PEARLS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN

From $ 3,599 pp
Shore Excursions

Pearls of the Indian Ocean

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From $ 3,599 pp

Mumbai (Bombay), India



5 HRS

Strenuous

outdoors

culture

boating
Mumbai, Elephanta Caves
Drive to the Gateway of India, the city’s most famous landmark – an Indo-Saracenic archway built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Located along the seafront opposite the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, it was also conceived as an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England. From the Gateway pier, you will board a local launch for a one-hour cruise across the harbor to Elephanta Island. Located some four miles from the city, its original name was Gharapuri or Fortress City, which later changed to Elephanta by the Portuguese who found a large stone elephant near the landing place. Within the main rock-cut temple, probably dating from between 450 to 750 A.D.,  are  found  large sculptured panels, the  most  interesting  of  which  is the three-headed Shiva shown as the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer. Other Shiva panels, includes one of the God dancing the `tandava’ and thereby causing the world to shake!  

Please note:  Wear light cotton clothing, comfortable shoes, sun shades and sunblock. Taking videos is not allowed in the main caves.  The caves are closed on Mondays. Palanquins are available for those who do not wish to climb the 120 steps to the caves.  However, these are limited in number and must be paid directly.  The cost is around - US $ 17 each (may be negotiable).




price $69
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4.5 HRS

Moderate

culture

sightseeing
Mumbai, Mumbai Highlights
Departing the pier, you will take in some of the elements and sights that have typified the city - starting with Iskcon; the amazing temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Then, even if you are not possessed with an interest in other people’s dirty laundry, you’ll be fascinated by Dhobi Ghat a facet of this city, which literally translates as washerman’s quay. The secret that keeps this operation running smoothly is a coded symbol that each dhobi-wallah (washerman) places on every item. Invisible to the untrained eye, this mark ensures nothing is lost.  You will proceed to the next highlight, Mani Bhawan, driving past the Turf Club and Bombay Race Course. Mani Bhawan was Gandhi’s home between 1917 and 1934. You will see a letter to Hitler asking him not to go to war, along with correspondence with Roosevelt, Tolstoy, and Einstein. Your journey will then take you towards Mumbai’s downtown area along Art Deco Marine Drive. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, built in a confluence of Gothic and Moorish styles, and crowned by a sparkling white dome. The chief attraction here will be the collection of over 2,000 miniature paintings from the various art schools of India. You will return to the yacht making a photo stop at the Gateway of India, the city’s most famous landmark – an Indo-Saracenic archway built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Located along the seafront opposite the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, it was also conceived as an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England.

Please note:  A lift is available at the Prince of Wales Museum only. The Prince of Wales Museum is closed on Mondays and National Holidays. Bring local currency, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.


price $59
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6.5 HRS

Moderate

dining

culture

sightseeing
Mumbai, Spirtual Legacy
Your first stop today will be in the popular middle class settlement of Dadar at the venerated Guruvayur and Ram Temple Complex. The temple, constructed in South Indian style, has a majestic upper complex containing five sacred gold plated urns.  You will see the impressive three-spired Swaminarayan Mandir (or temple) erected out of pink sandstone in traditional architectural style with intricate carving.  Following your Hindu exposure, you will make your way downtown along the waterfront, passing Haji Ali Mosque and Tomb, the city’s most recognized landmark. A splendid example of Indo Islamic architecture, Haji Ali Dargah was built in 1431 in memory of this wealthy Muslim merchant who renounced worldly possessions.  You will see the oldest sacred fire in Bombay installed in 1709 and housed in the Bomanji Wadia Fire Temple on Princess Street. As a non-Parsee, you will see the temple from the outside.   On your lunch break, you will get to sample some favorite street food, recreated in the Sea Lounge restaurant at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel. Bombay’s original Jews, known as the Bene Israel Community, are believed to be descendants of seven Jewish families, shipwrecked while fleeing persecution in Galilee around the second century B.C.  You will see several of their city landmarks including Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue and drive past several colonial landmarks such as, the Institute of Science, the Prince of Wales Museum and Flora Fountain. The Anglican Church made its presence felt with the coming of the British in 1661. Your stop at St. Thomas’ Cathedral will show you a mixture of sequential styles culminating in a Gothic tower and clock added in 1838, in addition to a chancel and elegant fountain. The Cathedral containing fine stained glass windows and choice objects of worship was selected for UNESCO’s Asia Pacific Conservation Award. You will finish your tour with a short walk back to the yacht.

