Project Argentina / Chile 2024 Annular Solar Eclipse
Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the payment schedule and payment options?

If you make a Provisional Reservation we will email you an invoice with payment option details when a payment is due. Payments can be made by credit/debit card or by bank/wire transfer.

 

Initial deposit due within 1 month of invoice date - 15%

Stage Payment 1 - 20% due in October 2022

Stage Payment 2 - 25% due in October 2023

The Final balance of the total price is due by 1st June 2024
 

How do I book on a tour?

You can book on Project Argentina / Chile 2024 Annular Solar Eclipse any time by completing the online Provisional Reservation form (click here), or you can contact us by phone if you have any queries.

 

From the UK 01422 887110

 

From outside the UK +44 1422 887110
 

Is a passport required?

You will need to have a passport for Project Argentina / Chile 2024 Annular Solar Eclipse

 

Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of your trip. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must renew your passport prior to travel.
 

Do I need Travel Visas?

You must have all visas (and vaccination) certificates that are necessary to enter or pass through any countries involved in Project Argentina / Chile 2024 Annular Solar Eclipse.

 

Visa requirements are subject to change so please check with a Visa Service Company in the country in which you are located or you can check details online instantly with companies such as CIBT Visas (https://cibtvisas.co.uk/). Visas can be obtained through the relevant embassy or consulate.

 

General Note: Some countries refuse admission to travellers not meeting their accepted standards of dress or appearance (even if they hold a visa). Entry may also be refused to certain countries if your passport bears stamps or visas (valid or expired) for Israel.

Please note it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct, current visa information in good time before departure and that you act on it.
 

International Flights and arrival/departure Airport Transfers

We can assist with flight advice from all worldwide destinations.

 

Flight packages become available approx. 11 months in advance of a tour departure or you can arrange your own International flights if you prefer.

 

Please note: Airport transfers and assistance are included on tour arrival and departure days if you take advantage of the International flight package offered by our flight partner. If you choose to arrange your own International flights then the meet point is the hotel on Day 1 and the tour ends at the hotel on the final day.

 

Astro Trail work closely with Star Travel UK (https://staruk.uk/), for International Flight arrangements for our projects. Star Travel UK are fully IATA and ATOL bonded. For UK departures Star Travel UK will provide an ATOL certificate (an ATOL does not apply for non UK departures).
 

Do I need Travel Insurance?

It is advisable that you have Travel Insurance for any overseas travel arrangements and Astro Trails strongly urges you to purchase travel insurance before making your first deposit payment onto a project.

 

Travel Insurance policies are widely available and offer a range of financial protection for your trip. Health cover is obviously a necessity and we would also advise a policy which covers any loss in respect of non-refundable cancellation charges.

 

The policy costs and the extent of coverage vary considerably - a simple internet search will provide many alternatives and you are free to make your own choice. 

Travel Health

You will be staying in good, clean, regulated hotels and there is no reason to expect greater health risks than a journey in your home country.

 

There are no specific health or inoculation requirement for entry into any of the countries visited, but different authorities advise a range of protection which is available. If you have an existing medical condition you should contact your own medical practitioner for personal advice.

 

A useful general health advice website for travellers is http://www.who.int/ith/en/ and there are also advice sites in individual countries.

 

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/travelhealth/Pages/Travelhealthhome.aspx

http://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/health/Pages/default.aspx
 

Why book with Astro Trails?

Astro Trails is the latest version of a project which started in 1973 when Transolar Travel, a small UK travel agency, chartered a cruise ship to take members of the British Astronomical Association and their friends to observe a total solar eclipse off the coast of West Africa. David McGee, the owner of Transolar went on to run projects to follow the Apollo spaceflight launches from Florida, and from 1980 his brother Brian McGee took over responsibility for continuing the organisation of solar eclipse tours and he is still involved in the operation to this day.

 

Brian McGee is a familiar name to thousands of people who have travelled on the many astronomy projects he has organised since 1980, originally as Explorers Travel and subsequently as Astro-Trails. With expeditions to almost every total eclipse over the past four decades the track record of being clouded out on only two occasions has required more than just luck!

 

The itineraries for the projects reflect the active curiosity of people who join this kind of expedition and such people are always good travelling companions. Our team have many good memories of the people, places and events over the past 40 years and we look forward to joining you on many more.
 

Will an itinerary change?

