12 Day Golden Triangle of India with Varanasi
Air & Land
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $550|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $550|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|Only 1 seat left!||$1799||$2909*|
|Only 1 seat left!||$1929||$2779*|
Optional tours and gratuities.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
Triple rooms at Trident Agra Hotel will be accommodated in a single room & twin room.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Escorted Package Includes
- Round trip flights New York-New Delhi, New Delhi-New York
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- Intra-flights: Varanasi-New Delhi
- 10 nights accommodations
- 3 nights New Delhi
- 2 nights Jaipur
- 2 nights Agra
- 1 night Lucknow
- 2 nights Varanasi
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 19 meals: 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
- Enjoy a visit to Gandhi Smriti, the official residence of Mahatma Gandhi that now serves as a museum
- Rickshaw ride along the lanes of Chandni Chowk, once the imperial avenue of Mughal royalty
- Amber Fort with its gorgeous Palace of Mirrors
- Visit the Taj Mahal, the most perfect architectural monument in the world
- Explore multicultural Lucknow, capital city of Uttar Pradesh
- Boat ride at dawn on the Ganges to witness the solemn sunrise ceremonies
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This program is a comprehensive fast-paced tour featuring the highlights of India in a brief visit. Several days require long driving distances between cities, six to eight hours driving. Some tours will require walking for extended periods of time, walking on uneven surfaces, and travel in 4x4 vehicles over rough terrain. For more leisurely options, please check our longer-stay tours. Air pollution is a problem in many of India's major cities. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. The use of a bandana or light scarf may help screen out some of the pollutants in the air. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is located in the posh New Friends Colony neighborhood of New Delhi.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located in the South Delhi neighborhood, overlooking the Lotus Temple.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located on popular Tonk Road close to shopping and restaurants.Hotel Details
This superior first class hotel is located in the heart of Agra, within two miles of the Taj Mahal.Hotel Details
This superior tourist class hotel is located in the heart of Lucknow's business district.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located in the heart of the city in the Cantt area.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Enjoy the exotic flavors of Indian cuisine at a popular local restaurant. You’ll be entertained by performers in traditional attire with folk dance and music. This is a typical folklore show, not to be construed as a professional performance. Included will be an amateur puppet show, dancing with props and audience participation. Transfers to and from the venue are included.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.
|Day #5||01 Oct 2022 - 31 Aug 2024||$29.00|
The afternoon city tour of Jaipur begins at the magnificent 18th century Jantar Mantar Observatory. Drive past Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds" built in 1799, with its lacy ornamental façade, allowing royal ladies to view the city from the windows. Later, the tour continues to the opulent City Palace, former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal style, now a grand museum with an extraordinary collection of miniature paintings, costumes and armory.
Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.
|Day #5||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Aug 2024||$23.00|
Afternoon visit to the red sandstone Agra Fort, built by Moghul Emperor Akbar in 1568. The Fort's incredible maze of courtyards, marble mosques and lavish private chambers reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Next, to the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah "a jewel box” built of the finest Indian marble embellished with mosaics and inlay of semi-precious stones. In the central chamber, view the yellow marble tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah and his wife, hand-painted with floral decorations and screens of geometric latticework. Based on its layout, designs and latticework, this mausoleum is considered the imminent precursor to the Taj Mahal.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.
|Day #7||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Aug 2024||$29.00|
Travel this evening to Dasawamedh Ghat on the Ganges River, aglow with oil-lamps and candles. Here, witness the unique collective prayer known as the "Aarti" ceremony and watch as the floating oil lamps illuminate the river. A group of priests perform the choreographed musical ritual with lamps, incense, and conch shells in perfect harmony, making their offerings to the deities. The entire atmosphere at river side is lively and bright and is a not-to-be-missed experience.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.
Although a unique experience in the Ganges river, cremations are an important element in the Hindu religion. This tour may pass a Ghat where cremations are taking place.
