16 Day Heart of Southern India



Land Only


Air & Land

16 Day Heart of Southern India



Land Only


Air & Land

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2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
Wed, Sep 25  (Sold Out) $3399 $4289*
$3499 $4489*
$3649 $4639*
$3649 $4659*
$3599 $4589*
$3699 $5229*
2025 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
$3899 $4789*
$3849 $4739*
$3849 $4739*
$3649 $4539*
Wed, Mar 05  (Sold Out) $3799 $4789*
$3249 $4239*
$3149 $4139*
$3149 $4139*

*Not Included:

Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include the flight Goa - Mumbai.

Accommodation Details:
Triple rooms cannot be accommodated on this program.

Entry Requirements:
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?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend three to four hours on your feet during tours and four to seven hours driving between cities. Some of the tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. There are many early mornings. The pace is fast. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. 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. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details

Room 1

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights New York-Bangalore, Mumbai-New York
    Other departure cities available. Please click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-flight: Goa-Mumbai
  • 13 nights accommodations
    • 2 nights Bengaluru
    • 2 nights Mysuru
    • 2 nights Nagarhole
    • 1 night Hassan
    • 2 nights Hampi
    • 1 night Badami
    • 2 nights Goa
    • 1 night Mumbai
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 28 meals: 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Visit the majestic Bengaluru Palace, reflecting the opulence of the Wodeyar dynasty
  • In Srirangapatna, view the historic sites, offering a glimpse into India's past
  • Take a city tour of Mysuru, and learn about its rich history
  • Savor a home hosted lunch featuring authentic local cuisine
  • Explore the enchanting Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, a Tibetan settlement
  • Embark on a boat safari along the Kabini River in Nagarhole National Park
  • Marvel at Chennakesava Temple, a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture
  • Discover the historic treasures of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Stand before the commanding Gateway to India Arch in Mumbai

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend three to four hours on your feet during tours and four to seven hours driving between cities. Some of the tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. There are many early mornings. The pace is fast. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. 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. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.
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Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Click a day above to see what is included.

DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for India
Depart for Bengaluru, India

DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Bengaluru
Welcome to India! Arrive in the city of Bengaluru, known as the "Silicon Valley of India," due to its role as India's center for high-tech industry. Transfer to your hotel, and spend the balance of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Bengaluru

