Rajasthan tours, India

“As well as the classics such as the Taj and the Raj, this small group tour gets to grips with the gorgeous grassroots of Rajasthan, and the wildlife wonders of Ranthambhore NP.”

Highlights

Delhi | Taj Mahal and Agra | Bassi | Jaipur | Ranthambhore National Park (not in monsoon season) | Udaipur | Bundi | Holy City of Pushkar

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01 Oct 2020
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02 Oct 2020
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03 Oct 2020
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09 Oct 2020
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15 Oct 2020
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20 Oct 2020
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23 Oct 2020
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05 Nov 2020
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27 Nov 2020
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04 Dec 2020
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29 Dec 2020
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03 Jan 2021
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15 Jan 2021
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07 Feb 2021
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19 Feb 2021
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26 Feb 2021
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Our top tip:
The greeting ĎNamasteí is overused by tourists. Try "Ram Ram" instead, much more typical in Rajasthan.
Trip type:
Small group, max. 12 people.
Solos:
Welcome. Surcharge for single room when available.
Accomm:
10 nights in standard hotels, 3 nights heritage accommodation, 1 night in luxury tent.
Included:
Accommodation, transport (except airport transfers), activities, tour leader.
Meals:
3 breakfasts, 2 dinners. Budget £200 for extra meals.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boatÖ

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your inquiry.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We constantly monitor the manner in which the elephants at Amber Palace in Jaipur are treated. With the help of a local organisation, Help in Suffering, and the information gathered from our leaders and passengers, we have decided to not include the elephant ride up to the palace due to the inhumane manner in which these animals are maintained. On the Agra-Jaipur highway, there are numerous sloth bears being used to entertain tourists and they are badly abused and beaten. Through our foundation, we support the efforts of an organisation called Wildlife SOS in their setting up a sanctuary to care for these tortured bears. In voluntarily giving up the bears to the project, the owners are re-educated and re-skilled and are compensated with motorized rickshaws or welding tools.

Community

The Impacts of this Trip

You will be accompanied by local leaders on this trip who will take you into temples, mosques, shrines and gurudwaras where appropriate, and are able to teach the group about the etiquette and customs specific to the places visited, enabling a deeper understanding for the group of the communities and cultures encountered in India. In a country where so many ethnic communities live together, itís important to respect individual religious beliefs. Our company wants to promote this understanding through insight into religious and cultural practices.

Where possible we will travel on local bus or on the Indian Railways minimising our demand for special tourist vehicles and fuel while giving you plenty of opportunity to meet and interact with local communities.

One of the major organisations we support in India is Deepalaya. Through Deepalaya, our company are currently sponsoring a number of children in the slums of South Delhi to complete their schooling, an opportunity they would otherwise not be able to afford. Since 1990, the support of this organisation has enabled thousands of children to receive quality education and become professionally qualified as, for example, teachers and technicians.

At the end of our journey travelers may donate any unwanted clothing, medicines and bandages, which are distributed to a group called Goonj. This organisation is a nationwide movement that provides help to remote villages in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttaranchal and wherever the demand arises or disaster forces people to look for support.

Climate

10 Reviews of Rajasthan tours, India

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Reviewed on 26 Jan 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


So many magical memories. What I really loved was the cohesive and infectious enthusiasm of the group energy and the ease because of our highly
organized, fun tour leader Afshar who took care of our logistics with expertise and caring attention.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Do it - If you want variety of culture, archeology, nature with mixed lodging and a sense of what REAL India is like at a local level.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - great connection with the locals and was impressed as they are far more progressive with environment than I realized (re: plastic use, educational
interpretive signs and caring for nature)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


EXCELLENT! Beyond my expectations - the tour leader was competent, well organized, communicated our itinerary to keep us on task for ease and yet, gave
freedom for our own time too. Well balanced and nice variety of place, people, activities, lodging and transport. PLUS, he was well versed with where to go for
great food and helped with other needs with kindness and attention. All with professionalism and great humor.