|Day #9||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Aug 2024||$25.00|
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Traveling to India and Nepal - Traveling to India and Nepal is a rewarding and exciting experience. The following tips are provided to better prepare you for challenges you may come across during your visit to these unique countries. Be prepared to face extreme poverty in some areas, as India is a country with wide economic disparity. As is the case with other countries, India is known for its air and water pollution, especially in urban areas. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. Some passengers find that using a bandanna or light scarf screens out some of the pollutants in the air. You may come across trash and garbage in some areas. Problems with waste management infra-structure, such as trash removal, can lead to perceived differences in hygiene. Getting around in India & Nepal can be challenging, and sometimes involves walking through narrow streets with busy traffic to reach some tour locations. Despite these realities Traveling to India & Nepal offers many rewards and we are pleased to introduce you to the people, history, and culture of these incredible countries. Understanding the cultural context of differences you may encounter will result in a more fulfilling travel experience. |
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|India and Nepal - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Please consult your physician before traveling to India. Also, please be aware that authentic Indian cuisine can be difficult to digest for those who are not accustomed to it. |
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|India and Nepal - Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter: No shorts or short skirts, knees must be covered by long pants or a long skirt. No sleeveless tops, shoulders must be covered and a shawl or scarf is frequently not accepted as a cover. A good pair of sunglasses is highly recommended. |
India has three seasons. November through March is generally pleasant, with warm, sunny days. It is hot in May and June. Monsoon season usually begins around June on the west coast and slightly later elsewhere. Southern India receives rainfall between mid-October and December. Nepal has four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. During periods of high heat in the summer months, the order of sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.
India Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/#india-nepal-weather
Nepal Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/#india-nepal-weather
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
|INDIA: Books |
The Holy Cow and Other India Stories by Tarun Chopra
A Princess Remembers by Gayatri Devi
The Last Mughal by Willam Dalrymple
The Discovery Of India by Jawaharlal Nehru
No Full Stops in India by Mark Tully
City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins
Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors
India: An Introduction by Khushwant Singh
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|India - Flights within India and between India & Nepal have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of checked luggage and 15 lbs. per piece of carry on luggage. Limit of one piece of each per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip. |
|Day of Departure|
|Airports in India require passengers to show a copy of their ticket or other documents showing the name of the guest, date of departure & flight number. Please keep a copy of your itinerary handy when heading to the airport.
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are arriving without a pre-arranged transfer, we strongly recommend going to the Tourist Information Desk to ask for a licensed taxi or transfer service. You may be asked to pay for the transfer at the desk prior to the trip, this will ensure you are not charged extra during the trip.
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Escorted Tour Participants in India|
|Please note that the number of participants may vary during your tour as some travelers may depart at different points in the itinerary. Some participants will end their trip in Delhi while others will continue to Nepal and return to Delhi. After your arrival, you will be invited to join a welcome orientation with your Tour Manager and will meet your tour companions at that time. |
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|India Hotels - Passports - You may be required to present your passport or a copy of your passport information, upon arrival, at each of the hotels. This is required for security reasons. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: India & Nepal|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $7 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Driver's Assistant: US $1 per person per day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|India, Nepal and Bhutan|
|Some days involve long distances driving in the coach. The drive between Delhi and Agra is approximately 5 hours. The drive between Delhi and Jaipur is approximately 6 hours. The drive between Agra and Jaipur is approximately 7 hours. The drive between Chitwan and Pokhara is about 6 hours. Roads are generally not up to Western standards and may be very rough in some areas. For coaches, general driving speed is low due to poor road conditions and heavy traffic. There are no emergency bathrooms or curtains on the windows on the coaches in India. Getting around in these countries can be challenging, and sometimes involves walking through narrow streets with busy traffic to reach some tour locations. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|India and Nepal - The Indian Rupee is the currency of India. The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal. |
Passengers traveling to India can bring a limited amount of currency into the country with them, not exceeding 25000 INR.
It is recommended to carry cash in small denominations in local currency or in US $1 bills to make tipping and minor expenses easier.
