Tour & Culinary Workshop Policies
By booking or participating in a tour or culinary workshop with Baja Test Kitchen (BTK), you agree to abide by, adhere to, and respect the following policies, requirements, rules, agreements, terms, and conditions:
IMPORTANT TOUR & WORKSHOP REQUIREMENTS
- All tour and culinary workshop participants must agree to and sign the appropriate Baja Test Kitchen Participation Agreement (release of liability agreement) at least 3-days prior to participating in a tour or workshop. Every adult participant must complete, sign, and submit his/her own agreement (you may not complete/submit it on behalf of another participant). Failure to complete, sign, and submit a Participation Agreement (release of liability agreement) in advance of your tour or workshop date, for every member of your group, will constitute your reservation's cancellation without refund or credit. As our tours and workshops travel in/to a foreign country, we cannot allow for "surprise" tours or workshops -- all participants must have adequate time to prepare for their tour or workshop, to review the Participation Agreement's Terms and Conditions, and agree to those terms and conditions. We ask that Participation Agreements be submitted at least three (3) days in advance of your scheduled tour or workshop date - the sooner the better. We will not accept Participation Agreement submissions on the day of your tour or workshop - Participation Agreements must be submitted in advance of your tour/workshop date. We cannot accept modified agreements, nor will we make modifications to the Participant Agreement (release of liability agreement). To offer our service and to keep our and your costs low, it is imperative that all tour and culinary workshop participants agree to ALL of the terms, conditions, and provisions of our Participation Agreement - this is an absolute requirement for participation. If you or someone in your group cannot agree to a particular term or condition of participation, you should not book the tour/workshop with Baja Test Kitchen, and you should not participate in such tour/workshop.
- By booking and/or paying for and/or participating in a tour or culinary workshop with Baja Test Kitchen, you agree to abide by the BTK Payment Terms & Conditions. You agree that failure to sign and submit the appropriate Participation Agreement (release of liability agreement) in advance of your tour/workshop date, and/or you or you or your group's failure follow these policies (the "BTK Tour & Workshop Policies") will result in immediate cancellation of your tour or workshop without refund or credit.
- All communications about your tour or workshop reservation will be sent electronically, via email, and it is your sole responsibility to maintain your email account operational so that you may receive and reply to tour or workshop communications. You agree to advise BTK immediately about any change or update to the email address we have on file for your inquiry or reservation.
- You must be at least 18-years old to participate in Baja Test Kitchen tours and workshops. Proof of age may be requested by BTK staff before participation is allowed.
- All participants must cary a valid passport document, and if necessary for travel to the United States or Mexico, a valid Visa (or Visa waiver). We strongly recommend that you also carry a second government-issued photo identification document (i.e. driver's license, state/government issued photo ID). We require that you carry your original passport document with you at all times while in Mexico (it may be requested by authorities, and per Mexican law, it's the only valid form of personal identification for tourists/visitors recognized by Mexican authorities). You should also keep a photocopy of your passport (and if required, your Visa) apart from you (i.e. in your car, in your luggage at your hotel, on your cruise ship, with a friend or family member at home). Your BTK tour guide, trip director, or workshop leader may ask you to show your passport (and Visa if required) before allowing participation in BTK trips or activities - failure to show that you have in your possession the travel documentation required by law, will result in the immediate cancellation of your reservation without refund, credit, or rescheduling.
- Cruise ship passengers must also carry the identification issued by their cruise line -- this identification is required for re-entry to the Port's secured facility.
- All participants are solely responsible for the safekeeping of their own identification, travel documents and other belongings. You should not leave your identification or travel documents unattended at any time, or stored in any unattended BTK vehicle. You acknowledge and agree that Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for the safekeeping of your identification, travel documents or other belongings. You are advised to never leave valuables unattended in a BTK vehicle, or unattended at any vendor location.
Important Information Regarding Cross-Border Travel
- If your tour or culinary workshop requires cross-border travel, in order to gain re-entry to the United States, U.S. citizens will be required to carry a valid U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card or SENTRI Card. Non-U.S. citizens will be required to carry and produce proof of residency (i.e. a valid Resident Card, aka a “Green Card”) or a valid passport from your country of residence and Visa (or Visa waiver) allowing for multiple entries into the United States. For more information on re-entry requirements see http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/cross-us-borders. Mexican immigration authorities also require that all non-resident tourists carry a valid passport document, and if necessary for travel in Mexico, a valid Visa (or Visa waiver).
