American breakfast (B) daily, 3 lunches (L), and 2 dinners; Local Host service in each city; city maps; sightseeing as outlined in day-by-day itinerary (inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE).
Day #1 Arrive in Mumbai, India. Welcome to Mumbai, a multicultural metropolis with a colorful history. This vibrant city is now India’s premier seaport, center of culture and industry, and home to “Bollywood.” Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day #2 Mumbai. This morning’s sightseeing includes the GATEWAY OF INDIA, Mumbai’s most famous monument commemorating the visit of Queen Mary. Then, drive along Marine Drive, a seafront promenade, and see a traditional Dhobi Ghat. You will also visit the HANGING GARDENS, MANI BHAVAN (former residence of Mahatma Gandhi), and the MUMBAI MUSEUM (closed Mondays). The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day #3 Mumbai–Cochin. Today, fly to Cochin. (B)
Day #4 Cochin. Your city tour includes the CHINESE FISHING NETS that are the livelihood of many fishermen in the area. You will also see St. Thomas Church, Hill Palace Museum (closed Mondays), and Dutch Palace (closed Fridays), and walk through the JEWISH QUARTER. This afternoon, enjoy an unforgettable CRUISE on the backwaters of Kerala. Explore and witness local life along these serene waterways surrounded by lush palm trees and paddy fields. (B,L)
Day #5 Cochin–Delhi. Today, fly to Delhi, India’s capital city. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day #6 Delhi. This morning, tour the sights of “Old Delhi.” Start with GHANDI BHAWAN, then take a RICKSHAW RIDE through CHANDI CHOWK, a colorful local bazaar. This afternoon, your sightseeing focuses on “New Delhi.” Drive past the India Gate and the President’s House before visiting HUMAYUN'S TOMB. (B)
Day #7 Delhi. Enjoy a full day at your leisure to explore the city. (B)
Day #8 Delhi–Agra. Today, drive to Agra, where much of the city’s impressive past is still evident today in the majesty of her buildings. This afternoon, visit the incomparable TAJ MAHAL (closed Fridays), an extravagant marble monument to love. The Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a memorial to his beloved wife, who died during childbirth. To add to this memorable experience, you’ll travel by tongas (horse carriage) during your visit. Later, visit AGRA FORT, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar, this impressive fortress of red sandstone conceals the imperial city of the Moghul rulers and its many palaces. (B)
Day #9 Agra. A full day at your leisure. (B)
Day #10 Agra–Jaipur. Today, visit FATEHPUR SIKRI (the City of Victory) and the KEOLADEO GHANA BIRD SANCTUARY, home to more than 370 species of birds, en route to Jaipur, known as the “Pink City.” (B)
Day #11 Jaipur. The highlight of today’s sights is the amazing AMBER FORT. Later on, visit the CITY PALACE and the adjoining museum that houses a collection of rare manuscripts. Also stop at the famous HAWA MAHAL (Palace of the Winds) and JANTAR MANTAR, and take a WALKING TOUR through a local market. (B)
Day #12 Jaipur–Delhi–Kathmandu, Nepal.Today, drive back to Delhi to catch your flight to Nepal. Your sightseeing starts this afternoon with a visit to HANUMAN DHOKA, the historic seat of royalty. Then, visit the TEMPLE OF KUMARI, residence of the Living Goddess and said to be constructed from the wood of a single tree. (B)
Day #13 Kathmandu–Royal Chitwan National Park. Enjoy the morning at leisure in Kathmandu. Later, fly to Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s famous wildlife reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will enjoy GAME VIEWING by elephant or jeep. (B,L,D)
Day #14 Royal Chitwan. This morning, EXPLORE THE PARK by elephant or jeep for your chance to see some of the native wildlife. Royal Chitwan protects over 347 square miles of forest, grasslands, and marshes, and it is home to many animals, including the elusive tiger, leopards, and the endangered great one-horned rhinoceros. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B,L,D)
Day #15 Royal Chitwan–Kathmandu. Excursion to Patan. Today, return to Kathmandu and stop at BOUDDHANATH, one of the largest stupas in the world and a focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Then, continue to PATAN, formerly known as Lalitpur or “City of Beauty.” Here, stop in DURBAR SQUARE, the center of business in the city and home to several Buddhist and Hindu sites. (B)
Day #16 Kathmandu–Delhi. Today, fly back to Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (B)
Day #17 Delhi. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)NOTE: Some flights depart Delhi very early in the morning. In these cases, breakfast is not included, and you will have to depart for the airport late in the evening on day 16 or just after midnight on day 17.