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The Caribbean & Latin America

These cruises venture into the cultural cornucopia of Central America. We are able to include many highlights in our 2 week cruises, from Mayan ruins in Mexico to the native wildlife of Belize and Costa Rica’s rainforests, national parks and gardens.

From£3,495

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 89400

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4

Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.

Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.

Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary where 360 species of birds have been spotted
  • The Panama Canal
  • Explore Willemstad with its 750 historic buildings.

Venturing into the cultural cornucopia of Central America as well as dropping anchor at Caribbean Island ports. We pack many highlights in our two week cruises, from Mayan ruins in Mexico to the native wildlife of Belize and Costa Rica’s rainforests, national parks and gardens. Palm-lined bays, lush tropical rain forest and sandy beaches. Colonial cities, tales of pirates and buried treasure. Nature and history have combined to make the Caribbean a holiday destination full of exotic contrasts.

We fly out to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. We spend a night at the Hodelpa Nicolas De Ovando Hotel, dating from the sixteenth century, which has beautiful interiors and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The next day we take a safari trip to the National Park of the East before boarding Braemar in La Romana. We then cruise overnight to Santo Domingo and spend the morning in the island’s capital, strolling through the historic streets and narrow lanes of the fifteenth century city. What should be two sunny and relaxing days at sea bring us to Cozumel Island off the coast of Mexico, the largest inhabited island in Mexico. The seas around the island are home to the largest reef system in the Americas, but on the island itself, where every day is a beach day, there are pelicans, frigate birds, tree frogs, iguanas and crocodiles. The next port of call is Belize, our first stop on the mainland, with one foot in the jungles of Central America and the other in the Caribbean.

From here we head south to Costa Rica, exploring more of the natural wonders of the Americas from Puerto Limón. Overnight we cruise to Colón in Panama, famous for the northern side of the Panama Canal and also close to the San Lorenzo National Park. This wildlife paradise has nearly 10,000 hectares of forests, mangroves and pastureland. 357 species of bird have been spotted here in one day, a record for the western hemisphere, and there are jaguars and tapirs in the park. We have a nature walk in this rich and healthy ecosystem and visit the famous canal as well.

Now heading east along the north coast of South America we come to Cartagena in Colombia. This is a beautiful city. The late Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez only spent a year or so here yet was so inspired by its vibrancy and air of magic that he set many of his novels in Colombia’s second city. On taking a Spanish friend around the city, the visitor remarked that Marquez was in fact just a ‘notary’; what the world had taken for magical realism, the visitor saw as fact. On our way to Barbados we call in to Curaçao in the Lesser Antilles. It has a wild side beyond the beaches which few people get to see. Finally, we arrive in Barbados, a British colony for over 300 years and a very popular winter sun destination.

It’s likely to be hot throughout our cruise – there is little difference between day and night temperatures.  Accordingly, our walks will be taken at a slower pace, and there should be time for swimming and wildlife spotting. We’re using the services of several expert bush and sightseeing guides to get us nearer to the historical and natural heart of the Caribbean.And at the end of each day we’ll return to the comfort of Braemar for a very good dinner and a Caribbean sunset.

Please note that our brochure itinerary for this cruise mentions a stop in Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Fred Olsen have now removed this from the cruise.

Please note, ports of call may change between different departure dates. It is important to check the individual tour date proposed itinerary for details of your cruise.

  • Outbound economy class flights from London Heathrow to Santo Domingo via Madrid, returning with British Airways from Bridgetown International to London Gatwick
  • One hotel night in Santo Domingo
  • Breakfast and dinner throughout your tour, plus lunch on sea days
  • Complimentary tea and coffee at select locations throughout the ship
  • All entertainment, sports & leisure facilities on board
  • A programme of walks and excursions from our ports of call including any necessary transportation costs
  • Tips to the ship’s restaurant staff
  • All drinks on board
  • Any local excursions not included in the Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays programme including entrances to museums, sites or Fred Olsen on shore activities
  • Access to Wi-Fi on board the ship. At the time of writing Fred Olsen offer various packages from £16 for 30 minutes to £84 for unlimited access on a 14-day cruise. Please ask for more details at the Reception Desk on the ship
  • Personal laundry and dry cleaning, hairdressing, health, beauty treatments and selected fitness classes
  • Holiday Insurance
  • Occasionally a local guide or your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader might suggest entering a site or monument in a city for which there is an entrance fee to pay. Please allow approximately £30 for this
  • Discretionary gratuities to the crew, drivers, guides etc both on board and ashore

