There’s probably no other country on the planet that blazes its way into your memory like India.

Years later, you can still hear the morning calls of the chai wallahs and the silence of the desert, see smoke curling over the Ganges and a pale gold Varanasi sunrise. A lot of India tours rush from highlight to highlight, ticking them off in a blur of temples and tikka. But not us. Our India trips are more about spotting Bengal tigers in Ranthambhore or Panna National Park, hanging with nomads in Jaisalmer, meeting the holy men of Pushkar or camping under the stars in the desert. This isn’t just the India you see on postcards. This is India as it is. Raw, bizarre and totally addictive. 

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

India tour reviews

Articles on India

India travel highlights

Transport in India

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in India, you may find yourself travelling by:

Travellers sit in the back of Jeep in India Bijaipur


Safari through jungles and national parks aboard a jeep, which is ideal for conquering the difficult terrain and offers supreme wildlife viewing opportunities.

India & Nepal Adventure

Northern India Family Holiday

Delhi to Kathmandu

Classic Rajasthan

Passengers seeing Udaipur from a boat


Cruising the waterways of India is a revealing, inspiring experience. Whether it’s the iconic Ganges or peaceful Kerala backwaters, seeing India from the water is a must.

Iconic India

India South & North

Classic South India

Southern India

South India Revealed

Passenger looks out window on Udaipur Mumbai Ovenight Train

Overnight Sleeper Train

Travelling by train is one of the great experiences of India. It's a system which looks like chaos, but it works - and well. Click here to read more about travelling by train in India.

South India Revealed

North India Revealed

Indian Getaway

Delhi to Goa

Real North India

Travellers getting around Delhi by metro


Use the efficient metro to get around the sights and suburbs of Delhi.

Best of India

Rajasthan Adventure

North India Highlights

India's Golden Triangle

Travellers exploring Old Delhi by auto rickshaw

Auto Rickshaw

Zip around the big cities of India by auto rickshaw.

Delhi to Kathmandu

Delhi to Goa

North India Highlights

Real North India

Accommodation in India

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in India you may find yourself staying in a:

Tordi India local family at window


Make new friends, feast on authentic home cooking and receive kind hospitality while staying with friendly families in India.

Iconic India

India South & North

Southern India

South India Revealed

Jungle resort accommodation in India

Jungle Resort

With walks, wildlife spotting and adventure sports nearby, staying in a jungle resort is the perfect way to see another side of India.

India South & North

Southern India

India Udaipur City Palace

Heritage Stay

From ex-royal palaces to historic hill stations and converted forts, India is full of heritage properties that have been turned into comfortable accommodation with an old-world touch.

Northern India Family Holiday Comfort

Classic Rajasthan

Indian Getaway

India's Golden Triangle

India holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit India
Culture and customs
Food and drink
Geography and environment
History and government
Sensory Experiences of India
Festivals and Events in India
Health and Safety
Further reading

India travel FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce: 

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

India’s climate varies from place to place but the best time to visit, generally speaking, is in the winter, from December until early March. The whole country tends to get very hot from April onwards and most regions experience the summer monsoon in at least June, July, August and September.

Read more about the best time to visit India

India can be overwhelming sometimes but most travellers enjoy their time in India without any problems. That said, some regions experience ongoing issues, and there are several things a traveller should keep in mind when travelling through India to minimise their chances of running into any trouble.

Read more about safety in India

Yes, all foreigners entering India will need a visa. Whether you can apply for an e-visa is dependent on your nationality, the duration of your India tour and how you plan on entering the country.

Read more about India visas

While travelling through India, on a tour or otherwise, it’s expected one would tip porters, drivers, restaurant staff and other service workers given the low wages they earn.

Read more about tipping in India

Internet access is generally very good in India, with most cafes, restaurants and accommodations offering free wi-fi, even in the more rural areas. There is also good phone coverage for data use if you choose to purchase a local SIM card to stay connected for the duration of your India tour.

If you do wish to purchase a local SIM in India, make sure your phone has been unlocked before your tour begins. There are quite a number of carriers that are all very competitive, but Airtel is probably the best option for travellers. You’ll need to a copy of your passport and visa to pick up a SIM, and the process can sometimes be a hassle, but rates in India are very affordable given the competition.

Yes, you’ll be able to use your mobile/cell phone while on an India tour, but only if you have activated global roaming or purchased a local SIM card.

Read more about phones in India

Squat toilets are the most common toilets in India. Always carry your own toilet paper and soap or hand sanitizer, as they are usually not provided. Flushable, Western-style toilets can be found in up-market restaurants, some higher-end hotels and in some tourist areas.

India’s unit of currency is the rupee. Prices here are approximate and shown in US dollars for ease of comparison.

  • Cup of tea = USD 0.20
  • Small bottle of beer = USD 2 
  • Meal at a local restaurant (thali, masala dosa or similar) = USD 1–2
  • Meal in a tourist restaurant = USD 4–8

India is notorious among travellers for sickness – we’ve all heard horror stories about Delhi belly. We do not recommend ever drinking the tap water in India, and travellers should avoid drinks with ice and foods that haven’t been cooked or peeled. Salad is off the menu for now ­– let your inner-child rejoice!

Read more about water in India

Credit cards are being accepted an increasing number of cafes, shops, restaurants and accommodations in India, with Mastercard and Visa being the most common. That said, cash is still king, especially outside of cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

Read about money in India

ATMs are widespread across India in both cities and smaller towns. Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus and Maestro are the most commonly accepted cards, but of those Visa and Mastercard are more likely to have success. The daily withdrawal limit differs from bank to bank.

The weather in India varies from region to region, but it’s generally safe to say that December–February sees dry, cooler weather before the heat intensifies from March–May. June, July and August are the monsoon months, though the amount of rain differs across the country, while October, September and November see rainfall ease once more.

Read our regional breakdown

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

India has different classifications of holidays because of the multitude of faiths in the country. There are compulsory holidays and then various others chosen by government offices within each state. The following are the compulsory ‘gazetted holidays’ taken by government offices across India:

  • 26 Jan Republic Day
  • Feb/Mar Maha Shivaratri
  • Mar Holi
  • Mar/Apr Rama Navami
  • Apr Mahavir Jayanti
  • Mar/Apr Good Friday
  • May Buddha’s Birthday
  • May Eid ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan)
  • Jul/Aug Eid ul-Adha
  • 15 Aug Independence Day
  • Aug/Sep Janmashtami
  • Aug/Sep Islamic New Year
  • Sep/Oct Dussehra
  • Oct Birth of the Prophet Mohammed
  • 2 Oct Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday
  • Oct/Nov Diwali
  • Nov Guru Nanak Jayanti
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

The dates of some of these holidays change each year, often across a number of months, as they are celebrated according to the Indian lunar calendar or the Islamic calendar.

For a current list of public holidays in India, including the movable dates noted above, go to:

Discretion is still advised for LGBTQIA+ travellers in India, as it is for couples of any sexual orientation, as public displays of affection are frowned upon in India. Though homosexuality was decriminalised in 2009, it was again made illegal in 2013, then decriminalised once more in 2018. 

Read more about LGBT India


Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

Learn more about Accessible Travel

What you decide to pack and wear in India will depend on where you are and what time of year it is. The weather across India usually follows the monsoon cycle, so it’s quite easy to plan what to pack when it comes to rain, but temperatures will vary quite a bit from the north to the south.

Read more about packing for India

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Travellers buying coconuts in Mumbai

How we're giving back

In India, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.

Similar Destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from a variety of locations around India. The option below may be of interest:

Kathmandu to Delhi