When you book an expedition with us, you can be safe in the knowledge that we make you our priority. Our policy is simple, having happy clients on successful expeditions. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to expedition safety, fun and customer service. When you contact us, our office staff will provide unrivalled personal service. Our expedition leaders and local staff who are well trained and highly experienced, will reinforce our high standard of customer service and provide you with a trip of a lifetime!
Earth’s Edge expeditions vary from one destination to another, although the following is generally included. In our expedition information packs, we will always provide an exact breakdown of what is and is not included for each trip. We dislike hidden costs as much as you do!
What’s included in the total expedition cost?
- International return flights from Dublin, economy class.
- All transport in country.
- All accommodation in hotels and/or camping for the duration of the itinerary based on two people sharing.
- All meals and drinking water for the duration of the trekking/activity part of the itinerary.
- Local guides, local support team and permits.
- Earth’s Edge Expedition Leader.
- Earth’s Edge Expedition Doctor.
- Pre-departure weekends.
- All group gear consisting of first aid kits, mountaineering equipment, cooking equipment etc.
- An expedition bandanna.
- A celebratory dinner at the end of the expedition.
What’s excluded from the total expedition cost?
- Personal travel insurance.
- Transfers to and from Dublin Airport.
- Medical vaccinations.
- Tourist visas.
- Personal equipment.
- Personal spending and tips.
- Expenses of a personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, excess baggage charges and any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as; bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Extensions are possible but subject to availability, contact us ASAP if you wish to extend your trip. For extension requests made at least four months before departure there is a change fee of €100 plus fare difference. For requests made between two and four months before departure there is a change fee of €150 plus fare difference. It is not possible to make an extension request within two months of departure.
When staying in hotels, we try to use locally run establishments in an effort to support the local economy. All rooms are clean and comfortable. While camping you will be sleeping in two person tents. Our prices are based on two people sharing. It is generally possible to arrange single rooms on Earth’s Edge expeditions. Contact us to request a single room or tent.
In keeping with our responsible travel policy, we do not post anything to participants. Limiting our printing and the posting of documents greatly reduces our carbon footprint. When a deposit is received, a confirmation email and expedition information pack is forwarded to the participant. Our expedition information packs include a detailed expedition itinerary, equipment list, information on the country you are travelling to, medical advice, entry/tourist visa information (if applicable), insurance info, training advice and much more.
Two months before departure we email participants their pre-departure document. This will contain details on your meeting time, your baggage allowance, your up to date itinerary as well as emergency contact details. We advise all participants to carry this document with them on the expedition and to give a copy to their next of kin. Your expedition leader always carries the flight tickets and all your transport and accommodation vouchers so you don’t need to worry about these.
Yes, participants must be at least 18 years of age in order to take part in an Earth’s Edge expedition alone. However, 16 and 17 year olds can take part as long as they are accompanied on the expedition by a parent or guardian. There is no maximum age limit, however, all participants must receive doctors consent before taking part in our expeditions. Occasionally we operate ‘family friendly’ expeditions which are suitable for children over 12 years old, contact us for more info.
Earth’s Edge group sizes are always small. This enables us to minimise our environmental impact & it also ensures we retain the element of adventure in our expeditions that separates them from your average holiday. Our expeditions have a maximum group size of 16 participants, with the exception of our ultra expeditions, which have a maximum group size of 12. For private groups the group size is flexible.
Food plays a huge part in the success of our expeditions. A cook accompanies all expeditions to prepare nutritious, tasty food. All fresh produce is washed using clean water and all perishable items are kept cool. We provide balanced meals which keep participants energised throughout the expedition. We like to cook local seasonal dishes but we also cook western dishes.
We will try our best to cater for those with dietary restrictions. If you have a dietary restriction, please state this on your medical declaration form which you will complete prior to your expedition. We will organise for you to have a suitable meal on your flight where meals are supplied by the airline. It is not possible for us to source specialist gluten or dairy free products locally. We will endeavour to provide suitable alternative carbohydrates, for example, potatoes or rice rather than bread. If you want to have specialist food like gluten free bread and pasta or lactose free milk you will need to bring them with you on the expedition.
The following is a typical day on an Earth’s Edge expedition and most days on your route will follow this general format. However, every day is slightly different and the weather can have a huge influence too.