Reviewed on 06 Nov 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


So many, difficult to choose which one! Maybe being approached and asked if I wanted to buy a camel at the Puskar Camel fair!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


I was very nervous being a single traveler, and arriving in Delhi. I would highly recommend pre-booking a taxi with Intrepid to your hotel, once I attended our
welcome meeting that evening all my troubles were put down as our tour leader was amazing.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we used local metro, trains, auto-rickshaws etc, local street food vendors and plenty of market shopping. One hotel had started to use glass bottles with
drinkable water in the rooms to reduce plastic waste too.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


One of my top two vacations ever. The most amazing experience, mainly due to our highly skilled and approachable tour leader Arpu (Arhana), India is an
amazing place and completely exceeded all my expectations, you need to be open-minded and prepared for changes to the itinery, but this is the way life is,
never a dull moment! I can't wait to return.

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The beautifull palaces, castles and forts along the way, contacts with the local people and the nice temperatures!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take a mask or a scarf to protect jourself against smog. Take more money along because India is more expensive now. I spent 3 times more than the notes
suggested without doing anything crazy (for instance a can of beer was 4 euro!!).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, lots of local professions were visited and supported. A missed chance for locals support: An Indian cycle shirt as a souvenir would have been nice (like
Vietnam).

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good, specially because of all the contacts with local people.

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


At the beginning of the trip, the most memorable thing was this operator's poor communication in failing to tell us the hotel had been closed down. At the end of the trip, the most memorable thing was how bad the last hotel was; we were first given a cold room with damp sheets and mildew on the wall, then another room also cold and damp, then at three in the morning, another room which was dry but which had a filthy floor. The main part of the vacation was great, with a very well balanced itinerary, and we had a brilliant guide. The most exciting things were catching a first closeup sight of the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers in Ranthambore.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Book your own hotel at the beginning and end of your trip, or check out first and last hotels carefully. If you have space, and you like tea or coffee, pack your own kettle. (There are porters to help you nearly everywhere, so you donít need to pack super light as long as you can lift your case on and off the train. At Delhi airport, take a prepaid state taxi to your hotel (the stand is in the arrivals hall after youíve picked up your cases); it cost us 400 IR rather than £28 this operator would have charged. Change money in an airport ATM. Buy an Indian SIM card at the airport (you will not be able to get one anywhere later).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Hotels during the trip were not expensive, but were characterful and would have less environmental impact than staying in 4 or 5 * hotels. By staying in modest hotels, eating out, visiting sights and using local guides I would hope we were contributing to local economies. It seems that Ranthambore visits are carefully controlled, and tourism appears to contribute to tiger conservation, in that tiger numbers have been gradually increasing and park boundaries become bigger.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It could so easily have been excellent throughout, but for this operator's chasing profit in the final hotel. But for that the vacation was easily 5 *

Reviewed on 05 Mar 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing tigers in Ranthambore National Park- yes two less than twenty feet away. I had no expectations of seeing so to come across one resting beside the track who was then joined by another was amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


As the trip moves on almost every day there is quite a lot of unpacking/packing so make life easy for yourself and pack light!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Travel covered most forms so included public trains and buses so no additional load on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Travel to fill all your senses with many surprises and some chance to relax along the way.

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It is impossible to choose from so many wonderful experiences. The Rajasthan palaces and forts were stunning in their scale and beauty and it was amazing to stay in two that were now offering hotel accommodation. The bright colours of the saris worn by women at work in the fields was a very memorable sight too.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It was a well planned itinerary covering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities making the most of the two weeks in India. Don't hesitate to book. Just go! It was amazing. One thing we found a minor problem with was the lack of credit card facilities so be prepared to use ATMs to get out cash. ATMs are widely available but could be temperamental, working some times and not others
for no apparent reason. We were taken to some 'factory outlets' which were expensive and Used the hard sell. Think carefully before buying from these places. It is better to wander through the shops and markets to check out prices, quality and choice.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The operator uses local transport, including trains. The hotels were small businesses and not part of large world wide chains. The company has a carbon off set scheme with a large tree planting programme to help off set the impact of the vacation on the environment. It included visits to local markets, villages and farms which allowed us to see the real India and understand the lives of the people. It provided a canvas bag to use for shopping to reduce the use of plastic bags.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a brilliant vacation, good value for money and I would enthusiastically recommend it to others. Our group was a mix of ages from 20 year olds to over 60's so it is suitable for all wanting to experience India.