|India - India does not support the technology of magnetic strip cards. If you wish to use a credit card in location it must be a chip card. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|India and Nepal - Local handicrafts and artwork, carpet, jewelry, semi-precious stones, inlay marble stone work, pashmina wool, silks, custom 24-hour tailoring are among the most popular items. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|India and Nepal - Language and dialect varies by region. English is generally spoken in tourist areas. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|India and Nepal - The voltage used is 220 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|India and Nepal - Shaking hands is generally an appropriate greeting. Refrain from public displays of affection, as this can be seen as rude. In the event that you encounter people begging for alms, it is suggested that you do not give, as this often attracts the attention of many other alms-seekers. Many Indians are extremely friendly and may want to engage you in conversation. There are two sensitive topics it is generally recommended to avoid: any perceived negative economic conditions in the country and the issue of Pakistan. |
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|India and Nepal - Food in India and Nepal differs greatly from the typical American diet. It is recommended to eat fully cooked meats, fruits and vegetables. Accordingly care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. The warm climate and reduced use of refrigeration, combined with the use of salt and spices for instance in curry, may not be palatable to every taste and may result in stomach ailments. Advise us in advance if you prefer less pungent flavors and we will do our best to comply. It is also recommended to pack digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications and antacids. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - India|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 15: Makar Sakranti
Jan 26: Republic Day
Mar 8: Holi
Apr 4: Mahavir Jayanti
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter Day
Apr 14: Vaisakhi
Apr 22: Eid-ul-Fitar
May 5: Buddha Purnima Vesak
May 9: Birthday of Ravidranath
Jun 29: Eid ul-Adha
Aug 15: Independence day
Aug 30: Raksha Bandhan
Aug 15: Independence day
Sep 7: Janmashtami
Oct 2: Mahatma Gandhi Birthday
Oct 21: Maha Saptami
Nov 12: Diwali/Deepavali
Nov 27: Guru Nanak
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 15: Makara Sankranti
Jan 26: Republic Day
Mar 8: Maha Shivarati
Mar 25: Holi
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter Day
Apr 4: Mahavir Jayanti
Apr 11: Idul Fitr / End of Ramadan
Apr 13: Vaisakhi
May 23: Buddha Purnima Vesak / The day Lord Buddha was born
Jun 17: Bakrid / Eid ul-Adha
Aug 15: Independence day
Aug 19: Raksha Bandhan
Aug 26: Janmashtami
Oct 2: Mahatma Gandhi Birthday
Oct 10: Maha Saptami
Nov 1: Diwali/Deepavali
Nov 15: Guru Nanak
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve
I have been on 16 Gate! trips and clocked in many hours of travel over the past few years. The 10 day Himalayan walking tour was the best travel experience I have every had. The exotic location, hiking through the mountains of Nepal, the food and the chemistry with our guide Deepak and the members of our group Deepak was our group tour guide, but also lead the group on some amazing hikes that very people will every have the opportunity to see. His professionalism, knowledge of the mountains, but most of all outgoing personality made this a trip I will never forget. I have had many excellent guides on my Gate1 trips, but Deepak is the best one, far above all others. Gate1 is very fortunate to have him.Gary F.
Thank you so much for such an excellent service. The hotels were top notch, the transportation service was all superb, the optional excursion were well chosen and the meals were fantastic. Seema was very kind, knowledgeable and attentive to all the group. Our assistant on the bus and the driver were also so attentive to watch over all our needs. I felt very safe and even pampered on the whole trip. There were so many extra surprises that made our trip with Gate1 so enjoyable. The snacks the guide team got for us to taste some of the local treats, the sampling of the Indian rum, the water chestnuts were just a few that come to mind. We loved the fun spontaneity too of the turbans for the men and scarfs for the women, when we had the special evening to see the Bollywood dancing. That night was more than we all expected with the drinks, short eats, the different artists from the traditional dancing to Bollywood dancing and the Henna artist. Gate1 certainly lives up to the motto: more for less. This is my second Gate1 trip and we're already booked for the next one in March. Truly this is a wonderful experience and I have been spreading the word among my friends about Gate1. Keep up the great work! Thank you!!!!Daniel W.
There truly aren't enough words to describe how incredible our trip was. Sameer was simply an EXCEPTIONAL tour guide, friend, and teacher. He really made the experience so, so memorable for everyone. My husband and I have been fortunate enough to travel to 23 countries together and this was by far the best trip we've ever had. It honestly exceeded our wildest expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed our guide Anil in Nepal as well. All the drivers and drivers assistants were also super professional and friendly. Sameer and Anil are so talented, well-read, funny, organized, patient, and always went above and beyond every single day. They're very in tune to the little things that the group may need or want without anyone in the group ever needing to tell them. Throughout the trip, Sameer recognized opportunities to give us extra experiences and help us notice additional things we would have otherwise missed- his enthusiasm for his country was contagious, and made the rest of us excited about India as well. We absolutely loved everything about the trip: the hotels, the food, the pace, the optional excursions, etc. I hope Sameer and Anil are recognized for their hard work. We are SO grateful to have had them as our guides- we feel very lucky. We're looking forward to booking another Gate 1 trip soon! THANK YOU!!Megan H.
