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Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Famed for its staggeringly beautiful mountains and ancient traditions, Nepal still remains an enigma to most outsiders. That’s a shame; the amazing architectural marvels of the Pashupatinath Temple and the holy cities of Boudhanath and UNESCO-protected Bhaktapur rank among some of humanity’s greatest creations. This trip unravels the mysteries of this incredible land of ancient secrets and towering mountains by taking you up into the mountains, down unexplored nature paths in search of rhino in Chitwan National Park and into Gurung villages to see how the locals have lived for centuries.

  • Learning about Buddhist and Hindu beliefs and history while exploring temples and ruins
  • Interacting with local people in remote towns and villages
  • Having a taste of light trekking in Nepal
  • Experiencing safari and game viewing with a local naturalist.
Duration: 12 days
Start/Finish City: Kathmandu to Kathmandu
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Discovery Adventures
Say hello to your world.

Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Spirit of Nepal (ANDND)

Day 1 Kathmandu (D)

Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel. There will be a notice informing of the time of the introductory group meeting this evening. Here we'll meet our Tour Leader and fellow traveling companions and go over the logistics of the upcoming adventure. Following the meeting we will have our first Indian feast.

Day 2 Kathmandu (B)

In the morning we take a guided tour of some of Kathmandu's most interesting monuments and learn the basics of the local language with an introductory lesson.

Lord Pashupatinath Temple dating back to 400 AD is the Nepal's holiest Hindu shrine. With its astonishing architectural beauty, it stands as a symbol of faith, religion, culture and tradition. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this temple that is also known as 'The Temple of Living Beings'. The richly ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. You can mingle with the holy men or sadhus on the banks of Bagmati River, and see the daily chores of Nepalese people paying their homage to Lord Shiva. Often you can see the traditional cremation ceremony on the riverbank, which occurs all through the day at the shrine.

On the other hand, Boudhanath, is one of the world's largest stupas (Buddhist shrine). Boudhanath (also called Bouddhanath, Bodhnath or Baudhanath or the Khasa Chaitya) is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Bodhnath Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of Ca-bahi (often called 'Little Bodhnath'). Join the pilgrims who gather to circumnavigate the enormous dome, beneath the watchful eye of the Buddha which gazes out from the gilded central tower. Join the pilgrims in lighting butter lamps or candles on the shrines of the stupa, and send the prayer wheels spinning their prayers up into the heavens.

After Lunch we travel by private bus to the nearby city of Patan (Lalitpur), which is the oldest of the three major cities in Kathmandu Valley and is famous for its Buddhist monuments, Hindu temples, and traditional artisans working with wood, stone and metal. Without doubt you will marvel at the fine arts, intricate wood and stone carvings, metal statues, and ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments. Without doubt one of the most interesting places in Patan is Durbar Square, which is situated in the center of Patan city, it houses the residence of the former Patan royal family, it features an excellent display ancient Newari architecture.

After sokaing in the history and ancient culture we later drive to Thamel for free time. Its concentration of narrow streets are lined with small shops selling an eclectic mix that is sure to suit all travellers and all budgets.

Day 3-4 Dhulikhel/Panauti (2B,1L)

In the Early morning you can take an optional breathtaking Everest Experience flight - To soar above the world highest peaks, including the mighty Everest and to really feel you are crossing the roof of the world.

After breakfast we start our journey to Bhaktapur it is the second largest of the three major cities in the Kathmandu Valley and is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artwork. The city is a well preserved ancient city, and walking throughthe Durbar square you will feel like you have stumbled into another world. Before you leave try the local Royal Bhaktapur Yogurt, its delicious.

After we explore the ancient city, an hour’s drive brings us to Dhulikhel where we stay overnight. Dhulikhel is a small, quiet Newar town about 20 miles (30kms) from Kathmandu. From here you can admire the views from the edge of the ridge, with a stunning panorama of peaks that stretch from Langtang Lirung (7,246m) in the east, through to Dorje Lakpa, Melungtse (7,181m) and Numbur (5,945m) in the far east.

We travel in the afternoon to Panauti, a very historical city, originally a small state given by King Bhupatindra Malla as a dowry to his sister. Panauti steeped in culture and tradition is considered as quaint and interesting destination it feels as it has been left exactly the way the founders had built the town. Locals are shy but welcoming a nostalgic atmosphere covers the narrow town streets and ancient structures.
As every culture has its unique ceremonies and celebration, Panauti holds a number of festivals reflecting the ancient traditions and mythology. After a simple lunch in a local restaurant in Panauti, we start our hike to Namobuddha.

Namobuddha is a peaceful holy place for Buddhist and Tibetans, with rows of Buddhist stupas adorned with fluttering prayer flags. A carved stone image of Buddha portrays a popular legend, which relates that the Lord Buddha in his previous incarnation as the prince Mahasatwo, offered his own flesh to save a starving tigress and her cubs from the imminent death.

Days 5-6 Annapurna Foothills/Dhampus (2B,2L,2D)

After breakfast, we have wander around in Dhulikhel town before we head back to Kathmandu to catch our flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival in Pokhara, we take jeeps to Phedi.

