Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights
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Best of India & Bhutan - 14 Days

Uncover the delights of India's Golden Triangle, travelling from Delhi to Jaipur and onto Agra, home of the spectacular Taj Mahal. Then wing your way to the beautiful Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan to explore Paro, Thimphu and the picturesque Punakha Valley.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Delhi - Take in the highlights of Old and New Delhi, with stops at Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid mosque and Ghandi's crematorium Raj Ghat
The Pink City of Jaipur - Discover the lofty Amber Fort, the regal City Palace and the ancient observatory of Jantar Mantar
Keoladeo Ghana National Park - Enjoy a rickshaw ride around this UNESCO Heritage site, famous for its amazing array of birdlife
Abhaneri Step Well - Marvel at the famous 9th century step well
Thimphu - Explore Bhutan’s capital city on a full day sightseeing tour, including the Memorial Chorten, National Library, Drubthob Nunnery, Folk Heritage Museum and Takin Preserve
Punakha Valley - Hike up to Chimi Lhakhand Temple (the temple of Divine Madman) and camp alongside the scenic Mo Chu River
Picturesque villages of Talo or Nobgang - where we explore the ancestral home of the Queen Mothers of Bhutan
Agra and the spectacular Taj Mahal - Admire India's most famous monument and visit the beautiful Agra Fort
Fatehpur Sikri - Uncover the ancient abandoned Mughal city
Bharatpur - Experience rural India at its friendliest
Paro - Enjoy a guided tour of the city, including the National Museum and Rinphung Dzong
Handicraft Emporium - Browse through beautiful hand-woven and crafted products in Thimphu
Tiger’s Nest Monastery - Hike up to this famous Buddhist monastery perched on a cliff face
Dochula Pass - Himalayan peaks - Masagang, Tsendagang, Terigang, Jejegangphugang, Gangkar Punsum

Included

13 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners
Touring of Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Agra, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the Punakha Valley
Cooking demonstration in Thimphu
Escorted by licensed English-speaking local tour guides in India and Bhutan
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
All Bhutan government royalties and taxes
12 nights 3-4 star and heritage hotels and 1 night premium camp
Rickshaw ride in Delhi and travel by jeep to the Amber Fort in Jaipur
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 14
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
Entrance fees to all included sightseeing in Bhutan
Bhutan Visa fee and travel Permit, excl visa admin fee of USD$20 payable upon arrival.

Not Included

International flights (including the flight from Delhi - Paro) and visas
Entrance Fees: USD$70-80, paid in local currency in India
Tip for your tour guide in India & Bhutan. We recommend you allow $3 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guides is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$25-35, paid in local currency in India

Itinerary

Day 1

Delhi

Saturday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or independently explore this bustling capital.
Overnight: Delhi

Day 2

Old Delhi & New

Meet your guide and the rest of the group at the welcome meeting this morning. Then we head out to enjoy a full day tour of Old and New Delhi. Highlights include Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, Rajpath and India Gate. Tonight, we gather for a group Namaste dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Jaipur - the Pink City!

Delhi - Jaipur. Bidding farewell to Delhi we drive to the Pink City of Jaipur today. After hotel check in we head out to explore the bustling capital of Rajasthan, visiting the ornate City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an ancient yet cleverly designed space observatory. Keep an eye out for snake charmers along the way.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Amber Fort

Early this morning there's the option to sail over the hilltop forts, palaces and roof tops of Jaipur on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride. Then we travel beyond Jaipur to explore the stunning 16th century Amber Fort, perched on a hillside overlooking the dusty plains below. Heading back to Jaipur we stop at a cotton weaving house en route to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Village life

Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur. Today we travel to the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, the largest and deepest step well in the world, which has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Continuing our journey to Bharatpur, we stop en route to meet the pupils of Adarsh Vidya Mandir school (if open), where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. In Bharatpur there's time to freshen up before enjoying a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
Overnight: Bharatpur  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Taj Mahal

Bharatpur - Agra. This morning we drive to Agra, stopping en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries due to a lack of water. Arriving into Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before making our way to the spectacular Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love.
Overnight: Agra  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Onward to Delhi

Agra - Delhi. Today we travel back to Delhi. Upon arrival the rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax or independently explore the city.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Fly to Bhutan

Saturday. Delhi - Paro. Our tour of India concludes today. Transfer to Delhi airport for your flight to Paro in Bhutan.