Have had many tour Directors visiting over 25 countries with my wife, and I can unequivocally state, none have been any better than Sam. His knowledge, storytelling, sense of humor, and ability for complete strangers become so close friends, is not a trait I have witnessed with any other tour Directors Sometimes, it is not the big events that wow us, but the little things, creating everlasting memories. Sam presented us with so many little things, from the time we set foot in the New Delhi hotel, immersing ourselves in Indian/Nepali culture, buying us turbans and scarves, samosas . crossing the insane roads to the bazaar having us taste cultural foods, entertainment and even dancing with Bollywood dancers. So many little surprises, feel so blessed Driving through India's Golden Triangle was truly unlike any experience, I have witnessed in my many years of travels. Drivers routinely turned 3 lanes into 5. Motorcycles filled the landscape not only with their bikes, but their horns. Fortunately, Sam talked incessantly, filling the bus with laughter, storytelling, and knowledge, distracting us from our surrounding aggressive Indian drivers Sam started as a director/teacher and ended up a close friend. In the 10 days we shared with Sam, returned home knowing a lot about the 2023 ICC World Cricket games, as I was not familiar with the sport of Cricket. Felt honored to participate in Sam's 401 visit to Taj Mahal. Of course, highlights consisted of visiting historical World UNESCO Heritage sites, but what I remember most about India, is visiting the Sheik kitchen, feeding thousands of people daily and visiting a startup school where cheery students welcomed us as we visited classrooms. Students were honored to have our presence, as they sat on the floor for their daily learning, as desks were nonexistent. The children politely shared M&Ms candies and Macadamia nuts, so inspirational watching the smiles of these kids meeting foreigners from another land Thanks Sam, for bringing so many strangers together, and opening our eyes to a cultural bliss. As we get older material items come and go, but no one can take away these beautiful memoriesDaniel R.
Sam the tour manager on this Golden Triangle was outstanding ! The Best tour director I ever had and I have traveled extensively throughout the world the past twenty years. Sameers knowledge of his countries historical importance and his passion for teaching permeates the group in every aspect of the journey. India and Nepal were amazing and having Sam as iur tour director priceless!!! See the world for less should be See the world with SAM!!Susan C.
Sri Lanka changed my life for the better! Richard, our tour manager, is the best tour manager I have ever had the pleasure of touring with. He is remarkably intelligent, hilarious, thoughtful, organized, proactive, patient, creative, understanding, authentic, adventurous, considerate, and made the trip so enriching. All of the accommodations were beautiful, the friendly bus driver and assistant put safety first and were always quick to lend a helping hand. The bus driver drove us through Sri Lanka will incredible skill among all the traffic and windy turns and heights we encountered. Everyone I encountered was friendly and gentle. I miss Sri Lanka so much already and need to return!Laura R.
To say that Deepak was superb is an understatement. As I understand it, Deepak was involved in creating the route, and his knowledge of the trek was evident. He was knowledgeable regarding all aspects of the trip. He is a personable human being, and he was able to impart a treasure trove of information about everything Nepal. I was also happy that you sent pre-trip materials that prepared us for the trek. I am 80 and workout five days a week. However, I live in a flat area and some of the suggestions made in the workout regimen were extremely helpful. I think all of us were able to enjoy the treks instead of worrying about whether or not we would complete the walks. You cannot stress that enough in your pre-trip suggestions. Additionally, Deepak was always considerate about our safety. He and his main support person, Krishna, were very helpful when we encountered tricky situations, such as slippery, steep steps. Hey, you can't get around the environment sometimes, eh? You just have to be diligent. One final note re: Deepak. He is well known throughout Nepal as an explorer and adventurer, but he is very modest about it. One of the highlights of the trip was had at the final dinner, i.e., the last supper that we always have on all tours. Deepak invited Pertemba Sherpa, one of the five individuals who first successfully ascended the most difficult southwest face of Everest in 1975. What an honor. As you can tell, I was thrilled with the trip. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. However, I have a bit more of the world to explore.James A.
My trip was FANTASTIC!!!! Kudos to Sandeep, the best tour manager ever!And Reyman was such a great assistant. Our bus driver was awesome, too! What an unforgettable experience for me....going to my dream destination with the most capable tour group. Thanks for a thrilling ride...can't wait to go back!Remetta L.
We had a wonderful trip to Nepal. Out tour guide, Deepak and assistant/trainee Randwa were 10s. All the hotels and food were great. I believe we were the first group on the Nepal walking tour. We survived and had a memorable experience. Thank you for arranging it.Neloufa M.
