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$2429 $2307

Available: 7+ spaces

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We are also offering a July 30th departure of this program.

  • Hotels: Comfort Class

  • 06/19/2023 - 07/05/2023

  • Max Participants: 15

  • 17 Days / 16 Nights

Overview

If you’re looking to experience the diversity of India and Nepal, this 17-day trip contrasts the colorful culture of India with the pristine serenity of Nepal’s Himalayan mountains. From the ghats that line the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi to a 4×4 safari in Chitwan National Park, our expert tour leader will take you through a region of unsurpassed natural beauty and spirituality before revealing to you the rugged Himalayan landscape of Nepal’s magical capital, Kathmandu.

India Nepal 2021 Map

Our first priority is our travelers’ safety, especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that on our group programs such as this one, we require all participants to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Please click here for more details regarding our health and safety policies.

What's Included:
  • Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project
  • Delhi Day tour
  • India Gate and Connaught Place visit (Delhi)
  • Amber Fort and Hawa Mahal tour (Jaipur)
  • Taj Mahal entrance
  • Orchha Palace complex visit
  • Ganges River boat trips at sunrise and sunset, including candle flower ceremony (Varanasi)
  • Varanasi orientation walk along the ghats and old city
  • Buddha's birthplace visit (Lumbini)
  • Chitwan National Park jeep safari
  • Sarangkot sunrise excursion (Pokhara)
  • Lunch at the G Adventures-supported Sisterhood of Survivors Project
  • Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu orientation walk
  • Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) visit
  • Bhaktapur and Patan day tour
  • Border crossing support
  • G Adventures Tour leader throughout, local guides
  • 1 lunch, 1 dinner – allow $400-$520 USD for meals not included
  • Upgraded hotels (13 nts), rural village stay (2 nts), sleeper train (1 nt)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by train, metro, local bus, charter bus, private van, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw, tempo, 4x4, riverboat
What's Not Included:
  • International air travel
  • Incidentals
  • Travel health and cancellation insurance
  • Applicable visas
  • Tips or gratuities
  • Airport taxes
  • Beverages
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Optional tours and admissions
  • Departure airport transfer

Itinerary Download PDF

Arrive in Delhi. For no extra cost, you will be picked up at the airport by Women on Wheels, a non-profit organization that trains Indian women from underprivileged backgrounds to get their professional chauffeur’s license. Our tour operator employs all-female graduates to provide our travelers with safe and reliable transportation. We are proud to use our arrival transfers as a means of supporting local Indian women. Please note: if you are coming to Delhi before our trip begins and are staying at a different hotel than our starting hotel, we cannot provide you with this service. There are no planned activities until a welcome meeting around 6:00 p.m. for an orientation/overview to go over the details of your trip. Check the notice board in the hotel lobby to confirm the time and place of the meeting. Head out for an optional welcome dinner with the group. New Delhi, the capital of India, is one of the most historic capitals in the world, and three of its monuments – the Qutab Minar, the Red Fort, and Humayun’s Tomb – have been declared World Heritage Sites. It offers a multitude of interesting places and attractions to the visitor, so much so that it becomes difficult to decide where to begin exploring the city. We cover some of the city's highlights on the second day of this trip, but we are just scratching the surface of Delhi during this trip. You might consider arriving early if you would like to see more. Beware, however, Delhi is chaotic and intimidating for seasoned and unseasoned travelers alike. In Old Delhi, there are attractions like mosques, forts, markets, and other monuments depicting India’s Muslim history. New Delhi, on the other hand, is a modern city designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. Tree covered wide streets with many roundabouts are notable in New Delhi. Home to many government buildings and embassies, as well as Rashtrapati Bhawan, the one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys, and the India Gate, a memorial raised in honor of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Third Anglo-Afghan War. Further out in the southern suburbs you will discover more history, including: Humayun’s Tomb, said to be the forerunner of the Taj Mahal in Agra; the Purana Quila, built by Humayun, with later-day modifications by Sher Shah Suri; Qutab Minar, built by Qutb-ud-din Aybak of the Slave Dynasty; and the incredible lotus-shaped Bahá’í House of Worship. There are a number of outstanding museums worth visiting including the Craft Museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Birla House (also known as "Gandhi Smriti"), and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum. Please note: Many museums are closed on Monday. If you are looking to try a range of Indian cuisines, consider visiting the delightful food stalls at Dilli Haat, where the cuisine of different states is available for purchase. Set amidst a spacious crafts bazaar, the cafes of Dilli Haat are a very pleasant place to enjoy food and take in the local culture.