DAY 3, Friday - Bengaluru City Tour
Take a morning city tour of Bengaluru to witness the spirited blend of modernity and tradition that characterizes the city. View the Vidhan Soudha from the outside, an iconic legislative building with its neo-Dravidian architecture, and Lal Bagh a historic botanical garden. Conclude at Gurudwara, a place of worship for the Sikh community. In the afternoon, visit the majestic Bengaluru Palace, reflecting the opulence of the Wodeyar dynasty. Explore the ornate interiors of the royal palace, adorned with intricate woodwork, and Victorian-era furniture. Marvel at the magnificent Durbar Hall, used for formal ceremonies. This evening, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM, followed by a light dinner
Overnight: Bengaluru
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4, Saturday - Channapatna Cocoon Market & Winery Visit, Srirangapatna, Mysuru
Depart Bengaluru this morning, and drive towards Mysuru. Along the way, stop in Channapatna to visit the cocoon market, followed by a winery tour. Learn about wine production in the region, witness the winemaking process, and conclude with wine tastings. After lunch on your own, resume your journey to Mysuru. Visit Srirangapatna and view its well-preserved monuments and historic sites. Upon your arrival in Mysuru, check into your hotel with time to settle in before dinner tonight
Overnight: Mysuru
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Sunday - Discover Mysuru, Home Hosted Lunch
Embark on a journey through the cultural heart of Karnataka with a morning city tour of Mysuru. Begin at the bustling local market, offering fresh produce, aromatic spices and traditional handicrafts. Next, visit the iconic Mysuru Palace, a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture and admire the palace's interiors embellished with elaborate carvings, and stained glass. Continue to Philomena Church, a towering Gothic structure gracing the city's skyline. Following a home hosted lunch, of local dishes, return to the hotel. In late afternoon, venture to the Chamundi Hills viewpoint. Later catch stunning views of the illuminated Mysuru Palace up close
Overnight: Mysuru
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Monday - Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, Nagarhole
Today, journey to the enchanting Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, a Tibetan settlement in Karnataka. Admire the ornate and colorful Tibetan architecture of the temple. Take a stroll around the temple grounds, exploring the various shrines, and vibrant murals. Afterward, continue the drive to Nagarhole*. Upon arrival, check into your resort. Later, embark on a boat safari along the Kabini River to watch for wildlife that frequents the riverbanks. Return to the resort in time for dinner
Overnight: Nagarhole
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Tuesday - Nagarhole National Park Safari
Rise early for a morning jungle safari in Nagarhole* National Park. Board a safari vehicle, accompanied by a local naturalist guide. Be on the lookout for the elusive inhabitants of the jungle. Return to the resort for breakfast, and spend time at leisure. After lunch, set out for an evening jungle safari, or enjoy the various activities offered at the resort. This evening, watch a wildlife movie, followed by dinner
Overnight: Nagarhole
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Wednesday - Travel to Hassan, Temples of Halebid & Belur
Leave the wilderness of Nagarhole behind and drive to Hassan, known for its historic and architectural gems. Arrive and check into your hotel. Following lunch, immerse yourself in the cultural splendor by visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First on the itinerary is the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebid, a marvel dating back to the 12th century, renowned for its magnificent architectural design. Next, proceed to the Chennakesava Temple in Balur, a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture. Stroll through the temple complex, marveling at the intricately carved sculptures that vividly depict scenes from Hindu mythology. Return to the hotel for dinner
Overnight: Hassan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Thursday - Drive to Hampi
Today, depart the city of Hassan and head to Hampi. During the drive, the landscape transforms, offering glimpses of rural life. View farmers tending to their fields and traditional houses. Arrive in the afternoon, and check into your hotel. Later, watch the sunset from atop Malyavanta Hill, a perfect way to end the day. Return to the hotel for dinner
Overnight: Hampi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Friday - Hampi's Treasures
Journey through the historic treasures of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the iconic Vithala Temple, and admire the ornate stone chariot, considered a symbol of the Vijayanagara Empire. Proceed to Virupaksha Temple, an ancient marvel dedicated to Lord Shiva before returning to the hotel. In the afternoon, head to Lotus Mahal with its unique Indo-Islamic architecture and venture to Rama Temple. This beautiful site is decorated with finely carved pillars and intricate sculptures depicting scenes from the Ramayana. Cap the day with dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Hampi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Saturday - Aihole and Pattadakal en route to Badami
Your day of exploration begins with a drive to Aihole, often referred to as the birthplace of Indian architecture. View ancient temples and visit the impressive Durga Temple, noteworthy for its semi-circular apse. Continuing the drive, arrive at Pattadakal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a treasure trove of Chalukyan architecture. View some of the highlights of this ancient site, including Virupaksha Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, and Papanatha Temple. Arrive in Badami in early afternoon. Later, discover the historic and architectural marvels of Badami
Overnight: Badami
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Sunday - Drive to Goa
This morning depart Badami, and embark on a long drive to Goa. The journey takes you through the rugged terrain of Karnataka and the coastal area of Goa. On arrival, in early evening, check into your hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Goa
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13, Monday - Goa Exploration
Explore captivating Goa, beginning with a visit to Dona Paula, an area known for its scenic views and Dona Paula Jetty. Next, head to Miramar Beach, a stretch of golden sand along the Arabian Sea, followed by Panaji City, the capital of Goa state. Experience the magnificent churches of Old Goa before touring a Spice plantation. Hear about the various culinary and medicinal uses of the spices. After lunch of traditional Goan dishes, visit the beautiful Mangeshi Temple. Enjoy the balance of your day at leisure to explore Goa on your own
Overnight: Goa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 14, Tuesday - Flight to Mumbai & City Highlights
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival, delve into the vibrant cityscape with a visit to Dhobi Ghat, a colossal open-air laundry where "dhobis" (washer people) meticulously hand wash laundry from across Mumbai. Witness the mesmerizing spectacle of rows of concrete troughs equipped with flogging stones-an unparalleled insight into the city's intricate workings. Pause at the tranquil ISKCON Temple before a scenic drive through colonial Mumbai, showcasing enduring structures from its colonial past. Tonight, attend dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Mumbai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15, Wednesday - Mumbai Sightseeing, Depart India
Begin the day with a picturesque boat ride from Mumbai to Elephanta Island. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Elephanta Caves, carved from solid basalt rock and steeped in Hindu worship. Marvel at the intricately carved shrines dedicated to deities, gaining profound insights into Hindu culture. Return to the city to visit the iconic Gateway to India Arch, a tribute to King George V's 1911 royal visit. Conclude the journey at the Mani Bhavan Mahatma Gandhi Museum, the epicenter of Gandhi's 1942 movement. In the evening, transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16, Thursday - Return Home
*Due to local conditions, the timing and day of the safaris in Nagarhole may need to be rearranged.