This was our ninth GATE1 trip, and one of the very best!!! Sri Lanka has such an array of history, culture, scenery, cuisine, and shopping to offer, and GATE1 offered it all to us in spades!!! Our group of nineteen were so lucky to have the incredible Shyam as our trip leader, with Paul and Nimal as our driver and assistant!!! All were class acts and displayed daily the best of Sri Lankan warmth and hospitality!!! The hotels were all top notch, the meals varied and delicious. This is a fast paced trip, and one of the most strenuous we have been on, but everyone was always so willing to lend a hand and lift each other up!!! Shyam, on his fortieth trip experience was a wealth of knowledge and an incredible facilitator of any extracurricular activities requested, including additional safaris, cultural dances in Kandy, restaurant recommendations, shopping highlights, and so much more!!! Each day brought incredible highlights, and they just kept building on one another!!! I am sure this is a trip that will get better and better as we have time to reflect on, and savor all of the richness we were blessed to experience. Hats off to a spectacular group of fellow travelers who brought such joy and life experiences to each day!!!Stephen B.
I think this is one of the best tours we had. I love the fact that every tour or so , was included. Our guide Mr. Shay was awesome, I do very much congratulate you for having him as your local representative. I love the hotels, the support team, and the care they took of us. Very much recommended. LOVE you GATE ONE ;)Maria M.
I recently returned from the Golden triangle India tour and I must to take time to praise Davinder our tour manager. I have traveled on gate 1 tours before but never felt so protected and had so much fun! He is a beacon of light and Gate1travel is very lucky to have him and his driver and helper as employees! They genuinely try their utmost to make this trip a once in a lifetime experience. His goal constantly is your wonderful experience. He went out of his way to make sure the entire group was having the time of their lives. Compared to most Davinder is a prince! Kind, generous, genuine, intelligent and so knowledgeable. He radiates love for his career and life! Thank you Gate1travel.... give this man a bonus!Denise S.
Our trip to India/Nepal was outstanding. This was my fifth G1 trip, my daughter's fourth, my husband's second and my son's first! I must have a tremendous amount of faith in a company to trust them with my family in a far-away place. As always, G1 took excellent care of us. Our guide, Bhanu, is truly exceptional. He is the best guide we have ever had. Bhanu's knowledge, humor and organizational skills are unsurpassed. He brought our whole group together and treated us like family. My son especially enjoyed working out with Bhanu in the hotel gyms. Bhanu even arranged for a surprise birthday celebration for our daughter's 23rd birthday! We loved every hotel and every excursion and the food was fantastic. I don't know how G1 continues to offer these amazing trips at affordable prices with outstanding guides. But as long as you do, we will keep taking them. In fact, I have recruited 10 additional family members (not including the four of us) to go on G1 tours this summer. We always especially appreciate the little surprises that are built in along the way (Bollywood dancing, Greek cooking classes, Irish whiskey tastings...etc, etc, etc)! Each trip is unique and special and I am so grateful to G1 for allowing a nurse (me) and a teacher (husband) to be able to afford to see the world.Kelly S.
It was the most AMAZING trip - thanks mostly to our tour manager, Sameer! We have been to nearly 50 countries and have taken a dozen tours and Sameer was the best tour manager we have ever had. He is incredibly schooled on the history of every stop we made as well Indian history, culture, and beliefs. He shared so much interesting information with us that the long bus rides seemed short. It was a seven-day trip, but we felt as if we had spent a month learning about India. He was very organized and prepared and the tour was well-managed. He always had recommendation for activities during our unscheduled time. With 33 travelers we had a few difficult people, but Sameer kept harmony in the group throughout the trip. His people skills are tremendous. We feel very blessed that Sameer was the manager of our tour of India. THANKS SAMEER!!!Michael F.
I would like to give extra comment on our guide, Boom. She was such a friendly, capable person as well as guide. We are elderly travelers (though still able and energetic), and she made sure that we were always treated kindly, capably, and with an extra special touch. I'm sure that all in the group, not just us, felt considered in all ways, including safety. She is definitely a wonderful asset to Gate1.Nancy A.
Gate 1 Discovery Tours continued to exceed all expectations in our trip to Sri Lanka. Our tour leader, Indika, was exceptional in his knowledge of places visited, his humorous stories of Sri Lankan culture, and his care for our safety and enjoyment of challenging venues in caves and mountain sites. As he walked us through temples, archaeological sites, tea estates, animal parks, and up Sigiriya Rock, he was a font of delightful information. We engaged with locals in markets, in their homes, and at solemn sites, such as the Tsunami Memorials. Our tour leader Indika knew all the best places to stop for a cultural experience or a great photo opportunity. The Gate 1 Discovery Tour of Sri Lanka was all-encompassing, well paced, and a memorable experience. Our only constructive comment is that we would have enjoyed a few days longer on the tour to include Anuradhapura. . The hotels were amazing, living up to Gate 1's motto of more of the world for less. Though we are repeat travelers to Sri Lanka, we found Gate 1 delivered value, enhancing our travel experience. We were so well served by the team of the tour leader, bus driver, and driver's assistant. Our driver's assistant greeted each of us, each day, with a flower bouquet. Thank you to Indika and Gate 1 for building lasting travel memories in Sri Lanka.Sherry H.