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Fly to the Dominican Republic

Meals

Dinner

Departure from London Heathrow via Madrid to Santo Domingo. On arrival in Santo Domingo, mid - afternoon you will be transferred by coach to Hodelpa Nicolas De Ovando Hotel in Santo Domingo, where you will immerse into the colonial past and discover the First City of the New World. Dinner will be taken at the hotel.

Transfer Time = 1h

Day 2

Countryside and sightseeing experience near La Romana and boarding Braemar

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Before boarding Braemar we go on an excursion to the real Dominican countryside and hop in our open-air safari truck. We begin our adventure with a walk through a sugar cane plantation and visit a small village inside it, where we learn about the traditional ways of living and working in the field. We continue our journey to the beautiful fishing village of Bayahibe, stop by a local baseball stadium home and learn how Dominicans have become the best baseball players in the world. We mesmerize our taste with fresh and juicy tropical fruits and organic cocoa.

Day 3

Exploring Santo Domingo

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Overnight Braemar will cruise along the coast to bring us to Santo Domingo, where the local guide will take us through the city tour. We will pay homage to the First Cathedral of the Americas, and the birthplace of a fervent Catholic faith. Visit the National Pantheon, followed by a walk across the ‘Alcázar de Colón’ museum and come across the Presidential Palace. We plan to board Braemar in the early afternoon again.

Day 4 to 5

Sailing to Mexico

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have two days aboard Braemar as we sail west through the Caribbean towards the coast of Mexico. This is a good opportunity to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. There is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the on-board gym, attend one of the on-board lectures, pamper yourself with a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library.

Day 6

Exploring Cozumel

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we will travel around the island of Cozumel, viewing the wild and untamed eastern shore. We’ll learn about the island’s history and visit the Mayan ruins of either San Gervasio or El Cedral. There will also be some free time to look around an historical village and go swimming.

Day 7

Excursion from Belize City

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We drive inland to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. The Crooked Tree village is itself worth exploring, with its narrow sandy lanes lined with cashew trees, with a Creole population. It is on the mainland, but surrounded by lagoons, so considered an island. We’ll do a bit of bird-spotting - 300 species have been recorded here from the giant jabiru stork (the largest flying bird in the Americas) to hummingbirds. We can also walk some jungle trails and we will have a boat trip across the lagoon.

Day 8 to 9

Cruising towards Costa Rica

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have another two days on board Braemar to kick back, soak up the sun, eat, relax and chat with our fellow travellers.

Day 10

Puerto Limón, Costa Rica

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

On arrival in Puerto Limón we drive 45 minutes to the Cahuita National Park. With a local guide we follow a trail in the park starting at Kelly Creek. We follow the Caribbean shoreline, winding around Cahuita Point and Puerto Vargas Point before doubling back. There is a chance we will see some of the park’s extensive wildlife, including green iguanas, howler monkeys, armadillos and some 400 species of birds.


Day 11

Excursion from Colón

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day ashore from Colón at the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. We pay a visit to the Canal, then spend some time in the San Lorenzo Reserve with its abundant wildlife.

Day 12

Exploring Cartagena

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Cartagena is an exquisitely beautiful city, one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Americas. In the old walled town the narrow streets are a riot of colourful colonial buildings with lush greenery bursting from the balconies. With a local guide, we visit the La Popa Monastery for 360º degree views over the city and the sea, San Felipe Fortress, and in the ‘Ciudad Vieja’ the Church of San Pedro Claver and the handicraft zone of Bovedas. This is not a city you are likely to forget!