Today, we get to see the sights of Delhi on a full-day guided tour with a local guide. You will ride an air-conditioned bus, although there will be ample walking around and taking a rickshaw. Itinerary will include: India Gate and the surroundings, Old Delhi Chandani Chowk area, Jama Masjid Mosque, Raj Ghat Ghandi Memorial and the Qutab Minar Complex. You will also visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a Sikh temple and kitchen. The temple feeds thousands of people a day with everyone eating on the ground in a big hall. You will go into the kitchen and help roll out Roti, a type of Indian flatbread, to be served. Please keep in mind that Delhi traffic is unpredictable, so plans may need to be adjusted. Please note: Qutab Minar's entrance fee isn't included. Participants will pay 250 INR locally (roughly $5 USD). Raj Ghat is occasionally closed to the public for official ceremonies.

Leaving the chaos of Delhi, we board our early morning air-conditioned bus to Jaipur, known as the "Pink City." Jaipur was first painted terracotta pink by Maharajah Sawai Ram Singh in 1853, to celebrate the visit of Prince Albert. We will have an orientation walk and then have the option to take in a Bollywood film at the Raj Mandir, a spectacular art deco film house. Approximate travel time: 6 hrs by private vehicle

This morning, we visit the Amber Fort, which clings to the surrounding hills, marveling at its beautiful Hindu and Muslim architecture. We then travel back to Jaipur to see the Hawa Mahal, or the "Palace of the Winds." This famous building is in fact only an elaborately carved facade built to enable the purdah ladies in the zenana to watch the goings-on in the street below without being seen. There are so many things to do in Jaipur, and you will have some free time to choose what is most of interest to you. You may want to explore by bicycle, which will introduce you to sights, sounds, and smells that a vehicle just can't match. Marvel at the architectural wonders as you enter the walled part of the city and stop at the City Palace to visit the Govind Dev temple. Wander through the historical spices and sweets market, stopping for tea and a tasty snack of pakoras before heading towards the majestic Albert Hall Museum where the cycle tour ends. You might instead prefer to head out to the nearby village of Sanganer to see blue pottery, handmade paper, or hand-block printing. Or you may wish to discover more of the wisdom and history of the Mughals by wandering around the Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in the 1700s. We also recommend visiting the courtyards, gardens, and buildings that make up the City Palace. Located in the heart of the Old City, it is a striking blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Visit the palace's museum to look at ancient carriages and the former maharaja's gold-embroidered wedding outfit. Jaipur is one of the most important centers in the world for gems, jewelry, and small diamonds. It is also a great place to buy block-printed textiles, blue pottery, and handmade paper. There are many shops selling these items and some wonderful markets in the Old City selling more traditional items such as mojari, Rajasthani slippers. If buying gems or jewelry, please take caution as there have been several instances of scams where fake jewelry has been passed off as real.

Travel to the city of Agra, site of India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Visit this icon of Mughal architecture in the late afternoon for the best light. The Taj Mahal was constructed between 1631 and 1654 by a workforce of 22,000 laborers. It was built by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz had already borne the emperor 14 children when she died in childbirth, and it is the romantic origin of the Taj as much as its architectural splendor that has led to its fame worldwide. Actually an integrated complex of many structures, the Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, itself a combination of Islamic, Hindu, Persian, and Turkish elements. Approximate travel time: 6 hrs by private vehicle

