Overall, the tour was great but it was quite a lot of driving for 5 days. Shakul with Pacific Classic Tours India (PCTI) was very responsive with communication before and during the tour. Everything was organized for us- tour guides, driver, hotels (highly recommend going for the 5 star accommodations), most meals, activities, shopping, entrance fees to the monuments-which took the headache out of planning. As Americans, we would not have been able to complete this golden triangle and tiger safari tour in 5 days by booking each part on our own as a guide, driver, and planned meals/bathroom breaks are necessary. I highly recommend PCTI for professional tours and kind guides.
Our guide Mahesh and driver Ari babu were very kind and so helpful. My sister and I felt very safe as female travelers during covid. Mahesh was very informative and patiently answered all of our questions. He provided excellent tours in Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. PCTI helped us get a SIM card, medication from a pharmacy, a custom tailored saree for a wedding, and helped with booking a covid test before our flight. I highly recommend PCTI for tours as Shakul, Mahesh, and Ari babu were very professional.
The downside of our trip was the tiger safari as travel to Ranthambore was very long (do not trust google maps, expect rough road conditions) and there is limited chance of seeing a tiger in the winter; other wildlife was scarce and it was really cold in the evenings and mornings (no indoor heating). It was a fun experience to ride in the open jeep on safari, however traveling to remote Sawai Madhopur adds a full day of driving between Ranthambore and Agra which we felt was not worth the safari experience given our short time in this part of India.
The sunrise tour of Taj Mahal was the highlight of the tour, and as Mahesh is from Agra, he was able to provide a wonderful experience. We were also able to shop at local artisan shops in each city, which we loved. However, please note that most items are expensive as they are handmade and there is always pressure to buy. Overall, the tour was enjoyable and we were able to experience 4 different cities in a short amount of time. I would have liked to add a day in Jaipur and Agra each to break up the driving.