Day 13

Cruising to Curaçao

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a day at sea to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities as we cross the southern Caribbean towards Curaçao.

Day 14

Walking from Willemstad

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We come ashore today in Willemstad, the colourful capital of Curaçao. Curaçao has a dry climate and the landscape is somewhat barren. However, many plants have adapted to life on the island, and there is interesting and colourful wildlife as well. On arrival in Willemstad a coach will take us to Caracas Bay – we walk around the bay viewing the historical remains, including the old Quarantine Hospital and the Dutch Colonial Fort. After lunch by the bay we return to the ship, then have the afternoon to explore the very attractive and interesting city of Willemstad - it has 750 historic buildings including the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.

Day 15

Sailing to Barbados

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have another day aboard Braemar as we now sail east through the sunny Caribbean towards Barbados.

Day 16

Fly home from Barbados

Meals

Breakfast & Lunch

After disembarking from Braemar we have a walking tour of Bridgetown. Following free time for lunch we transfer to the airport for our late afternoon flight back to the UK.

Day 17

Arrival in the UK

Meals

Breakfast

We land back in Gatwick in time for an early breakfast.

From (GBP)£3,495

Departure dates for your selected tour

29th Jan 2020 - 14th Feb 2020 (16 Nights)

26th Feb 2020 - 13th Mar 2020 (16 Nights)

Travel Details

Flights with British Airways from London Gatwick to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic returning from Bridgetown Barbados. Flight upgrades and/or domestic add-on flights available, please ask for a competitive quote. This cruise begins with an overnight hotel stay in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

Braemar (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Capable of comfortably accommodating up to 929 passengers, Braemar has a un-crowded, intimate feel, with friendly staff. Large windows bathe the ship's public areas in natural light and provide spectacular views. One of the focal points on Braemar is the beautifully painted, five-deck-high Atrium area, while the cascading outside decks at the stern really enhance the ship's elegant profile and offer stunning vistas no matter which outside deck you're on.

Refreshed with new fixtures, décor and furnishings during her extensive refit in late 2017, there are updated restaurants, bars and lounges offering sumptuous cuisine, and fantastic daily entertainment. From the grand Neptune Lounge, which hosts lectures and live shows, and the Coral Club, with its resident bands and large dance floor, to the welcoming Morning Light Pub and the intimate Observatory Lounge, there's a venue to suit every occasion on board Braemar. Spend time at the fully-equipped Fitness Centre, indulge yourself at the Atlantis Spa, relax in the pools or Jacuzzi or feel the sea breeze on a walk around the ship's open promenade.

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard. Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade.

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Braemar operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Braemar is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

The described walks assume that the weather will be good and that the ship will keep to the planned schedule. We may have to change the walks if the ship’s schedule changes or there is poor weather.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Fred Olsen Paying On Board

The currency on board ship is sterling. A credit account system is operated onboard allowing bar drinks, wine in restaurants, laundry charges, purchases from the shop and any other incidental expenses to be automatically charged to your account. You will be required to register a debit or credit card at check-in against which to charge your onboard account. At the time of writing there is no charge for payment by credit or debit card. Onboard accounts can be settled in cash, however, a debit or credit card must still be registered at check-in to secure the on-board account balance.

The following credit cards are accepted: Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Fred. Olsen also accepts Visa debit cards but is unable to accept American Express, Solo, and Electron, travel agent debit cards or traveller’s cheque cards.

The ship operates a Bureau de Change onboard, where currency can be purchased or sold subject to local currency restrictions. All major currencies are stocked based on the cruise destinations with no commission charge and competitive rates.

Entrance Fees

Whilst sightseeing plays a part in our itinerary, no entrances to museums or monuments are planned, and therefore no entrance fees are included in the price of the holiday.

Country Currency

The currency in the Dominican Republic is Dominican Peso 

Currency in Belize

Belize uses Belize dollars. US dollars are also accepted as currency.

