Varanasi Homestay Extension

4 Days | Lift your spirits in the sacred Varanasi.

3.7 out of 5 based on 12 reviews submitted.
Short Breaks
AUD $418
View dates and book

Explore holy Varanasi on an insightful Short Break Adventure – an atmospheric blend of temples, river ghats, and bustling bazaars. Cruise along the Ganges at dawn for a magical experience as the sun rises over groups of pilgrims absolving sins in the river. Explore the city and nearby Sarnath and wander independently through the bright bustle of the backstreets of the city. Visiting Shiva's city is a must on any visit to India, and this four-day adventure is a perfect addition to your Indian exploration.

Trip overview

Map of Varanasi Homestay Extension including India
Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India
Short Breaks
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 5
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
This trip generates 20.95 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Embrace the local rituals and customs at our homestay in Varanasi. Upon arrival, be treated to a home-cooked meal, sharing food and interacting with your warm and welcoming hosts.
  • Spend sunrise cruising along the Ganges, watching Varanasi emerge into a new day, passing the many ghats and temples along the river banks while pilgrims wash themselves in the holy waters.
  • Head out of town to Sarnath and visit the place where Gautama Buddha first began his teachings of the sacred Dharma.

Is this trip right for you?
  • On Short Breaks, you maintain a good level of independence and freedom, with the added bonus of having the details sorted out for you. You’ll have lots of free time and you won’t be accompanied by a Trip Leader. This means that all included activities and tours will be run by different local Intrepid partners, and these may operate independently from each other. The included activities and transfers will operate on a join-in basis, which means that you could have your Adventure all to yourself, or others may join you along the way. If you would prefer the experience of travelling with others, please consider the North India Highlights adventure – search trip code HHKH on the Intrepid website for more information.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Varanasi Homestay Extension including India



3 breakfasts, 1 dinner


Private vehicle, Cycle rickshaw, Boat


Homestay (3 nights)

  • Varanasi - Family dinner
  • Varanasi - Leader-led Old City walking tour
  • Varanasi - Ganges candle flower ceremony
  • Varanasi - Sarnath excursion
  • Varanasi - Silk weaving centre
  • Varanasi - Sunrise Ganges boat trip

Dates and availability

Loading trip dates and availabilities...

Important notes

1. This trip finishes upon arrival in Varanasi on Day 4. Please do not book any flights flights before 12 noon.
2. This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities. As this is not a group itinerary you may be travelling or accommodated on your own, without other Intrepid travellers.
3. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information


3.7 out of 5 based on 12 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

Filter by rating

Kate · Traveled June 2023
The homestay was the best way to experience Varanasi. The hosts were so friendly and welcomed us like family. The touring around Varanasi with Intrepid helped us get a deeper understanding of the intricacies of this city. I felt like a local with all the inside knowledge.
Review submitted 19 Jun 2023

Suzanne · Traveled April 2023
This trip was my worst ever overseas travel experience. It was not a homestay as we were locked out of the family home and had virtually no family interaction. The guide treated me like a child and was distracted on his phone continuously. The food provided at the accommodation was not prepared by the family and there was no choice.
Review submitted 04 Apr 2023

Tabitha · Traveled April 2023
This was the most disappointing tour package I have ever done. It is not a homestay and was mis-sold to us through unfair marketing. The guide was also incredibly underwhelming. He spent excessive amounts of time chatting on his phone to family and seemed bored and disengaged on the tour.
Review submitted 04 Apr 2023

Natalie · Traveled March 2023
A wonderful and moving trip to experience the culture of Varansi, which was made so much more spectacular with the welcoming, kind and caring nature of the Pankaj Nair and Bindu (owners of the homestay). They went above and beyond for me and it was a fantastic experience.
Review submitted 14 Apr 2023

Susan · Traveled February 2023
This was disappointing and misleading. It was not a homestay. The family were in a separate part of the building, we had no interaction with them (not even the family meal). We were accommodated separately in a room with no access to any communal areas or kitchen as described in the trip information. Varanasi itself was great and the guide knowledgable, even though he deviated from the itinerary.
Review submitted 09 May 2023
Varanasi Homestay Extension
AUD $418