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Discovery Tours 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.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • 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

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.

Visas required for India
Trip Preparation
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.

Travel Protection
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 Phones
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 Access
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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.

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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

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:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • No Smoking of any kind (medical or recreational) is allowed on any transportation that is exclusively provided by Gate 1. This includes e-cigarettes, e-cigars or any other smoking device. Furthermore, some countries heavily regulate the public use and possession of cigarettes (including e-cigarettes and vape pens) which could include their complete ban. Please check the regulation for the destinations you plan on traveling to prior to departure.
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

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

About Drones
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
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
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.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

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.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or 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.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

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.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely receive a mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure, small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food. We suggest simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

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.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
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.

Departure Procedures
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 Accommodations
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, 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, Bhutan & Sri Lanka

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, $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

We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

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.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.

While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The "chip-and-PIN" cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don't accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

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:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash
  • While in destination, you may encounter local wildlife. Please refrain from touching any animal as they may carry diseases or harm you.

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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Ambulance: 102
  • Fire: 101
  • Police: 100

  • Ambulance: 228094
  • Police: 100

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 set menu or buffet and usually represent local cuisine. Vegetarian meals are available in most locations, while vegan, protein-rich or gluten-free menus are rare. Special dietary requests, which must be selected in the passenger details section of your reservation, cannot be guaranteed. We are unable to provide meals in accordance with strict religious requirements, such as Kosher or Halal, nor can we accommodate specifically salt-free, high-protein or low-carb meals.

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. 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

Holidays 2024

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

Holidays 2025

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 14: Makar Sakranti
Jan 26: Republic Day
Mar 14: Holi
Mar 31: Eid-ul-Fitar
Apr 10: Mahavir Jayanti
Apr 18: Good Friday
Apr 20: Easter Day
Apr 14: Vaisakhi
May 12: Buddha Purnima Vesak
May 9: Birthday of Ravidranath
Jun 7: Eid ul-Adha
Aug 9: Raksha Bandhan
Aug 15: Independence day
Aug 16: Janmashtami
Sep 29-30: Maha Saptami
Oct 2: Mahatma Gandhi Birthday
Oct 20: Diwali/Deepavali
Nov 5: Guru Nanak
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, March 2024
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I would like to recognize the outstanding job by tour manager, Radhika, deserves special kudos. Radhika made the trip for me, with her knowledge of Hindi culture and history allowing me to appreciate things I would otherwise not have been able to do. She often pointed out things in our surroundings that I would have looked at without understanding what I was seeing, and added explanations about things we were passing by. She also added from her own cultural background in demonstrating aspects of dance, singing, and decorating the ground in front of the door on one occasion. She was approachable, kind, engaging and went out of her way to assist in whatever needs a member of the tour might have. I enjoyed her very much.

Frances M.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, March 2024
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I just arrived home from a wonderful trip to Sri Lanka. The Tour Guide, Richard, was excellent! All the hotels were 4 or 5 stars centrally located and all the employees with an effective and efficient customer service oriented! The Marriott Weligama Hotel was 5 stars with all the rooms facing the ocean!! The meals included were excellent with a variety of food! It was an adventure trip with climbing, safaris, train trip, etc.! Thanks Gate 1 Discovery Tours for this unforgettable trip!!!

Elizabeth R.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, March 2024
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Small Group Discovery Tours in Sri Lanka. The trip was wonderful, and I invite everyone to put this tour on your bucket list. Mr. Hesh, our tour manager, was outstanding in managing the tour with his wealth of knowledge about his country. He did an outstanding job of explaining what we could expect on tour that day. Our driver was outstanding in driving the bus he was assigned and always took great caution while driving. Our assistant did an outstanding job each morning, he would give us flowers, which made our day especially as we started our morning tour. They work very well together they make such a great team. The hotels were all outstanding, very clean and the workers were always so helpful to assist us and were always very friendly. The food was outstanding at each hotel and the tours places that we visited was outstanding, especially going to the Yala National Park and saw wonderful animals. The country was very safe, and we didn't have any problem while walking in the city and during our free time during the tours.

