From top to bottom, India is incredible. Explore both northern and southern regions on a 14-day journey to India’s most iconic sites. Explore Rajasthan’s grand forts and palaces, discover new depths of relaxation on a houseboat in Kerala’s backwaters, and learn about traditional culture in the small village of Sawarda. Round out the experience with pilgrimages to the glorious Taj Mahal, the “Pink City” of Jaipur, and Kochi's fishing markets.

Trip highlights

City Walk, Explore the streets of Delhi with an adolescent tour guide from the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project. As a former street child, your local guide will have a unique perspective on the city and can provide more information on the life of a child in India. The guided tour helps support the guide's college or university tuition.

Family Home Meal Experience, Get a taste of southern Indian culture during a visit to a family home in Alleppey, which borders the scenic backwaters of this lush region. Enjoy a demonstration and learn how to cook some delicious Southern Indian cuisine.

Local Village Immersion, Step back in time and explore the traditional culture of the rural village of Sawarda. Meet with town elders to discuss how modernization is affecting village life.

Meet a Local Historian, In Jaipur, known as the “Pink City,” meet with a local historian and sociology scholar to learn about India’s complex social fabric and traditions, and discuss a range of topics from the country’s belief systems to its architecture.

Meet with a Local Spice Expert, Famed for its pepper, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon, Kerala is considered the spice capital of India. Meet a local spice expert to learn about the medicinal and culinary importance of spices in this region.

Taj Mahal Visit, Cross one off your bucket list as you visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Explore the gorgeous white marble mausoleum, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a testament of his love for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program, Meet with a representative of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), which has collaborated with National Geographic over the past two decades. Learn about ATREE's conservation work, then travel by boat to a clam sanctuary to meet some of the fishermen.

Itinerary - 14 Days

Day 1 Delhi

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting, so check into to the hotel and enjoy the city. We highly recommend booking a pre-night in Delhi to get over your jetlag and be ready for this very busy trip.

Included Activities:
Women on Wheels Transfer
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2 Delhi/Āgra (1B)

Enjoy a youth-led walk through Delhi as part of the G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, explore Old Delhi with your CEO before an afternoon drive to Agra.

Included Activities:
City Walk
Old Delhi Guided Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 200km)

Day 3 Āgra (1B)

Spend the day visiting the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.

Included Activities:
Taj Mahal Visit
Baby Taj Visit
Agra Fort Visit

Day 4 Āgra/Jaipur (1B)

Drive to Jaipur, visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and the village of Abhaneri, which has one of India's deepest and largest stepwells (tank gardens).

Included Activities:
Fatehpur Sikri Visit
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 240km)

Day 5 Jaipur (1B)

Consider treating yourself to a night at the cinema. Going to see a Bollywood film in India is much more than what we are accustomed to in the west. The atmosphere, energy, and pure fun (not to mention volume!) has to be experienced to be believed.

Included Activities:
Amber Fort Visit
City Palace Visit
Meet a Local Historian

Day 6 Jaipur/Sāwarda (1B, 1D)

The village is about 60km (37 mi) from Jaipur and has beautiful temples dedicated to different religions, including a unique sikh temple. The residents of the village are still involved in traditional commercial activities. You'll see pottery wheels, silversmiths, cobblers, traditional huts, old temples, and small stepwells.

Included Activities:
Local Village Immersion

Transport:
Private Vehicle (60km)

Day 7 Sāwarda/Delhi (1B)

Drive back to bustling Delhi. Opt to join your CEO for a group dinner.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 310km)

Day 8 Delhi/Kochi (1B)

Transfer to the airport and fly to Kochi. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting for new travellers joining the group.


Additional Notes:
You may have one CEO for the North and one for the South. In this case you will be transferred to the airport in Delhi and fly unescorted to Kochi -- either on your own or with any other travellers who are continuing on for the south portion of the tour. Upon arrival to Kochi, there is free time to relax until the welcome meeting in the evening.

Transport:
Plane (3.00-3.50 hours)

Day 9 Kochi (1B)

After breakfast, explore the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Visit the Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century, the St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and Santa Cruz Basilica, built by Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk through the fish market and the famous Chinese fishing net, believed to have been brought by traders from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the evening, attend the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala called "Kathakali," which combines literature, music, painting, acting, and dance.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Meet with a Local Spice Expert
Kathakali Dance

Day 10 Kochi/Kumarakom (1B, 1D)

Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace then continue to Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Enjoy a canoe paddle along the narrow canals and take a walking tour through the paddy fields and Chempu village.

Included Activities:
Tripunithura Hill Palace Visit
Canoeing
Walking Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)

Day 11 Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters (1B, 1L, 1D)

This morning we travel to Allepey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals, where we board our private houseboat. You can sunbathe on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life take place along the water. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of water birds, palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants.

Included Activities:
Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Excursion
Family Home Meal Experience

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)

Day 12 Kerala Backwaters/Vypīn Island (1B)

This morning, meet with a representative of the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program to learn about the ongoing work by local communities to conserve the lake and surrounding wetlands. This project was created by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), an organization that the National Geographic has collaborated with on many conservation projects across India over the past decade. Continue by boat to a fish sanctuary established by traditional fishermen through the program. Meet with some of the fishermen and see firsthand how their traditional ways of collecting and processing clams are models for the management of lake resources. After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore.

Included Activities:
Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)

Day 13 Vypīn Island (1B)

Free time on Vypīn Island.

Day 14 Vypīn Island (1B)

Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

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