Premium India

Trip Code: HHPG

Why we love it

Discover the beauty in the buildings that lie across the north of India, from Jaipur’s Amber Fort and Royal City Palace to Agra’s Red Fort and the iconic Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World!, Taste the best of Indian cuisine during Exclusive Experiences, including a street food tour with a local expert in Agra and a homecooked meal in the home of a Brahmin family in Jaipur., Embark on both morning and sunset safaris through Ranthambore National Park in search of antelope, sloth bears, leopards and the elusive tigers that call this park home., Spend two unforgettable evenings at your Feature Stay hotel in Jaipur. The heritage hotel has been in the same family since its opening in 1928 and offers opulent details and warm, friendly service., Visit a royal haveli in Jaipur and hear the stories of its owner’s ancestors, then cruise down the Ganges at sunset accompanied by local musicians – two Exclusive Experiences you can only find on a Premium adventure!, By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management.

Is this trip right for me?

In the summer months, Rajasthan can get very hot. Be sure to drink lots of water, pack light cotton clothing and use adequate skin protection.

There are several early mornings on this trip, as many parts of India really come alive in the dawn light.

It can get foggy between December and February, which can put a new spin on the already spectacular scenery. However, it may cause traffic congestion and delays.

Important information

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Please provide a scanned copy of your passport bio page at time of booking to secure a permit for your Ranthambhore National Park visit. Authorities at the park follow a strict booking process whereby permits are issued on a first come first serve basis. If we do not receive your passport scan in time we cannot guarantee you will be able to join the safari. Your full name will need to be provided exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket if an amendment occurs.
4. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 15kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on. You can store excess luggage at the start point hotel. Currently, there are no non-stop flights operating between Jaipur and Varanasi, so you will fly through Delhi. This flight will require an early morning start time.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations.

A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, LOCAL DRESS:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

The Grand New Delhi, Nelson Mandela Marg, Pocket 4, Vasant Kunj II, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Delhi - 110070, Delhi, INDIA

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 10 kms from Vasant Kunj. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage.

Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have booked an arrival transfer you will be met in the arrivals hall after clearing customs, your representative will be holding an Intrepid sign board. Please ask them to confirm your name. In case if you have trouble finding the driver or if you are delayed for any reason, please call the following 24-hour numbers:

+91 9560 849 444
+91 9999 005 019

Please do not exit the gates. If you do not have a mobile phone, there are public phones next to Costa Coffee. Calls cost 1 rupee per minute. Costa coffee is just before the exit gate no.5.

Failing the above please take a taxi to the hotel (using the instructions below) and advise your group leader. When you walk out of the exit door, you will easily be able to spot popular metered taxi counters such as Meru Cabs/Mega Cabs or Easy Cabs, show them your drop location and pay them as per the meter once you get to your hotel.

Taxis from the airport to our starting point hotel take approx. 1 hour and costs between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths).

IMPORTANT: Please avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged hefty amount for the transfers.

Check in time at hotel is 1400 hours.

Finishing your trip

The Grand New Delhi, Nelson Mandela Marg, Pocket 4, Vasant Kunj II, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Delhi - 110070, Delhi, INDIA

Alternate Finish Point


A pre-booked departure transfer to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 10 kms from Vasant Kunj. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic.

A taxi to the airport takes about 30 minutes and should cost between 500-600 INR. Hotel reception or your leader can help you arrange a taxi.

Before check- in you must have your check in luggage x-rayed and sealed. Also ensure at check in that your hand luggage is tagged.

Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 1

Dinners included: 6

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

FOOD IN INDIA:
Food is a way of life in India. You can snack for a bargain or dine in the finest Indian restaurants. Generally, you can eat very cheaply in India. There is a huge choice of restaurants and street stalls serving traditional and local Indian food. In bigger restaurants in areas frequented by more tourists, there is a choice between Indian, Chinese and Western-style food. Here are some ideas of what to try: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/best-food-in-india/
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/foodies-guide-south-india/

Please note that service in restaurants (especially with a group) can be quite slow so patience is a must.

India caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg and pure veg section of the menu. If in doubt please check with your group leader or local representative. See our guide to eating vegan in India here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-vegan-food-guide/

Your group leader or local representative will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly. For some more advice on avoiding "Delhi belly", see our article here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/how-to-avoid-delhi-belly-in-india/

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN INDIA
Due to India's size and topography, there's a huge amount of variation in its climate. We recommend you consider both the season and the part of India you intend to visit, so that you can best pack for your adventure.

For much of the country, a good time to visit India is from September to March with warm days and cool nights.

During winter (December to January), temperatures can get quite cold in Delhi and the north, especially at night. Hotels in some regions may not have adequate heating. In these months you may like to bring thermals for sleeping and a warm jacket for mornings and evenings. Fog can delay trains travelling throughout this region.

Monsoon is from May to October and offers hot and humid conditions. It is not unusual for trains to be delayed, and for activities in towns near rivers and lakes (ie Varanasi) to require amendment at this time of year. Your group leader or local representative will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

During Summer (June to September), temperatures can get extremely hot in Delhi and the north. Itineraries may be amended to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Your group leader or local representative will be able to advise you locally on any changes.

FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS
As a country of many cultures and religions, India has many festivals and public holidays. Here are some of the key dates and events:

HOLI (Festival of Colours)
2024 24-25 March
2025 18-19 March

DIWALI (Festival of Light)
2024 01 November
2025 21 October

RAMADAN (Muslim Holy Month)
2024 10 March – 8 April
2025 28 February – 1 March

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +91 999 900 5019

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

ACCOMMODATION
The hotel accommodation on this trip is in air-conditioned rooms. Some areas of India experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours in the early afternoon. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. 

SHOWERS:
Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times, you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

WIFI:
Generally, WiFi is available in most parts of India and at most of the accommodation we use. Sometimes it's free in the room, other times only available in reception or public areas. A general rule of thumb is the more expensive the hotel, the higher charge for WiFi access. Your group leader or local representative can assist locally in accessing the internet.

ISSUES:
If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your group leader or local representative right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN INDIA
Main roads in India are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and animals!). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced and well trained. If you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know immediately. Please ensure you wear your seat belt at all times.

TRAVEL TIMES
Distances in India do not reflect the driving time and to cover 100km may take much longer than you would expect at home, even if much of the route is on a highway.

TRAINS:
India has a massive network of trains and millions of people travel by rail every day. Trains often travel the length of the country over several days. Trains are a great way to see the countryside and get you away from the busy road system. Delays and cancellations are common on trains. Your tour leader will check the train status to see if there are delays and will do their best to keep you informed of any changes.

From December to February, delays are more common, especially in the north of the country due to fog. It’s not uncommon for trains to be delayed for up to 12 hours. On occasion, your trip may need to be rerouted to allow for these delays. Your tour leader in conjunction with our local office will advise any changes to the itinerary.

FLIGHTS
Airlines in India are of excellent quality. Airports are becoming more modern (especially in the major and tourist cities). To enter the airport, you must have a copy of your flight ticket and passport. Schedule changes and delays do occur, especially when weather conditions make visibility poor.

AUTO RICKSHAWS
On this trip we may travel in a local style of transport called an auto-rickshaw. These small, motorised three-wheeled vehicles are a common form of transport in India and do not have seatbelts.