We just wanted to complement Alok Tiwari and Gate1 for providing such an excellent experience on our recent trip to India. We have previously traveled with Gate1 in Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Egypt. Alok was very knowledgeable and greeted us everyday with an abundance of enthusiasm and his excellent sense of humor. He managed to mold all of us fellow travelers into a group of friends. He had just the right touch of detail in his explanations which served our journey very well. His smile was always warm and inviting. His concern for our well being and enjoyment was very much appreciated. Alok certainly stands out among the other excellent tour guides we have experienced. We wish Alok and Gate1 every blessing and thank him, and everyone at Gate 1, for a fine vacation!William C.
Last month my boyfriend and I traveled to Sri Lanka. It was a fabulous experience overall. The itinerary was a perfect blend of culture, temples, nature, mountains and beaches. The food was excellent! The majority of the accommodations exceeded our expectations. What made the trip even better was the EXCELLENT service of Mr. Richard. His enthusiasm and smile never faded, despite how long a travel day may have been. I have been fortunate to usually have good guides, but Richard is hands down the best guide we have ever had. He went above and beyond to make the trip memorable and went out of his way to ensure we all had our needs met. He was understanding with all guests, patiently repeated instructions, got to know everyone and did small things to show personalized interest and meet individual needs throughout the trip. Beyond his role of hospitality, managing the itinerary, multiple personalities and general travel details, the information he shared during our journey was incredible. Richard's passion for and knowledge of Sri Lanka is apparent. It was like having a university professor accompany us--he had comprehensive knowledge of history, culture, religion, etc. that he shared in a well-paced manner throughout the trip in context and in a relatable, meaningful way. Additionally he was knowledgeable about current events, literature, art and even knew a great deal about science, wildlife and a wide variety of topics. He is personable, politely assertive when necessary and kept our diverse group focused and happy. I wish all guides were like him. He made our trip spectacular! Finally, kudos to our driver, Mr. Sudeepa who was safe, skillful and also so courteous and friendly. At one point in Kandy, there was a traffic jam on a narrow road on the way to the hotel...it took us nearly an hour to travel a quarter mile as cars were trying to travel in both directions on a road designed for one way. I wouldn't have been able to do that in my compact car--I am amazed he did it in a bus full of passengers. He was safe, cautious and would go out of his way to find places to stop for pictures. Even with some guests unjustifiably critiquing and being "back seat drivers" he never lost his cool or focus on safety as he drove, even on windy, mountainous roads. His assistant was also helpful and courteous. This is my third trip with Gate 1 and I am overall pleased with the quality, service and trip details.Keri M.
Aparna was amazing and went beyond what was detailed in the trip brochure to show us and have us feel and understand India. Because of Aparna this trip was transformative. As she said being a tour guide is not a profession but a personality. I would add that a guide needs an incredible amount of knowledge which she has and shared willingly. But Aparana was not just a knowledgeable tour guide. She added an appropriate amount of humor at the right times and accepted our good-natured teasing. Additionally, I appreciated how she answered all our questions in an open and nonjudgmental manner. I felt like we could ask her anything and she knew we just wanted to comprehend the Indian culture. In summary Aparana's knowledge, openness, and personal qualities- a strong and thoughtful woman brought us, 10 strangers, together and made us a community even if only for a short time. I will always remember this trip and Arapana.Cherry H.
India, Nepal and Ranthambore - our guide Davinder as well our driver and his helper were absolutely outstanding in making our entire tour an incredible experience. It was during Diwali festival and the Gate 1 Itinerary, hotels- which were beyond beautiful-and every single experience made for an unbelievable journey of an explosion of colors, sights, sounds, wonderful tastes, beautiful architecture and landscapes - a true feast for all the senses. We also added on Varanasi and the Ganges River as a side trip. The people of India and Nepal, and cultural experiences we were privileged to know, and to have, were beyond measure. A true trip of a lifetime and my favorite of all in my 30 years of travel.Deborah V.