- In addition to a valid passport, Mexican tourist permits, or FMMs (Forma Migratoria Multiple), are required for all non-Mexican citizens entering Baja California. If you are driving to Baja California and will be there for seven days or less, you may obtain this document for FREE at the Immigration office located at the border. A valid passport or passport card is required to obtain an FMM. For visits of eight days or more, paid FMM tourist permits are required. As of September 2015, the “free zone” for FMMs (trips within the 20 kilometer border zone for less than 72 hours) is no longer valid and everyone entering Mexico should obtain an FMM. Our partner, Discover Baja Travel Club can provide more information on obtaining the appropriate FMM for your tour or workshop. When required by Mexican border authorities, we will stop at the Mexican immigration office at the border entry point to complete the application for a free FMM tourist card.
- U.S. or Mexican authorities may request to see your identification at border inspection stations and checkpoints, and you and your family members should be able to produce the proper and valid travel documents and identification upon request. Should your identification or other travel documents come into question, you may be detained by U.S. or Mexican authorities. If you are detained by U.S. or Mexican authorities for any reason, you understand and agree that the other trip participants will proceed without you and you will be solely responsible for making all arrangements and paying all costs related to your transportation (and/or return home) from that point forward.
Health Requirements & Accessibility
- Tours and workshops require that all participants must be in good overall physical and mental health and have at least average mobility and strength. Participants should be able to walk unaided, for a minimum distance of one-quarter-mile (roughly 400-meters; one (1) lap around a standard track), and should be able to climb at least three flights of stairs without becoming winded or tired. Tour participants should expect to enter and exit the tour vehicle many times throughout the day. Accessing the rear seats of the tour vehicle requires average mobility and flexibility. We cannot guarantee which seat you will be assigned in the tour vehicle. If you have a medical or health condition that requires you to sit in front, you must notify BTK at least 3-days before your tour's departure date. We will do our best to accommodate special requests, however, actual seating assignments cannot be guaranteed.
- Women who are pregnant or people with serious medical concerns, such as heart conditions, back injuries, or other serious illnesses, and/or are not able to meet the above requirements, will not be able to participate.
- While in Mexico, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. Mexican law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, air travel and other transportation, access to health care, and the provision of other services. However, the law is not effectively enforced in all areas of Mexico. Many public buildings and facilities continue to be in noncompliance with the law requiring access for persons with disabilities, as do most hotels and other tourist facilities. Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for vendor facilities that are not in compliance with Mexico's accessibility requirements, codes, or laws, and furthermore does not warrant that facilities visited on tour or as part of a workshop will be in compliance with such requirements, codes, or laws.
- Participants requiring special physical accommodations should contact BTK well in advance of their tour or workshop's start date to make arrangements for such accommodations.
- Participants must be sober at the inception of the tour/workshop. If the trip director deems that a participant is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the inception of the tour/workshop (in his/her sole yet reasonable judgement), that participant will be dismissed and will not be allowed to participate in the tour/workshop. There will be no refunds, credits, or rescheduling allowances for dismissal due to insobriety at the inception of a tour/workshop.
- IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FOOD ALLERGIES & FOOD AVERSIONS: In some cases, your food will be pre-ordered and prepared before we arrive. If you have a particular food allergy or food aversion, PLEASE INFORM BTK of such allergy/aversion in writing prior to your tour date (sooner the better)-- in such communication, please describe which foods/ingredients you should avoid, the severity of any allergic reaction you may have to these foods/ingredients, the medications you carry to treat such a reaction, and any protocol for treatment that should be followed in case of an allergic reaction. Early on the day of your tour, you should also inform/remind your tour guide of any food allergies/aversions. It is ultimately your sole responsibility to double-check with your food server, the ingredients of the foods/beverages you consume, before consuming (when in doubt, ask). All BTK food and beverage vendors utilize kitchen facilities that may process nuts (including peanuts and tree nuts), shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, honey, and citrus. We advise you to avoid foods that may cause an allergic reaction - you should carry any medication required/prescribed to treat an allergic reaction.
PARTICIPANT CONDUCT - Following Oral & Written Directions, RESPECT FOR OTHERS
- All participants must observe and obey all posted and orally conveyed rules and warnings, and follow any oral instructions or directions given by BTK, its employees, representatives, volunteers, agents, contractors, vendors or associates. BTK reserves the right to require any participant to withdraw from a trip or workshop (at the participant's own expense) at any time if the trip director (BTK tour guide, workshop leader, or driver) deems that the participant's acts, conduct, or health and welfare to be detrimental to, or incompatible with, the interest, harmony, comfort, or welfare of the trip, BTK personnel, BTK vendor staff, or that of its other participants. In the case of withdrawal, whether required by BTK or voluntary, withdrawing participant(s) will be responsible for all their own arrangements and costs of return travel home, and will be responsible to pay the full cost of their confirmed tour or workshop as quoted/invoiced before the trip commenced, regardless of any unfulfilled portion of the itinerary due to withdrawal - no refunds or credits will be issued in case of voluntary trip withdrawal, or in the case of involuntary trip withdrawal due to participant misconduct.
