There may not be a more intimidating country to travel in than India. Our Travel Specialists say it all the time: "People absolutely love it, or they can't wait to get home, but they're always glad they went." There seem to be so many factors to this intimidation. The languages, the body language, the personal space customs, the poverty... The food.
Every country has must-see destinations or essential experiences. These five unforgettable experiences deserve to be listed right beside those, the only difference is that you'll probably be the only one of your friends who have gone there.
On July 25th, CNN reported that the Supreme Court of India placed a temporary ban on “tiger tourism” in India. This has caused quite a stir in the travel industry, causing travelers to question if their presence is beneficial to tigers, or is impeding their ability to thrive in their natural environment. The ban was issued after a local environmentalist reported his findings that ecotourism was harming the tigers’ environment and breeding grounds. Specifically, the environmentalist reported that resorts and shops had been constructed in reserves without official permission.
This week we are continuing our blog series featuring destinations around the world that we consider bucket list-worthy. We began the series by highlighting the Galapagos Islands, and today we continue on to the mesmerizing country of India.
India needs to be experienced by any and all who consider themselves world travelers. Home to roughly one sixth of the world’s population, it is impossible to have a complete picture of the human condition without experiencing life in India: smelling its scents, hearing its sounds, and meeting its people.
The Golden Triangle
Consider for a second the scope of this country. There is no lens wide enough to encompass all it has to offer. Every website and printed resource tries to one-up the others with its description of the huge, foreign, and frankly a little weird, nature of this country. There are, however, a few ways to divide up the country into regions that can be individually visited and enjoyed.
The popular Golden Triangle consists of Delhi, the nation’s capital, Agra, home of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and Jaipur, India’s “pink city.” Most first-time travelers to India consider this their introduction to the country, and rightly so. Delhi itself summarizes the sweeping history of India with its many temples, forts, districts and neighborhoods. Agra plays host to India’s most well known national landmarks and is proud of its “old school” feel as it welcomes millions of international travelers annually. In Jaipur you will find the Amber Fort, the City Palace, and the Palace of the Winds.
Mainland Ecuador is often just a stopping point before travelers embark on a Galápagos cruise. However, mainland Ecuador travel, with the colonial capital of Quito, lush cloud forest of Mindo, and tropical rain forests in the East should not be overlooked. October and November is typically the off season in Ecuador, meaning travelers can avoid the crowds and take advantage of reduced rates. Further, travelers can avoid the rainy season, which begins in December in most regions of the country.