out of the hotel looking as if you are wealthy. Leave your Rolex and jewelry at home, only take a bit of money and maybe one credit card, don’t carry a camera, all the usual things you should be doing in any big South American city. These may seem obvious precautions but many people on Tauck tours do not follow these rules. An example of this very thing was when we were going to Buenos Aries, the tour director warned us well in advance to not even wear a watch or jewelry, and more than once. She was quite angry and frustrated as we were leaving the bus in the city and she said, I can still see watches, take them off! When we left the hotel to wander around later, we just took one credit card and a bit of cash, no bag, no camera, it was quite liberating.
    Things can happen anywhere and suddenly, just like it can here in the US, where people are killing each other with guns on a daily basis and there are mass killings here, more than anywhere in the world.
    We were in Santiago, Chile for the start of a Tauck tour just a few years ago, eating in the hotel restaurant which was half open ot the street, sudden violence erupted and fires, before we knew it, tear gas had been used and we were all affected by it, the hotel staff quickly evacuated us into an inner courtyard where they provided champagne and lemons to suck on which helped counteract the stinging in our throats. When the air quality improved and the violence had moved on, we all stayed dinner again. We went back to our room and watched from our window. This would not stop us going back, in fact, we hope to repeat the tour. We were also in Arusha when there was a terrorist attack. On that trip, the tour director had us carry our passports and valuable with us on the game drives so that we could make a quick exit if trouble escalated without even going back to the game lodge.
    Tauck has a charter plane on standby 24/7 in case they need to evacuate a group quickly. I think it was used for sure in Egypt in the Arab Spring and in India when there was the bombing in Mumbai.
    As I mentioned above, you can cancel for any reason. I personally would not cancel your trip, but it is your decision to make.

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