Discover India – Maharajas and Mountains
12 days
From $ 3799
Duration12 days

From the Ganges to the Himalayas, spend 12 extraordinary days hiking, biking, rafting and adventuring through India. Immerse yourself in the color and complexity of Indian culture on our journey through the Golden Triangle of Rajasthan. Resting each night in comfortable accommodations, looked after by local guides who share history and personal perspective, we bask in a procession of pinch-me moments you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. The Taj Mahal at sunrise. A lunchtime feast at an ancient Rajasthani home. The sight of Jaipur’s Amber Fort aglow in the sun. The surreal beauty of the Aarti fire ceremony. Along with iconic locales, we seek out nature and adventure—that’s the REI way. Prepare to hike in the Himalayas and raft the Ganges. To do sun salutations in the sacred city of Rishikesh, the world capital of yoga. To be entranced by the beat of the tabla. To cycle village backroads and explore a monkey temple. Each day unveils a new side of India, like the petals of a lotus flower.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 12 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Starts in: Indo-Gangetic Plain
    Physical Grading: Light
  • Ages: 18+

Itinerary

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Day 1: Welcome to India!

Start place: Indo-Gangetic Plain

Arrive into Delhi, India today. International flights typically arrive in the late evening or very early morning hours of Day 2. Guests are met at the airport and transferred about 30 minutes to our hotel in Gurgaon. No meals included.
Day 2: Visit Delhi’s golden-domed Sikh temple. Journey to Jaipur.
We visit one of the most magnanimous monuments in Delhi, the Sikh temple of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Built on the ethos of servitude, food is provided every day for thousands of people from the temple’s kitchens. We stop for a moment of reflection before departing for Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Upon arrival, choose to relax at our hotel or go for a short stroll to the nearby water palace of Jal Mahal. Enjoy some delicious flavors at our first group dinner. We overnight in Jaipur. All meals included.
Driving: 4 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Cycle Rajasthan backroads to temples, villages and a bird sanctuary.
Jaipur, the Pink City, bustles with a mix of modern ingenuity and impressive historic edifices. Just a short drive away, the din of the city quickly fades into bucolic bliss. Recent road construction efforts have duly served the rural communities and the tread of our bicycle tires. Following a bike fitting and briefing, we begin our ride passing farmlands and villages, taking note of the locals in colorful attire. In the afternoon, we stop to enjoy a picnic lunch. After a brief visit to a bird sanctuary, we continue on our bikes through the countryside. We return to our hotel by mid-afternoon for a short break before enjoying a sumptuous dinner together in town. We overnight in Jaipur. All meals included.
Cycling: 21 miles, 2.5 hours; on mostly flat paved roads; Driving: 1 hour.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Hike the ornate Amber Fort. Explore Jaipur at your leisure.
We visit the Amber Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with its related bastions, Jaigarh Fort and Nahargarh Fort. Winding our way along stone staircases and gigantic fortifications, we marvel at the impenetrable design and sheer power these strongholds once asserted. The interior of the Amber Palace is adorned with intricate designs and craftsmanship. Hiking down from Nahargarh Fort, we enjoy views of the vast modern city of Jaipur, which has engulfed the ancient palatial promontory. A tuk-tuk ride through the streets of Jaipur returns us to our hotel by early afternoon. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore on your own. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 3 miles, 3 hours, elevation gain/loss +915/-885’ on cobble streets and steps.
Meals: B, L
Day 5: Roam the heart of Rajasthan. Camp like a Maharaja.
Today we travel deeper into Rajasthan. Away from the castles and forts, we venture into welcoming villages and farmlands which have supported the royalty of Jaipur throughout the millennia. We begin with a walk through a small town, visiting with merchants and artisans and gaining insight into the traditional lifestyle of the region. We lunch at our host’s 17th-century garh (small castle), and learn stories of the Rajput warriors and this incredible living time capsule. Next, we lace up our boots for a hike over a small ridge with views out across the separate valleys. Nestled amongst fields of mustard, millet, and other sundry crops, our private camp awaits. Spacious pitched canvas tents, each with full beds and ensuite facilities, have us feeling like royalty in no time. This evening, we have a special dinner celebration under a sparkling blanket of stars. We overnight in a deluxe tented camp. All meals included.
Hiking: 2.6 miles, 2 hours, elevation gain/loss +195/-180’ on a rocky footpath; Driving: 2.5 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Journey to the legendary Mughal city of Agra.
