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RAJASTHAN EXPLORER

Price from
US$2,319
(per person)
Duration
15
Days
Tour Type
Small Group

HIGHLIGHTS

Old & New Delhi, Taj Mahal, Shekhawati Havellis, lakeside city of Udaipur, desert towns of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer, holy Pushkar
COUNTRIES : India

NEW ITINERARY COMING 15 SEP - the new tour will start by flying from Delhi to Udaipur before heading to Ranakhpur, Jodhpur and Pushkar en-route to Jaipur. We'll then visit the rural village of Tordi, the Abhaneri Step Well, Keoloadeo National Park and Agra before returning to Delhi.

Our Rajasthan tours take you on a journey through North West India's desert state and some of its most beloved attractions. On one of our North India tours, you'll see the Taj Mahal at sunset, the Pink City of Jaipur, explore Jodhpur with its blue painted buildings, and experience holy Pushkar. Rajasthan has a wealth of historical and cultural sites dating back to 3000 BC, as well as beautiful landscapes, friendly people and tasty food!

Our Rajasthan holidays take you from Old and New Delhi to see some of most iconic sights in North India. While in the country's capital, Delhi, we will explore the town itself, its busy streets and markets, see the Indian parliament buildings, sacred places of worship, and Gandhi's memorial ground. Continuing our Golden Triangle tour you'll see the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra at sunset, explore ancient architecture in Jaipur, and see the fascinating frescoes on many of the old buildings in rural Shekhawati.

During our city tour in Bikaner, you'll get to see another of Rajasthan's impressive forts, as well as see some of the regions numerous and still hugely utilised camels at a breeding farm. Jaisalmer has one of the largest forts in India, and the highest at 100 metres over the city. The fort looks particularly stunning in the afternoon sun when you're riding past on the back of a friendly camel. Interestingly, people still live within its walls.

Next on the tour, we come to Jodhpur. 'The Blue City' is a labyrinth of ancient streets ready to explore before we journey to the heavenly location of Udaipur. The ornate palaces of Udaipur are bordered by the azure waters of Lake Pichola - the perfect place to enjoy an evening boat ride. Barli and holy Pushkar are hotspots of historic architecture. Pushkar boasts the annual cattle fair which is definitely worth a visit. Finally our North India tours will take you back to Delhi before your journey home.

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Delhi for the start of your trip. After check-in our local reps will then go through the itinerary with you and introduce you to the local area.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Delhi hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Single room supplement (INSGRE), Extra day in Delhi - pre-tour

A full day to explore the sights of India's capital. Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the intricate and chaotic streets around Old Delhi and visit the Jama Masjid mosque before moving on to the Lutyens inspired wide avenues of New Delhi. After a visit to Mahatma Gandhi's cremation ground at Rajghat take time to stroll around the Indian parliament buildings as well as India Gate and Humayun's Tomb. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Delhi hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we depart Delhi for the drive to Agra, arriving in time for lunch. After another taste of local Indian food, this afternoon we visit the UNESCO world heritage site at Agra Fort. This is a huge complex with some fascinating history. Later in the afternoon we enjoy a full sightseeing tour of the beautiful Taj Mahal at sunset. Truly one of the wonders of the world this elaborate monument to love was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and took over twenty two years to complete. Sunset is a great time to visit as the light changes gradually with the colours of the Taj changing too.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Agra hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

We break today's drive to Jaipur to visit the strange and well preserved abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. The mystical abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, constructed by Emperor Akbar, served as the Mughal Empire's capital from 1571 until 1585. We also stop at Keoladeo National Park where we take a cycle rickshaw ride through the park to see the resident and migrant wildlife. The park is particularly famous for its birdlife, though you may also see snakes, lizards and turtles around the ponds. After lunch we continue driving through rural India, arriving into Jaipur late in the afternoon. This evening, why not take in a fun Bollywood movie.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Jaipur heritage hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

This morning we visit the Amber Palace which is a well preserved fort on a hillside around 10km outside Jaipur. Here we enjoy a guided tour through the site. Elephant rides up to the fort are available though we no longer include these on this tour due to concerns about elephant welfare. We then tour Jaipur itself, taking in the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), Jantar Mantar (Observatory), City Palace and some local temples and street life. You then have some more free time and tour options including a chance to visit the Chowki Dhani village in the evening to learn more about traditional Rajasthani culture and crafts, and taste some delicious regional cuisine.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Jaipur heritage hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