- As a participant in BTK tours or workshops, you play an important role in creating a positive and safe environment. By participating in BTK tours, workshops, or other BTK programs, you agree to:
- be polite and show respect to other participants, BTK personnel, BTK vendor personnel, contractors, volunteers, vehicles, equipment, and facilities;
- use only appropriate, kind, and positive language with others;
- not engage in verbal or physical abuse of others, nor display or convey threatening behaviors;
- exercise reasonable caution when engaging in activities in order to avoid causing bodily harm to self, other participants, and/or personnel/staff;
- leave distracting, inappropriate, or prohibited items at home, including any weapons or items that may appear to look like, act like, or could be used as, weapons.
- The consequence for not following any one, or multiple of, the above codes of conduct is immediate trip withdrawal (see above); such trip withdrawal to be determined by the trip director, in her/his sole, yet reasonable, discretion. No refunds or credits will be issued in the case of involuntary trip withdrawal due to participant misconduct, and the offending participant shall be responsible for all their own arrangements and costs of return travel home from the point of the trip withdrawal.
Dress Requirements for Tours and Culinary Workshops
- All participants should wear comfortable closed-toed shoes. High-heel shoes are not advised. To access many vendor sites, you will be required to walk on unpaved (dirt or gravel) surfaces. Your itinerary may include tours of farms, dairy facilities, and/or commercial food, wine, or beer making facilities where closed-toed shoes are strongly recommended.
- Generally speaking, there is not a strict dress code for most restaurants, wineries, and craft breweries in Baja California. However, Mexican culture and general decorum suggests that people entering such facilities should dress respectfully. Participants should dress with comfort and function in mind. Dressing in easily-removable layers is recommended. Daytime temperatures in Baja California regularly go above 85-degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures may dip into the 50s. Participants are encouraged to check the weather forecast the day before their tour or workshop to ensure they are dressed appropriately for the conditions.
- Culinary workshop participants (this requirement does not apply to normal tour participants) are required to wear rubber-soled closed-toed shoes, long pants, and avoid wearing overly loose or flowing garments. Shorts, skirts, dresses, and other garments that leave the legs or feet exposed are not allowed for culinary workshops. All garments should be made of natural fibers (no polyester, nylon, rayon, etc.).
What to Bring
- You and members of your group/family should bring the following items: valid passport/passport card (and if necessary, a valid entry Visa or Resident Card - aka a "Green Card") and secondary form of photo identification, cruise ship identification (if applicable, issued by your cruise line & used to regain entry to the Port/ship), medications (if required to travel with medication, also bring your doctor's written prescription with your name on it), sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, sweater or light coat (check weather forecast), umbrella if forecast calls for rain, cash for purchases not covered by the tour fee.
- All BTK vendors accept U.S. dollars, and many accept U.S. credit cards. Cash exchange rates will vary, and are set by each individual vendor. Beware that your bank/credit card may charge "foreign transaction fees". You should check with your bank/credit card before using your card abroad. When paying in U.S. dollars, change may be made in MXN Pesos at the vendor's posted exchange rate-- this is normal. Accordingly, we advise you to bring a variety of smaller bills ($1s, $5s, $10s) to reduce the need for change.
Prohibited Items - WHAT NOT TO BRING
- BTK prohibits the carrying or transport of the following items: weapons, firearms, ammunition, knives (including pocket knives), non-prescription or illicit/illegal drugs, marijuana (including recreational and medical marijuana), drug paraphernalia, tobacco products including cigarettes or cigars, tobacco or vaping pipes, fireworks, incendiary devices, and food, snacks, or beverages (with the exception of one (1) small bottle of water per person). Handbags and luggage are subject to search/inspection. For a more comprehensive list of prohibited items, visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/cbp-reqs-mexico.
- We do not allow food or beverage (including but not limited to snacks, sodas, candy, fruit, seeds, nuts or gum) to be eaten or transported in our vehicles, with the sole exception of one (1) small bottle of drinking water per person. Because we are crossing an international border, we simply cannot risk having prohibited food items or beverages in our vehicles. U.S., California and Mexican laws prohibit the transport of certain foods, food products and beverages over the International border (both directions). Our vendors also prohibit the consumption of outside food or beverage on their property. Under no circumstance will you be allowed to consume alcohol in BTK vehicles. If you have a medical condition that requires you to consume specific foods or beverages, you should make special arrangements with us well in advance (at least 7 days) of your tour or workshop date.
- Pets are not allowed in BTK vehicles, nor on BTK tours or culinary workshops. Unfortunately, Mexican laws regarding accessibility for service animals are not the same as in the U.S. Accordingly, some of our vendors do not allow service animals on their property and for your animal's safety, service animals may not be left unattended in BTK vehicles.
