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India – a country that epitomizes excitement and adventure! Travelers flock to India every year and now it’s your opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. Take part in our affordable backpacking tour of India and experience for yourself the wonders of this extraordinary country.

Duration: 13 or 18 days
Dates: Available tour dates
Start time: Meet up 19:00 on day 1
End time: Day 13 or day 18 (depending on length of trip) – late flight recommended
Eligibility: General level of fitness required
Age: 18-39

Highlights

  • Taking part in fun, unique activities
  • Traveling with a group of travelers – perfect for solo travelers
  • Awakening your senses and indulging in authentic Indian food
  • Seeing iconic sites, like the Taj Mahal
  • Having an amazing time in India, without the stresses and costs of independent travel

New Delhi Railway Station, Bhavbhuti Marg, Kamla Market, Ajmeri Gate, New Delhi, Delhi, India

Description

India is a country that travelers can easily become addicted to. It is a destination that everyone should visit at least once. We offer two tour options for India.

Choose from:

  • The 18-day ultimate India tour
  • The 13-day North India tour

These affordable, backpacking group tours will take you to incredible sites across India. This is a fantastic way to travel – you will meet new people, experience activities that are not available to regular travelers and be guided by an experienced guide with extensive local knowledge.

The adventure starts in Delhi.

Day 1 - Delhi

  • The tour begins at 19:00 at the meet up hostel in central Delhi, close to New Delhi Station
  • Tonight, you will be boarding an overnight train to Varanasi

Day 2-3 - Varanasi

  • Arriving in Varanasi, you will head to your second hostel and meet your new adventure leader before heading out to explore
  • Enjoy your first evening group dinner
  • Head to the airport for an internal flight to Agra
  • Optional activities: choose to visit the excavated ruins or the deer park – located at the Sarnath Buddhist and Hindu archaeological site, walk around the city’s old town, visit the Blue Lassi store or watch the sunrise on the Ghat boat tour, which explores the city’s ancient Ghats and finishes with the opportunity to watch the Ganga Aarti ceremony

Day 4-5 - Agra

  • Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal and you will get to see it at sunrise
  • The group will be privately transferred to Jaipur on day 5
  • Optional activities: Watch the Mohabbat – The Taj Show (at the Kalakriti Cultural Convention Center) or explore Agra Fort and the foundations of the Black Taj

Day 6-7 - Jaipur

  • Take part in a private guided tour of Jaipur – the Pink City – including the City Palace
  • On day 7, you will board an overnight train to Jaisalmer
  • Optional activities: Head to the Nahargarh Fort, The Amber fort and the Monkey Temple, indulge your taste-buds by taking part in a city food tour or join an art class

Day 8-9 - Jaisalmer

  • On day 8, you will have time to relax and rest in the morning before lunch (not included)
  • In the afternoon, you will jump in a jeep and the group will be driven into the desert
  • Begin a camel safari that will take you to a campsite – home for the evening
  • Enjoy a vegetarian dinner by the campfire (included)
  • After rising with the sun, you will continue the camel trek to a desert village
  • The group will be taken on day 9, in a private vehicle, to Jodhpur
  • Optional activities: Visit Jaisalmer Fort, head to Gadsisar Sagar Lake for an incredible view

Day 10 - Jodhpur

  • Tour the Blue City by foot, finishing at Toorji Step Well
  • Optional activities: feeling brave? try a zip-line over Mehrangarh Fort, try a Krishna cooking workshop and learn to cook up to 10 traditional dishes!

Day 11-12 - Udaipur

  • Travel early to Udaipur, arriving in the early afternoon
  • Meet your new guide in the evening and watch the sunset onboard a boat cruise on Lake Pichola, soaking in the amazing views of the palace and old town
  • Hop on a night train to Mumbai
  • Optional activities: take time to explore the Old City and City Palace, eat with the group at a lake-shore restaurant, try your hand at a workshop that specializes in local crafts, art, henna, yoga or traditional music (sitar or drums)

Day 13 - Mumbai

  • Arrive in Mumbai in the afternoon and head straight to the hostel
  • You will have the evening free to relax or explore the city
  • This is the where the tour ends so travelers say their goodbyes and either fly home or continue their journeys
  • Optional activities: take part in a pub crawl across the city; join a walking tour, which covers the Gate of Mumbai and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel; visit the Dhibu Ghat laundromat; or tour the Dharavi slum.