Please note: The flight from Delhi - Paro is not included in the cost of this tour. Drukair - Royal Bhutan Airlines fly direct. Please provide us with your flight details and you will be met at Paro airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Paro  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Paro & Thimphu market

Paro - Thimphu. We begin our sightseeing in Bhutan with a tour of the National Museum, which is perched on a hilltop within the old watch tower Ta Dzong. Then we head to the impressive Rinphung Dzong, which is the backdrop for the Hollywood film Little Buddha. This afternoon we drive to Thimphu and visit the bustling weekend market. From Friday onwards vendors from surrounding villages travel to Thimphu to display their wares until Sunday afternoon when the market ends.
Overnight: Thimphu  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Thimphu sightseeing & cooking demo

Bhutan's captivating capital is the kingdom's most modern city and yet it has retained the unique character of a traditional Bhutanese town. Highlights of today's guided tour include the Memorial Chorten - a beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, Drubthob Nunnery, the Folk Heritage Museum and the Takin Preserve, which is a wildlife reserve for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.

We'll also stop to visit various workshops and see a wide variety of beautifully hand-woven and crafted products at the Handicrafts Emporium. This evening we enjoy a cooking demonstration at our hotel and learn about the art of cooking tasty Bhutanese cuisine.
Overnight: Thimphu  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Punakha, Chimi Lhakhang Temple & Camp by the Mo Chu River

Thimphu - Punakha. This morning we travel through oak, pine and rhododendron forest to reach the Dochu La Pass (3050m). After a short break we continue on to the spectacular Punakha Valley, where we enjoy a leisurely 1.5 to 2 hour hike up to Chimi Lhakhang, the divine mad monk’s temple. After lunch we visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, which is located at the confluence of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers and still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body.

Later this afternoon we head to our camp site on the banks of the Mo Chu River, where there's time to relax and explore the natural surrounds. In the early evening you can opt for a hot stone bath served with local drinks, followed by dinner.
Overnight: Punakha (Premium Camp)  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

Punakha Valley Sightseeing

Punakha - Paro. After an early breakfast we enjoy another scenic hike, for approximately 2 - 2.5 hours, up through rice fields and along the banks of the Mo Chu river to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a beautiful temple located on a hill with stunning views of the valley below. We continue our exploration of the area with a drive to the picturesque villages of Talo or Nobgang, perched along a ridge above the Punakha Valley.

After a picnic lunch we visit the Sangchen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery, perched on a ridge with spectacular views of the Punakha and Wangdue valleys. There is a complex for the higher studies and meditation of the nuns within a temple, which also houses a 14 foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara, one of the largest in the country. After our visit to the nunnery, we drive to Paro.
Overnight: Paro  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Tiger's Nest Monastery

Today we embark on an incredible 4 to 6 hour hike to the beautiful Taktshang Monastery (aka Tiger's Nest Monastery), which clings to the side of the rugged cliff face, at a dizzying height of 3,000m above sea level. The monastery is only accessible on foot or you can ride a pony part of the way (this must be arranged in advance by your guide). From the trail (2600m) we take a steep one hour walk up to a cafeteria where you can enjoy refreshments and wonderful views of Taktshang (2940m).

Those who wish to proceed further must travel on foot. The trail continues uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) where there is a Chorten (stupa). From this vantage point, the lookout to the monastery is incredible and seems almost close enough to touch. Continuing down a flight of cliff-hanging steps on the narrow trail you’ll reach a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm and alongside is a retreat hermitage, jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. Then climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery.
Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples to see with few monks in residence. After exploring the monastery we walk back to the cafeteria for lunch, before retracing our steps back to the road to journey back to Paro.
Overnight: Paro  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14

Paro

Friday. Our tour concludes today after breakfast. A departure transfer will take you to Paro airport for your onward travel.
Breakfast

Like this holiday but wish it included Nepal?