Wake up, sometimes at sunrise, to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. After a substantial breakfast, we pack up all the equipment and get ready to leave. After giving your main bag to the support team we get moving. You need only carry a small rucksack with a spare jacket, hat, sun cream, water bottle, packed lunch and camera. We move at a pace that suits the group and stop regularly for photo opportunities and rests. At around midday we break for lunch. After a healthy and energizing lunch, we start moving again and by mid-afternoon we will have reached our destination. Once settled in play cards, explore the area and enjoy watching the sun disappear below the horizon. Meanwhile, the cooks will be busy preparing dinner using fresh seasonal local produce. After dinner, the Earth’s Edge expedition leader will brief you on tomorrow’s adventure. That night you can enjoy the company and stories of your guides and fellow adventurers. Then head to bed for a good night’s sleep to be ready to do it all again the next day!
Earth’s Edge is a fully licensed and bonded company (Travel Agents Licence No. T.A. 0711). When you book an expedition with us, you do so safe in the knowledge that your money is protected.
An Earth’s Edge expedition leader accompanies all expeditions. Our leaders are highly experienced and skilled in expedition leadership and wilderness first aid. Local English-speaking guides work with our expedition leaders to run the expedition. Our local guides are highly experienced and very familiar with the expedition route, local history, cultures and customs of the region.
A RAMS (Risk Analysis and Management System) is in place for all expeditions. The RAMS covers potential minor and major injuries, environmental risks, political risks and evacuation plans detailing the locations of local hospitals, emergency services and airports.
In the event of a sudden change of weather conditions, the Earth’s Edge expedition leader will assess the situation and make an informed decision on what to do. Participant safety is always the priority in the decision making process. Our itineraries are designed taking into consideration possible bad weather. Alternative routes and contingency plans are always in place in case of adverse weather conditions. We always aim to keep to the itinerary as much as possible but please remember that this is adventure travel and changes can occur!
On most expeditions, you only need to carry a small bag with the essentials such as a spare jacket, hat, water, packed lunch, camera etc. The bulk of participant’s luggage will be carried in a separate bag by our support team.
Along with the Earth’s Edge expedition leader we use local guides, cooks, drivers and muleteers/porters of the highest standard. We employ local staff based on their qualifications, experience and references. Our expedition leaders are trained in wilderness first aid and most of our local guides are first aid trained too. Our expedition leaders and local staff are familiar with the locations of local medical services and hospitals. Where no mobile phone network is available, expeditions are accompanied by two-way radios and satellite phones. Our expedition leaders have 24/7 access to our office in Ireland in the case of an emergency. All of our expeditions are accompanied by an experienced doctor who will travel with the group from Ireland.
In the event of someone falling ill or getting injured, the expedition doctor will assess and treat the sick or injured person. Often with some rest, participants can continue without a problem. If needed our support team will help the injured person to the next camp where an evacuation to a hospital can be arranged for more serious incidents. In the unlikely event of a serious incident which requires urgent hospital treatment, a helicopter evacuation can be requested from local authorities. The decision to evacuate is ultimately the expedition leaders. You must respect the decisions of your expedition leader at all times. Extra costs incurred as a result of an evacuation must be paid by the participant. Your personal travel insurance must cover such eventualities.
If an airline loses luggage, Earth’s Edge will help report the lost baggage and chase up the airline while the participant continues on the expedition. Personal travel insurance should cover the purchase of any necessary clothes and equipment needed. Generally, the airline will deliver lost luggage within 24 hours.
If a flight connection is missed because a previous flight was delayed, the airlines will offer an alternative flight and accommodation if necessary. If this disrupts any part of your expedition, Earth’s Edge will make alternative arrangements to get you back on schedule. Any extra costs incurred due to a missed connection will be covered by the airline or personal travel insurance.
Unless it is clearly stated in the trip description all our expeditions are suitable for people with little or no experience in the outdoors. Any specialised training such as using crampons, mountain biking, rafting or kayaking will be provided by us on the expedition.
For example, some of our expeditions require you to have experience using crampons and ice axe on snow and ice.
- Level 1: Very easy short walks on level ground at or just above sea level. Example: Walking your dog on the beach.
- Level 2: An average of 4 hours of physical activity per day at low altitudes. Example: Camino de Santiago.
- Level 3: An average of 4 to 6 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 4,500 metres. Some days may be up to 7 to 8 hours long but that’s not typical. Typical elevation gain per day would be 300 – 700 metres. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 5 to 6 hours per day for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: The Himalayas Trek.
- Level 4: An average of 5 to 7 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 5,500 metres. Some days may be up to 12 hours long but that’s not typical. Typical elevation gain per day would be 400 – 800 metres, with some days as much as 1000 metres. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 6 to 7 hours per day for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: Everest Base Camp trek.
- Level 5: An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 6,000 metres. Typically it will involve one long day of 10 to 15 hours to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1000 metres. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 7 hours per day for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: Kilimanjaro.
