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|Style||Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Abra Water taxi ride, Dubai Museum, Burj Khalifa; Delhi, Agra, Jaipur & the Taj Mahal|
|Included in the Price||
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations, sometimes on bumpy unpaved roads and may have limited rest stops.|
Dave and I just got back from our trip on Monday—we had a blast! It was a great trip in every way! All of the Friendly Planet representatives in both Dubai and Kenya were helpful, pleasant and professional. We will be sure to book through Friendly Planet again!
Kathy McGuire & Dave Merrithew, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Sorry, there are no currently available tour dates.
Prepare to be dazzled twice on this innovative vacation to Dubai and India. In Dubai, you’ll tour the world’s tallest building, a man-made island archipelago created for luxury living and vacationing, an indoor ski resort complete with ski lift, plenty of fine dining, and an ancient culture that has leapt from desert tent to skyscraper condo in less than 50 years. But your vacation in Dubai is only one-half of this exotic tour package.
In India, you’ll explore the “Golden Triangle", from fascinating and exotic Delhi, to Agra and the Taj Mahal, the world's most famous and lovely monument to love, to Jaipur, the "pink city," full of lavish mansions and palaces. We've been arranging tour packages to India for nearly 30 years, and our guided tours will make sure you get the most out of your India and Dubai vacation package. The icing on the cake of this amazing vacation is that you’ll fly from the USA on Emirates, one of the world’s 5 best airlines.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Dubai begins this evening as you check in for your wide-body jet flight via Emirates Airlines, voted one of the world's 5 best.
Day 2: Dubai. Arrival this evening. Our representatives will assist you through visa and customs formalities and escort you to your waiting coach for the short transfer to your award-winning, centrally located hotel. Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Dubai.
Day 3: Dubai City Tour. After breakfast, your tour manager will conduct a short orientation meeting at your hotel to review the activities available during the next few days. You will have an opportunity to arrange optional excursions if you wish, or spend your time in Dubai wandering on your own. After the meeting, it's time to board your touring coach and begin your tour of the city. The first stop is Dubai's picturesque Creek, which divides the city into two parts, the Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south. This is your first photo opportunity and one that gives you a magnificent panorama of the city and its amazing futuristic skyline.
Next stop is the Bastakiya district, where traditional courtyard houses, with characteristic wind towers that cleverly catch the breezes to cool the houses, line the narrow alleys. Many of the houses in this picturesque area of Dubai, previously home to the city's merchants, have been lovingly restored by proud locals who wish to preserve the unique ambience of the district.
Continue to the Dubai Museum, housed in the massive, restored Al Fahidi Fort. Inside, lifelike dioramas offer a fascinating view of life in Dubai before the discovery of oil. You'll learn the importance of the date palm to the desert culture, the maritime traditions of fishing and pearl-diving, boat building and much more. Take a walk through the bustling, exotic souks, where you'll find beautiful and bargain-priced textiles, spices and gold.
Later, visit the Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai) “At the Top” observation deck, which officially opened in 2010 as the tallest building in the world. This miracle of international cooperation and coordination houses a luxury Armani hotel, offices of some of the world’s most succesful companies, and for a lucky few, residences that are as high as the clouds.
Another highlight of your city tour is a chance to take one of Dubai's most reliable and inexpensive forms of transportation, the Abra Water taxi. Your touring coach will be waiting as you disembark from your water taxi to take you back to your deluxe hotel. Lunch is on your own, either at your hotel or in one of the many restaurants around town. Your hotel is centrally located so that you can explore the city's sites. Breakfast provided
Optional Excursion: Dhow Dinner Cruise, $90. This evening, we recommend an optional dinner cruise by dhow boat on the Dubai Creek. A magnificent view of both sides of Dubai Creek illuminated by night adds to the charm of this wonderful way to experience Dubai.
Day 4: Dubai. The next two days are yours to explore the city and all it has to offer. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Half-day Modern Dubai & Burj Al Arab, $50. Today's optional excursion features a tour of Modern Dubai, a bonanza of visual extravagance that shows the face of modern Dubai—the city of innovation. Allow your camera to capture the opulence of Burj Al Arab, the tallest hotel built on land reclaimed from the sea, and the world’s most expensive hotel, with a fleet of 25 white Rolls Royce limousines parked in the courtyard to chauffeur guests where-ever they need to go. Drive past the unique Palm Island and zip through the trendy Dubai Marina, Internet City and Media City. Conclude your tour with a visit Emirates Hills, a picturesque venue of posh villas and lush greenery, and the renowned Gold and Diamond Park.
Optional Excursion: Half-day Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner, $90. If you are in the mood for adventure, set out on an optional desert safari tour, where you'll discover the vastness and stark beauty of the sand dunes that surround Dubai. You'll also enjoy a BBQ dinner and live belly-dancing entertainment on this exciting optional tour.
