Iconic India

National Geographic Journeys, Delhi to Vypīn Island

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

From top to bottom, India is incredible. Explore both northern and southern regions on a 14-day journey to India’s most iconic sites. Explore Rajasthan’s grand forts and palaces, discover new depths of relaxation on a houseboat in Kerala’s backwaters, and learn about traditional culture in the small village of Sawarda. Round out the experience with pilgrimages to the glorious Taj Mahal, the “Pink City” of Jaipur, and Kochi's fishing markets.

What’s included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Meet a Local Historian, Jaipur National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Local Village Immersion, Sāwarda National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Meet with a Local Spice Expert, Kochi National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Family Home Meal Experience, Alleppey National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme, Kumarakom G Adventures for Good: Women on Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport G Adventures for Good: City Walk, Delhi
  • Tour of Old Delhi
  • Tour the Taj Mahal, the Baby Taj, and Agra Fort
  • Visit Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri step wells
  • Explore Jaipur
  • Walking tour of old Kochi
  • Kathakali cultural show
  • Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace
  • Kumarakom canoe ride
  • Walking tour of the paddy fields and Chempu village
  • Houseboat day trip along the Kerala backwaters
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Walk the backstreets of delhi with a local guide
  • Talk with a local historian and scholar of sociological studies
  • Meet a local family
  • Meet an expert and learn about the medicinal and culinary uses of local spices
  • Enjoy a cooking demonstration and meal with a kerala family

Itinerary

Day 1 Delhi There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting, so check into to the hotel and enjoy the city. We highly recommend booking a pre-night in Delhi to get over your jetlag and be ready for this very busy trip. Included Activities: Women on Wheels Transfer Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Delhi/Āgra (1B) Enjoy a youth-led walk through Delhi as part of the G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, explore Old Delhi with your CEO before an afternoon drive to Agra. Included Activities: City Walk Old Delhi Guided Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 200km)
Day 3 Āgra (1B) Spend the day visiting the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort. Included Activities: Taj Mahal Visit Baby Taj Visit Agra Fort Visit
Day 4 Āgra/Jaipur (1B) Drive to Jaipur, visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and the village of Abhaneri, which has one of India's deepest and largest stepwells (tank gardens). Included Activities: Fatehpur Sikri Visit Abhaneri Stepwell Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 240km)
Day 5 Jaipur (1B) Consider treating yourself to a night at the cinema. Going to see a Bollywood film in India is much more than what we are accustomed to in the west. The atmosphere, energy, and pure fun (not to mention volume!) has to be experienced to be believed. Included Activities: Amber Fort Visit City Palace Visit Meet a Local Historian
Day 6 Jaipur/Sāwarda (1B, 1D) The village is about 60km (37 mi) from Jaipur and has beautiful temples dedicated to different religions, including a unique sikh temple. The residents of the village are still involved in traditional commercial activities. You'll see pottery wheels, silversmiths, cobblers, traditional huts, old temples, and small stepwells. Included Activities: Local Village Immersion Transport: Private Vehicle (60km)
Day 7 Sāwarda/Delhi (1B) Drive back to bustling Delhi. Opt to join your CEO for a group dinner. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 310km)
Day 8 Delhi/Kochi (1B) Transfer to the airport and fly to Kochi. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting for new travellers joining the group. Additional Notes: You may have one CEO for the North and one for the South. In this case you will be transferred to the airport in Delhi and fly unescorted to Kochi -- either on your own or with any other travellers who are continuing on for the south portion of the tour. Upon arrival to Kochi, there is free time to relax until the welcome meeting in the evening. Transport: Plane (3.00-3.50 hours)
Day 9 Kochi (1B) After breakfast, explore the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Visit the Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century, the St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and Santa Cruz Basilica, built by Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk through the fish market and the famous Chinese fishing net, believed to have been brought by traders from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the evening, attend the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala called "Kathakali," which combines literature, music, painting, acting, and dance. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Meet with a Local Spice Expert Kathakali Dance
Day 10 Kochi/Kumarakom (1B, 1D) Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace then continue to Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Enjoy a canoe paddle along the narrow canals and take a walking tour through the paddy fields and Chempu village. Included Activities: Tripunithura Hill Palace Visit Canoeing Walking Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 11 Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters (1B, 1L, 1D) This morning we travel to Allepey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals, where we board our private houseboat. You can sunbathe on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life take place along the water. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of water birds, palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants. Included Activities: Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Excursion Family Home Meal Experience Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Day 12 Kerala Backwaters/Vypīn Island (1B) This morning, meet with a representative of the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme to learn about the ongoing work by local communities to conserve the lake and surrounding wetlands. This project was created by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), an organization that the National Geographic has collaborated with on many conservation projects across India over the past decade. Continue by boat to a fish sanctuary established by traditional fishermen through the program. Meet with some of the fishermen and see firsthand how their traditional ways of collecting and processing clams are models for the management of lake resources. After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore. Included Activities: Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 13 Vypīn Island (1B) Free time on Vypīn Island.
Day 14 Vypīn Island (1B) Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist. Included Activities: Departure Day
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