We’ll be hosting a very special small-group trip to India from the 17th to the 26th of February 2017 to experience the incredible culture, history and natural beauty of this dynamic and ever-changing country. This very special itinerary will take us across India to to engage, experience and immerse in some of the most important cities and cultural sites in the country.
- Bollywood Studios experience and interactive performance in Mumbai
- Elephant interaction in Jaipur including feeding, painting and riding
- Fly over Jaipur in a hot air balloon and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Amber Fort
- Enjoy a cooking demonstration and home cooked dinner in a private home in Jaipur
- Experience the legendary Taj Mahal
- Explore the back streets of Delhi on the Salaam Baalak Trust City Walk
Day 1 – Welcome to India!
Our tour of India begins in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. It has a history of incredible transformation from its foundation to the present day, where small islands were strung together and land between them reclaimed to form the bustling metropolis it is today. A metropolis in the true sense of the world, the city has loads to see during the day and a vibrant life at night. Our tour begins with a very special welcome dinner located near the hotel on Marine Drive. Overnight at the Trident Nariman Point. (D)
Day 2 – Mumbai
After an early breakfast we drive to Girgaum Chowpatty to experience Mumbai in one of the most unique ways possible – from a kayak! We’ll explore Marine Drive by kayak as an introduction to the city. Next, we’ll see the Afghan Church and Haji Ali Mosque nearby and visit the amazing Hanging Gardens. We’ll also visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi spent 17 years of his life as well as the iconic Gateway to India. In the afternoon we’ll visit one of the Bollywood Studios to view the location sets and hopefully some live shooting as well as try out a bit of Bollywood Dancing of our own. Overnight at the Trident Nariman Point. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Samode
This morning after an early breakfast you’ll be transferred to the airport to connect to your flight to Jaipur. Upon arrival in Jaipur, we’ll drive to the hotel in Samode and check in and head to lunch. Samode is a large town in Rajasthan that’s great to explore on foot. In the afternoon you can either walk the streets or go on an optional Camel Safari before we meet up for dinner in the evening Overnight at Samode Bagh in luxuriously appointed Royal tents. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Elephant Experience
This morning will be at leisure to enjoy the Royal Tents of Samode Bagh. Later we will drive from Samode to Jaipur, which will take one hour. Jaipur is the largest and fastest growing city in the state of Rajasthan and is India’s first planned city, dating back to 1727. In the afternoon we will get up close to Indian elephants with an elephant experience that will let us touch, feed paint and even ride them. Overnight at the ITC Rajputana. (B, D)
Day 5 – Hot Air Balloon
Today starts very early with a hot air balloon ride over Jaipur. Our one hour ride is dependent on weather but generally starts near Amber Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and offers some of the most spectacular views of the city. We’ll have a chance to visit Amber Fort itself later on as well as the Hawa Mahal, or Place of Winds. Later in the day we’ll visit Neerja Blue Pottery as well as the old part of Jaipur which is home to many local bazaars. In the evening we’ll enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner in a private home. Overnight at the ITC Rajputana. (B, L, D)
Day 6 – The Taj Mahal
Early this morning we transfer to Jaipur Railway Station to board our train, the Shatabdi Express, to Agra. Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire and sits on the banks of the Yamuna River. On arrival into Agra, we will be taken on a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal, largely considered one of the most incredible pieces of architecture on Earth. We’ll have plenty of time to explore the Taj before checking in to the hotel and enjoying dinner. Overnight at the ITC Mughal. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Agra to Delhi
This morning we’ll start early with a morning yoga session led by a local instructor followed by a leisurely breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll visit Agra Fort, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered the best example of Mughal architecture in India. Later in the afternoon we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Agra with tastings of sweets and snacks along the way before heading to the Agra Railway station to board the train to Delhi. Delhi is one of India’s most vibrant cities and has played the role of capital to various Indian dynasties. This is the center of India’s art, culture, culinary, shopping and entertainment scenes and a beautiful homogenous mix of the old and the contemporary. On arrival we’ll enjoy dinner and check into the hotel. Overnight at The Lalit. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Delhi
This morning after breakfast we’ll experience the Salaam Baalak Trust City Walk to explore the back streets of Delhi and visit the children of the Salaam Baalak orphanage first hand. We’ll explore the Paharganj area through a walking tour guided by someone that was once living and working on the streets. This is an experience way off the beaten track. Later in the afternoon we’ll visit the famous Jama Masjid, India’s largest and most spectacular mosque. We’ll board pedicabs to converse the busy and crowded streets of Chandini Chowk which is Delhi’s largest wholesale market including the largest spice market and jewelry row of Kinari Bazaar. In the evening we’ll visit India Gate and enjoy an evening street food tour in Delhi. Overnight at The Lalit. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Departure
After breakfast you’ll transfer to airport to fly back to the United States or onward to the post-trip in Goa. (B)
What’s it Cost?
Price is $3,850/person sharing.
- Escort throughout entire trip
- All Activities and associated transportation
- All Entrance Fees
- All Meals (minus one lunch in Jaipur that’s meant for free time)
- All trains within domestic itinerary
- All Guiding Fees
- Flights within India as per itinerary
- All Refreshments (excluding alcoholic beverages)
- All Accommodations
What’s Not Included?
- International Airfare to and from India (BOM & DEL)
- Passport and Visa Requirements (an electronic travel authorization is required for US passport holders and can be completed online prior to arriving into India)
- Optional Camel Safari in Samode
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Mandatory Travel Insurance
- Gratuities for Porters and Guides
- Any Costs for Food or Activities Enjoyed Separate from the Group
OPTIONAL POST-TRIP EXCURSION TO GOA
For those interested, an optional four day, three night extension to Goa is available. It includes three nights accommodations at the Alila Diwa Hotel, transfer, tours, beach and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle, entrance charges, spice plantation tour with fixed menu lunch, optional SCUBA diving add-on and domestic flights from Delhi to Goa. Cost is $950 per person sharing.