FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
+ So, what exactly is Atlas Unbound?
Atlas Unbound creates immersive experiences that inspire the discovery of new lands and different ways of understanding the world. We catalyze conversations, interactions and learning through a unique combination of journeys deep into nature and urban salon events. We invite our travelers to come explore settings of awe-inspiring nature, engage in conversations with insightful thinkers, contribute to initiatives that forge sustainable futures and become part of our network of like-minded individuals with a mischievous sense of curiosity.
We’re called Atlas Unbound because we believe that unfolding the planet has a lot to do with unraveling yourself too – daring to explore, embracing new points of view, connecting to global causes and opening yourself up to mystery.
+ What kind of people take part in your experiences?
Our experiences are for the ever curious and for those with a thirst for the unknown; for people who like to explore, adventurize and question their realities. Our experiences are based on the belief that variety is vital and that surprises stimulate the senses - we ask those travelling with us to impart their trust and come with a desire to engage and immerse themselves in new experiences.
For those traveling with teams, we encourage a diverse selection process such that senior management can build relationships with key individuals from different teams whilst also encouraging inter-team synergies.
+ How much does it cost to travel with Atlas Unbound?
It currently costs between US$1,400 and US$2,000 to travel on one of our curated group journeys. Each price reflects the variety of our accommodation, our transportation and all of the experiences we partake in. It also includes a donation component which is directed to the communities we work with and the specific causes near to our hearts in each location. Please see below for more information.
Team-building trips are priced on a case-by-case basis depending on the different requirements and the number of group participants. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalised discussion and a tailored quote.
+ What is included in your prices? What is not included?
The following list may vary depending on the specific itineraries of every journey and will be outlined in each case. However, as a general rule, our costs include:
- Internal airfare, terrestrial and water transportation between sites, camps and hotels;
- Culinary activities and experiences;
- Quality tipples to accompany our evening chats and fireside moments;
- Facilitators and workshops;
- Guides and accompaniers;
- Camping equipment and nature related activities;
- Entrances to sites;
- Pre-departure explorer packages;
- Access to our NGO partners' environmental projects and protected lands;
- Accommodation in each of its various forms (rooms are based on double occupancy. Please let us know if you there is someone you'd like to share a room with or would like a single room at additional supplement);
- Local taxes;
- Signature Atlas Unbound surprise experiences;
- Contribution towards a carbon offset program for internal flights, reinvested back into sustainable development projects.
Our costs do not include:
- International flights to arrival and departure points (we don’t do flights because machines can do flights much more efficiently than us and it would undermine our value proposition to you. However, we will be more than happy to advise you on all relevant details);
- Pre and post-trip accommodations;
- Snacks, gifts and little extras you might want to pick up on the way;
- Airport taxes and excess baggage charges;
- Optional activities and personal items;
- Insurance of any kind (we require all participants to have personal travel insurance. This will cover things like illness, flight cancellations, theft, etc. Please see below for further details and recommended providers);
- Optional gratuities for trip leaders, guides, and local staff.
+ How did you select the themes for each journey?
Every destination in the world has its own character, its own particular rhythm that makes it sing. These hidden dialogues play a large role in determining the feeling one walks away with, and we have chosen our locations based on the learnings that we believe each journey facilitates. We have found it constructive to weave a consistent narrative to guide our adventures and enhance our underlying themes. Our ideas are by no means definitive nor exhaustive - and indeed, the beauty of a journey is that every traveler will uncover their own sources of delight.
+ How often do you announce journeys and how far ahead do I need to sign up?
We aim to announce journeys three to six months in advance and strongly advise people to sign up as early as possible - the intimate size of our journeys means that they fill up fast. We often take advantage of national holidays and long weekends, in which case it’s advisable to book ahead as flight prices are usually more competitive the earlier they are purchased.
+ Why should I go on an Atlas Unbound journey?
Today it’s become easier than ever to open up a laptop and organise your own trip, and indeed we don’t pretend to be in the business of replacing a travel agent or a tour guide. What we have dedicated ourselves to is the creation of multisensory immersive experiences, of which travel forms a notable part – a small but very significant difference. Aside from having taken care of the usual logistical headaches, of filtering through investigative dead ends and hours and hours of time and patience, we have pulled together many parts which would be very difficult to do on your own. This includes traveling with a unique group of people whom you might never otherwise have had the chance to meet, partaking in intellectual curiosities with experts in their fields, and insider access to a wide range of local content through our own personal contacts and explorations.
+ Do you organize group or family travel?
We focus on creating experiences for curated groups of ten to fourteen individuals and for organisations seeking to improve team building capabilities within a nontraditional setting.
We encourage people to join our journeys as solo explorers or on a joint expedition with several friends, and in order to maintain the spontaneous camaraderie of our groups we try to make sure that at least half of the group are unrelated.