You have a little free time in Jaipur this morning when you can try some optional tours including kite flying, craft markets and food shopping and tasting. Late in the morning we head into the rural semi-desert Shekhawati region whose colourfully painted Havellis with frescoes showing animals and mythology, together with more modern interpretations, led to its reputation as the 'open art gallery of Rajasthan'. We spend the night in another heritage hotel, full of character, faded grandeur and history. These hotels are a real highlight of this tour and travelling through Rajasthan.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Shekhawati heritage hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Today we get to enjoy the desert landscape as we make the drive to Bikaner. The dusty Thar desert is home to some of India's most impressive forts and of course, the ubiquitous camel. Today we get to see both as we visit the 16th century Junagarh Fort before taking a trip to the Camel breeding farm. As well as breeding Jaisalmer’s finest camels this unique enterprise conducts research into the animals and offers numerous 'camel' products such as ice cream and coffee!

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Bikaner hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

After breakfast we depart Bikaner for the drive to Jaisalmer. We have the option of visiting the infamous 'Rat' temple on the outskirts of Bikaner if enough people wish to do so. Upon arrival into Jaisalmer we check-in to the hotel and the rest of the day is free.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Jaisalmer hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Today begins with a sightseeing tour of Rajasthan's Golden City. The town itself stands on a sandstone ridge with Jaisalmer Fort dominating the local landscape. Although Jaisalmer is smaller than most other towns in Rajasthan the Fort is one of the largest in the entire world. Built in 1156 with 99 bastions and climbing to a height of 100m it sits beautifully in the afternoon sun. In the evening we have the chance to ride our camels into the Thar desert and watch the setting sun from the desert dunes before heading back to the hotel.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Jaisalmer hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Tempting as it may be to continue the journey on camels today we are back on the road for the trip to Jodhpur. Known as the 'Blue City' Jodhpur is a maze of medieval streets and intricate alleyways perfect for exploring on foot. Wherever one stands in the city it's impossible to miss the huge Mehrangarh Fort ringed by its huge protective walls and overlooking Jodhpur. Inside the fort are several palaces each with exquisite panels and latticed windows. The extensive museum is home to unique Rajasthan artworks, bejewelled thrones and rare carriages as well as ancient weaponry used throughout the ages.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Jodhpur hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

This morning we depart Jodhpur for the drive to Udaipur visiting the Ranakpur Jain temple complex en-route. Built almost entirely from white marble in 1439 the temple is believed to have been inspired by a dream. There are over 1400 marble pillars in place with no two pillars the same. This afternoon we arrive in Udaipur.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Udaipur hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Beautifully located beside the blue waters of Lake Pichola, Udaipur remains one of India's most enduring romantic locations. Today we enjoy a tour of the town which includes the impressive City Palace. Built in 1725, the Palace grounds are actually full of numerous smaller palaces, each one more ornately decorated than the last. Udaipur's relaxed atmosphere lends itself well to exploring the city on foot or even enjoying a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Udaipur hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

After breakfast we drive from Udaipur to Barli Fort to enjoy a night in this heritage hotel. Set within luscious grounds this beautifully renovated fort was built in 1675 and can be traced back to the warriors of Marwar. Feel free to visit the local village and learn more about the area.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Barli hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

This morning we depart Barli and travel to Pushkar. Believed to be one of the oldest towns in India and one of Hinduism's five sacred sites, Pushkar itself is home to many temples built in and around Pushkar Lake. A trip to the lake to watch the many pilgrims at the ghats is recommended. Pushkar is also the home of the world's largest cattle fair. Held every November the festival has become increasingly popular with tourist over the last few years. This afternoon we transfer to Ajmer station for the train back to Delhi. Upon arrival late back into Delhi, we transfer you directly to your hotel.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Delhi hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You have some free time in Delhi today before we transfer you to the airport for your departure. If you wish, why not add an extension to Ranthambore National Park, or head to the beach at Goa.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Goa beach extension, Ranthambore National Park Safari, Extra day in Delhi - post-tour
Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport and transfers
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a local tour leader throughout
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for driver and/or tour guide
  • Entrance fees (allow approx. US$212)
  • Any other items not mentioned above

Notes:

Restoration of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, one of India's most iconic structures, is getting a much need facelift. The almost-four-century-old Taj Mahal is finally showing signs of ageing. Air pollution is unfortunately turning its ivory-white complexion - yellow. Adding to the colouration problems, the Yamuna River, with which the Taj Mahal shares a river bank, is contaminated and the insects that breed in its waters are leaving patches of green residue on its marble. In order to restore the Taj Mahal's glistening white marble, mud-pack therapy is being used. If you're worried that it might affect your India tour, this handy Taj restoration guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Rajasthan Explorer accommodation
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
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Local rating
Our rating
Almondz Hotel
Delhi, India

Almondz Hotel puts you in the center of New Delhi, 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from Laxminarayan Temple and 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from Art Mall. Highlights at this hotel include 2 bars/lounges, a restaurant, and free buffet breakfast.


Almondz Hotel puts you in the center of New Delhi, 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from Laxminarayan Temple and 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from Art Mall. Highlights at this hotel include 2 bars/lounges, a restaurant, and free buffet breakfast.

All 28 soundproofed rooms feature LCD TVs with satellite channels, and you can enjoy free WiFi, sitting areas, and coffee/tea makers. Refrigerators and round-the-clock room service make in-room dining easy, and minibars provide refreshments. Nice touches include bathrobes, slippers, and designer toiletries.

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Local rating
Our rating
Mahendra Prakash
Udaipur, India

coming soon


Mohan-Niwas-Homestay-Jodhpur-tumb.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Mohan Niwas Homestay
Jodhpur, India

coming soon


Gulaab-Niwaas-Palace-Pushkar-thumb.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Gulaab Niwaas Palace
Pushkar, India

coming soon


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Local rating
Our rating
Khandela Haveli
Jaipur, India

A heritage hotel, Khandela Haveli, is built like a traditional haveli and elegantly decorated. It features a rooftop restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.


A heritage hotel, Khandela Haveli, is built like a traditional haveli and elegantly decorated. It features a rooftop restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.

Nearby attractions include the large and exotic palaces of Hawa Mahal and City Palace that are within 5 km. Khandela Haveli is located 1.5 km from Jaipur Railway Station and 14 km from Jaipur Airport.

The rooms are tastefully decorated and cooled with air-conditioned. They are equipped with a minibar, sofa and satellite TV. Tea/coffee making facilities are available. The en suite bathrooms include shower.

With a 24-hour front desk, the property provides services like luggage storage, laundry and ironing. A tour desk is available to make travel arrangements. A car can be rented to explore the area. Guests can take a relaxing stroll in the garden.

The in-house restaurant serves local and Indian cuisines. The rooftop bar serves refreshing beverages. Room service option is available.

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Local rating
Our rating
Tordi Garh
Tordi, India

Tordi Garh is one of Rajasthan's famous heritage hotels, and is located in the small village of Tordi in the heart of rural Rajasthan. The ancestral family has converted one wing of the former palace into comfortable guest accommodations.


Tordi Garh is one of Rajasthan's famous heritage hotels, and is located in the small village of Tordi in the heart of rural Rajasthan. The ancestral family has converted one wing of the former palace into comfortable guest accommodations. The family still lives there and will be your hosts during your stay.

The hotel has 23 rooms of various sizes, each with its own ethnic and heritage charm. All are en-suite, well appointed and comfortable, with air conditioning or cooling available in the summer and heating in the winter. Meals served are traditionally Indian and guests are welcome in the kitchen to watch and learn about the intricacies of Indian cooking. Home grown vegetables, dairy products, poultry and supplies from other farmers in the village are used, and the stables host horses, cows, goats and hens. The hotel arranges jeep safaris, camel cart and horse rides, and walks to the nearby sand dunes and fort as well as other local options to help you interact with your surroundings and enjoy your time there to the full.

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Local rating
Our rating
Kadamb Kunj
Bharatpur, India

The Kadamb Kunj Resort is a friendly and comfortable mid-range hotel located on the edge of Keoladeo National Park with open fields and farmland to the other side.


The Kadamb Kunj Resort is a friendly and comfortable mid-range hotel located on the edge of Keoladeo National Park with open fields and farmland to the other side. Well reviewed, it has a swimming pool and pleasant gardens with 45 en-suite rooms surrounding an open air courtyard.

The entrance to Keoladeo National Park is just a couple of kilometres away making this a great base for you visit there before heading onto nearby Agra.