Merle D.
16 Day Northern India Culture & Heritage, February 2024
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Kapok was an exceptional tour guide. On a scale of 1-10 he's a 20! Knowledgeable, friendly, good sense of humor, treated everyone of as a special guest of his country. The Gate 1 info didn't prepare me for the magic of India, or what a special trip this was going to be. It seemed KP had a surprise for us every time we turned around.

Twinkle N.
16 Day Northern India Culture & Heritage, February 2024
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My trip to India / golden triangle was amazing. I've been traveling with gate 1 for a while now and always the experience has been priceless!!! Jimmy, our tour manager is been an wonderful person to travel with. He is the epidemic of laughter, knowledge, authentic, thoughtful, intelligent and caring. By the second day in our trip we felt already a family! Accommodations were great, the tour team: bus driver and his assistant all were great.

Margareta I.
16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, February 2024
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Srini is the best guide ever and that is said after every gate 1 guide was very excellent. Srini still stands out as he used no local guides and is qualified to do all he did. He is a proficient manager of people and brought the group into balance by the second day. Srini went out of his way to find weddings and elephants plus all manner of interesting goings on. The group itself was also excellent as all were seasoned travelers, on time and stayed healthy for the duration. The contrast between northern and southern India is fascinating. Thank you, Gate 1, for our sixth memorable trip with you!

Patricia F.
16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, January 2024
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It was a very moving and spiritual experience for our 37th gate 1 tour. This is the first discovery tour we have done and we are pleased with the size of the group. In 2 weeks time, we got to know everyone and felt like a new extended family. We enjoyed all the temples and sites we visited and our tour manager, Jay, was excellent. Overall another truly memorable gate 1 trip. Many thanks for this opportunity to travel the world for less.

June V.
16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, January 2024
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16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture was a wonderful tour. It was action packed, with many temples to see & the Indian culture to explore. Gate 1 provided us with truly spectacular hotels in the most interesting environments. Our guide, Srini, was the most accommodating of guides. He was helpful, informative, gracious and a true problem solver for our minor traveling concerns. This was a great trip. Thanks, Gate 1.

Claire B.
16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, January 2024
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It was great! Just like all of my previous Gate 1 trips. Excellent tour guide. Fabulous hotels and I learned so much about the culture of southern India. I loved the food and all the information that I was given. There was lots of variety to this tour. Can't wait to plan my next destination.

Elaine L.
12 Day Classic Nepal, December 2023
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My trip was fantastic. Nepal is such a beautiful country and this trip was perfect. The busy city of Kathmandu with its beautiful stupas and temples, the Rhinos at Chitwan National Park, the charming town of Bandipur, the lake at Pokhara, and the view from Nargakot all added together to make this trip very special. The people of Nepal were the friendliest and truly made us feel very welcome. To top everything off, you also have an amazing view of the Hymalayas. The icing on the cake was our tour manager, Anup. He was the best. His knowledge and love of Nepal along with his helpfulness and concern for all made this trip special. I encourage anyone with a sense of adventure to visit Nepal. You will not be disappointed.

Penny H.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, November 2023
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I am very thankful that I joined this trip. Sri Lanka is super beautiful especially so the people are extremely nice, friendly, honest and grateful, respectful. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka, especially the beautiful natural sceneries.....the green, verdant hills and mountains, clean fresh air, the moist air that the nearby Indian ocean gives, the safari that we went to OMG. On top of that, our tour guide, director SHYAM did an excellent job, the driver Mr. Asholea and the assistant tour guide Mr. Ara did their job as well.

Christopher G.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, October 2023
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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.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, September 2023
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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.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, September 2023
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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.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, February 2023
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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.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2023
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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.
16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, October 2022
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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.
13 Day Golden Triangle of India with Nepal, August 2022
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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.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2022
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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.
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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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
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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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
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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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
Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2020
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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
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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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
India, Nepal & Bhutan, Tradition & Majesty, October 2019
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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