Today, we travel by train from Agra to Jhansi before jumping in a tempo, a large auto-rickshaw, to the picturesque town of Orchha. You will love the peaceful rural charm of this riverside town. Sitting on the banks of the Betwa River, Orchha is the perfect antithesis India’s bustling cities. Experience a part of India that will likely change your perception of this diverse country. A typical, small Indian town, Orchha owes its popularity to an architectural heritage that shows the town's history as the oldest and highest in rank of all the Bundela states. Orchha dates back to the 16th century when it was founded by the Bundela chief Rudra Pratap. In the early 17th century, Raja Jujhar Singh rebelled against the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, whose armies devastated the state and occupied Orchha from 1635 to 1641. Orchha was the only Bundela state not subjugated by the Marathas in the 18th century. Hamir Singh, who ruled from 1848 to 1874, was elevated to Maharaja in 1865. Maharaja Pratap Singh, who succeeded to the throne in 1874, devoted himself entirely to the development of his state, including designing most of the engineering and irrigation works built during his reign. We will visit the Orcha Palace complex, which is three separate palaces or mahals: the Raj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal, and Rai Parveen Mahal. Enjoy the medieval architecture and learn about its rich history. In the evening, if you wish, you may join an evening puja, a Hindu prayer ceremony. Approximate travel time: 2.5 hrs by train (Agra to Jhansi); 1.5 hrs by auto-rickshaw (Jhansi to Orchha)

We will start the day with a visit to Tarragram, a unique paper-making plant that is set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper here is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. You can opt to rent a bike from a local shop and head out to explore. Or you can take a cooking class with a local family and enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch. This home-cooked meal is a real highlight and is highly recommended by past participants. In the evening, you will return to Jhansi, where you will board an overnight train to Varanasi. See our FAQ to learn more about the overnight train, which is an essential Indian experience and a great way to see the landscape. Approximate travel time: 30 mins by auto-rickshaw (Orchha to Jhansi); 13 hrs by overnight train (Jhansi to Varanasi)

We arrive in the morning at Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city, where millions of Hindus travel for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. The legends, myths, and aura surrounding Varanasi led Mark Twain to remark famously that the city "is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together." Sitting on the banks of the River Ganges, you can contemplate what it means to be in Varanasi, the oldest continually-inhabited city in the world, dating back thousands of years. The culture of Varanasi is deeply associated with the Ganges River, its reigning deity Lord Shiva, and its religious importance: the city has been a cultural and religious center in northern India for thousands of years. When we first arrive, we will have an orientation walk along the ghats and through the old city, filled with temples, shrines, and Hindus from all over India and the world. Enjoy views of the sacred River Ganges. During your free time after the orientation walk, you might choose to visit some of the hundreds of temples and shrines, such as the Lord Hanuman Temple Visit honoring the Hindu monkey-god, Hanuman. Perhaps you could visit the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, the site of Buddha's first sermon and one of the most holy sites to Buddhists. It is said that, after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, Buddha continued to Sarnath. In a deer park, he preached his first discourse and set in motion the Wheel of the Dharma. During our stay, we take an evening boat tour on the sacred Ganges River and participate in a candle and flower ceremony while on the water. Please note: Varanasi can be a difficult city to visit, even for an experienced traveler. Varanasi requires patience and an open mind, but it is worth it!

Today, we wake up early and catch the sunrise during another boat ride on the sacred Ganges River, where Hindu pilgrims from all over the world come to wash away their sins and cremate their loved ones. Witness locals participating in dawn rituals of bathing and burning at the river. You will then have more free time to explore this holy city.

Today, we have a long travel day as we cross into Nepal. Enjoy the changing landscape and get ready to learn about the history and culture of Nepal. You will receive a Nepalese visa at the border, but you will need $30 USD in crisp, new bills. Also be aware that Nepal is 15 minutes ahead of India. After completing the immigration formalities in both India and Nepal, we will drive to Lumbini, the historical birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, who lived between approximately 563 and 483 BCE. Lumbini is located 25 km east of the municipality of Kapilavastu, the place where the Buddha grew up and lived up to the age of 29. We will explore some of the numerous monasteries in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Approximate travel time: 6 hrs by train; 2-3 hrs by taxi; 30 mins-1 hr by private vehicle.