Currency in Costa Rica

Colon (plural: Colones). US Dollars are also widely accepted . 
ATMs are available in most towns and cities and are the most convenient way to obtain cash. It is however advisable to carry a small supply of US Dollars for emergencies. Currency can also generally be exchanged in hotels. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Costa Rica. 
Mobile phones on most networks should work in most places in Costa Rica. Please be aware that making credit card telephone calls from Costa Rica can be extremely expensive.

Tipping

Fred. Olsen operates a system whereby the recommended level of gratuities will be automatically added to guests’ onboard accounts at the end of the cruise. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays include the tips for the dining room waiters but £2.50 per guest per day will be added to all onboard accounts for cabin stewards. Anyone wishing to vary the amount given can do so via reception and guests are free to remove the charge from their onboard account and tip the relevant staff in the traditional ‘envelope & cash’ method if they prefer.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied in some centres by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Fred Olsen Holiday and Passport Info

Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the date you return from the cruise and have enough spare pages to accept immigration stamps/visas. Ramblers Walking Holidays will not be held responsible for any guest refused entry to a country/countries for non-compliance with the above, and passage will be refused to any guest at point of embarkation with insufficient passport validity. We would suggest a minimum of four clear pages excluding pages required for any visas you are required to apply for in advance of sailing. It is also a requirement of all immigration authorities that your passport is not damaged in any way or has no missing pages - we strongly recommend you check the condition of your passport prior to travel.

Meals

So, what’s on the menu? One certainty is that no one on board the ship will ever go hungry. All meals are included, and you start the day with breakfast, a buffet arrangement where you can choose from fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, a full English breakfast, cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pastries, fresh juices and unlimited tea or coffee.

We’ll take our lunches on board on cruising days and the choice is yours: sample the ample buffet in the restaurant, see what’s on offer in the informal café or choose an alfresco poolside affair. When we’re out for the day we’ll be provided with a packed lunch.

Dinner is a sumptuous five course feast. The choices are many, and the food is excellent. The menus are varied and mouth-watering, freshly cooked by award-winning chefs. Special diets such as fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be catered for. Dinner is taken in a stylish restaurant with smiling courteous waiting staff creating a wonderful atmosphere for your evening meal. We are booked for dinner at 6.15pm to allow you plenty of time to also enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish. Wine can be pre-ordered from the Maître’d, over the interactive intranet in your cabin, or at the table.

If this is not enough, there is also morning coffee, afternoon tea and extensive late-night suppers to indulge in! We’ll also have an exclusive drinks party for our group one evening in addition to the Captain’s welcome and farewell parties and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on one of our sea days.

Complimentary tea and coffee can be found aboard the ship throughout the day, usually in the informal café. Other drinks must be purchased but the prices are very reasonable. No alcoholic drinks purchased ashore may be taken aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise.

If you have any special dietary requirements such as diabetic, gluten/wheat-free, dairy-free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, or low fat please advise us at the time of booking or no later than 14 weeks prior to departure.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Cruising Attire

Daywear

Daytime wear is casual with comfortable shoes for walking around deck. A lightweight jacket or coat is recommended for the early evening when the sun sets. You may also like to take a towel and swimwear as Black Watch has two small swimming pools and Jacuzzis. Towels are provided at the poolside should you forget your own. During the day casual wear is allowed in the restaurant but not swimwear.

Evening attire

During your cruise, there will be formal and smart casual evenings. On formal evenings, gentlemen are encouraged to wear ‘black tie’, although a dark suit and tie will suffice, with ladies elegantly dressed in cocktail or evening dress. On smart casual evenings, men can wear open-necked shirts, chinos and dark coloured jeans, and women dress or trousers and a top.

Caribbean Climate

The Caribbean has a typical tropical climate with high temperatures and plenty of rainfall, which is why the islands are so lush. There is little seasonal variation in temperature due to the islands location near the equator, but the seasons are determined by the amount of rainfall, and consist of rainy (generally June to October/November), and dry (generally December to May) seasons. 

During the wet season, rainfall is usually in the form of short, but heavy, bursts with a high increase in humidity, while the dry season’s rain showers are generally lighter and the humidity is not so intense. Daytime temperatures can reach up to 30°C all year round. 