Bidding farewell to our quiet camp, we depart for the famed Mughal city of Agra. In the afternoon, we have a special activity. It’s so special, we’re keeping it a surprise. In the evening we sit down for a Bollywood-style act portraying the history of the Taj Mahal. This fun theater performance is the perfect warm-up to our sunrise walk tomorrow morning. Dinner is on your own tonight. We overnight in Agra. Breakfast and lunch included.
Optional activity: 1 hour; Driving: 5 hours.
Meals: B, L
Day 7: Behold the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Walk Agra’s bustling markets.
We rise early for a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal with our exceptional local guide. A mausoleum and an icon of love, there is a reason this monument still stands. Perhaps it was the forethought to include elements from many of the major religions or perhaps it’s due to the sheer beauty and state of the art design. Either way, it is breathtaking to behold. After walking the grounds, we return to our hotel for breakfast and free time. This afternoon we have an optional walking tour of the bustling streets of Agra. We deftly navigate back alley spice markets, descend into ancient temples, and hop in a rickshaw for a ride. We overnight in Agra. Breakfast included.
Walking: 3 hours; Optional city tour: 2 hours.
Meals: B
Day 8: Travel to Rishikesh, where the Ganges emerges from the Himalayas.
For years the town of Rishikesh has been a conduit for deeper introspection and spiritual education for all sects of Hinduism and Buddhism. It's here the Ganges River emerges from the Himalayas, a sacred confluence of elements held in spiritual reverence by the major religions and people of India. In recent years the area has become a magnet for active adventurers looking to hike the mountains and raft the famous river. We drive to Delhi, and then fly north for the final leg of our adventure in India. We overnight at a hotel overlooking the Ganges River. All meals included.
Driving: 3 hours; Flight: 1 hour.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9: Hike in the Lower Himalaya Mountains and along the Ganges River.
Today’s hike in the lower Himalayas follows the Ganges River before cutting up into terraced farm plots. Circling back to the river we have wonderful views of the mountains plunging into aquamarine waters. The afternoon is free to rest or explore in Rishikesh. This evening we walk through town to one of the many vegetarian establishments; by law the city is entirely meat and alcohol free. We overnight in Rishikesh. All meals included.
Hiking: 5 miles, 3-4 hours, elevation gain/loss +800/-800’ on rocky trails with moderate incline/decline.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 10: Raft the Ganges, do yoga, and witness the Aarti fire ceremony.
We begin our day by stretching our bodies and relaxing our minds with a skilled instructor to guide us through yoga poses. After we’ve limbered up, we set out for an exhilarating rafting trip on the Ganges. A series of Class 2 and 3 rapids deliver a roller coaster ride of fun. We return to our hotel for hot showers, then head out to visit an ashram to learn about the devotees that pilgrimage to this historic location. In the evening, we witness priests performing the Aarti fire ceremony; each night in the three holy cities of Haridwar, Varanasi and Rishikesh, a fire offering is made to the river Goddess Ganga. Afterwards, we enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate our time in India. We overnight in Rishikesh. All meals included.
Yoga: 1 hour; River Rafting: 2-3 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Bid farewell to the Himalayas and return to Delhi.
Departing Rishikesh in the morning, we fly to Delhi and check into our hotel near the Indira Gandhi International Airport. We say our final good-byes to our guides, with the rest of the day free until your flight to your next destination. Flights can be planned for this evening, or for tomorrow morning. A transfer to the airport is provided. Breakfast included.
Driving: 1 hour; Flight: 1 hour.
Meals: B
Day 12: Depart from Delhi or continue your stay to explore on your own.
Most international flights depart Delhi in the early morning hours. An airport transfer is provided at any time this morning or the previous evening (Day 11). No meals included.

Inclusions

Included

  • Double-occupancy accommodations and meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • bi-lingual guides
  • 21-speed mountain bikes with front suspension and bike helmets: all rafting gear
  • entrance fees to monuments and temples
  • gratuities to station guides
  • private ground transportation within India
  • Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 11 or 12
  • Accommodation

    Hotels, 11 nights, Tented Camp, 1 night

Dates & availability: Discover India – Maharajas and Mountains

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Tue, 02/02/2021 Finishing Sat, 02/13/2021 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 14 Book
Departing Thu, 03/04/2021 Finishing Mon, 03/15/2021 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 14 Book

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