The entire region from Phedi, on the valley floor to the top of the hill is commonly known as Dhampus. But the main part of Dhampus is on the top of the rise, more than 500m above. Interested trekkers will start their walk from Phedi or you can choose to take the drive to reach our Lodge.

Dhampus - This area is inhabited by Brahmans, Chhetris and a few Gurungs, though along the hillside is a mix of Gurung and Magar ethnic settlements with guesthouses and teahouses. The views of the mountains and valleys are superb, with great mountain vista as you continue along the ridge.

On day 6, we enjoy our day in the mountains and explore village life and trekking routes of Nepal. The walking route from Dhampus to Pothana is a very pleasant one through the Rhododendron forest with the Annapurna Ranges at the background. If you do not wish to hike, you can choose to stay at the lodge for leisure time.

Day 7-8 Pokhara (2B)

In the afternoon we take the short journey to Pokhara with its ancient monuments and stunning natural landscape. You will have time if you so wish to visit some of its main attractions Phewa Lake is the center of all attraction in Pokhara. It is the largest and most enchanting of three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara. The eastern shore, popularly known as Lakeside or Baidam, is the favorite haunt of all travelers restaurants, handicraft shops and other tourist facilities are located. Also the Barahi temple is the most important monument in Pokhara. Built almost in the Center of Fewa Lake, this two-storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the protector deity representing the female force of Shakti.

On day 8, we hike through paddy fields and farmland. On arrival in the village, we are welcomed by the villagers. We meet local Gurung people and learn about their day to day life and chores. Lunch will be prepared by the villagers and we join them for a typical local meal. Visit the local people’s houses and interact with the village men and women. This day will give you a wonderful insight into village life. If you do not wish to hike, you can choose to stay in Pokhara to relax and enjoy the city.

Day 9-10 Chitwan National Park (2B,2L,2D)

Today we drive through across the Terai to Chitwan which is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the region, which formerly extended over the foothills of Nepal. This National Park is the first in Nepal home to at least 43 species of mammals. In Chitwan, all the jungle activities are just a step away and there's always a chance to spot wildlife. The warm subtropical Terai region of Nepal is a home of such animals as Royal Bengal tigers, rhinos, leopards wild elephants, black bears, monkeys, Langurs, crocodiles, kinds of dear and over 250 species of exotic birds. We will take a jeep Safari in the jungle to spot wildlife. We also will do village walks.

Day 11 Kathmandu (B,D)

Today we take our leave of the wildlife and return to Kathmandu, where you will have time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing, before our farewell diner feast.

Day 12 Kathmandu (B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Arrival transfer - Welcome gift - Introductory language lesson - Guided tour of Kathmandu including Boudhnath and Pashupatinath Temples - Visit Patan and Durbar Square - Visit the ancient city of Bhaktapur - Tour of Panauti and hike to Namo Boudha - Nature and cultural walks with a local expert in the Annapurna Foothills - Orientation tour of Pokhara including Barhi Temple, Devi's fall and Phewa Lake - Hiking excursion to Dhampus with stops at tribal hamlets - Jeep Safari and nature and village walks in Chitwan National Park.

Highlights

Learning about Buddhist and Hindu beliefs and history while exploring temples and ruins, Interacting with local people in remote towns and villages, Having a taste of light trekking in Nepal, Experiencing safari and game viewing with a local naturalist.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly and our Discovery Adventures guide may be forced to change the trip itinerary accordingly. Travellers need to be prepared for all weather conditions. For more information please read the "what to take" section of this trip notes.

2. There is a lot of walking and easy hiking on this trip, which can feel more difficult due to altitude. You can always choose to not take hiking excursions, and enjoy leisure time or personal exploration.

3. Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.

Group Leader Description

All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our expert group tour leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Group leaders are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

11 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners

Meals

Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

USD350-400 for meals not included.

Transport

Plane, private air-conditioned vehicle, jeep, hiking, walking

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Comfort hotels/guesthouses/lodges (11 nts)

My Own Room

My Own room available in all destinations.

About Accommodation

The accommodation level for most Discovery Adventure tours are comfortable, in mid-range hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses, etc. You'll often enjoy air-conditioned rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms and some amenities. Accommodation and amenities can vary by Country and region and please remember that standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Some trips may include camping, permanent tented camps or more rustic lodges, depending on the remoteness of where you are visiting. Please see your trip details for more information, specific to your tour. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.

Examples of accommodation in Nepal (please note hotels are subject to change at any time and without notice):

Kathmandu: Hotel Tibet International
Hotel Tibet International, is an authentic style Tibetan boutique hotel that has been faithfully decorated and constructed to give you a good feel for Tibetan Buddhist culture. From the hotel, you look straight from your room across to the impressive Boudhanath Stupa that dominates the skyline. The hotel has beautifully landscaped gardens and every comfort, from wireless throughout, bars and fine dining, accompanied by a mesmerizing cultural program every evening that showcases traditional and authentic Tibetan dance and folklore. To relax, go to the spa to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Dhulikhel: Hotel Himalayan Horizon
The Himalayan Horizon is a special retreat. It’s in the heart of the countryside, away from the well-trodden tourist trails, yet provides a high standard of comfort. From the hotel you can watch the sun rise, bathing the mountains rose and gold. Enjoy your morning tea or lunch in the courtyard, while admiring the panorama; sip cocktails as the sun sets over the valleys and dine in the terrace restaurant under moonlit skies, with the mountains shining silver in the moonlight.

