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 - 10%
*If a tour has limited availability, a deposit may be required within 3 working days of the invoice date
Stage Payment 1 - 20% due by 1st April 2022
Stage Payment 2 - 20% due by 1st April 2023
The Final balance of the total price is due by 1st December 2023
How do I book on a tour?
You can book on Project Mexico / USA April 2024 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 Mexico / USA April 2024.
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 Mexico / USA April 2024.
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. 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.
Flights become available approx. 11 months in advance of a tour departure or you can arrange your own International flights if you prefer.
Astro Trail work closely with Star Travel 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).
The meet point for all tours is the hotel after check in (from 3pm) on Day 1 and the tour ends at the hotel on the final day after check out (from 10am). Astro Trails can often offer assistance in booking airport transfers and extra hotel nights if required.
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.
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 the World Health Organisation and there are also advice sites in individual countries.
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 have been updated in February 2023 (Mexico Tours) and October 2023 (USA tours) and are governed by the Price Guarantee in our Terms and Conditions. The Rate of Exchange used in this project is GB 1 = US 1.19
Do you have Astronomy Experts on Project Mexico / USA 2024?
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 local guides and country specialists provided by our partners in Mexico. In the USA we deal directly with reputable hotels, transportation companies and local excursion companies.
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 Mexico and the USA?
Our partners in Mexico are Condor Verde, who also have offices in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Venezuela. For over two decades they have provided clients with the most original and exciting ideas, and unsurpassed flexibility in personalizing travel experiences. They are renowned for their professionalism and high standards of service and have become our close friends over the years.
In the USA we deal directly with reputable hotels, transportation companies and local excursion companies.
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.
Budget lunch - In Mexico local dishes are fairly cheap $5 - $8. International dishes cost quite a bit more.
Budget dinner - In Mexico, for the hearty food the locals eat (rather than fancier places with English-language menus) expect to pay $10 - $15
Prices in hotel restaurants are much more expensive.
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.
On Project Mexico / USA 2024 we have two observation locations - Torreon in Mexico, and Waco in Texas. Tours sometimes come together at one or the other of these observation sites (depending on the tour you have chosen) but otherwise each of the itineraries tends to operate independently (although there is sometimes some days that overlap between the different tours).
Usually the last months of the dry season, temperatures in March and April are picking up and they can be excellent choices for some relaxation on the hot and sunny Yucatan Peninsula. Mexico City and the surrounding colonial towns and villages are also becoming pleasantly warm.
Down in the south, April is a perfect time to travel, with warm sunny weather. The national parks, forests and wetlands are lush and vibrant, the wildlife is more active and there are a wide number of events in towns and cities.
You can find full climate details via these links -