For the ultimate Himalayan experience you could combine this holiday with travel to Nepal by adding our Highlights of Nepal group tour directly after finishing your holiday in Bhutan. Our Best of India & Bhutan trip finishes on a Friday, then its a short hop to Kathmandu to start our Highlights of Nepal tour the same day. The total trip length is 22 days and we offer 10% off our Highlights of Nepal trip for travellers booking this combination.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who would like their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

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2017
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
11 Nov - 24 Nov 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
25 Nov - 08 Dec 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
2018
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
17 Mar - 30 Mar 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
31 Mar - 13 Apr 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
14 Apr - 27 Apr 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
29 Sep - 12 Oct 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
13 Oct - 26 Oct 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
27 Oct - 09 Nov 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
10 Nov - 23 Nov 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730
24 Nov - 07 Dec 10% off
£2,745
£2,471

£730

Extra Prices

Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
Pre-Tour Accommodation - Delhi
£49
£40

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

The Piccadily, Delhi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The grand lobby of the Piccadily is a perfect introduction to this elegant luxury property. Rooms are bright, airy and furnished in a sophisticated and contemporary fashion. Staff are helpful, attentive and go above and beyond to make sure your stay is a memorable and happy one. Dining at popular Zune and contemporary Twenty-9 is highly recommended. Located in the west of town, close to the airport. Access to the rest of the city is very simple with the Janakpuri West Metro station just next door.

Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture - set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.

Udai Vilas Palace, Bharatpur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Set amongst 2 acres of landscaped gardens, the Udai Vilas Palace is a traditional hotel taking guests back to a bygone era. Guest rooms are spacious and well equipped with comfortable beds and large windows. The hotel is famous for its barbecue nights and Rajasthani Folklore evenings. On an evening why not grab a nice cold beer and sit by the pool - a great way to end the day! Well located near the Bharatpur Bird sanctuary - great for keen twichers!

Seven Hills Tower, Agra

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The modern and stylish Seven Hills Tower hotel boasts a range of facilities and services designed to ensure the quality of each traveller's stay. Guests can enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool or laze on the sun loungers before heading to the equally lofty restaurant for some mouth-watering Mughlai cuisine. The spacious guestrooms are elegantly decorated with neutral colours and fabrics covered with traditional patterns and all have excellent ensuite facilities. Why not head to the rooftop pool and al fresco dining area for beautiul views of the Taj - perfect for a sunset drink.

Nak-Sel Boutique Hotel & Spa, Paro

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The eco friendly and community based Naksel Boutique Hotel and Spa tastefully combines traditional Bhutanese design with the comforts of modern living. Guest rooms include queen size beds, hard wood flooring and delightful en suite facilities with under floor heating. The hotel is home to Olive restaurant which serves up a mouth watering array of Bhutanese, Indian, Asian and Western cuisine. The onsite bar - Chabchu is great for relaxing at in the evenings. For the adventurous try a glass of the local favourite, Ara, Bhutanese rice wine.

Hotel Migmar, Thimphu

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Opened in 2010, Hotel Migmar is designed in classic Bhutanese style. Guest rooms are very colourful with wooden flooring and free wi-fi access. The hotel also has an onsite restaurant serving up a range of Asian cuisines, including Bhutanese and Indian. Those wishing to really relax whilst visiting should take advantage of the steam bath and meditation rooms that are available to guests. Located in the southern suburbs of Thimpu in a quiet neighbourhood.

Mo Chu River Camp, Punakha

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Standard Camp

A short drive from Punakha, the Mo Chu River Premium Camp sit on the banks of the River Mo Chu. Accommodation here is in two man walk in tents with thick mattresses. Toilet tents are provided with flush toilets and there are shower tents with hot water available as well as the chance to try out a traditional hot stone bath. There is a central area with space to relax around a camp fire and the cook team here create traditional Bhutanese meals in the dining tent. Electricity is supplied in the dining and toilet tents and the walk ways are lit by small lamps but a torch is useful.

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Delhi
Ends
Paro
Departs
Saturday
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 13, Lunch: 6, Dinner: 8
Visiting
Delhi, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Abhaneri, Agra, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha
Countries

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