Pokhara/Annapurna Foothills: Temple Tree Resort and Spa
This is a boutique hotel combining western standards with the distinctive architecture and culture of Nepal’s western Himalayas. Named after the fragrant temple tree plant, frangipani, it offers a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, with high standard service. Nestling close to Fewa Lake, Temple Tree is framed by the foothills and majestic peaks of the Annapurna mountain range. The air here is crystal clear, with a warm and pleasant sub tropical climate. Temple Tree is comprised of two-storey cottages, finished in hand cut stone and featuring beautifully decorated timber struts and pillars. Each room has a private balcony looking onto the garden with its ancient tree formed from three interlocking trunks. This tree is believed to be inhabited by local deities and the ritual of offering it flowers and perfumes continues to this day.

Chitwan: Tigerland Safari Resort
Tigerland Safari Resort lies on the edge of Nepal's premier Chitwan National Park, a World Heritage Site. It is spread out over 20 acres of land above the Rapti River, which forms the boundary of Chitwan National Park. Tigerland Safari Resort has managed to create a truly wonderful sanctuary amidst the lush green jungle where individual deluxe villas, built on stilts and using sustainable natural materials, blend perfectly with nature. The fully air conditioned guest rooms are tastefully decorated and have parquet floors. Twin and double beds, comfortable rooms, spacious attached bathrooms with running hot and cold water are constructed in a tasteful mix of wood, marble and bamboo (rattan) with thatched roofs made from local Siru grass.

Joining Hotel

Kathmandu Guest House
Thamel, Box 21218, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4700632 / 4700733

Joining Instructions

When arriving into Tribhuvan Intl Airport in Kathmandu you will notice how small the city really is. An arrival transfer is included on this trip - our driver will be waiting for you with a Discovery Adventures Sign with your name on it. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area.

Should you miss your arrival transfer, you can arrange a prepaid taxi from the counter outside of the baggage hall run by the Airport Queue Taxi Service Management Committee for about 200-250 Rupees (approx 3-4 USD). Please be aware of people wanting to help you with your bags as they will ask for money once you get to your taxi.

**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your Guide (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your guide, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications at Tribhuvan Internartional Airport please call our local G Adventures Transfer providers directly at:
Mr. Rajju Maskey
From outside of Nepal: +977 98 0201 4444
From within Kathmandu: 98 0201 4444
From within Nepal, but outside Kathmandu: 098 0201 4444

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures South Asia Manager, Rishab (Delhi, India)
Emergency number:
From outside of India: +91 99 7179 5447
From within Delhi: 99 7179 5447
From within India, but outside Delhi: 099 7179 5447

G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +66-02-3815574

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Soft suitcases can be used but most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag or soft bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!). You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.

The weather is subject to change in high altitude so layered clothing is recommended throughout the year.

Checklist

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Suggested Items:
•Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
•Windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
•Long-sleeved shirt or sweater for evenings
•1 pair of shorts
•2 pairs of long trousers
•1 pair hiking pants/track pants
•Sturdy walking shoes or hiking shoes or boots
•Sport sandals
•Sun hat, bandanna
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Tampons (Can be difficult to buy in rural areas)
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Pocketknife
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Money belt
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
•First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin, malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items:
-reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for dapacks, Maps, guidebooks
-notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Please note it is your responsibility to arrange visas before you travel. Your travel agent can assist. Below are the visa requirements at the time of printing (this information is subject to change). NEPAL: All foreign nationals (except Indians) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad or on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport. If getting the visa at the airport be prepared for long queues. You will also need to provide one passport photo and the following fees in US dollars cash only: single entry visa valid for 15 days - US $25: Single Entry Visa for 30 days - US $40 and multiple entry visa valid for 90 days - US $100

Detailed Trip Notes

This trip is suitable for any time of the year. Nepal’s seasons are divided into winter, spring, summer monsoon and autumn. Winters can be cold up high in the mountains, but in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan, temperatures do not fall below freezing and it is usually dry and sunny. Temperatures will be cool out of the sun and when night falls.

In the spring, from February it starts getting warm and temperatures tend to range from 18-26 degrees Centigrade during the day. The weather is dry, with the occasional showers starting in late March and April.

From May there might be the odd shower, with temperatures rising to 23-28 degrees Centigrade and a few degrees hotter in Chitwan (Terai). The rainy season starts in June and lasts about three months. Typically raining for a couple of hours in the late afternoon and during the night, it rarely rains all day nor every day.

Autumn brings the autumn colors. Temperatures cool down but it is still warm and dry, with clear skies. This is the busiest time for trekking, so there will be more visitors wherever you go.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com As of Feb 2012 the exchange rate for NEPAL was 1 USD = 78.76 NPR (Nepalese Rupees). There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are traveling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while traveling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, long and layered clothing. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.