This was one of the best Gate 1 Discovery tours we've taken. Our tour guide was wonderful! One of the best we've had! His knowledge of the country visited and his ability to communicate and mesh with the group was excellent! The food was universally excellent and the accommodations and special stops and meals were just fantastic! Well done!!!Robert W.
Just a note about the two tour leaders in our recent India/Nepal Golden Triangle Tour: September 25 to October 6. Shaleen was an extraordinary leader and human being. Translating the culture of India for Americans is not an easy task. There is stark poverty, enormous cultural/religious differences, and the organization of human activity is different. Of course this is one of the reasons we travel, but the ability of the tour leader to explain without being defensive, to communicate without being over-blown, to create empathy and understanding without pandering is necessary on a tour like this. The differences strike you in the face and assault your senses, but Shaleen engaged in a positive manner at all points. He answered all questions honestly and when necessary, he paused a bit and let us know how challenging it was to frame a good answer. He was a joy as a leader. Senjay in Nepal clearly is a religious scholar and that was so important to make the tour great.James H.
My trip was amazing! In India our tour guide was Kapil and in Nepal our tour guide was Avash. Both were incredible fun. Very professional and knowledgeable about history and current events of the cities. I truly enjoyed the experience and by talking with other tour participants they did as well. Thank you very much, I will recommend Gate1 to anybody interested in traveling the world!Ada F.
We recently got back from the Sri Lanka trip and I wanted to say it was an excellent trip. We loved the variety of sites and activities. The pace was very good and every day there was a new interesting discovery. The tour director Shaem was excellent. He kept things very interesting and moving at the right pace. He really brought his country alive to us. The driver and assistant were very excellent. The hotels were great. All in all another great trip. Thanks.Halyna B.
We thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. The tour guide Mancey was excellent. She was very knowledgeable, helpful, kind, considerate and thoughtful We would certainly recommend her as a guide. Hotels and food were also good.Jenny & Daryl S. New Lambton, Australia
The trip was wonderful. Our guide Bhanu was incredible, hotels spectacular and experience exotic. Gate 1 finds a way to pack a lot of history, culture and interesting facets of the country along with amazing events that bring the group together. While not within your control, the weather was perfect! We have traveled abroad for over 20 years and are so glad we found Gate 1 just a few years ago. Gate 1 is the best.Katie & Joe B. Tampa, FL
India can only be truly comprehended by someone who has been there — the intensity, the extremes, the beauty ... Winter is the best time to go. I recommend it highly, but for seasoned travelers; it is NOT for the faint of heart! Gate 1 provided a great way to see it. Our guide Kapil was excellent, as were the brave (!!!) drivers.Victoria L. Asbury Park, NJ
The trip was fabulous. Went off without a hitch. I’ve been on several Gate 1 tours and I’d rate Raj as the best guide I’ve encountered. His energy, enthusiasm and flexibility made the trip a pleasure.Kathleen M. Hopkinton, NH
The trip was great! The guide was very professional and the driver and assistant were all very helpful. India is amazing. Thanks to Gate 1 !Hsiao-Ju C. Dural, Australia
My trip was wonderful! Jay was a great tour leader and gave such breath and scope to the experience. India is an incredible country to explore and the Small Group Spiritual Tour of Southern India was a perfect introduction to this vast and complex country. I don’t think my senses have ever been so stimulated. I look forward to booking another tour to explore the northern part of the country and Nepal.Myra A. Newton, MA
It was great! Sri Lanka and her people welcomed us with open arms. Our tour guide, Heshan, along with our driver, Susantha, and his assistant, Thilina, were all excellent. Well done!!!Joanne J. Los Angeles, California
It was a great trip.. really enjoyed our group, our leader, Srini, and the sights and the Indian people. They were so friendly and always wanted to have their pictures taken with us. And they didn’t mind if we took pictures of them. The temples were unbelievable, and the stops we made along the way, on driving days, were great. Visited rubber farm, coconut fiber rope family business, batik making, spice garden, cashew roasting, paper making factory,... I could go on and on.. waiting for a good sale to book another trip in 2021..Michele K. St. Charles, IL
It really was INCREDIBLE! Our guide Bhanu was the absolute best!! Saw more than I expected; loved the food & restaurants, was more than pleased with hotels & their locations; learned about the Indian culture and traditions. Made lots of new friends and brought home tons of wonderful memories and souvenirs!Randy K. Memphis, TN