Travel through a region that is home to rhinos, elephants, Bengal tigers, bears, and leopards. In the evening, meet the local Tharu community and discover their culture. Experience their culture through dance and song, along with a traditional meal. Opt to go on a cycling excursion through the area. After breakfast, we will drive through a belt of marshy grasslands, savannas, and forests at the base of the Himalayas to Chitwan National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage site. We will be welcomed by the indigenous tribal group of Chitwan, the Tharus. In the evening, we interact with the local Tharu community and experience their culture through dance and song along with a traditional meal. The Tharus are an indigenous community of the Terai belt of Nepal and work toward living self-sufficiently. They live in eco-friendly homes made of mud, straw, and other materials found in abundance in the region. They also produce and farm all their own food. We will stay overnight in a jungle resort. Approximate travel time: 4-5 hours by private vehicle

Today, we will explore the diverse ecosystems of Chitwan National Park, formerly the "Royal Chitwan National Park," from the comfort of a 4x4 vehicle. Keep your eyes peeled for the many animals that live there, including birds, monkeys, crocodiles, and rhinos. If you're lucky, you might even see an elusive tiger. Keep in mind that sometimes the wildlife is hard to spot, so keep your expectations low. We will stay overnight in a jungle resort.

Travel from the plains to the mountains by private vehicle. Nestled in a tranquil valley at an altitude of 827 m, Pokhara is a place of natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fish-tailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambiance of peace and tranquility. We will have an orientation walk in Pokhara led by your tour leader. Pokhara lies on a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalayan mountain range. This enchanting city has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, creating an ambiance that makes it such a popular place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Relax in a café, hire a boat to float around the lake, or shop for Nepali and Tibetan souvenirs in the endless stalls and shops. Approximate travel time: 5-6 hrs by private vehicle

This morning, we travel to Sarangkot (1,592 m) only 5 km northeast of Pokhara, for a spectacular sunrise of the surrounding mountains (weather permitting). The most stunning of Pokhara’s sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna range, which will dominate the scenery during the walk. The walk also takes you back to Pokhara through farms and forests and is a wonderful way to spend 2-2.5 hours. After the walk, we visit the Sisterhood of Survivors Project, a G Adventures-supported grassroots organization that is helping to support rehabilitated survivors of human-trafficking and other at-risk women. SASANE, our project partners, trains once vulnerable women to be certified paralegals, so that they are the first point of contact for other women coming out of abuse. G Adventures has helped catalyze a hospitality program for these women to be reintegrated into a dignified work environment. The survivors will teach you how to make momos (traditional dumplings) and then enjoy a Nepali lunch together. This program helps support SASANE's trafficking prevention and re-integration programs across Nepal. In the afternoon, you have free time to explore Pokhara on your own.

Today, we travel by airplane to Nepal’s magical capital and largest city, Kathmandu. For many, simply the name alone is sufficient to conjure up images of temple pagodas, long-haired saddhus in clouds of hashish smoke, and the ever-present Himalayas. Kathmandu is all this and more. Sitting in a bowl-like valley surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains on earth, Kathmandu has been a crossroads of cultures since hundreds of years before Christ, a tradition very much alive today. Upon arriving in Kathmandu, we will enjoy a short orientation walk. As a group, we will visit Swayambhunath Temple (Monkey Temple). Highlights in Kathmandu include world-famous Durbar Square, the King’s Palace, the burning ghats at Pashupatinath, and the Boudhanath Stupa. Approximate travel time: 30 mins by airplane

Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur constitute the valley’s three medieval Newari cities. Today, our group will go on a guided tour of Bhaktapur and Patan. Bkahtapur is the best preserved of the three cities, with incredibly well-preserved ancient architecture, much of which withstood a devastating earthquake in 2015. The ancient town, known as the City of Devotees, was founded in the 12th centur and became renowned for its culture, festivals, and multitude of Hindu temples. Explore Bhaktapur's markets, tea stalls, wood-carved temples, and vibrant squares, including Durbar Square. You can pick up clay pots and other souvenirs in the colorful open markets and taste homemade yogurt, known as khopa dhau, which Bhaktapur is famous for. We will also visit Patan's Durbar Square and the Golden Temple. South of the square lies the Kumari Chowk, home to Nepal's living goddess, the Kumari. The Kumari, a prepubescent girl chosen as the incarnation of the Hindu goddess Talejn, lives a cloistered life, rarely leaving the confines of the chowk. When she does leave, it is only for important religious festivals, and her feet are not allowed to touch the ground. Once the Kumari reaches puberty, another 3- to 5-year-old girl will take her place. Approximate travel time: 1 hr by private vehicle

Our tour ends today. You are free to depart at any time today, though your accommodation is only till noon. Please note: If your flight is before 2:00 p.m., you will not have time for an optional Mount Everest flight in the morning. (See optional activities section below for more information on this possibility.) Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs). If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