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Local rating
Our rating
Seven Hills Tower Hotel
Agra, India

Seven Hills Tower is situated in the Taj Ganj district in Agra, 1 miles from Taj Mahal and 1.3 miles from Mehtab Bagh. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and views of the city, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant.


Seven Hills Tower is situated in the Taj Ganj district in Agra, 1 miles from Taj Mahal and 1.3 miles from Mehtab Bagh. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and views of the city, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free private parking is available on site.

Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms feature a seating area where you can relax. You will find a kettle in the room. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom. Seven Hills Tower features free WiFi throughout the property.

Rajasthan Explorer options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (INSGRE)
Price from
US$679
per person



Single room supplement (INSGRE)
Min numbers: 2 Adults

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will see if we can pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available when you book then we will add the single room supplement to your booking and it will be payable with your balance payment unless we have arranged a room share for you by then. If a room share is arranged after you have paid the supplement then we will refund it to you. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Delhi - pre-tour
Price from
US$69
per person



Extra day in Delhi - pre-tour
Min numbers: 2 Adults

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Delhi - post-tour
Price from
US$69
per person



Extra day in Delhi - post-tour
Min numbers: 2 Adults

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Ranthambore National Park Safari
Price from
US$759
per person



Ranthambore National Park Safari
Min numbers: 1 Adults

This 5-day extension takes you from Delhi by train to Ranthambore Naitonal Park for two full days of wildlife safaris in search of tigers and other wildlife. Ranthambore is one of northern India's largest parks and part of the Project Tiger scheme.


Ranthambore is one of the largest national parks in northern India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. As well as the tigers which are the main attraction for most people, there is a multitude of other wildlife including more than 300 species of trees, 50 aquatic plants, over 300 species of birds, marsh crocodiles and monitor lizards, and 30 mammals including sloth bear, wild boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopards, Jungle cat, Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazelle, Boars, Mongoose and Indian hare. The park is within a day's journey from Delhi.

Day 1 - Travel to Ranthambore
We pick you up from your hotel in Delhi on the last day of the main tour and transfer you to the train station journey on the Kota Jan Shatabdi Express to Sawai Madhopur (approx. 13.20-18.00). The park and your lodge is a short drive from the station.
Overnight at Ranthambore Bagh, Tiger Den, Pugmarks Resort or similar (dinner)

Days 2 & 3 - Morning & afternoon safaris
We include an early morning and late afternoon guided wildlife safari on each of these two days. These are the best times for wildlife viewing, and the middle of the day is spent relaxing back at the lodge. We include two safaris travelling on a 'Canter' which is an open backed truck which provides good height to see into the bush and forest. An additional two safaris are included by jeep, which give you more flexibility to explore different parts of the park. The park is split into different zones, and we will aim to visit several to provide variety and the best chance of good animal sightings. Zones for each safari are allocated by the park authorities and out of our control.
Overnight at Ranthambore Bagh, Tiger Den, Pugmarks Resort or similar (breakfast, lunch & dinner)

Day 4 & 5 - Return by train to Delhi
You leave the lodge early to catch the NZM Jan Shatabdi Express back to Delhi (approx. 0705-1230). You then have one night in Delhi and free time before we transfer you to the airport for departure.
Overnight at Delhi hotel (breakfast)

Notes:
- This option is available between October and June. Pricing shown is based on a minimum of 2 people travelling. Solo traveller and single room supplements apply. 
- The extension can also be added to the start of the tour with the night in Delhi being spent at the beginning and Day 5 becoming the first day of the main tour. Please contact us if you would like to arrange it this way.

Goa beach extension
Price from
US$679
per person



Goa beach extension
Min numbers: 2 Adults

After one of our busy sightseeing tours in northern India, why not finish your holiday with some time relaxing on the beach in Goa. Made internationally famous by the hippies that used to throng its northern beaches, Goa now has lots more to offer.


After one of our busy sightseeing tours in northern India, why not finish your holiday with some time relaxing on the beach in Goa. Made internationally famous by the hippies that used to throng its northern beaches, Goa today has a huge amount more to offer. You can stay in simple guest-houses, eco resorts or luxury hotels at beaches frequented by backpackers, new-age travellers or remnants of those hippy days. The beaches are gorgeous, and the interior is well worth exploring as well. Extensions to Goa of any length are available on all of our India tours - please contact us for more information and prices.