Take time to visit the Mall of the Emirates, where you'll have a chance to don ski jacket, boots, gloves and hat and take to the indoor ski slopes. The temperature here is a cool, 32 degrees while outside, it might be 100! Or go shopping at the designer stores. You could also take advantage of additional optional guided excursions. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Dubai/Delhi. Enjoy your final breakfast in Dubai, and then transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, our representatives will assist you with passport and customs formalities and escort you to your hotel. Accommodations: Shangri-La Eros Hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Old & New Delhi. After buffet breakfast at the hotel, board your coach to explore Old and New Delhi. Sprawling on the banks of the river Yamuna, bustling Delhi typifies the soul of India, where many layers of civilizations have flourished for more than 3,000 years. Begin at the modern Laxmi Narayan Temple, built in honor of the Hindu goddess of wealth, Laxmi, and of her consort, Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity. Popularly known as the Birla Temple for the noted industrialist family which built it, Laxmi Naryan Temple was one of the first major Hindu places of worship open to the lower caste Harijans (untouchables).
Continue to Raj Ghat, the memorial to Gandhi, built at the site of his cremation on the banks of the Yamuna River. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, built in 1648 as a symbol of Mughal's power.
Later, ride by bicycle rickshaw to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Completed in 1656 after six years of work by 5,000 laborers, the red sandstone and marble mosque is considered one of the loveliest houses of worship in the world. Ascend one of the minarets for sweeping views over old Delhi.
Next, you'll marvel at the Qutab Minar, the world's tallest free standing minaret at 72.5 m (238 ft), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll also find the Iron Pillar, a curiosity thought to date from 5th century A.D., which has never rusted.
Sightseeing continues in New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. You'll see the India Gate, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The 42 meter high structure is a war memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan Wars. Burning in a shrine under the arch is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal warrior), which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Proceed to the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Delhi & Agra. After a good night's sleep and breakfast, drive to Agra, an ancient city that came into prominence in Medieval times under the Mughal rulers and was once the capital of a sprawling Mughal kingdom covering much of southeast Asia. Check-in at your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Accommodations: Trident Agra or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Agra. This morning you'll rise early to enjoy an awesome sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal, truly one of the wonders of the world. Built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj took 22 years and 20,000 men to build, its white marble quarried 200 miles away and transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Though the Taj is known for its stunning symmetry and balance, it is the close-up marble inlay work which is really astounding. You'll have ample time to explore this outstanding piece of architecture, and to wander the pristine gardens that surround it. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Agra Fort, $25. Visit the splendid Agra Fort, built by and inhabited by six successive generations of Mughal emperors—Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Though often eclipsed by the Taj Mahal, this sprawling fortress, more accurately described as a massive walled palatial city, is magnificent in its own right, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was here that Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, and from the Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony, Jahan watched the continuing construction of his Taj Mahal until his death.
Optional Excursion: Itmad-Ud-Daulah & Sikandra, $25. This tour takes you to Itmad-Ud-Daulah, known as the "Baby Taj", the first Mughal structure totally built from marble. In addition, visit the Sikandra, the sandstone and marble tomb of Akbar which blends Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Christian motifs and styles, and other interesting sites.
Day 10: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jaipur. After breakfast, depart for Fatehpur Sikri, the once-glittering capital built by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570. It was abandoned shortly after it was completed for lack of water and remains today a ghost town. Marvel at the well-preserved red sandstone palaces and buildings.
Later, continue to Jaipur, stopping en route at Barara Village, where you'll have a special opportunity to learn about rural Indian village life and interact with locals. Accommodations: Trident Jaipur or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Jaipur. This morning's tour starts with a stop at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). Its beehive-like structure is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs. Behind this elaborate latticed facade, the cloistered ladies of the court could watch the daily goings-on in the street below.
Then, continue to the imposing Amber Fort, ancient capital of Rajasthan. The fort was begun in the 17th century by Maharaja Mansingh, Emperor Akbar's most successful general. Perched atop the Aravalli hills overlooking the Moat Lake, the fort's fortified battlements and crenellated walls spread over many acres. Ascend to the fortress by jeep or elephant (if available) to view the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls, many of them hung with magnificent paintings and inlaid with precious stones.
This afternoon, explore the markets and lanes of Jaipur on your own. Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is India's first and perhaps best planned city, full of beauty and color. Here you find magnificent palaces and gardens, serene lakes, and wide tree-lined streets. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed since 1727, when Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II designed and built the city. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Jaipur City Tour including the City Palace & Jantar Mantar Observatory, $30. Take an optional excursion to some of the city's famous pink sandstone buildings, including the City Palace Museum, housing the magnificent art collections of the Maharajas of Jaiputo. At the entrance to the City Palace is Jantar Mantar, the largest of five observatories founded by classical astronomer Sawai Jai Singh II nearly three centuries ago. Its 14 massive masonry instruments are extraordinarily precise and were used for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location as the earth orbits around the sun ascertaining the declinations of planets, and more.
Day 12: Jaipur & Delhi. Enjoy some free time in Jaipur for some last minute shopping. In the afternoon, return to Delhi via motor-coach and transfer to the airport for your departure flight via Dubai. Breakfast provided.
Day 13: Delhi/USA. Your memorable journey ends today when you arrive in New York.
Save by pre-booking a discounted package of our most popular optional excursions in Dubai:
You can book these excursions individually in Dubai. But you can save over $50 if you purchase this special package ahead of time—with or before your final payment. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers at various hotels; all are operated for Friendly Planet groups only. (A minimum of 4 passengers is required for optional excursions to operate).
Save by pre-booking a discounted package of our most popular optional excursions in India:
You can book these excursions individually in India. But you can save over $20 if you purchase this special package ahead of time—with or before your final payment. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers at various hotels; all are operated for Friendly Planet groups only.
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