Details

Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here to go to our general FAQ, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Resources to Learn & Teach about India & Nepal
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
Cancellation policy
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
  • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit, which is kept on file for future use.
  • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use.
  • If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use.
Trip Notes
  1. India is a country that is very different from anything you will have experienced before. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Pollution, poverty, and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here, we have come to love this large and wonderfully different country, but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way.
  2. In India, there are very different attitudes to timekeeping, public cleanliness, privacy, and service. Trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental, and power will often just vanish. Optimistic menus turn out to have only one dish available and everyone – everyone – will want to know your name. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a healthy sense of humor, we know that you – like all of us – will be captivated by what India has to offer.
  3. Please be careful about attracting too much attention to the group in large cities. An innocent conversation with a local man in a train station can result in the group being surrounded by 40 curious men who also want to talk or be in the group's physical space. It can get really uncomfortable even if they mean no harm. You will always attract attention as a westerner. Please ask your tour leader what is appropriate before interacting with local men.
  4. We upgraded accommodation on this program compared to the hotels our tour operator G Adventures typically uses on this itinerary. It costs a bit more, but our guests have been very happy with the change. We will still have an overnight train and the homestay, so not all of the accommodation has been upgraded.
  5. Please note that drones and the flying of drones are prohibited in Nepal. If you violate these regulations, the police may take you into custody.
Mental Preparation
Of all of GEEO’s programs, this is probably the one that causes the most culture shock. India and Nepal are thick with history, wonders, smells, colors, dirt, and bureaucracy the likes of which even experienced travelers have never encountered. It is amazing and at the same time overwhelming. You will see poverty. You will feel uncomfortable. You will probably get diarrhea. India takes some getting used to for most people, and the sooner you mentally adjust to the environment, the sooner you will be able to enjoy yourself.
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides when we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Fitness Level
This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. The hardest element to deal with is the heat and humidity. We have been running this program over the summer for years, so while the weather isn’t ideal, it still gets great reviews.
Single Travelers
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. Even if you pay this fee, you will not have your own room on the overnight train. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Joining Instructions
Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note that check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details! If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning. For no extra cost, you will be picked up at the airport by Women on Wheels, a non-profit organization that trains Indian women from underprivileged backgrounds to get their professional chauffeur’s license. Our tour operator then employs all female graduates to provide our travelers with safe and reliable transportation. We are proud to use our arrival transfers as a means of supporting local Indian women. Please note: if you are coming to Delhi before our trip begins and are staying at a different hotel than our starting hotel, we cannot provide you with this service.
Emergency Contacts
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. G Adventures Local Office (Delhi) G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India) Emergency number: From outside of India: +91 99 7179 5447 From within Delhi: 99 7179 5447 From within India, but outside Delhi: 099 7179 5447 G Adventures Asia Office in Bangkok (If for some reason you can’t reach any of India emergency numbers) 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. CST (GMT +7) Tel: +66 2 252 6642 If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office, they have a toll-free line for North America, which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the UK: +1 416 260 0999 If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local transfer providers directly at: From outside India: +91 9278708888 From within Delhi: 9278708888 From outside Delhi: 09278708888
Packing List
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and downstairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person. Health & Safety (Required!)
  • N95/KN95 Face masks (At least three per week)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
  • Quick Covid Test/Antigen Tests (At least 5, and for longer trips, 3 per week of travel)
Suggested Checklist
  • Clothes for religious sites – knees and shoulders must be covered
  • Small towel and swimwear
  • Raincoat and/or umbrella
  • Personal clothing for hot weather – we recommend packing 8-9 days of outfits, so you only have to do laundry once; covering shoulders is advisable
  • Shorts – covering knees is advisable for women; some would say men too
  • Long pants
  • Sturdy walking shoes – closed toe is a good idea
  • Sport sandals or flip-flops
  • Daypack
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Watch or alarm clock
  • Toiletries – your hotels will have soap and shampoo
  • Camera
  • First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
Optional Checklist
  • Silk sleep sack – very nice to have on the train
  • Travel pillow
  • Lock for all bags
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Money belt
  • Water bottle
  • Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
  • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
  • AirTags or Tile trackers
  • Packing cubes
  • Earplugs
  • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
  • Ziplock bags for wet clothing