Day 1 - Travel to Goa
We pick you up from your hotel in Delhi and transfer you to the airport for an internal flight to Panjim, the state capital of Goa. We meet you on arrival and transfer you to your boutique hotel in Calangute.
Overnight at Casa de Goa boutique 3-star hotel (B)

Days 2-4 - Goa. Free time
Your next 3 days are free to spend in Goa as you wish. You can relax on busy or remote beaches, go exploring inland, visit Anjuna flea market, or try a wide range of watersports. Goa also has its famous nightlife to try if that's your thing.
Overnight at Casa de Goa or similar (B)

Days 5 & 6 - Return to Delhi
We pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to your flight back to Delhi. You then have one night in Delhi and free time before we transfer you to the airport for departure
Overnight at Delhi hotel (B)

Includes:

  • Internal flight Delhi-Goa
  • 5 nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Return transfers by an AC CAR

Note:Prices shown are for low-season (mid-April to September) and higher rates will apply for high season and peak periods. These are shown on our online reservation form and are available on request. Single room supplements apply. There is a minimum of 2 people required to run this option.

Salam Balak Trust walk
Price from
US$59
per person



Salam Balak Trust walk
Min numbers: 

Explore the city of Delhi through the eyes of a child, who will guide you through the busy streets of the capital, while giving you a glimpse of their way of life.


This two hour tour through the city of Delhi is guided by adolescents who was living and working on the streets, but has since been trained as travel guides in the aim of helping them improve their their communication skills.

Listen to the stories of these kids as they take you through the busy streets of Delhi, away from all the busy touristy spots. You’ll explore the inner city of Paharganj and the area around the New Delhi Railway Station, as you gain fantastic insight into the daily lives of the locals that live here.

This tour normally starts at 10am, though earlier or later starts can be arranged. It can be arranged on your final day in Delhi or if additional days are added. It can be run on any day of the week though Sundays are not ideal as the streets are much quieter.

Spinmonkey cycling tour
Price from
On
Request

per person



Spinmonkey cycling tour
Min numbers: 

The Spinmonkey cycling tour is an unforgettable experience, taking you through the streets of Delhi as you learn about the history, food, culture and spirit of this unique city.


The Spinmonkey cycling tours which runs through Old Delhi and New Delhi is led by a group of young cyclists who want to change the way that people explore Delhi, promoting healthy interaction and fun along the way. It's the perfect introduction into the history, culture, food, architecture and spirit of Delhi.

During the Old Delhi cycle tour, you’ll visit the Turukman Gate, the Chawri Bazar, the Jama Masjid Mosque, Chandni Chowk, a spice market before being treated to an authentic Indian breakfast.

The New Delhi cycle tour explores Connaught Place, the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Dhobi Ghat before enjoying breakfast at the Bengali Market.

This cycling tour normally starts at 6 or 6.30am during summer or winter and lasts around four hours. The cycling tour can be arranged on your final day in Delhi (subject to your flight departure time) or if additional days are added. It can be run on any day of the week though Sundays are not ideal as the streets are much quieter.

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Rajasthan Explorer tour notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

We use good quality hotels rated at the Indian 3 and 4-star level on this tour. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards but we ensure we use some of the very best hotels available at the level stated.

Accommodation is based on twin, triple or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. We will endeavour to give all couples a private double room. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travellers of the same sex. If there are no other single travellers available for you to pair up with at the time of your booking, then we will need to add the single supplement to your tour price, but will refund this or deduct it from your balance payment if we are able to pair you up later on.

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. Due to the somewhat chaotic nature of Indian roads, we only use private vehicles for all road journeys. Some fun train journeys may also be included.

The tour price includes a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in New Delhi airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you, and our ATOL (UK flight sales license) covers all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.

Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from. Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour whether you book your flights independently or through us. Most of our Indian tours start and finish at Delhi airport (DEL).

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won’t ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead, we set our India group departures to have a maximum of 18 travellers. The minimum group size is 2.

In India we provide a fully trained, local English-speaking tour leader/driver to accompany you through the tour. Specialist local guides are used for all of the sightseeing tours and national park activities.  

At Encounters Travel we have a policy of only using local Indian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous local guides.

The tour price does not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. You should allow approx. US$212 per person to cover these (this includes one visit to the Taj Mahal). You will also need to cover the cost of entrance to any other extra sites that you may wish to visit that are not listed in the main tour itinerary.

