FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the advantages of going with OX and not with other companies?
At OX we care about your overall experience. And as professionals we take many measures to insure you have the correct information and are prepared with your gear, clothing, guide and everything else. Our team will take care of you and it begins from the start at our Pre-Trip Meeting or getting information from our office team. Our guides are highly trained, bilingual and prepared. Even our shuttle drivers and management team are ready to make your adventure a positive and fun experience. Not the negative alternative.
How can I reserve a tour?
Tours can be reserved simply by checking with our tours desk through the email and confirming the dates you desire, then just pay a trip deposit, fill out the client information from the website and you are reserved. Your spot on the tour is confirmed.
Do you have activities for children and families?
YES! We love sharing the beauty and adventure of nature with kids. Just look for any of our “EASY” tours and we can customize it to kids and families. Pacaya day and overnight is our favorite.
Do i get picked up in my hostel / hotel?
Only large group tours get picked up somewhere else. To ensure that we can leave to the mountains in a timely manner, ensuring safety and the increased possibility of better views, everyone meets at the OX office at the tour departure time, depending on the specific tour.
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Hit this link to our Policies page http://oxexpeditions.com/terms-conditions.php
What if my trip dates do not match with your calendar trips?
If you are a solo traveler than it is recommended you be flexible with your dates for a tour and join one of our tours already booked. However if you have a group of 4 or more and want to customize your tour date, then we can usually do it on the days you desire.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept payment through our website for reservations with any credit card or directly with your PayPal account. In our office for paying the remaining balance, we accept local currency.
How far in advance should I book a tour?
Yes, our tours fill up, especially really popular tours like the Acatenango overnight. You should book online at least a week in advance to ensure your spot on a tour. We do often open a second tour when one fills up but if you wait till the day before, it is often too late and the tour is full.
Do I get my Trip Deposit back after the tour?
The trip deposit if part of your trip payment. So if you pay the deposit of $40. And then show up and pay the difference, you are paid in full and ready to go. If you need to cancel a tour, simply do this before 48 hours from the departure of the tour and you will get 100% of your deposit refunded. If you fail to cancel before 48 hours then we keep the deposit but refund any other money more than the deposit that you have already paid.
How much should I tip an OX guide for my tour?
10% of your tour cost is acceptable. Our guides are a really essential part of the adventure team here at OX. They really put a lot of effort into the preparation and post trip clean-up for your tour. Not to mention execution of an amazing adventure keeping you safe and secure in the mountains. They make it look easy, but believe us, the training and preparation takes years to master. Thank them for their efforts with a small token of your appreciation. :)
How often do you run volcano tours?
Check out our online calendar page, http://oxexpeditions.com/travel-calendar.php If you desire a tour on a different date, contact our office team and we will see if it is possible.
Do you cancel a tour if it rains or there is bad weather?
OX is in the adventure business. Rain or bad weather is a part of this adventure. We do not cancel unless it is something major like a tropical storm or hurricane. However, we prepare for these elements and ensure your safety through our professional procedures and standards. It is just a part of the fun. Life is not perfect, nor is the weather.
What is the Pre-Trip Meeting? Do I really need to attend it?
The Pre-Trip Meeting is one of the most important characteristics of our professional standard at OX. This is an opportunity to ensure your total preparation for an overnight tour. No other companies do this, and when you meet the clients in the mountains freezing cold and under prepared or worse, you understand first hand why communication of all the trip details and professional guides are so important. If you can not make the Pre-Trip meeting due to extreme circumstances, let our office team know. We will do our best to give you all the proper information.
How big does my backpack need to be?
If you are doing “day tours” then just a day pack will suffice (usually around 30 liters) but if you are doing an overnight trip, you will need a 55 liter or greater. You must have shelter, food, clothing etc to guarantee a certain level of comfort and safety.
What is the average size of a group for a tour?
Our most popular tours done at the busiest times will max out at 12 clients. If we exceed this, then we add another guide and another trip. Day trip tours are usually only about 4 to 6 clients on average.
Do the guides speak English?
YES! Of course our guides speak English. Proper communication is essential to keeping you safe and secure. It is a cemented standard with the Pro Team at OX.
What special equipment do I need for a tour on the volcano?
Since we do not have ice and snow, there is no need for “special” equipment. However, do yourself a favor and be sure to have good footwear and a headlamp (for overnight tours).
Is there somewhere to leave our extra luggage and bags?
OX will take care of you and your extra luggage and bags. We will store all your extra gear in our secure locked storage room at the OX Expeditions office. No problem.
What kind of clothing do I need to bring for a tour?
Always be prepared for wind and rain in the mountains, so a rain jacket is always recommended. We have rain ponchos for rent if you do not have anything better. Other than that, two change of clothes, comfy day hiking clothes and at night, warm insulating clothing. That’s it.
Is it possible to take a horse to the top of the volcano?
Well that depends on the volcano. Pacaya= YES,($10) most of the way. Fuego= NO, Acatenango= YES,($20) to camp only. Horse fees depend on the horse and its owner.
What time of day do your mountain bike tours leave?
Our longest tour is our Ciudad Perdida “lost city” cultural tour which usually takes about 4 hours. So we try to leave at 8am. Or 1pm in the afternoon. Otherwise, most tours leave between 8 and 9am. Hike-Zip-Bike tours depend on the zip line schedule, so we must leave early, 8am as well.
How long are the bike tours?