Please note: Conservative dress is appropriate on this tour of sacred sites. Please refrain from wearing shorts and short skirts. Women are expected to have their shoulders covered and shoes are removed when visiting temples - socks will be provided for comfort. At Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue there are 20 steps to the 1st floor.  Lifts are available at the Taj Mahal Hotel for the Sea Lounge Restaurant, located on the 1st floor.  The Synagogue is closed on Saturdays due to the Sabbath.


price $99
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Mangalore, India



4 HRS

Moderate

refreshments

culture

sightseeing
Mangalore, Highlights of Mangalore
Mangalore is a hilly South Indian town, rarely visited by foreigners, with a quaint mix of old and new. Your tour will begin in a great local scene…at the popular Gokarnath Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Devotees of this temple belong to the industrious Billora community, who were traditionally suppressed by upper castes, treating them as untouchables.  Walking around you will encounter the typical lifestyle, commerce, local activity, and the marketplace surrounding the temple. Contrast the hustle and bustle of Gokarnath with the Chapel St. Aloysius on Lighthouse Hill, which has remarkable 19th century frescoes by Italian masters, depicting the life of Christ. Next you will visit a cashew nut processing plant.  Your morning will end at Belmont House, an old Mangalorean tiled-roofed mansion with striking architecture, open spaces, and tropical gardens. Your hosts, the Peres family, traditional coffee planters, have lived here for generations and will welcome you with refreshments and local delicacies prepared from old family recipes. 

Please note: There are 5 steps to climb to the chapel and Belmont House. The cashew plant is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Bring local currency, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.

price $79
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5 HRS

Strenuous

refreshments

culture

walking
Mangalore, Karkala & Moodbidri Temple Tour
Start your tour with a visit to Karkala, where you will see a 41-foot tall statue engraved from a single stone and erected in 1432 alongside a temple in honor of the great prince Bahubali or “the one with strong shoulders.”   Travel on to Moodbidri, where you will see another masterpiece of the industrious Jain community which became an offshoot of Hinduism.  Commissioned by King Devaraja Woodeyar in 1430 A.D., this striking temple has 1,000 pillars, no two of which are alike. Interspersed between these two highlights you will have a refreshment stop at Soan’s Farm, started by the Swiss- German Basel Missionary Society in 1926. Alfred Soans made innovative changes to a dry laterite soil and with inter- cropping and better water management farmed superior qualities of upland rice, coconut, arecanut, banana, chilies, ginger, tapioca, mango and spices like clove, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. Most famous are his Soans pineapples, which you will get to sample.

Please note:   This tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests or persons with limited mobility. Bring local currency, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.

price $89
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4.5 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

culture

walking

sightseeing
Mangalore, Southern Indian Traditions
On this tour you will drive approximately 10 miles out of the city toward the rural district of Pilikula in the Western Ghats, recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world and home to several rare plants. Your destination will be the nondescript Moodushedde tribal village, surrounded by coconut groves and acacia plantations, typifying a South Indian rural setting. The Kambala racetrack hosts an age-old folk sport of buffalo racing.  This artisan village has been encouraged by non-governmental organizations to protect, preserve and sustain traditional livelihoods and art forms that were gradually being faced with extinction. You will meet blacksmiths, potters, and weavers at work. Observe wood and stone carving practices, the making of beaten rice, oil extraction, and the crafting of cane and bamboo products. You will visit Guthu Mane, a traditional mansion of coastal landlords, with its elaborately carved columns and ceilings, for a refreshment break and demonstrations of sari and dhoti (the men’s dress) tying and the application of henna, popular during weddings and big occasions.  Return to Mangalore for a contrasting encounter in Hampankatta, the center of town and the main market place to get lost in silks, handlooms, spices, jewelry, sandalwood, fruits, vegetables, and really anything one can think off. Located in “downtown” Mangalore about a half hour from the pier this colorful experience epitomizes the sights, sounds, smells and all that is South Indian. Together with your Mangalorean guide you will venture through its streets, lanes and by-lanes before returning to your yacht.  