+ Where does Atlas Unbound operate?
Atlas Unbound currently operates across Mexico and Guatemala, with the intention of establishing routes for the European market by the end of 2018. It’s fundamental to our ethos that we operate in areas of breathtaking nature which feature an abundance of local curiosities, where we can connect to the land on a variety of levels and create magical journeys that invigorate the spirit.
We endeavor to provide journeys that are within manageable commuting distances from international hubs as we aim to have our travelers join for long weekends whilst still fulfilling their urban obligations.
+ Can you help me create a customized journey?
We aren’t in the business of creating customized journeys. There are many excellent providers out there and an integral component of our Atlas Unbound journeys are the surprise itineraries that we have painstakingly put together. If we dedicated our time to customizing journeys, we simply wouldn’t be the same company.
+ Do you offer any discounts?
We believe in building a community of curious individuals that will stay connected to Atlas Unbound long after they’ve taken their first bold steps into the unknown. To that end, we offer a $100 discount to repeat travelers that bring along a friend on their following journey.
We have also launched an ambassador referral program. This program allows our ambassadors to earn credits and priority placing towards a future journey of their choice, in exchange for promoting a trip to new travelers. If you're interested in being a part of the program, please contact us at email@example.com.
+ I don’t have much time. Sum it all up in a few words for me, please.
Immersive experiences, far flung locations, a unique community, a positive impact on the planet. We catalyze conversations, interactions and learning.
+ How do the individual journeys differ to the team journeys? Can I come alone?
The individual journeys revolve around small groups of people coming together to adventurize and build a sense of camaraderie, easily acquired whilst roaming through new lands and bonding under unfamiliar skies. Our team journeys are a little less mobile in order to crystallize learnings and infuse a sense of purpose with constructive and meaningful team building sessions.
We thoroughly encourage people to join our journeys as solo explorers and take the unique opportunity to meet new faces and familiar spirits. We are building an international network of like-minded individuals with a mischievous sense of curiosity, and our groups are designed to foster connections and ongoing collaborations.
+ What information do you provide before a trip?
Surprise and wonder are paramount to our experiences, and so we will never send a traditional detailed itinerary before our journeys take place. Many of our clients tell us that it’s this forfeiting of control and expectation of unknown adventure that makes an Atlas Unbound journey so refreshing. That being said, one doesn’t need a comprehensive schedule in order to pack wisely and we will always manage your expectations and ensure the surprise elements do not impact your experience negatively. Of course, if you are finding any of this particularly daunting, we are here to answer any specific questions you might have relating to itineraries.
+ You say all your itineraries are up to surprise - what happens if I don't want to do something?
Although we highly encourage everyone to take part in each activity, we completely understand that some things aren’t for everyone. You’ll always have the option to sit this one out, pull up a chair and live the experiences vicariously through your fellow explorers’ stories when they return.
+ Can I arrive later and depart earlier from a journey?
Unfortunately our itineraries are very carefully planned and usually include elements of onward travel to remote locations that make it near impossible to join at other times.
+ How active are your journeys?
Our journeys are often active in nature, but the intensity varies depending on your chosen path. Each night we endeavor to sleep somewhere different and use all manner of planes, boats and automobiles to move us from place to place. Part of our essence lies in the quest to unravel new lands and this requires both an active body and an active mindset. If you have any physical concerns about our journeys, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss directly.
+ What’s the food like?
The culinary side of things is central to any experience of a place. We believe that a freshly pressed tortilla straight off the griddle, a locally crushed mug of coffee beans or a finely sliced ceviche diced with the perfect avocado is a very part important of our day. Variety is our key ingredient and we seek to introduce you to the local cuisine in the most wondrous of settings. Imagine riverside dining rooms, renowned restaurants, abandoned missions or enchanted gardens.
Please be aware that we are happy to accommodate any special dietary requests you may have, but it is necessary to inform us of these restrictions when you sign up for a trip.
+ Where will I be sleeping?
Variety is paramount to our experiences and we’ve curated a series of journeys whereby most nights you’ll find yourself sleeping in different forms of accommodation. These can range from stunning eco lodges on the edge of mystical lakes to rustic tents with basic amenities in the middle of the jungle. We ask you to please come with an open mind and an explorer’s bravado, because some places really worth going to are located well off traditional tourist routes, and for good reason.
+ How many people come on your journeys?
We keep our group sizes small – between ten and fourteen people maximum. We believe that creating intimate groups is important to our overall experience and anything larger than this number doesn’t work as well. Many of the places we travel through do not have the facilities to cater to larger groups, which is often why we go there in the first place.
+ Are flights included?
Please check the details for each journey, but generally all international airfares are excluded. In most circumstances, intra-Mexico airfares will be included in the final price and will be based on a Mexico City departure.
+ Is tipping included and if not, how much should I budget?
