American breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 8 dinners including a welcome dinner in Delhi and home-hosted dinner in Jaipur
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 Dubai
This morning, enjoy a city tour that begins with a stop at the JUMEIRAH MOSQUE, one of Dubai’s great landmarks. Then, drive along Dubai Creek, the lifeline and pulse of the city. You will have time to stroll through the narrow lanes of Bastakiah, the city’s old district, and through the souks (markets). This includes the SPICE SOUK with its exotic aromas and the GOLD SOUK with 220 shop windows glittering with gold. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 3 Dubai
A full day at your leisure. You may wish to take an excursion to Abu Dhabi, enjoy a dinner cruise on a traditional dhow, or simply explore the area on your own. Your host will have recommendations.
Day 4 Dubai–Delhi, India
Fly to Delhi, India’s capital city! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 5 Delhi
Today’s sightseeing starts with an orientation to see the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace. Afterward, take a RICKSHAW RIDE through Chandni Chowk, a captivating local bazaar. Here, ancient alleyways are lined with quaint shops selling all sorts of goods and souvenirs—from silver and saris to spices and electronics. After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy a bit of leisure time. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a lavish welcome dinner that includes a COOKING DEMONSTRATION and talk on Indian cuisine with a local chef.
Day 6 Delhi–Agra
This morning, visit QUTAB MINAR, the world’s tallest brick minaret, dating back to the 11th century. Next, visit HUMAYAN’S TOMB and GURUDWARA BANGLA SAHIB, Delhi’s largest and most prominent Sikh gurudwara (house of worship). After lunch, drive to Agra and settle in for the evening.
Day 7 Agra
Start your day with a sunrise visit to the incomparable TAJ MAHAL, an extravagant marble monument to love. 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 also travel by TONGAS (horse-drawn 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.
Day 8 AGRA–FATEHPUR SIKRI–RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK
Today, stop at FATEHPUR SIKRI (the City of Victory), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century it was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years before it was completely abandoned due to the lack of adequate water. After lunch in Bharatpur, board a train bound for RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK, one of the best places in India to spot the elusive Bengal tiger!. Start your day with a sunrise visit to the incomparable TAJ MAHAL, an extravagant marble monument to love. 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 also travel by TONGAS (horse-drawn 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.
Day 9 Ranthambore
Today, explore the park on MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES in open-air, 4-wheel-drive safari vehicles. In addition to Bengal tigers, the park is home to leopard, sambar deer, sloth bears, marsh crocodiles, striped hyena, and more. Between game drives, enjoy free time to relax.
Day 10 Ranthambore–Jaipur
Rise early this morning for one last GAME DRIVE in this magical land. Then, travel to Jaipur. In 1876, the city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales, and it has been known as the “Pink City” ever since. Tonight, enjoy a HOME-HOSTED DINNER with an Indian noble family, followed by a SARI- and TURBAN-TYING demonstration.
Day 11 Jaipur
Today, visit the amazing AMBER FORT, built entirely of white marble and red sandstone. Tour the interior with its intricate mosaics, carvings, paintings, and mirror works. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this bustling city. This evening, join your Tour Director for a festive farewell dinner to celebrate an unforgettable journey through India.
Day 12 Jaipur–Delhi
This morning, visit the CITY PALACE and the adjoining MUSEUM, which houses a collection of rare manuscripts, and stop at the famous HAWA MAHAL (Palace of the Winds). You will have some free time prior to flying back to Delhi in the early evening.
Day 13 Delhi–Varanasi
Fly to Varanasi, the holiest of Hindu pilgrim cities, situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. Early this evening, witness the GANGA AARTI (spiritual worship) on the ghats (steps) leading down to the Ganges.
Day 14 Varanasi
Around dawn, board a BOAT and watch a striking religious ritual—the Hindus’ devotional bathing in the Ganges. You’ll observe hundreds of pilgrims gathered at the river’s edge, some practicing yoga, others meditating, and still others bathing fully clothed. Return to your hotel for breakfast and some free time. This afternoon, an excursion takes you to nearby SARNATH, the “Cradle of Buddhism,” where Buddha first spoke of his philosophy.
Day 15 Varanasi–Delhi
Enjoy the morning at leisure before flying back to Delhi.
Day 16 Delhi
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.