by Shanae Sexton, November 2017
Recently I was lucky enough to be invited on a 6 day sampler for one of Contiki’s new India itineraries, with several other travel agents from around the globe.
India wasn’t next on my travel list, but I am so glad I took the opportunity, as I have come back with a whole new perspective and appreciation for the country.
From day 1, arriving into Delhi, my sights and senses were in overdrive. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for India; it really is totally different to every other destination I have visited.
Our days were filled with cultural experiences, local gems and incredible food – all of which were so seamlessly taken care of by Contiki.
I honestly didn’t think a ‘coach tour’ would be my style of travelling, but they took every perception I had of group touring and flipped it on its head. We were given ample amount of free time to explore the local markets or simply wander around the attractions of each city, which meant the trip was never dull. The people on the trip were all like-minded and we all became very close so quickly.
The highlight for me was the Taj Mahal – hands down! It truly is more beautiful in person than I could have ever imagined. Every photo I took while I was there was post-card worthy, and the sheer beauty was just as incredible as the love story behind it. A close second was Ranthambore National Park; a wildlife reserve made famous for their conservation of tigers, which were largely hunted within India for their skin and medicinal value. We weren’t lucky enough to spot a Tiger, but the safari itself was still an exciting experience nonetheless.
I can easily say my experience of India wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable without a company like Contiki. It isn’t a destination I would recommend tackling independently; you really need to travel with experienced guides and people who have well established relationships with local suppliers.
My overall experience of India is one I will remember for a long time to come, and I strongly encourage anyone considering travelling there, to start planning now. It’s an ever changing country, politically and environmentally, so there’s no better time to experience everything this fascinating country has to offer.