  • Reading/writing material
  • Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
  • Headscarf for women
  • Light fleece top
  • Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Document Checklist
  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
  • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
  • EUR/USD cash
  • Credit or debit card
  • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
  • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
  • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – these are sent 10-30 days before departure
Laundry
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport.  Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double-check the information we provide below by searching here. Americans need to purchase a visa in advance for travel to India. The Visa costs $100. India has an E-visa system that makes the process quite easy. This means you do not have to send your passport to an embassy, but instead do all the paperwork online. You can apply for the visa a maximum of 120 days before your arrival in India and a minimum of 4 days before your arrival in India. Please go to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and follow the instructions carefully. Please note: When applying for the visa, make sure you state the purpose of your trip is “tourism.” If you write “educational” or anything that makes you stand out as a non-tourist, they may confuse you for either a student needing a study visa or a teacher requiring a work visa. The visa permits double entry, so you can use the same visa if you need to come back to India from Nepal to catch your flight home. Please bring 1 passport photo for the Indian visa. For Nepal, you will have your photo taken and receive a visa at the border. A single-entry 15-day tourist visa can be obtained by paying $30 USD (must be crisp, new bills), and you will need at least one empty page in your passport. They do not give back any change, so make sure you have a crisp $10 bill and a crisp $20 bill.
Money Exchange
As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency, and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note: If you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.
Tipping
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is an opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your tour leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Altogether these tips end up around $70 USD. Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a guideline, $20-$30 USD per person per week can be used. We recommend tipping your tour leader in crisp $20 bills.
Vaccinations
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!
Flights
We find the best prices for flights are often available 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here. Please double-check our itinerary for the date on which you must arrive in Delhi by, which usually means departing the USA 1-2 calendar days prior. Please try to arrive by 6:00 p.m. Your trip ends in Kathmandu. You have a few options: You could book a multi-leg flight that arrives in Delhi at the start of your trip and returns from Kathmandu at the end. Or, for about $100, you can take a short flight from Kathmandu to Delhi. In that case, you buy a round trip from your home city to Delhi. I would look up both options and see which is cheaper.
Plugs and Converters
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device. India and Nepal use 230V, 50 Hz C & D type plugs. The C has two circular prongs, the D has three circular prongs. The voltage in these countries is 230 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors. You must be especially careful if you are bringing a hairdryer, as they will almost certainly need a current converter.
Expectations
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
  • We will be using upgraded hotels during this program. However, this is India so keep your expectations low as service level and amenities are often different than Western standards. The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury.
  • The same goes for transportation. We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. Transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
  • You must be able to carry or roll your luggage easily, so do not over-pack.
  • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
  • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
  • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
Itinerary Disclaimer
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Advice From Past Participants
“I wish I had known not to be so anxious about this trip! I was worried I would be uncomfortable, and hungry (or sick) the entire time, however, that was completely not the case. Yes, it is hot and humid, but it is tolerable. Dress appropriately with extreme heat fabrics and you will be fine, stay hydrated and well-fed and you will be fine. The food was amazing and one of the highlights of the trip. In order to avoid Delhi Belly, etc., I made sure to eat lightly while my stomach adjusted to the new spices, etc., and I never got sick. I wish that I had brought a wider variety of clothes to wear since I ended up feeling sick of the same identical pairs of linen pants after a couple of weeks of wearing them! Also, laundry is available everywhere you stay more than one night, so keep that in mind while packing! Ladies, keep in mind humidity and dampness can mess with your pH balance if you know what I mean… Pack some Monistat! Most importantly have an open mind. Don’t expect to eat western or colonial food, don’t expect to blend right in with the locals (big group of Americans does attract attention), and don’t expect planes, trains, and automobiles to run flawlessly – but isn’t that all part of the adventure?” “There are a lot of things that people tell you that intimidate people from going to India. In the end, though, the people are friendly, the hotels are great (with an occasional cold shower or power outage, which should be expected), the food is excellent, the culture is rich, and the tour guide showed a great deal of care for the group and our safety and well being. I’m so glad I went on this trip!” “This trip is fast-paced, and you will have to wake up early on several mornings. It’s great because we see a lot, but know this isn’t exactly a relaxing vacation.” “If you are unhappy with your hotel room, don’t be shy: ask the hotel to change your room as sometimes there are big differences from one room to another.” “Pack light – laundry is readily