India is beautiful, rich and poor, and diverse beyond belief - a total and often overwhelming assault on the senses. Demands on your patience, stamina, humour and adaptability can be considerable but the ease with which we travel and trek through India while staying fit and well, lays low many of the myths and heightens the enjoyment. We believe it is a wonderful country and amid so much noise, heat and activity, the equanimity and dignity of its people contrast powerfully with our sometimes muddled western values.
EXTENSION: TAJ MAHAL & VARANASI
Visit the Taj Mahal and the 'the eternal city' of Varanasi, situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganges.
Nepal is a small country, wedged between the giants of India and Tibet (now occupied by China). Its geography is dominated by the Himalayas - eight of the fourteen highest mountains in the world, including Everest, can be found within its borders. On every side, a skyline of fluted snow and ice peaks soaring beyond the imagination rise above the trails, the campsites and valleys. Many of today's treks are ancient trade routes running between India and Tibet.
The spiritual heritage which gives substance to peoples' lives all through Nepal makes them reverent, kind, hospitable and hard working. It is this that gives an added dimension to the mountains and turns a journey there into a life lasting experience.
In the popular areas, we stay in lodges run by friendly Sherpa hosts offering basic accommodation and simple food.
Chitwan National Park
Consider extending your trip with a visit to Chitwan, famous for its splendid array of wildlife including the horned rhino. For trips ending in Pokhara you will travel to Chitwan direct from there.
Mystery and legend have surrounded the tiny kingdom of Bhutan for centuries. Its steep mountainsides and remote forested valleys are scattered with holy places of deep mystical importance, where the founders of Tibetan Buddhism have left their traces.
Since its borders were opened to tourists in 1974, a tightly controlled tourism policy has allowed a very limited number of visitors to enter the country each year at a high price and with strong environmental controls in an effort to protect the fragile balance between the nation's traditional heritage and modern economic development.
There is a real benefit to the high cost of visiting Bhutan - 35% of the government fee goes towards services such as schools and hospitals, thus benefiting the local population.
Our excellent contacts here enable us to be sure of providing a remarkable experience in this enchanting Himalayan culture, known locally as Druk Yul, meaning 'The Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon'.