Visit India and experience a kaleidoscope of colour and cultures
Travel to the far-flung corners of India on this trailblazing adventure tour. In the north, ride camels through Jaisalmer's desert, lose yourself in the electric bazaars of Jodhpur, witness pilgrims performing ancient ceremonies on the ghats of Varanasi and marvel at the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. Bask in the tropical southern climate, cruise along the Kerala Backwaters and come face-to-face with local customs in small rural towns. This fantastic trip finishes off on the gorgeous beaches of Goa – India's idyllic beachside holiday destination. Enjoy the freedom to be immersed in the diverse cultures of colourful, chaotic and enchanting India.
Experience old and new India in the bustling streets of Delhi, where ancient temples stand against billboards advertising Bollywood films
Discover the ancient forts, lake palaces, rural villages and colourful cities of Rajasthan: sandy red Jaisalmer, blue Jodhpur, white Udaipur and pink Jaipur
Ride out into the Thar Desert on a camel safari. Feast on Rajasthani cuisine at sunset before bunking down to camp between the sand dunes
The Taj Mahal in Agra may be one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, but its poetic history and beauty have the power to surprise even the most jaded travellers
Pushkar and Varanasi are among the holiest cities in India. Climb to hilltop temples at sunrise, dodge cows in the street, and observe pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during a boat cruise
A homestay with a local family is a special experience, especially in the serene backwaters of Kerala
The city of Madurai showcases southern India at its liveliest. Explore the city’s bazaars and discover the colourful, intricately carved Sri Meenakshi Temple
Visit the World Heritage-listed Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, a spectacular monument surrounded by ruins
Golden beaches and age-old fishing villages make Goa one of India’s most tranquil retreats – and the perfect last stop on your adventure
This trip involves some long bus and train rides, which can be tiresome but offer a quintessential Indian experience.
Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned and a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender. For your own security, take a lock for your hand luggage.
We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.
Depending on the time of year, temperatures in northern India can get very hot and very cold. Please bring layers and a range of adequate clothing, including thermals and sun protection.
When camping in the Thar Desert, you’re truly in the middle of nature, so conditions are basic and there are no toilet facilities. Please bring water, face wipes, hand sanitizer and any other supplies you may need.
You will also be travelling by local bus on this trip. While conditions are basic, this is a great way to rub shoulders with the locals while enjoying the passing scenery.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Iconic India trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. The internal flight from Delhi to Trivandrum and the airport transfers on Day 22 are NOT included. . There may not be many direct flights on this day with a lot of flights going via Mumbai or Chennai. If you can get there before 6pm you can join the new joining meeting. If not, your leader will be able to update you in the morning.
2. Please see website for Pushkar Camel Fair dates
3. This trip is a combination of two of our most popular departures. As such the make up of your group and your tour leader may change on day 22.
JAIPUR HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHTS
Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March.
Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost.
You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip.
Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$250pp (subject to change)
Flights are subject to weather conditions and tickets are fully refundable in case of poor weather.
Our Iconic India trips score an average of 4.28 out of 5 based on 18 reviews in the last year.
Research your destinations before you leave so you are aware of the top things to do or see. I found this time efficient at each destination. Take the correct sized luggage as it will make your travel much easier. A small-med soft case with wheels or backpack is best for train & buses. There are many steps to carry your gear so do not overpack what you cannot manage. You can easily hand wash & dry lightweight clothes in all the accommodation as generous big buckets are in India's bathrooms. During Feb-April, 42 days, I never sent laundry out. Take a line & pegs. Walking sandals are ideal along with thongs. Take a pumice & nail brush to clean your feet. Having the transport and accommodation organized by Intrepid made my tour hassle free. I took the initial airport arrival transfer to become orientated on arrival after a long flight. It is better economically to barter for your own or with another in your group at the end of the tour. I did two consecutive tours, being four airport transfer costs. It was a huge saving. You will be well practiced in bartering by the end of your tour. Dress with respect and the locals will love you for it. Always carry a light scarf. A little caution of the touts and sellers, but India is a fun country; the people are lovely and helpful. I went with caution and had a delightful time, enjoying it much more than I ever expected. Wonderful sights and destinations; the best of India is really her people. I would happily and easily return feeling confident to travel alone.
Review submitted 10 Apr 2018
The trip is promoted with a good balance of included and optional activities. It gives a broad introduction to an enormous and diverse country and it's cultures.
Review submitted 30 Mar 2018