Haggling is a traditional necessity, so its wise not to pay too much regard to initial prices. Instead fix an items value in your mind then negotiate towards it unhurriedly and don’t be afraid to simply walk away if the price isn’t right. Once you have offered a price though, you should be prepared to pay it as you may cause offence if you then back out. 

While an accepted part of the culture and customs in India, tipping is always optional, and the amounts paid should reflect excellent service. We are often asked for advice on common amounts, and for assistance with tipping. Some suggested guidelines are given below.

Restaurants and taxis: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour guide. We suggest USD 2-3 per person per day for local guides.

Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, for example if you don't have an extra accompanying guide. However USD 2-3 per person per day is generally appropriate.

Tour Guides: To answer your next question. . . as a guideline we suggest for your tour guide between USD 20-35 per person for the entire tour, but ultimately, its up to your satisfaction with their service and your budget. You should not feel pressured to tip any particular amount.

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

India: Additional vaccinations: Diptheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Yellow fever rules for India are quite complicated and lengthy. Please read the WHO guidance.

Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting. In general the north eastern regions of India including Assam and Orissa are considered high risk,while the rest of India is generally considered low enough risk that anti-malarial tablets are not necessary for most travellers doing relatively short tours.

Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary.

Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Your passport expiry date must be at least 6 months after your time in India finishes. Do not bring a full or almost expired passport. You must also have a machine-readable passport or you may be denied entry. If you have an old-style manually issued passport you will need to replace this with a new machine-readable passport before you travel.

Most nationalities (including UK, USA, European, Australian, Canadian) will need to arrange their Indian tourist visa in advance. A new online e-visa system is available which makes the process more straightforward than before. You can make your application online here... https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

Visa requirements for India can and do change regularly and we suggest that you arrange your Indian visa early and re-check your specific visa requirements prior to travel for any changes.

The time in India and Sri Lanka is GMT plus 5 1/2 hours.

The time in Nepal is GMT plus 5 3/4 hours.

The time in Bhutan is GMT plus 6 hours.

The time in Tibet is GMT plus 8 hours.

Daylight saving adjustments are not applied.

Sockets are mainly two round pronged and 230 volts (Type C,D,M). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are sometimes available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already but cannot be guaranteed.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

Rupee (INR; symbol Rs) = 100 paise. Notes are in denominations of Rs1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Rs5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 20, 10 and 5 paise. Note: The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Sometimes smaller vendors will not take bills larger than Rs 500. It is best to carry a range of rupee notes if you are shopping at bazaars and local markets.

Note: You must present your passport whenever you change currency or travellers cheques. Commission for foreign exchange is becoming increasingly rare; if it is charged, the fee is nominal.

Credit cards: In major cities, the full cadre of banks cards are generally accepted including debit cards, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. However, in smaller towns and villages, choice is generally narrowed to cash or MasterCard and Visa.

ATM: 24 hour ATM machines can be found in all the major cities and most large towns. Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus are amongst the most commonly accepted cards.

Travellers cheques: These are gradually getting less accepted but may still be changed at larger banks and some larger hotels. The most widely accepted currencies include US Dollars and Pounds Sterling. Some banks may refuse to change certain brands of traveller's cheques whilst others may exchange quite happily.

Luggage: Suitcases are fine, though you may find rucksacks or large bags are more practical. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips – you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always porters to assist.

Luggage allowances: Most international airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 23kg per person of luggage to go in the hold of the plane. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure about luggage allowances on your tour. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.

Clothing: The weather is mainly hot most of the year with significant variations from region to region. The coolest weather lasts from around the end of November to the beginning of March, with fresh mornings and evenings, and mostly sunny days. The really hot weather, when it is dry, dusty and unpleasant, is between March and June. Monsoon rains occur in most regions in summer anywhere between June and early October.

NOTE: India is very traditional and some heads will turn if you dress provocatively in public. Short tops, short skirts / shorts, tight or body revealing clothes etc should be avoided. You might invite unwanted attention from certain men who stare and pass comments at women to amuse themselves. More detailed climate information is available on the India Country Guide page on our website.

Suggested List: This is a guide only – there’s no problem if you bring more or less with you. Cheap comfortable clothing is also readily available in India and laundry is inexpensive. It is also worth having some smarter clothes for going out. Towels are provided and laundry services are available in all the hotels we use.