- Smoking (including "vaping") is not permitted during tours or workshops, as we and many of our vendors are 100% smoke and vape free. You will not be permitted to transport tobacco or vaping products in our vehicles. You will not be permitted to smoke or vape in our vehicles, at rest stops, or on vendor property (even if it is allowed by the vendor). If you are not able to make it through an entire day without using tobacco products, you should not book or take this tour or workshop (please don't ask for permission to smoke/vape, or put us/you in the embarrassing position of having to request that you cease smoking/vaping while on tour or at a workshop, or request that you dispose of your tobacco or vaping products). Tobacco products and vaping products are regulated across the U.S./Mexican border, and as such, are not allowed in our tour vehicles (please don't bring them with you).
- We advise against bringing large sums of cash, valuable jewelry or watches, designer handbags, expensive camera equipment, computers or tablets, and other item(s) of high monetary worth. BTK vehicles will be left unattended several times throughout your trip, and as such, we request that you not leave any items of value (including but not limited to your passport) in an unattended vehicle. We suggest leaving all non-essential items from your purse or wallet at home-- bring just what you need for the tour or workshop. While theft is very rare in Mexico, Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for your lost, stolen, or damaged items.
MEETING POINTS/PICK-UP LOCATIONS
- Most tours and workshops meet on the U.S. side of the border and depart from one of our designated border meeting points in San Ysidro, California (the Tijuana crossing) or Tecate, California. Pick-ups at hotels and house rentals are available in Baja California (north of central Ensenada) for those participants that have made prior arrangements.
- For participants staying in a gated/secured community, your transportation will meet you at the front entry gate to the property. Please note, for public group tours, if you specify a pick-up locaiton inside of a gated/secured community and we aren't able to gain easy access to the designated meeting point on the day of the tour/workshop, we'll be forced to continue on with the tour in order to preserve the experience for other paying participants (in this case, there are no refunds, credits, or rescheduling allowances). To avoid missing your tour/workshop, we strongly advise you to meet your transporation at the front entry gate to the property.
- For safety reasons, our drivers won't make phone calls or send texts while driving (and will not be able to answer your phone calls, texts, or emails), which is why we specify a pickup window and ask that your group be ready to depart the pre-arranged pickup/meeting point at the beginning of the pickup window.
- Once your tour or workshop itinerary has been programmed (your itinerary has been communicated to you via a confirmation email), changes to your tour's designated meeting point, pick-up location, and/or drop-off location may only be considered when a request for change is received in writing (via email) at least 72-hours before the tour's/workshop's scheduled departure time, and if the requested change is possible (no guarantee), the requested itinerary change may incur extra charges that must be paid for in advance of your tour/workshop date (for security and logistical reasons, there will be no reprogramming within 72-hours of your scheduled start time - it's your responsibility to arrive at the scheduled meeting or pick-up location on time).
use of your image
- You understand that you may be photographed and/or recorded while participating in BTK activities.
- BTK reserves the right to use any images, photographs, videos or recordings taken during your tour or workshop for future promotional purposes.
- By participating in BTK activities, you waive any right to inspect or approve the use of the images or recordings or of any written copy. You also waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to the use of the images, recordings or materials.
COMPLAINTS AND Dispute resolution
- Our goal is your satisfaction. If there is anything we can do to make your booking, tour, or workshop experience more enjoyable (within reason of course), please don't hesitate to ask your booking advisor, tour guide, workshop leader, or driver. We'll do whatever we can reasonably do to ensure that you experience a smooth booking experience, and have a great time participating in BTK tour/workshop activities.
- Please direct any complaints or compliments to BTK management using this contact form.
- In the spirit of acting in good faith to resolve any/all issues you have, or may come to have, with Baja Test Kitchen, you agree to surface any dispute or displeasure you have with/about BTK, its employees, representatives, volunteers, agents, contractors, vendors or associates, in writing with BTK management directly and privately, and before taking any action which is intended, or would reasonably be expected, to harm BTK or BTK’s reputation, or which would reasonably be expected to lead to unwanted or unfavorable publicity for Baja Test Kitchen. By booking and/or paying for and/or participating in a tour or culinary workshop with Baja Test Kitchen, or by participating in BTK activities, you agree to act in good faith to resolve any dispute or displeasure you have before making disparaging or negative remarks in a public forum (online or otherwise) about Baja Test Kitchen, its employees, representatives, volunteers, agents, contractors, vendors or associates, and further agree not to make any public statements that are false, untrue, do not represent the whole truth regarding the matter, or are purposefully misleading.
- If a dispute arises under this Agreement or between the parties, you agree to first try to resolve the dispute in good faith with the help of a mutually agreed-upon and certified mediator in San Diego County, California. Any costs and fees other than attorney fees associated with the mediation shall be shared equally by the parties. If it proves impossible to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution through mediation, the parties agree to submit any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this agreement, or the breach thereof, to be settled by arbitration administered in San Diego County, California by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Commercial Arbitration Rules, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.