With high temperatures and humidity, you will want to dress for comfort. Light cotton t-shirts, shorts, skirts and trousers are ideal for the day, especially ones that are quick drying so you can rinse them out to use again (saves on packing too!). For the evenings, smart casual attire is fine. 

The Caribbean can occasionally experience short, sharp, heavy periods of rain that can occur without warning, leaving trails wet and streams higher than normal. When this happens, for some trails we may need to change the plan at short notice or, for more straightforward trails, it has been very useful in the past to don water/aqua-shoes for short sections where lying water is higher than boot level.  These shoes can also be useful in and around rocky areas like waterfalls, for people with sensitive feet when getting in and out of water. It is also useful to carry a small, |light towel|. You may feel that waterproof trousers are not needed.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity on Board

The voltage on board is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Staying Healthy Onboard

Although most cruises experience calm seas, there is always the possibility of heavy weather. It is possible in these circumstances that some clients may be susceptible to sea-sickness. You may wish to consider packing some travel motion sickness medication which can greatly reduce any symptoms. Please liaise with your local pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding particular medication.

Whilst none of the walks is difficult you need to be comfortable walking over uneven and occasionally steep ground to enjoy them to the full.

Network and Centre website at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, the NHS Fit for Travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and the Foreign Office Travel Advice website at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or a local travel health clinic.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

We cannot stress enough the importance of good quality, comprehensive cruise insurance. Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all customers travelling on board. If for any reason you are yet to do so, please contact Ramblers Walking Holidays.

We do not insist that you insure with us, but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance. Your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader will ask for this information locally and you will not be able to join our walking and activity programme without this information.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday. It is vital that you have disclosed all pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer. Please see our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Safety Onboard

Naturally, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. We would therefore like to reassure you that when in certain ‘hot spots’ around the world, additional and robust security measures are put in place. Whereas you will appreciate that we cannot divulge these plans we would like to pre-advise that additional safety drills will take place prior to reaching these waters and it may be necessary to close the portholes of lower deck cabins whilst in areas considered to be at a higher threat level. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.

Cultural Awareness

Fred Olsen Plastic Policy

The use of single-use plastics on board Fred Olsen ships has been stopped wherever possible, including the banning of plastic straws, cocktail sticks, stirrers, cutlery and take away coffee cups. In addition, their officers and crew always consider how they can reduce the use of plastic further. All waste is collected, sorted and discharged by the ship’s staff following strict environmental regulatory requirements. This waste is subsequently landed ashore to approved recycling and receiving operators. The only waste that is discharged at sea is commuted food waste and wastewater.

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

Find out more

Costa Rica

  • Capital

    San Jose

  • Currency

    Colon

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Time Difference

    UTC -06:00

  • Flight duration

    11.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No visa required for a stay of up to 90 days

Average weather

  • January

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 87mm

  • February

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • March

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • April

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • May

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 278mm

  • June

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 301mm

  • July

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 288mm

  • August

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 305mm

  • September

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 342mm

  • October

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 354mm

  • November

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 239mm

  • December

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 143mm

Dominican Republic

  • Capital

    Santo Domingo

  • Currency

    Dominican Peso

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Time Difference

    UTC -04:00

  • Flight duration

    8.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 74mm

  • February

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • March

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • April

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 97mm

  • May

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 170mm

  • June

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 118mm

  • July

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 102mm

  • August

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 122mm

  • September

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 131mm

  • October

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 151mm

  • November

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 144mm

  • December

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 110mm

Mexico

  • Capital

    Mexico City

  • Currency

    Mexican Peso

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Time Difference

    UTC -05:00, UTC -06:00, UTC -07:00

  • Flight duration

    11hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No visa required for a stay of up to 180 days

Average weather

  • January

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • February

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 20mm

  • March

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 17mm

  • April

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 25mm

  • May

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • June

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 142mm

  • July

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 167mm

  • August

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 166mm

  • September

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 172mm

  • October

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 90mm

  • November

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 36mm

  • December

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 28mm

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