India highlight tour, North and South
Description of India highlight tour, North and South
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Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetAccommodation & Meals
On this trip we spend 11 nights in a variety of 3-5-star hotels, and one night on a houseboat. Howard Plaza The Fern, Agra has been recognised for its top eco-credentials as a leading environmentally sensitive hotel providing facilities such as the green button where guests can choose to reduce their power consumption. *some hotels only. You will notice that our hotels employ local residents and use local produce from nearby markets wherever possible.
The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies like asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage guests to try local restaurants and street food vendors for authentic eating experiences. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In Jaipur, clients can even see how the food is made and try traditional Indian street food snacks such as Masala Chai (Tea), Samosa (Mashed Potato Snacks), Jalebe (Indian Donuts) and Lassi (Yoghurt Drink) whilst embarking on a foodie walking tour.
Wildlife & Environment
On day eight we enjoy a leisurely cycle ride around Fort Cochin, which is arguably the best and most sustainable way to travel around this historic place, stopping to practise working the Chinese Fishing Nets. On day ten, well explore Periyar National Park on foot by walking through the forest to spot animal tracks and maybe spot the elusive fauna living here. It is a chance to see a natural habitat for numerous animals including elephants and tigers. No interaction is permitted with the animals but taking photographs is accepted. Guests will also experience bamboo rafting on the lake, where they can further enjoy this pristine environment while minimising the human impact on the park.
India is the birthplace of yoga and on this tour guests will learn from a local master while taking in the Taj Mahal at dawn. A more modern cultural practise is the colourful and energetic Bollywood dancing craze which our guests will have fun learning during a lesson with experienced teachers. Supporting the old and the new cultural practises through these lessons is another way to learn about India and its people.
In Old Delhi there is an off-the-grid walking tour led by ex-street children who will guide us around bustling alleyways. These children have studied hard to gain their guiding qualifications and spending time with them will be a memorable experience. Following this we visit the kitchens of a Sikh Temple, where food is served to thousands of Delhis most impoverished citizens. Guests will then share the dining experience which is a great way to interact with local people. We have included a special visit to Dhula village near Jaipur where we will meet local families and artisans such as potters and bangle makers. They will share their traditional crafts and you may like to join in. There will also be the opportunity for guests to get involved and assist farmers with milking cows and ploughing fields, and again an appreciation of rural life. Handicrafts will be for sale in the village and purchasing a souvenir will not only carry memories of your day back home but support traditional crafts and provide practical assist in the livelihood of the Dhula families.