available. Bring a hat. It’s ok to bring tank tops and shorts. You won’t be able to wear them all the time, but sometimes it’s good to have some options. Bring a swimsuit – the upgraded hotel pools are very nice. You will sweat. A lot. I mean more than you ever have in your life. Bring extra undergarments, because you will want to change after sweating through everything at the end of the day. The mosquitoes weren’t as big of a deal as I had previously thought but still wear bug spray. Some people struggled with the air quality, so be sure to have your inhaler with you if you use one. WiFi is available almost everywhere, but it can be slow, especially in India. Don’t expect to upload all your pictures while on the trip. Drink more water than you think you need. Choose to smile. And just enjoy the magic that is India and Nepal.” “Do NOT bring small U.S. bills to India, if you are bringing cash. A lot of the banks would only change $50 or $100 bills. The hotels would change money for you with NO charge and no crazy paperwork (as compared to money exchange places or banks). Do not bring Indian bills into Nepal bigger than 500 Indian rupees. The same would go in reverse for coming back to India. The airport would only take 1,000 Nepalese rupee notes. ATMs were plentiful and our tour leader was able to guide us to take out a certain amount if one was not available for a few days.” “Don’t worry about dressing to cover your shoulders and knees unless visiting a temple (our guide let us know ahead of time). We all wore knee-length shorts and skirts, short-sleeved shirts, basically what we wear at home.” “We recommend an extra day in Delhi at trip’s start to visit the National Museum, the Crafts Museum, and the Gandhi Smriti. Likewise, we added one extra day in Kathmandu. We hired a car and driver one day and went to the other two main cities in the valley, Bharatpur, and Patan. These were real highlights for us as was a stop at Paliputra on the way back to Kathmandu.” “I was concerned about being left to do things without my group members and/or guide. I was happy to always have company, whether shopping, touring, or eating. I think this would help ease people who are hesitant about visiting certain countries.” "You'll take off your shoes a lot to visit temples and floors are often wet. I had packed sneakers and didn't even touch them--I wore my Chaco sandals every day of the trip so that I wouldn't have to put wet feet back inside sneakers." "Bathroom floors are always wet and TP and towels are rarely provided. For that reason, I'm glad that all the clothes I packed had pockets to carry my own TP in with me." "Portion sizes are huge. We consistently couldn't finish our meals, but servers had trouble understanding when we wanted to share items." "I strongly recommend wearing loose, cotton/linen/Smartwool clothing. Pack enough clothes and undies for about 6 days. You'll have plenty of opportunities to wash laundry (each hotel where you stay two nights) BUT you won't want to re-wear anything because it will all get so sweaty. Pro-tip: I travel with a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's to handwash bras, panties, and other small items in the sink." "Random items I was glad to have along: a small headlamp, a small lock & cable, some electrolyte packets, and a pair of binoculars." "Everything I read about packing for India recommended covering knees and shoulders, so I didn't pack any shorts or tank tops. Although some folks in the group wore tank tops and shorts, I'm personally glad that I didn't because I didn't see any Indian women wearing shorts or tanks. You will be stared at no matter what, so I would rather make sure it's mere curiosity than shock, if that makes sense."
Weather
We run this trip before and/or after the peak of the monsoon season (early to late July) in order to avoid the worst of it. It is hot and it will rain, but all of the trips we have run in the past at this time of year have for the most part gone smoothly weather-wise.
Overnight Train
From a recent traveler: “Arriving at the train station, you will most likely see hundreds of Indians crowded in front of the station. Once on the train, the sleeping quarters are very crowded. You need to make sure you are traveling with luggage that is easy to carry and store. Less is better. You will be provided with a blanket and sheet and pillow, but it is recommended that you bring along a travel sheet (like a sleeping bag, but just made of cotton or silk). It will make sleeping on the train more comfortable. There is no food or water on the train, so be certain to bring PLENTY of water and snacks. It is a 12-hour train ride and, after you leave the train, there is still quite a bit of travel until you will have an opportunity to eat a full meal. Although initially, the train may feel unsafe, once you get settled in, you will realize that everyone is just wanting to sleep and get to their destination. Don’t be surprised if you are in sleeping quarters with 6 people who are not in your group. They fill all the beds, which are arranged in bunk-bed style stacked 3 high, and they will have men and women sleeping in the same compartment.”
Poverty
From a recent traveler: “Even though you may be a seasoned traveler, you need to keep in mind that a trip to India is unlike most places in the world. Most people know that India is a poor country, but it can be a shock to all your senses when you arrive and experience poverty on a more intimate level. People, in massive numbers, are all over the place. You will see people sleeping on the street, and children are out begging almost every step of the way. Women need to be mindful as they navigate on foot. In the cities, men are not as respectful to women and will sometimes grab and grope. There are “women only” sections on trains, which should be used. As you navigate through the country on foot, tuck-tuck, bus, or train, you will often be accompanied by cows and goats and pigs, who use the streets to relieve themselves, along with humans. Garbage is everywhere. When you are walking, you might want to wear closed shoes because, along with garbage, you will most likely be walking through animal and human wastes.” A large percentage of Indians and Nepalese live below the poverty line. In India, you will be approached by many beggars. It can be intense, uncomfortable, and, of course, incredibly sad. As heartless as it sounds, our suggestion is you never give any money to beggars in India. It causes more harm than good. If you want to read up on the subject a bit more, take a look at this article.