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes.  Bring local currency, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. 
 
price $99
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Cochin, India



8 HRS

Moderate

dining

culture

boating
Cochin, Backwater Beat
Leaving Cochin, you will drive through a lush tropical countryside to the main backwater township, called Alleppey.  Arriving at the Alleppey jetty, you will board a private boat for a cruise exploring Kerala's famous backwaters. Sail along palm fringed canals and lakes, passing little creeks where tiny settlements of thatched houses nestle below palm trees on diminutive patches of land. The waterways are teeming with dragon shaped dugouts with graceful sails, and covered boats transporting copra and cashew nuts from local villages to the ports. You will stop at villages and see the traditional lifestyle of the inhabitants of the backwaters.  Following the cruise, you will arrive at the Lake Palace Resort for lunch. Depart for Fort Cochin for an overview of Chinese fishing nets before returning to the yacht. 

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. This tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests OR guests with limited mobility for the boat ride. 



    
price $109
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4 HRS

Moderate

culture

walking

sightseeing
Cochin, Colonial Cochin
Today you will drive to the Silk Route trading post of Fort Cochin, these days a `Heritage Zone.’ Walk around Cochin and see the Chinese fishing nets constructed out of teakwood and bamboo poles; they work on a principle of balance.  Visit the St. Francis Church, originally built in 1510. Portuguese hero Vasco Da Gama died on the site and was buried in the cemetery.  Later, you will drive to Mattancherry to visit the Dutch Palace built in 1557 by the Portuguese as a gift for the Maharaja of Cochin in exchange for trading rights. The striking feature of the palace is a series of murals painted on wooden walls.  You will stop by the Pardesi Synagogue, at the heart of what is locally called Jew town, lined with Spice and Antique stores. The synagogue is an experience of light and airiness accented in its flooring of 18th century hand painted blue Cantonese ceramic tiles. With its collection of great scrolls of the Old Testament, it is very possible that this community shared strong links with the Babylonian Jews.  After a refreshment stop, you will return to the yacht.    

Please note: The Dutch Palace has steep 23 steps to the entrance. Bring local currency, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.

price $59
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7.5 HRS

Strenuous

dining

culture

walking

sightseeing
Cochin, The Heart Beat of Kerala
Your tour today will be to the village of Vaikom into the heart of the Kerala lifestyle, surrounded by paddy fields, cashew farms, narrow canals, and coconut and banana plantations. You will begin with homage at Vaikom’s Shiva Temple, believed to be the oldest in the country. At the community center for women’s employment you will see khadi being woven in the traditional way using handspun cotton yarn, while the men get busy in the coconut oil extracting factory.  See the nearby local school, a good example of the state’s initiative into achieving a 100 percent literacy rate.  An important aspect of Vaikom’s landscape is its narrow canals which you will explore in local canoes coming face to face with the local people as they go about their daily chores.  Your lunch (catered by the 5-star Brunton Boatyard Resort) will be served in the cool gardens of a local home, set in the heart of the village.

Please note:  This tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests or guests with limited mobility. Shorts and short dresses are not allowed in the temple.  Slip-on shoes are recommended as they must be removed before entering the temple.  Socks will be provided for comfort. Bring local currency, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.

price $109
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6 HRS

Moderate

dining

culture

sightseeing

boating
Cochin, The Spice Route
Today you will drive to the Silk Route trading post of Fort Cochin, these days a `Heritage Zone.’ Walk around Cochin and see the Chinese fishing nets constructed out of teak and bamboo poles, they work on a principle of balance. Visit the St. Francis Church, originally built in 1510. Portuguese hero Vasco Da Gama died on the site and was buried in the cemetery.  Later, you will drive to Mattancherry to visit the Dutch Palace built in 1557 by the Portuguese as a gift for the Maharaja of Cochin in exchange for trading rights. The striking feature of the palace is a series of murals painted on wooden walls.  You will stop by the Pardesi Synagogue, at the heart of what is locally called Jew town, lined with spice and antique stores. The synagogue is an experience of light and airiness accented in its flooring of 18th century hand painted blue Cantonese ceramic tiles. With its collection of great scrolls of the Old Testament, it is very possible that this community shared strong links with the Babylonian Jews. Your lunch will be served at the Brunton Boatyard Resort, where you will also see a Kathakali dance performance. In addition to international choices the menu will include a variety of local recipes, featuring South India’s celebrated flavors and spices. A kettuvallam is a traditional, large country boat used to transport rice along the internal backwaters. You will board a similarly styled craft for a cruise around this ancient Spice Route harbor.  