Tipping is not included in the trip price. We prefer to leave this up to your discretion and personal judgement, instead of ascribing assumptions to your experience based on our point of view.
+ How do you handle safety issues?
We endeavor to ensure that every location Atlas Unbound visits is safe to travel to and that we have taken all necessary precautions to check local conditions prior to a trip. However, it should be noted that events are unpredictable and we require that all guests have proof of comprehensive travel insurance before travelling. The areas we currently travel to in Guatemala and Mexico are not known to be unstable. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
+ Can you recommend activities or accommodation in the area before or after a trip?
We would be more than happy to recommend activities or accommodation should you be able to extend your stay at a particular location. Atlas Unbound is currently based out of Mexico City and we would be delighted to share our expertise on this vibrant city before or after a journey.
+ What is your take on responsible and sustainable travel?
Travel has the potential to be a powerful tool in alleviating global poverty levels, and the expanding realm of sustainable tourism offers consumers a conscious choice to support local communities and prioritize the environment. Through every journey with Atlas Unbound, you’re spreading your dollars amongst grassroots communities and ecosystems through the use of local guides, hosts, services, and sustained community development. Our core ethos is to integrate sustainable thinking into every step of our journeys and help our travelers understand the causes they are donating to. We also acknowledge that often, due its very nature, travel can never be ‘perfectly’ sustainable and we therefore attempt to balance our journeys through carbon offset programs and partnerships with leading NGOs that help ensure our actions generate a positive net impact.
We believe in the power of experience to inspire awareness, compassion and change, and over the course of repeated journeys we’ll be investing back into select projects through partnerships that fund local economies and conservation initiatives.
+ Will I need a visa and vaccinations for my trip?
Whether or not you need a visa will depend on your home country and where we are traveling to. We require you to check with the relevant consulate for entry/exit requirements, and to also verify visa requirements with the relevant authorities prior to your trip. Usually your passport must be valid for at least 90 days following your departure date. You must also have at least one blank page in your passport. Although we are unable to arrange visas on your behalf, we’ve made it easy for you to obtain assistance with fulfilling your visa requirements through the services of Visa Central. You can conveniently do this by clicking HERE. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
+ How do payments work?
We require a non-refundable deposit of US$500 to secure your place on all of our journeys, due up to 60 days before the scheduled departure date. If the booking is made less than 60 days before departure, the full price of the journey will be payable upon reserving your place.
If you are unable to come on a journey and notify us within 60 days or more of the scheduled departure, this deposit is fully transferrable to any other Atlas Unbound journey of your choice, subject to availability. Should you cancel within 60 days of your scheduled journey departure date however, then the deposit will be considered forfeit (please see Cancellation Policy for more details).
Payment can be made by PayPal, bank transfer, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express). All wire charges relating to the transfer must be paid by the client.
+ What is your cancellation policy?
If it is necessary for a traveler to cancel their journey, we must receive written notice via email as soon as possible after the event causing the cancellation takes place. The date of the initial written correspondence with Atlas Unbound regarding the matter will be the date applied to the calculation of the cancellation fee.
If you must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the policy outlined below. Exceptions to our cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason and percentage charges are calculated on total trip cost, excluding insurance.
This policy exists because we must prepare for the trip by making non-refundable payments for accommodation, transportation, local providers, food, etc. We make decisions based on projected cash flow for many aspects of the journey and it's unfair to us and other participants to have to recover cost within limited days. Due to this, we suggest purchasing travel insurance from a third-party service provider so that you can be refunded by the insurance company should you need to cancel your trip.
- Between 60 days - 1 year before scheduled departure date: We will refund you 100% the of total journey cost, minus the US$500 non-refundable deposit which can be transferred to another journey of your choice, availability dependent.
- Between 30 - 60 days before scheduled departure date: We will keep the US$500 non-refundable deposit, and refund you 50% of the total journey cost minus the deposit.
- Less than 30 days before scheduled departure date: We will not be able to refund you any of the total journey cost nor the $500 non-refundable deposit.
+ What’s the deal with insurance?
Given the active and often remote nature of our journeys, and our refund policy, we require that all guests have proof of their own insurance before they travel. We require a policy with a minimum of US$200,000 in Emergency Evacuation / Medical protection. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
Although we strong recommend conducting your own research based upon personal parameters, we have found that World Nomads and IMG Global have a number of comprehensive plan options that include evacuation, medical, cancellation, and adventure sports protection. Depending upon your journey of choice, we often recommend adventure sports protection.
+ Do I need to sign a waiver?
Yes, during your booking process you’ll be sent an online liability waiver release form that is easy to fill out and submit electronically. This is required in order to go on any journey. This waiver allows us to formally summarize our responsibility to you, and acknowledges your own assumption of risk by choosing to travel with us. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
+ Anything else I need to know?