The long distances covered in these itineraries necessarily involve a number of journeys. All itineraries are based on current routes and schedules and will therefore be subject to change in the event of schedule or route changes.

 

You will be informed of any major changes when we become aware of them. Minor changes will be advised in your Final Itinerary approximately two weeks prior to departure.

 

*Please note these costings are based on June 2021 prices and are subject to change.
 

Do you have Astronomy Experts on Project Argentina / Chile 2024 Annular Solar Eclipse?

We normally have at least one Astronomy expert on each project. Our colleagues are chosen from a group of experts who have assisted us on many previous solar eclipse trips - see this section on our website for details of some past and present names and faces.

 

We do try to arrange a pre-eclipse briefing / gathering for the whole group wherever possible and if this is not possible due to the logistics of the tours, we distribute a handy Eclipse Information and Observation Guide prior to travel.
 

Who are the local guides on the tours?

We work with a team of country specialists provided by our partners in Argentina and Chile. Their main responsibility is to make sure that all members of the group are well looked after and return home having had a wonderful trip with some fantastic memories. It is their responsibility to ensure that the tour runs smoothly and that all the daily logistics are in place and also to oversee the health and safety aspects of the tour.

 

We also have a core team of specialist Astro Trails co-ordinators who oversee the logistics of the project in its entirety and whom you will see from time to time on different parts of the tour, overseeing and co-ordinating arrangements.
 

Which local firms provide services within Chile and Argentina?

Our partners in Chile are Turavion, an Inbound Tour Operator and one of the leading tourism companies in Chile with more than 86 years of experience

 

Our partners in Argentina are Eurotur. Eurotur was established in 1954 and is now one of the leading Argentine Incoming Tour Operators with years of experience in the market assisting clients spanning all continents. They have offices in Buenos Aires, Patagonia and the Northwest.
 

What Hotel Accommodation is provided?

The hotels used for this expedition are mostly equivalent to three or four-star standard but they can vary dramatically between places.

 

All hotel rooms provide private bathrooms. In smaller towns and in remote areas hotel facilities are more limited than may be expected in major cities, particularly in areas close to the eclipse track where there is a very high demand for accommodation.

 

We try to include accommodation which best reflects the local area in which we are travelling and aim for mid-range accommodation, with the key requirements being cleanliness, safety, comfort and a good location.
 

Is it possible to share a twin room instead of paying a single room supplement?

Tours are based on customers sharing twin-bedded or double rooms.

 

If you book on a Twin Share basis, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, if there is no one to pair you up with on your Tour closer to final balance stage, we will have to charge you a Single Supplement.

 

On all tours we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room.
 

What meals are included?

All Tours include breakfast, but other meals are often not included. This allows you to try the cuisine in local restaurants and also to choose what and where to eat and how much to spend. Our local guides will often be able to help with advice on restaurants.
 

What ground transportation is provided?

We charter comfortable, full size touring coaches for all land sectors.
 

How many people are travelling on the tour?

Our tours are extremely popular and groups sizes vary in size with normally up to around 45 people on a coach.
 

Climate

Argentina

Most of Argentina is in full spring mode by late September/early October and this is a great time to visit the central and northern areas. Buenos Aires sees highs in the lower 70°F, while Mendoza will see highs in the upper 70°F. As for Southern Patagonia, spring doesn’t really arrive until November, since daily highs remain in the low 50°F, though you will start to see less rain and longer daylight hours for more outdoor adventures. No matter where you travel, it is advisable to bring plenty of warm clothing with you for chilly evening temperatures, especially after the sun goes down.

 

Chile

Late September/early October brings early spring weather to central Chile, with warm, sunny days in Santiago and highs in the upper 60°F range, with only a few days of rain. As for Southern Patagonia, spring doesn’t really arrive until November, since daily highs remain in the high 40°F range, though you will start to see less rain and longer daylight hours for more outdoor adventures. No matter where you travel, it is advisable to bring plenty of warm clothing with you for chilly evening temperatures, especially after the sun goes down.

 

You can find full climate details via these links (please toggle between September and October on the websites as required, depending on the tours chosen) -

 

Observation sites

Easter Island

Las Horequtas

 

Argentina

Buenos Aires

Perito Merino Town

Gobernador Gregores

El Calafate

Mendoza

 

Chile

Santiago

Easter Island

La Serena

Vina del Mar

Antofagasta

San Pedro de Atacama

Punta Arenas

Puerto Natales

Torres del Paine