Please note: The Dutch Palace has steep 23 steps to the entrance.

price $149
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Galle, Sri Lanka



5 HRS

Moderately
easy

outdoors

wildlife

culture

boating
Galle, A Rural Village Experience
You will take a 1-hour boat ride to the serene village of Wackwella  –  famous for agriculture and buffalo curd production.  Along the way witness the local life, lush green paddy fields, observe egrets hunting for fish, eagles looking for prey, water monitors sun bathing on the banks, and rare purple-faced monkeys leaping through the tree canopies. Sit back and enjoy sailing past the village life on either side of the river.  Disembark the boat and visit a Coconut Fibermaking  Factory.  Following this experience,  you will take a  tuk tuk ride from the riverbanks to the middle of a local dwelling.  Along the way you will pass through some stunning landscapes and great sceneries.  Arriving at the local dwelling you will be treated to a cooking demonstration in Sri Lankan cuisine. Then you will depart the village and board a motor coach to return to the port.

Please note: Bring local currency, your sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.

price $149
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5 HRS

Moderately
easy

refreshments

culture

sightseeing
Galle, Culture, Heritage & Tea
Visit the home of Sri Lanka’s most famous author, Martin Wickramasinghe, who has written 95 books and is considered the “Shakespeare of Sri Lanka.”  His home is now a Museum of Folk Culture and Local Lifestyle, surrounded by eight acres of a restored eco-system with hundreds of varieties of indigenous trees and shrubs in which birdlife abounds. There’s a special collection of artifacts and memorabilia offering insight the everyday life of a Sri Lankan family.  Then you will have a short ride to Handunugoda Tea Estate that produces the award winning and globally acclaimed Virgin White Tea, untouched by hands and deemed   “the purest of all.” The 140-year-old eco-friendly estate is rich in flora and fauna. Birds and wildlife, myriad-colored reservoirs and fish ponds give it a special atmosphere. Renowned author and planter Herman Gunaratne will take you around his organic plantations of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, vanilla, rubber, coconut, tea and a variety of spices. You will taste some of the virgin tea and visit the processing factory with its age old machinery. Next you will take a tuk tuk ride to Yatagala Ancient Temple where you will have a guided tour. 

Please note: Bring local currency, your sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.


price $89
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5 HRS

Moderate

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Galle, The Dutch Fort & Spices
The ancient trading post of Galle has been referred to as the famous Tarshish of the Bible. Historically, this award-winning World Heritage fortified township was an essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Javanese and Sumatrans came later, followed by Marco Polo in 1299 A.D.  You will board your motor coach for a 30-minute ride to visit the local vegetable and spice markets.  Then reboard the coach for the 10-minute ride to the Galle Fort. The Portuguese arrived in the 1500s and built this settlement with a fort of palm trees and mud. This was captured by the Dutch (and finally the British) who built the 400-year-old fort with great ramparts and bastions to protect their presence. Narrow streets are lined with old houses displaying Dutch heritage, with their pillared verandahs. Government offices remain in use and the community within the fort is bustling with daily life – a living breathing town, hidden within fortified walls of this ancient, maritime citadel.  You will have time to explore the fort, overflowing with landmarks, strolling past the Dutch church, the governor’s house, the spice warehouses, court square, the Kacheri or Town Hall, the lighthouse and ramparts. Near the old Arab Mosque are streets leading to cricket fields and the district Judge’s house, surrounded by ancient frangipani trees. There’s a variety of exclusive boutique stores to explore.

Please note: Bring local currency, your sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.


price $59
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Malacca, Malaysia



6 HRS

Moderate

culture

walking

sightseeing
Malacca, Explore Historic Malacca with Lunch
This tour will reveal Malacca’s prosperous trading heritage and numerous foreign interlopers who include the Portuguese, Dutch and British.  You will begin your tour with a photo stop at Porta de Santiago - the only remains of the Dutch fortifications that were blown up by the British – before seeing The Stadthuys, arguably Malacca’s most photographed building.  Constructed in the mid-1600s it is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East.  Continue on to the ruins of St Paul’s Church, where the remains of St. Francis Xavier were briefly enshrined.  Visit the Melaka Sultanate Palace, a replica of the original 15th century wooden palace, which is now a Cultural Museum.  You will take a ride up to the 360-degree viewing tower, Menara Taming Sari, at a height of 262 feet.  You will see a spectacular and panoramic view of Melaka UNESCO World Heritage City from the cabin deck.  Proceed on to cross the bridge, which will lead you to Chinatown. Walk to the Baba & Nyonya Museum, showing typical 19th century Baroque style homes of wealthy Chinese families.  Continue on to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia, and Kampung Kling Mosque. As you continue on to Jonker Street, you will see many antique and curio shops.  This is the final stop and you will enjoy lunch at Casa Del Rio Hotel or alternative for a taste of mixed culture and traditions!

Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking at times over flat and sloping surfaces, with steps to negotiate some sites visited. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests in wheelchairs. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, local currency, a hat and a poncho. Tour order may vary to avoid congestion. 




price $89
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4 HRS

Moderate

culture

sightseeing
Malacca, Historic Malacca
This fascinating tour reveals Malacca’s glorious heritage. The streets and buildings are steeped in history illustrating its prosperous trading heritage and numerous foreign interlopers that include the Portuguese, Dutch and British. You will begin your tour with a visit to the Princess Hang Li Poh’s Well (King’s Well) – located at the foothill of Bukit China and next to Sam Po Temple. It was built in 1459 by the followers of Princess Hang Li Poh and was the main source of water in the town. Continue your walk to the Bukit Cina (also known as Chinese Hill) Chinese Cemetery, the largest and oldest Chinese graveyard outside of China itself with over 12,500 graves.  You will proceed to the Dutch Square - the hub of the town due to its proximity to the river mouth. You will see town hall (Stadthuys),  the church (Christ Church), market square and a school that all reflect the character of ancient European towns. Cross the bridge to Malacca’s Chinatown. Walk to Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, a gallery housing exhibits about Chinese Ming Dynasty admiral, Cheng Ho (Zheng He). In a warehouse to the north of the Melaka River, the gallery has exhibits on the admiral’s life. Then visit Jonker’s Street, the main street of Chinatown before you return back to the pier.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, local currency, a hat and a poncho.

price $49
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4 HRS

Moderate

culture

walking

sightseeing
Malacca, Malacca & Countryside
Departing from the pier, you’ll proceed to a small rubber tree plantation, where you will have an opportunity to see local rubber tappers in action. Malaysia produces almost 20% of the world's natural rubber. Next, you will visit  a palm oil plantation before heading to the village of legendary Malay warrior, Hang Tuah. It is commonly believed that Kampung Duyung (Mermaid Village) was the home of this legendary warrior during the early days of the Malacca Sultanate. The village highlights the cultural, architectural and traditional values of the Malay community and consists of the houses of the five most renowned Malay warriors during the Malacca Sultanate. Stop briefly for photos and souvenir shopping outside the Stadthuys. Built as the official residence for the Dutch governors and their officers, the Stadthuys is an excellent example of Dutch period architecture. Continue to Porta de Santiago—a Portuguese-built fortress—and St Paul's Church, where missionary St. Francis Xavier was briefly interred in 1553. You will also have a chance to take photos outside the Sultan's Palace—a replica of the original 15th century palace of Malacca's now-extinct Sultanate. The palace also houses the Culture Museum.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, local currency, a hat and a poncho. Tour order may vary to avoid congestion. There are about 100 steps up and around this tour.

price $49
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4 HRS

Moderate

culture

walking

sightseeing

boating
Malacca, Walk The Dutch Trail
Walk back through time as you discover the great empires of Malaccathe Malay Sultanate, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British.  After tendering from the ship to the local jetty, you will embark on a boat for a scenic cruise on the Malacca River. Along the way, pass through the downtown area, where you can see old warehouses, shop houses, bridges and traditional Malay villages. Next, a short walk from the jetty will bring you to Stadthuys and Christ Church for a brief photo stop. The Stadhuys is the most imposing relic of Dutch rule and features salmon red walls, heavy wooden doors and wrought-iron hinges. It now houses the Historical Museum. The adjacent Christ Church is a Dutch Reformed church constructed in 1753. Proceed to the Porta de Santiago. Although the original fortress dates from 1511, a small gatehouse is the only remaining part of the fortress still standing. After a photo stop here, you will head to the Sultanate Palace, a replica of a 15th century palace that currently is a cultural museum.  Then you will take a trishaw ride along the Street of Harmony where you will pass the Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, one of the first Hindu temples in Malaysia, the Kampong Kling Mosque with its 3-tiered roof and make a brief stop at the Cheng Hoon Temple, built in 1646. It is the oldest functioning Chinese temple in Malaysia. Your tour will conclude with a brief ride by rickshaw back to the tender pier.

Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 328 yards, at times over flat and sloping surfaces, with 10 steps to negotiate at the sites visited, a few steps to negotiate to embark/disembark the riverboat and tender. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests in wheelchairs. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, local currency, a hat and a poncho. Tour order may vary to avoid congestion. 


price $59
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