IA12 India & Sri Lanka

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Sunrise jeep excursion to see Everest; Magnificent Taj Mahal & Red Fort; Varanasi: 2000 temples and shrines; Former Portuguese enclave of Goa; Mysore's Maharaja's Palace; Belur & Halebid: exquisitely carved temples; Overnight houseboat cruise on canals of Kerala; Fantastic seasonal festivals; Anuradhapura: ruined capital; Sigiriya complex: UNESCO site

Trip Information


Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner are included daily, one lunch. Evening meals on tour will be taken mostly at hotels. In some locales we endeavour to break up the buffet dinners with a meal at a local restaurant but, overall, the imperatives of hygiene and quality dictate hotel meals. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees are included for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, visas.

Seasonality and Weather

For most of the country, November-March is (by far) the best time to visit. During those months, temperatures range from 40-70 F / 5-20 C in the north to 65-95 F/19-37 C in the south. March-June is dry and exceedingly hot (85-110 F/30-44 C), and June-October is monsoon time (20-80 in/50-200 cm of rain will fall in one season). While conditions can vary widely, you must be prepared for some heat.

SRI LANKA: Upland areas are cooler and more temperate and coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes. There are 2 monsoons, which occur May-Jul & Dec/Jan. The best time to travel weather wise is between October and March.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Ground transport via private air-conditioned motor coach. Internal flights via scheduled carriers. The tour is not physically strenuous though it is busy; you must be prepared for some early starts, be steady on your feet, and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage at airports.

Accommodation

Accommodation in air-conditioned 3-4 star hotels. Hotel properties are mostly modern and Western style. Some are older, character properties with simpler rooms and perhaps no elevators. Our accommodation in Delhi and Mumbai cannot be considered "central" in a conventional sense. These are huge sprawling cities with many districts and centres of interest / business; our hotels are well-located for what we want to accomplish on our city coach tour. Some properties have swimming pools. Laundry services at most hotels for a modest cost. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Porters are generally available (see 'Inclusions').

THE HOUSEBOAT will be approx 60 feet long and 13 feet wide in the middle. There are comfortable beds, and traditional lanterns, a sundeck for daytime relaxation. Some of the houseboats have the provision for air-conditioning, but most travellers do not care for the all-night gasoline engine noise required to run the units. Most people find that the peace and quiet, and comfort provided by a fan, are preferred.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.

Group Size

10-21 plus Tour Leader


IA12 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION46 days

TOUR STARTCalcutta

TOUR ENDColombo