Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Guests are required to wear a mask while boarding and traveling on the bus. Please bring your own mask, or ask for one on check in. The charter company that we work with cleans the bus cabin before each trip, and also requires passengers to wear a mask when on board. Our tours are evolving so there will be more time spent off the bus, and masks are not required when we are outside. Masks are also not required on our outdoor walking tours. Thank you for working with us to help keep each other healthy so we can enjoy exploring today and in the future.
Esotouric charters buses from licensed charter party carriers. The buses used for tours are enclosed, air-conditioned and seat 50 passengers. There are video monitors to show historic photos and film clips, and a microphone so you will not have trouble hearing our tour guides. Restrooms are available during the tour.
Bus tours are 4 hours long, and walking tours are 3 hours long. While we usually arrive back on time or early on bus tours, due to the unpredictability of traffic, we recommend you don’t plan to be at another event immediately after your tour concludes.
With the exception of our occasional guest-hosted special events, every tour is hosted by Esotouric’s owners, Richard Schave and his wife Kim Cooper. We research, write and lead the tours, so you’ll always get the true Esotouric experience when you take a tour with us.
Our bus tours do, but walking tours may be rescheduled in the event of extreme heat or rain. As all of our bus tours include some walking, please be sure to dress for the weather. You may leave bulky items on your seat if they are not needed.
Due to our mask policy, guests may not eat on the bus. You may bring packed food or non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy when off the bus, but please, no booze. We reserve the right to dismiss drunken and disruptive guests from a tour in progress at a bus stop or metro station.
No, so if you are with a group that wants to sit together we suggest you arrive on time (check in is always 30 minutes before the tour starts) and stake out your seats right away. We can’t guarantee that parties who show up as the tour is leaving will be able to sit together.
Some tours have more walking than others. The tours with walking sections require each guest to be able to cover ground in a reasonable amount of time in order for us to remain on schedule, but you may opt out of these walking sections if you wish. Please email us to discuss the specific tour that interests you if you have mobility issues.
No, and our tours are not suitable for any but the most exceptional children. Please email us before buying tickets for anyone under sixteen to discuss the suitability of a young person taking the tour you have in mind.
You can pay online using our secure payment system. We also accept a check sent in advance of a tour if we know it’s coming, and as long as we haven’t sold out, you may bring cash or check on tour day. Call 213-915-8687 on the morning of the tour if you’d like us to hold a spot for you.
There are paid public parking lots or free street parking available near each tour’s starting point, but as every tour is different, be sure to read your guest information email and the tour’s online information page. Many tours also start near metro stations, and we encourage you to take public transportation (but check weekend schedules closely to ensure you arrive on time).
Definitely, but please, no videotaping or audio recording without the tour guides’ permission.
If you feel like you’re getting sick or if you test positive for Covid-19, please do not attend the tour. Let us know not to expect you. If notified at least 72 hours before tour departure, we can refund or reschedule your booking. If notified at least 24 hours before departure, we can honor the booking on a future date. You may also gift your ticket to someone else—we will need their name, email address and phone number to make this switch.
We certainly do, for either bus tour walking tours. We can print these out and mail them to you or to the recipient, or if you’re in a hurry we can email you a printable PDF. We can also send out one of our exclusive Los Angeles-themed gift items like a Raymond Chandler Mystery Map, a copy of How To Find Old Los Angeles or a Charles Bukowski guide. You can also gift a subscription to our webinar channel, by the month or year.
I’d like to book a private tour, on a weekday or a weekend when you don’t already have a tour scheduled. How does that work?
Esotouric offers private versions of most of our regularly scheduled four-hour bus tours for groups of up to 50 people. Walking tours are also available. If interested in booking a private tour, please contact us with the size of your group, the tour(s) you’re interested in, and the requested date and time.
That’s not what we do. But you can pick up a copy of the guidebook Kim wrote, How To Find Old Los Angeles, and go exploring.
Because Esotouric finds its audience through good press and word-of-mouth, you’ll find that your fellow guests are an inquisitive and adventurous lot. Mainly Los Angeles locals, they are passionate about their city and curious to discover its hidden history. We’ve seen many friendships start on our tours, and recommend them for anyone looking to spend an interesting day out in good company.
The Real Black Dahlia is our most popular tour, and an excellent introduction to what we do.
When and if he feels like it. The best way to join any future tour if he does is to subscribe to our occasional newsletter, which is also a good place to find special event announcements and interesting links.