The trip was very enjoyable and very informative. We have been on other Gate 1 trips before but may I say that our Tour Manager Bahnu was the best guide ever, He should be commanded for his knowledge and insight towards the history of India and also their beliefs.Fernando R. West Hills, CA
Amazing....Radhika was an exceptional tour leader. Great accommodations and food throughout the trip. Good weather and well traveled people to make this a great experience.Susie M. Phoenix, AZ
I had the most rewarding holiday and have no complaints. Our guide, Kapil was outstanding, best I have ever had the pleasure to travel with. His care and people skills are outstanding. He is a great asset to Gate 1, don't lose him!!!!!!!Elizabeth C. Gilston, Australia
The trip was great! Our expectations were exceeded! Our tour managers, Aparna in India, Neraj in Nepal, and Sangay in Bhutan were fabulous. All did an extraordinary job and are very well informed. This was our second trip with Gate 1. We would recommend Gate 1 to anyone!Charles L. Fresno, CA
Trip was great. Our guide Avash was also great. One of the best tour managers' we have ever had. Really made the trip amazing.William H. Sheridan, WY
I had an amazing trip in India. Rajesh ( Raj ) the tour guide was exceptional, knowledgeable, and fun. He was very patient, and professional with the group. He made the tour interesting and enjoyable. Siva the bus driver was fantastic, we all felt very safe with him. Bala the assistant was so helpful, making sure all of our needs were met with a smile every day. The hotels were first rate, and the food was delicious. This was my first trip with Gate 1, and I could not have imagined a better experience. With warm regards from a happy, and satisfied traveler. Can’t wait for my next trip with Gate 1.Raynell C. Dunedin, FL
The trip was wonderful. Our tour manager Shyam was excellent. His caring, knowledge of the country and attention to detail enhanced a wonderful experience.Betty G. Fair Lawn, NJ
It was great. I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend to anyone who is going to travel abroad for a two-week vacation. Our tourist guide was very knowledgeable and energetic. I dare to say one of the best among all the best guides in Gate 1 family.Branda K. Edmonton, Alberta
We had a great time, Bhutan was a wonderful experience. Our tour director, Leki, was well organized with regard our daily schedule of activities and seat rotation. It was an interesting and educational tour.Susanna M. Alexandria, VA
India was a fantastic experience and we must admit, a real eye-opening experience. Our guide, Bnanu, was the best tour guide we have ever had! He went above and beyond the call of duty. Can’t wait to book our next adventure with Gate 1.Linda S. Mount Pleasant, SC
Just arrived back from a 10 Day Tour of India’s Golden Triangle. Gate 1 Travel took all the work out of negotiating this confusing country. Each location has been carefully selected for safety and pleasure. The bus was comfortable, air conditioned and filled with bottomless clean bottled water, a must in India! Clever seating arrangements were rotated daily. Poised, professional, and knowledgeable you should consider yourself fortunate if Mansi is your tour guide. A strong female in a male dominated culture/country, she made the entire trip enjoyable and interesting. She is gifted with total recall and a magical memory, pulling endless stats and facts during her breathless talks. She also discussed her personal life bringing us even closer to this different culture. Not sure how she remained so composed with a couple difficult travelers. However, she took care of everyone’s needs and stayed with us for the entire journey. For all this I thank you. Gate 1 Travel will now be my first choice when selecting tours for this world traveler.Kevin S. Harbor City, CA
The trip to India was quite an experience. No other country would have such contrasts between rich and poor, modern and very old, different religions and varying landscapes. The forts, castles and maharajas estates were fabulous. The food was good. The folks on the tour as well as the tour director were great.George S. Oak Brook, IL
What a wonderful trip to India! We enjoyed it tremendously and had a great time. The selected hotels exceeded our expectations. Vinny, our tour manager was outstanding and went way and above his way to make sure all our needs were met for the entire group. The history of India was awesome and made it so interesting during our road trips that made driving to each city such a joy. I want to also thank the driver and assistant for getting us to each destination in a safe manner and always made sure we were able to stop and take the time for the group to get pictures of the best sites along the way. Gate 1 is my only choice of travel now. You guys are the greatest! Looking forward to my next trip soon this year.Adislado M. Austin, TX
It was the best trip I ever took, only the Patagonia trip was comparable! Bhutan is such a special place and I have only superlatives to say about it, the whole world should see it! Gate 1 did a great job with the itinerary, the pace, the hotels; very smart how the hikes were placed in the program and how we had the time to acclimatize; the tour directors, both Anup and Sangay were awesome (which I have to say, is always the case with Gate 1). Looking forward to our next adventure with Discovery!Anca T. Maplewood, MN