Costs

Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Breakfasts and a few dinners are included in this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat out according to your own resources. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
Tour Company Fee
See our price in the top right corner
Optional Activities
$100 USD
International Airfare from the USA
Roughly $1,000-$2,000 USD If you require assistance in booking your international travel, we would be happy to help you.
Insurance
$67-$200 USD Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
Tipping
We recommend $40-$60 USD for your G Adventures tour leader if you feel they did a good job. Budget another $70 to tip other local guides. These tips will be made in rupees in small denominations, typically about 30 rupees per guide per day.
Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
$400-$520 USD
Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Airport and Departure Taxes
International Departure tax is 1,695 Nepalese Rupees (NPR) or 1,300 NPR, if you are traveling to SAARC (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) countries
Vaccines
Variable. Check with your doctor.
Visa
$100 USD for the Indian Visa for Americans. You must get the Indian visa in advance. $30 for the Nepalese Visa for Americans (must be crisp, new bills or they will not be accepted). A digital photo is taken at the border for your visa. For both visas, check with your nearest Indian and Nepalese Embassies, if you are not American.
Souvenirs
Variable. At your own discretion.
Non-Educator Donation
$100 USD (Suggested donation) This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

Optional Activities

Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip. Prices below are in Indian (INR) and Nepalese (NPR) Rupees unless otherwise noted.
Delhi
Red Fort: 100 INR Qutab Minar: 250 INR Humayun's Tomb: 250 INR
Agra
I’timad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj): 100 INR Akbar’s Mausoleum: 235 INR Nature Park: 50 INR Mehtab Bagh: 100 INR
Jaipur
Raj Mandir Cinema: 200-400 INR Jantar Mantar: 200 INR Elephant ride to Amber Fort: 960 INR per elephant (max. 2 persons)
Orchha
Village safari: 150 INR Cooking class with a local family lunch: 500 INR
Varanasi
Sarnarth Deer Park: 200 INR Ram Nagar Fort: 10 INR
Pokhara
Mountain Museum: 400 NPR Devi’s Fall: 20 NPR
Kathmandu
Kathmandu Day Tour: $40 USD for the day to hire a car Durbar Square: $10 USD Patan: $10 USD Mountain Flight, 1 hr: $200 USD More on the Mountain Flight Regular flights are conducted daily from Kathmandu toward the Himalayan Range in the North and East of Kathmandu. The flight generally takes off in the morning and lasts for 1 hour. It costs roughly $200. This is the quickest way to get a close look at Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Other mountains that can be viewed at close range are Nuptse (7879 m,), Lhotse (8,501 m), Cho Oyu (8,000 m), Makalu (8,475 m), and Kanchenjunga (8,584 m). Keep in mind these flights are weather dependent and can often be canceled in the summer. If you want to do this optional activity, you need to tell your guide in advance, and you need to make sure you do not plan to leave Kathmandu until the afternoon.