Map of Essential North India including India

Your Geckos trip, North India Explorer, has moved here to Intrepid.

From October 1st, Geckos Adventures tours will be run by Intrepid Travel under our brand new 18 to 29s range.

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Dive into Delhi, Varanasi, Agra and Bundi on this awesome jaunt around India

Ride a rickshaw in Delhi, brush up on your bargaining skills in Chandni Chowk and have a spiritual experience in Varanasi. Snap the ultimate selfie in front of the Taj Mahal, see pink in Jaipur and eat endless amounts of pakoras, samosas, tandoori, chicken tikka masalas and other delicious dishes. On this immersive adventure you won't just see North India, you'll experience it.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.


Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Delhi, India
Destination
India
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
HHYV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • The Taj Mahal may be one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, but do you know its poetic history? A local expert will fill you in.

  • Explore Amber Palace and snaps pics in front of a slew of other ornate pink-hued buildings in oh-so-pretty Jaipur.

  • See pilgrims praying and bathing along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during an unforgettable sunrise cruise in Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities.

  • The stepwells of Bundi are deeper than late night conversations. But this is an enlightening experience that won't judge you afterwards.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves some long bus and train rides, which can be tiresome but offer a quintessential Indian experience. You’ll be taking a few overnight trains, including a 13-hour trip from Delhi to Varanasi, a 11-hour trip from Varanasi to Agra and a 10-hour trip from Bundi to Delhi.

  • 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.

Itinerary

Namaste. Welcome to Delhi. Meet your tour leader and new travel mates at a 6 pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. Wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. If you prefer some structure, there's a variety of Urban Adventure day tours that offer a great first taste of Delhi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
This morning head out on a walking tour around the commercial heart of Delhi, visiting Chandni Chowk (Sheeshganj Gurudwara) and Connaught Place along the way. Explore Old Delhi on a bicycle rickshaw to dig that little bit deeper. You'll then have some free time to do as much sightseeing as you can, before boarding an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi. The journey should take around 13 hours and you'll arrive into Varanasi early in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive into Varanasi early and head straight to the hotel to freshen up before plunging head first into this holy city, which is one of the world's oldest. Explore the narrow laneways and backstreets on a walking tour with your guide, before watching the world pass by along the ghats. Your evening is then free to do as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Wake up early and experience one of the highlights of your time in India. This morning, jump in boats and watch the sunrise over the Ganges. Pilgrims bathing, cremation fires and riverside haircuts - India is best before dawn and this is the best way to see it. The rest of your day is free to explore, before catching an overnight train to Agra tonight (approximately 11 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive into Agra early this morning, then head to the most iconic site in India, the Taj Mahal. The highlights of India just keep coming. You have a full day to explore Agra on a motorised rickshaw trip, with Agra Fort being another incredible optional activity in the afternoon. The rest of your day is then free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Jump on a bus this morning and travel for around four hours to Rajasthan's pink capital, Jaipur. On arrival into the city stop off at the Hawa Mahal (pink sandstone palace) before heading to your hotel. Use the opportunity to freshen up and then venture out for a walking tour of the old city. In your spare time, perhaps take an optional tour of the Jaipur City Palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of Day 7, between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of your trip notes. Later in the morning, enjoy a guided tour of the medieval Amber Fort with a local guide. The rest of your day is then free to explore Jaipur on your own.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal photo stop
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR500
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel for around five hours this morning to Bundi, a tranquil town that feels like a world away from the chaos of Jaipur. Home to the famed stepwells (stairs that descend to pools or water or wells) and a ruined hilltop castle, it's a compact town best explored on foot. Meet your local guide and see this charming town through his eyes. Your guide will take you around the stepwells, Bundi Palace and may even point you in the right direction of best cup of chai in Rajasthan.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bundi - Stepwell
  • Bundi - Palace
  • Bundi - Town walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day to check out more of Bundi. Perhaps spend the day exploring the city's 50-odd stepwells. Stroll narrow lanes of blue houses, one of the many enduring signs of the Bundi's royal past. Or check out some of the city's temples or lakes. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with another cup of chai before settling in for this evening's ten-hour overnight train journey. Tonight, you'll hop a train bound for Delhi. 
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive into Delhi early, with the day free to do some more exploring. There are shopping experiences aplenty or perhaps book an Urban Adventure to get your last proper taste of India. An optional group dinner tonight is a great way to finish a memorable trip in this remarkable country.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Your North India adventure ends after breakfast this morning. If you'd prefer to stay on in Delhi a little bit longer, then additional accommodation can be booked prior to travel (subject to availability).

Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Culture Vulture Urban Adventure - INR2500
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Auto-rickshaw, Cycle rickshaw, Jeep, Public bus, Private vehicle, Overnight sleeper train, Train

Accommodation

Heritage Property (3 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal photo stop
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Bundi - Stepwell
  • Bundi - Palace
  • Bundi - Town walk

Dates & availability

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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

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available for purchase on this trip. This single supplement covers all nights with the exception of night 2,4 and 9 on the overnight train.
2. 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 minutes. 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. USD 250 payment must be made in cash. Flights are subject to weather conditions and tickets are fully refundable.

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.