Reviewed on 23 Jan 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Most memorable - the amazing places we stayed and the wonderful people we met most exciting - being driven through the streets of Delhi, it got the adrenaline pumping anyway!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


We went in January, it was pretty chilly, especially on some of the early mornings, take some warm clothes.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We didn't see any direct impact on the local people as a result of our vacation or tour providers. Although we stayed in some locations where the hotel was the main source of employment, but I expected to see more projects in the small, rural areas we visited.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The vacation was fantastic, it was my first 'tour' vacation and I enjoyed leaving all the planning (and worrying) to someone else. There was a good balance of organised activities and free time to do our own thing. We visited some amazing places, met some lovely people, saw amazing sights and ate an awful lot of curry! I much preferred the rural areas we visited, the people were lovely. I became a bit tired of the frenetic mayhem of Delhi and the constant pestering from locals.

Reviewed on 20 Dec 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We had many memorable and exciting experiences from this trip. Some of the local villages we visited were fantastic in terms of getting a glimpse of rural life in Rajasthan. We also stayed at some very interesting accommodation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring supplies of tissues of all kinds - toilet, face, hand and wet wipes - they will come in handy! Pack your suitcase with old clothes that can be donated to charity at the end of the trip.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Possibly some benefits to the local people in terms of spending money there but no long term benefits.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The tour was fantastic - one of our most memorable trips. We had a great tour leader (Veerendra Rathore) who went the extra mile for the group.

Reviewed on 08 Nov 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The Camel Fair at Pushkar. To see so many camels and horses assembled in one spot was awesome.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Do take Olbas oil as the fumes from toot toots and cars is unbearable and a few drops on a tissue held to the nose really helps.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Oh definitely. We used local guides, visited small villages and bought goods we saw being made in their homes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic.

Reviewed on 08 May 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The most memorable parts of the vacation in Rajasthan were the diversity of the scenery and the people. The colours and the smells and the respect for cows are also etched into my memory. Despite the busy and often scary driving all motorists avoided the cows with skill and care. This level of respect could be used to develop other areas where respect and care does not so readily exist. People were generally very happy and were very welcoming. It was a lovely vacation and one I will remember for a long time.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for a diverse level of accommodation and prices charged for basic commodities such as bottled water. All the hotels provided clean towels and bedding so there is no need to take your own. If possible have a good camera with you as there are sights to see and to capture for the future.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I was led to believe that there was a 'good water provision in place' that would mean the purchase of bottled water was not necessary. This did not turn out to be the case and for the majority of us that meant buying approximately 4 litres of water a day in plastic bottles which amounts to 48 bottles a day! I think the vacation benefited those persons who own the accommodation and certain companies that we visited through the hiring of tuk-tuks or taxis. I think that we could have had a bigger impact on local small retailers if we had been taken or guided to the smaller shops and market stalls that were available in the cities we stayed in.

I think more guidance needs to be provided to the visitors about the potentially negative impact they have on children and families by continually taking their photographs. Although many children already shout 'one photo', the children themselves are not aware of what happens to the photographs they so willing give or provide to long lines of visitors. The one phrase has been learnt from an early age and is in my opinion a form of tourist exploitation; each group building on this as it is seen as 'sweet' that the children want their photos taken.

Guidance was provided by the Group Leader not to give money to the children but he did say it was ok to buy goods off children; this is debatable when the child earns money through this for his family or minder and may not be going to school as he has to work.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The vacation was at times quite tiring, but it was a wonderful experience and one that I hope many others take to see a small glimpse of a truly inspiring and diverse country.

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