- Level 6: An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 6,300 metres. Typically it will involve one long day of 10 to 15 hours to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1000 metres. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 8 hours per day for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: Stok Kangri.
- Level 7: An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 6,500 metres. Typically it will involve one long day of 10 to 15 hours to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1000 metres. Added to this will be the remote location of the expedition. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 8 hours per day for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: Mera Peak.
- Level 8: An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 7,000 metres. Typically it will involve one extremely long and/or tough day to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1200 metres. Added to this will be the remote location of the expedition and the fact that you will need to typically need to carry your own equipment. You should be comfortable withstanding harsh mountain conditions for several days in a row. The itinerary is likely to change due to weather conditions. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 8 hours per day carrying a 20kg pack for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: Aconcagua.
- Level 9: An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 7,500 metres. Typically it will involve one extremely long and/or tough day to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1200 metres. Added to this will be the remote location of the expedition, the fact that you will need to typically need to carry your own equipment and that most of the route will be heavily glaciated. You should be comfortable withstanding harsh mountain conditions for several days in a row on a long expedition. The itinerary is likely to change due to weather conditions. As a rough guide, one should be comfortable walking for 8 hours per day carrying a 20kg pack for two days in a row in the Irish mountains. Example: Peak Lenin.
- Level 10: One of the world’s fourteen 8,000m peaks. Expeditions typical take between 40 and 70 days. You should be totally self-sufficient above 7,500 metres. You should be tougher than tough and enjoy physical & mental hardship. Long taxing training sessions where you finish exhausted should put a smile on your face. Example: Everest.
- Level 3: Annapurna, Himalayas.
- Level 4: Everest Base Camp, Machu Picchu.
- Level 5: Kilimanjaro, K2 Base Camp.
- Level 6: Stok Kangri, Ladakh Tri-Adventure.
- Level 7: Island Peak, Mera Peak.
- Level 8: Elbrus, Aconcagua.
- Level 9: Peak Lenin.
Training is very important; the fitter participants are the more they will enjoy the expedition. A participant’s level of fitness, experience and the expedition they are joining will dictate the amount of training needed. Our expedition information packs include information and advice on training. Any type of cardiovascular exercise is ideal. If possible we suggest that training should reflect the activities on the expedition. For example, if joining a trekking expedition training should focus on hillwalking.
There is no set minimum fitness level required to participate in our expeditions. The fitter one is the more they will enjoy an expedition. On Earth’s Edge expeditions the group moves at a comfortable pace and nobody is ever left behind. We try to match participants with an expedition that they will enjoy and we don’t recommend expeditions to people if they will be too difficult for them. All our expeditions are graded from level 1 – 10.
The equipment needed is slightly different for each destination and expedition type. When you sign up, a detailed gear list will be emailed to you. On expeditions where more expensive items are required, we will endeavour to recommend a suitable rental company.
Our prices are very inclusive and only a small amount of spending money is needed on Earth’s Edge expeditions. Most of our expeditions take place in remote areas where there are no shops for you to spend money in! A small budget for tips, shopping at the end of the expedition and items of a personal nature like phone calls is sufficient. At the time of booking, we will send you an expedition information pack which has more details on spending money for that particular destination.
All destinations are different and have varied levels of infrastructure in relation to accessing money. At the time of booking, we will send all participants an expedition information pack which has more details on the best way to carry money for that destination.
Yes, it is compulsory for all participants to have personal travel insurance on an Earth’s Edge expedition. Policies must provide cover for; a) medical injury or sickness b) all activities listed on the expedition booked (c) helicopter evacuation in an emergency situation and d) repatriation to one’s country of residence. You must declare any pre-existing medical conditions to your insurers and ensure you receive written confirmation that any pre-existing medical conditions are fully insured. We advise you to obtain travel insurance as soon as you book, that will cover you for unforeseeable circumstances such as illness or injury that might result in you not being able to take part in your expedition. We recommend Campbell Irvine for your travel insurance requirements as their policies cover a,b,c&d as above and include cancellation cover. To contact Campbell Irvine call +44 844 826 2722 or go to their website www.campbellirvinedirect.com/earthsedge.
The required vaccinations will depend on the country you are visiting. If you have visited a ‘tropical region’ in the past you may have some of the required vaccinations already. With the help of the Travel Health Clinic, we have compiled some travel health advice for each of our expeditions which we will send to you once you have signed up. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.
Yes about two months before every expedition we hold a pre-departure weekend. An experienced expedition leader and doctor will meet the group to answer questions about the trek. Most people at this stage will have questions about their equipment or vaccinations and will be given advice on the best way to pack for the trip. This is also a great opportunity for participants to meet one another before setting off. The weekend consists of a detailed expedition brief and two training hikes.