We prefer Bitcoin: Recently we have decided to begin accepting bitcoin as our preferred payment method for guest reservations and services. There are of course several benefits to using and accepting bitcoin, but for us its because of 2 fundamental reasons:
1- Its just simpler: In Panama- the fees, risks, and difficulties associated with accepting and processing credit card payments through local merchant accounts or services like Paypal can make daily operations a bit difficult, as well as efficiently administering guest reservations, activities, or cancellation & refund requests.
2- Its faster & secure: Bitcoin transactions are encrypted, process nearly instantly, and work universally throughout the world. No banks involved, No sensitive credit card information exchanged or stored, and bitcoin is available to everyone with as little as a cell phone. Its also safer for guests to not have to worry about carrying cash or the hassle of theft or loss while traveling. Its a perfect fit and peace of mind for traveling tourists.
Are there any fees? We charge a 10% Volatility & Conversion fee on every Bitcoin payment we accept. For example; if your Panama Pelican service is $100, then you send us $110 worth of Bitcoin. (USD) We will email you a bitcoin payment invoice and payment address with the adjusted amount included for swift and easy bitcoin payment.
Why do we charge this 10% fee? There a 2 reasons we charge a 10% fee for Bitcoin payments:
1- Volatility: At times, bitcoin can be somewhat volatile in its price movements. Volatile movements in the bitcoin exchange price result in transaction exchange costs when we convert & exchange it to local currency for operational costs associated with providing our services to guests.
2- Conversion: We accept bitcoin as a measure of convenience & security, but we also have a need to convert or exchange it for local currency in Panama in order to maintain operational costs for providing services to our guests. In order to this, we utilize a network of local bitcoin traders and other exchanges to convert bitcoin into local currency and of course this has transaction, conversion, and transferring costs.
Cash: Although bitcoin is our preferred payment and also our required method payment when booking in advance prior to your travel date and arrival, we do accept cash in USD for additional or other services booked after your arrival in Panama.
Bank Wire: For larger transaction amounts typically associated with larger groups, or extended services such as multi-day packages or yacht charter services, we do allow direct bank wire transfers for reservation deposits. In some cases, the wire receipt fees applied by our receiving bank may be added to the total service price.
Credit Card Payments: With our decision to accept bitcoin, we no longer have the ability to accept credit card payments directly from customers. However, most of our tours, transfers, and day trip services are also available on our affiliate marketing websites such as Viator, Expedia, and Orbitz. For our guests that must use credit cards-we suggest you to please use of the affiliate websites to book your service as they do accept credit card payments. We can advise of these direct links for specific services when we confirm your reservation via email or phone for guests preferring to use credit card payment.
General Reservations: For the most part, we require at least a 24 hour notice for most of our available services. It is always best to submit your reservation request with as much advance notice prior to your travel date as possible in order to allow ample time to properly customize your itinerary and confirm your service, tour guide, vehicle etc.
Extended Multi-day Packages, & Yacht Charters: Our extended services such as multi-day tours, packages, and yacht charter services do require advance notice of at least 48 hours to 7 days. This depends upon many factors- but primarily availability of condos, yacht vessels, and other infrastructure for the service- particularly during high season months December through April.
Last Minute Reservations: We understand that many of our guests need to book last minute or decide to opt for additional services after arrival. Although the above advance notices are the typical rule, we always do our best to accommodate our guest requests even at the last minute. Subject to availability of course.
Reservation Deposits: In order to book and hold your reservation, we require a minimum 50% deposit at the time of confirmation for ALL Panama Pelican reservations and services. This deposit is applied to the total price of your service and is refundable only per the applicable cancellation & refund policies listed in the below section.
Final Service Payments: If not already paid in advance, any remaining balance of total service price is due immediately upon the time of arrival via either bitcoin or cash in USD payment methods.
(*Note- we do not allow or accept bank wire transfers for final payment portions upon arrival. Guests intending to pay for total service price via bank wire must complete 100% of total service payment in advance of arrival)
General Cancellations- 3 days or more: Guests may cancel most of our general services such as transfers, tours, & day trips prior to 3 calendar days of their travel date and receive a full refund minus fees or expenses incurred for the reservation. Non-refundable portions and fees that are exempted from refunds are bitcoin volatility & conversions fees, bank wire fees, or any other fee or expense associated with a special or customized customer request.
*example of a non-refundable portion: if your reservation deposit was $100 and you paid $110 of bitcoin, we would refund only your base service deposit of $100.
General Cancellations- Less than 3 days: Guests that cancel general services reservations less than 3 calendar days prior to service start date will forfeit 100% of reservation deposit and will not receive a refund. Exemptions from this policy are instances wheres Panama Pelican cancels the service for reasons pertaining to non-availability, emergencies or other instances whereas vehicles, tour guides, drivers, properties, yacht vessels or other infrastructure are out of service, closed, suspended, force majure, or any other reason resulting in the incapability of service delivery. In such exempted instances, guests will be issued a full refund or deposit or full service price minus exempted fees or expenses.
Extended Service Cancellations: Our extended multi-day packages and yacht charter services are exempted from the general cancellation and refund policy and may be subject to partial or complete forfeiture of reservation deposits. We do not have a fixed cancellation & refund policy available for these extended services, and they are assessed on a case by case basis. This is primarily due to the individual and varied cancellation and refund policies of each real estate, or yacht vessel property owner policy. We do our best due diligence in each extended service cancellation instance for our guests- but ultimately this is subject to the individual case and property owner as to their acceptance and applicable cancellations and refunds. We can advise to each individual policy prior to confirmation once property or vessel is chosen and priced for these services.
Rain or Inclement Weather Disclaimer: Panama is a tropical country that gets a lot of rain. We advise our guests to aware of this factor and to be mindful of this when booking any reservations that include outdoor walking or activities of any kind. We of course have no control over natural occurrences such as the weather conditions, rain, or other inclement weather conditions that may have adverse affects on your tour or service experience. When possible, at our sole discretion; and prior to the start of any service may, as an option, offer to re-schedule the start date or time of any service if applicable and within our guests travel dates. However rain or inclement weather does not constitute or warrant an exemption of the above cancellation or refund policies. In summary, rain or inclement weather will not result in refunded services. Additionally, we are not responsible for restrictions and un-availability of guests in the instance we are able to offer optional re-scheduling of activities. Guests that are not able to re-schedule due to travel dates or other planned activities will not be entitled to refunds due to rain or inclement weather.