Men: • Lightweight trousers, shorts, light shirts & t-shirts • Swimwear
Women: • Light cotton skirts/dressers, loose-fitting trousers, light shirts or t-shirts, loose shorts • Swimwear
Men & Women: • Jumper/sweatshirt/fleece • Long sleeved shirt(s) (for cool nights, protection from the sun & mosquitoes, and visits to religious sites etc) • Handkerchiefs, socks & underwear • Comfortable trainers/sandals for daily wear • Other shoes/sandals for evening wear • Sunhat or headscarf (headscarfs come in handy for some sights which require women to cover their heard) First Aid: Although First Aid and medication is readily available in India, it may be very different to what you are used to so individuals should consider bringing along their own personal kit. Your personal kit might include: • Sunscreen, sunblock & aftersun • Insect repellent/relief • Antiseptic cream/spray • Plasters and a bandage • Lomotil or Imodium against diarrhea • Pills against nausea • Aspirin for heat-stroke (or hangovers) Your kit should also include your brief medical history, including allergies, blood group, drug vaccinations etc. We suggest bringing copies of prescriptions if you will be carrying medicines on board your flight.

Toiletries: • Razor, soap & box, shampoo • Toothpaste, toothbrush & container • Sanitary items
Note: If you wear contact lenses, you should consider taking or wearing glasses instead, as lenses can be uncomfortable and/or cause infections in hot and humid climates.

Other useful items: • Sunglasses • Small Torch • Money belt • Camera and equipment • Toilet paper (this is not always provided in public toilets so it is a good idea to carry some spare tissues in your bag. It should be placed in the basket beside the toilet, not flushed away, for you might block the pipes).

IMPORTANT: As it can get extremely hot in India, and the sun can burn very quickly, it is very important to ensure you are protected from the sun with sun-cream & sun-hats, and do not get dehydrated.

We run small-group departures on our Indian tours throughout the year, with less frequent start dates during the hot monsoon months of May to September. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website (please check the website for up-to-date prices and special offers).

Private and tailor-made tours are available on any dates and may be adjusted to fit your personal requirements, available time and budget.

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers not otherwise covered by ATOL.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Rajasthan Explorer dates & prices
This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
Start Date End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
09 Sep, 2017 23 Sep, 2017 US$2239 - -  
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23 Sep, 2017 07 Oct, 2017 US$2239 - -  
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07 Oct, 2017 21 Oct, 2017 US$2559 - -  
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21 Oct, 2017 04 Nov, 2017 US$2559 - -  
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04 Nov, 2017 18 Nov, 2017 US$2559 - -  
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18 Nov, 2017 02 Dec, 2017 US$2559 - -  
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02 Dec, 2017 16 Dec, 2017 US$2559 - -  
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16 Dec, 2017 30 Dec, 2017 US$2559 - -  
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30 Dec, 2017 13 Jan, 2018 US$2559 - -  
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20 Jan, 2018 03 Feb, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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10 Feb, 2018 24 Feb, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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24 Feb, 2018 10 Mar, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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10 Mar, 2018 24 Mar, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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24 Mar, 2018 07 Apr, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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07 Apr, 2018 21 Apr, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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21 Apr, 2018 05 May, 2018 US$2319 - -  
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05 May, 2018 19 May, 2018 US$2319 - -  
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19 May, 2018 02 Jun, 2018 US$2319 - -  
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16 Jun, 2018 30 Jun, 2018 US$2319 - -  
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04 Aug, 2018 18 Aug, 2018 US$2319 - -  
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15 Sep, 2018 29 Sep, 2018 US$2319 - -  
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29 Sep, 2018 13 Oct, 2018 US$2639 - -  
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13 Oct, 2018 27 Oct, 2018 US$2719 - -  
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27 Oct, 2018 10 Nov, 2018 US$2719 - -  
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10 Nov, 2018 24 Nov, 2018 US$2719 - -  
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24 Nov, 2018 08 Dec, 2018 US$2719 - -  
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08 Dec, 2018 22 Dec, 2018 US$2719 - -  
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22 Dec, 2018 05 Jan, 2019 US$2719 - -  
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tripadvisor winner 2014 and 2015
RAJASTHAN EXPLORER Reviews
Service

Product

Posted Feb 13, 2014
Service rating : The person we dealt with at Encounters (Will) responded to our queries and was able to organise a tour for the 2 of us.

Product : We were met at airports by sub-contractors as arranged by encounters every time. Guides were supplied that had extensive local knowledge. Hotels were good quality.