Cultural tours usually take between 3 to 5 hours. Action single track tours usually take between 2 to 3 hours, depending on the rider fitness levels.
I know how to ride a bike, can I do any tour you offer?
Absolutely not!! We want you to have a good time so if you have never ridden single track cross country on a mountain bike, then one of our advanced tours is probably NOT a good idea. And intermediate tour could work if you are a newbie at single track, talk to our guide just to be sure.
What type of bike tours do you offer?
http://oxexpeditions.com/biking-tours-guatemala.php Well, check out this page on our website for details and definitions of these terms. “Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced” and of course our cultural tours are all quite “EASY.”
I am an expert trail rider but my girlfriend only rides on roads, what kind of tour should we choose?
Maybe you should choose two different tours, however if you want to do a tour together, then choose to the level of the weakest rider to ensure happiness all around.
How long in advance should I book a bike tour?
Usually bike tours can be booked the day before or a few days before your desired tour date.
How hard is the “HIKE” portion on a combo bike tour?
On our tours including the “hike” like the HIKE-ZIP-BIKE or the HIKE-BIKE-SWIM, you can expect an easy stroll across town(30 minutes), then an uphill hike for roughly 1.5 hours over trails, paved and dirt roads. Not nearly as challenging as a volcano tour (unless it is Pacaya volcano).
How much money do I need for the cultural bike tours?
Cultural tours take you to places and show you things you might not expect, such as coffee, or textiles, crafts, food and drinks etc. So bring some extra money in case the urge grabs you. And of course, don’t forget to tip your guide. :) (10% is sufficient)
Can children participate on your bike tours?
YES, as long as they fit our bikes, since we do not have “child’s bikes.” So generally if your kids are around 9 years and up, they will feel comfortable on our bikes.
What is the most challenging mountain bike tour you offer?
The PacMan Advanced tour: http://oxexpeditions.com/pacman-advanced-mountain-biking.php
How far in advance should I make a KAYAK / HIKE reservation?
This tour should be booked a few days in advance. It is possible we can execute this tour if you book it the day before, but it is not guaranteed.
How long does the KAYAK / HIKE tour actually take?
Usually this tour lasts about 6 hours, including the hour sit down breakfast in San Marcos. Plan from 9am to about 2 or 3pm.
Does the KAYAK trip included transport from Antigua?
The tour begins at Lake Atitlan and does not include transport. This tour is designed for those travelers already at the lake or traveling in that direction.
Where does the KAYAK trip begin?
This tour begins and ends at the boat dock of the hotel CASA DEL MUNDO which is located between Santa Cruz and Jaibalito.
What’s included on the KAYAK trip?
We provide the guide, the kayaks, the life jackets and an amazing and diverse tour guided by one of our bilingual pro guides.
Do you provide lifejacket on the KAYAK trip?
Yes, so if you can not swim or do not feel comfortable around water, no problem, just make sure you attach your life jacket.
What do I need to bring on the KAYAK trip?
We recommend sport sandals so that if they get wet no problem. Bring extra socks, light colored clothing is recommended, sunscreen and a hat and put all your electronics in a zip-lock bag just in case you go for an unexpected dunk into the lake. Money for breakfast and to tip your guide is recommended.
How hard is the ZIPLINE tour?
Being on a zipline is physically effortless, however possibly difficult jumping off the edge into a flying position. A lot of fun for the whole family.
How can I book to do a SURF trip?
Contact our office or book it from our website.
How long does a SURF tour last?
The surf trip is unique because it will be according to your desire to stay at the beach. We book it for you and you stay as long as you want at the beach.
Why stay with OX-Base Camp Hostel?
If you book a volcano tour and are scheduled to leave at 5 or 6am in the morning, it is so much easier to just roll out of bed and be ready to go, rather than unpacking from your other hotel or hostel from across town and carry all your stuff through the streets when it is often still dark and potentially dangerous. Some folks have missed their tours because they got lost or overslept. It is just better to stay with us the night before your tour.
How much time in advance should I book a bed?
To guarantee space, you should book a bed at our base camp hostel at the same time you book your tour. Usually the night before and after your tour.
What types of rooms / beds do you have?
We have a hostel so it is by no means a hotel and the price of a bed effectively reflects this, so you can expect a dorm room to have up to 6 beds (our $8. dorm) or 4 beds (our $9. dorm) and one private room.
What are the prices of the beds?
http://oxexpeditions.com/hostel-antigua-guatemala.php Check our website for the latest prices, but currently, 6 bed dorm is $8, 4 bed dorm is $9. And the private room (sleeps 2) is $25.
Can I pay with Card?
Yes, we accept payment through our website with any credit card through PayPal.
What is included with the room?
The basics you would expect in a hostel and a free breakfast, free drinking water, towel, bed, wifi and a chill space to hang out in. As well, if you are doing a tour with us and need a place to store your gear, we have a secure area for this, free as well.
Are there any services in your hostel?
basics you would expect in a hostel and a free breakfast, free drinking water, towel, bed, wifi and a chill space to hang out in. As well, if you are doing a tour with us and need a place to store your gear, we have a secure area for this, free as well.
What’s your cancellation policy?
We will return your hostel payment given 24 hours notice. Otherwise we will charge you for the bed.
At what time is check in?
2pm is our daily check in time.
At what time is check out?
11am is our daily check out time.
Is there any discount at the hostel when you do tours with OX?
Yes, when you do a tour with OX your night after the tour is 50% off. Rest right. :)