Varanasi Homestay Extension

4 Days | Lift your spirits in the sacred Varanasi.

3.8 out of 5 based on 12 reviews submitted.
Short breaks
NZD $473
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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 39.87 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.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management.

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.


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

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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


3.8 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.

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Teresa · Traveled March 2024
From beginning to end we were shown gracious hospitality by our guide Anu and our hosts at Gauri villas, Bhindu and Pa
Review submitted 21 Mar 2024

Carole · Traveled March 2024
I would highly recommend a Varanasi Homestay. The home is well located, comfortable and clean with very welcoming hosts. Breakfast was delicious with best Marsala Omelettes I have had in India. Transport to important sites in Varanasi were well planned and my guide was very knowledgeable abd protective I believe Varanadi homestay should be included in everyone’s itinerary to India
Review submitted 07 Mar 2024

Sarah · Traveled February 2024
Varanasi was a great extension to our Classic Rajasthan trip. We enjoyed our homestay, it was really special to meet the family and stay in their home. The breakfasts were nice and helping with dinner preparations was fun. Our guide was a local and an expert on all the sites we visited. The temples were all unique and interesting and the sunrise and sunset boat trips on the Ganges were fantastic.
Review submitted 01 Mar 2024

Annette · Traveled January 2024
Let bed the Varanasi extension to our Premium India trip. Amazing experience. Gauri Villa was a good experience - family were very friendly helpful and inclusive.
Review submitted 30 Jan 2024

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
Varanasi Homestay Extension
NZD $473