What is the 18 day Ultimate India Tour?

On set dates in the year, you can take part in a tour that leaves Mumbai on day 15 to continue to Goa.

Days 13-15 – Mumbai

  • You will take part in the same activities as the 13 day tour. However, the walking tour of Mumbai is included.

Day 16-18 – Goa

  • Land in Goa, arriving at the accommodation in the evening
  • Enjoy 2 free days- perfect for a day relaxing on the beach!
  • Optional activities: Kayak on Goa’s rivers, have a night out or explore the old city

For those on the Ultimate India Tour, your journey ends on day 18. Say farewell to the group and head home or continue your travels.

Accommodation

  • All hostel accommodation is included for the duration of the tour.
  • All hostels are clean, air-conditioned (or have fans), safe and have western showers, WiFi and washing machines.
  • All accommodation has been selected for its character.
  • The entire group will be staying in the same accommodation and you can expect to share a room with 4-8 people, depending on where you are staying.
  • There are a few nights when you will be staying on overnight trains.
  • If you would like to have your own room, you can pay a supplement for this.
  • A full list of accommodation will be provided prior to departure.
  • Pre and post-tour accommodation can be booked for you for £10 per person per night (or £24 for a private room).

Food

  • Food is not included in the tour (unless specified)
  • Adventure leaders will recommend local, affordable and tasty restaurants for group meals. However, you can choose to head to a different restaurant.
  • Standard meals can cost as little as (£1/£1.50).
  • India is a great destination for vegetarians. If you have dietary requirements, you will be able to find a restaurant that suits. The leader can help you with recommendations.

Travel arrangements

Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)

Arrival day: The tour starts at 19:00 so you can arrive the day before or in the morning

Departure day:

For those departing in Mumbai, you will finish on day 13. There are optional activities so we recommend a late flight from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM)

For those on the 18-day Ultimate India Tour, you will finish on day 18 in Goa. To maximize your time in Goa, we recommend a late flight from Dabolim/ Goa Airport (GOI)

Pre and post-tour accommodation is available

Included

  • Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
  • Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
  • Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
  • In-country support
  • Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
  • Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
  • Thorough orientation on arrival
  • Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
  • Advice on visa requirements
  • Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help offset your carbon emissions
  • A combination of Western and local tour leaders (all English speaking)
  • Internal travel – train, boat and internal flights
  • All included activities
  • All taxes and charges

Not Included

  • Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
  • You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
  • Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
  • Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
  • Independent travel costs
  • Home country travel costs
  • Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
  • All optional activities – highly recommended!
  • Cost of food and drinks

 

More Information

Before you depart, a more detailed day-day itinerary will be supplied. The exact itinerary is subject to slight changes and variations depending on the weather and exactly what is going on at the time in India.

You need to be over 18 to do this tour. The upper age limit is 35. If you are healthy and ready for adventure, this tour is perfect for you.

This tour attracts many different types of traveler. What everyone has in common is their desire to learn more about India.

Each tour has enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour leaders. You will have a combination of Western and local leaders. Each leader will have good local knowledge. All Adventure Leaders will have fully equipped first aid kits and are English speakers.

On the tour, there are some optional activities that are mentioned in the itinerary. These prices are approximate:

Varanasi:

  • Sarnath Buddhist and Hindu Archeological Site (200 INR / £2.2 / $3.3)
  • Sunrise Boat Tour (1000 INR / £11 / $16.50)

Agra:

  • Mohabbat The Taj Show – closed in May and June (1500 INR / £16.5 / $24.75)
  • Agra Fort and Black Taj (920 INR / £10 / $15)
  • Local Village Walk (1500 INR / £16.5 / $24.75)

Jaipur:

  • Nahagarth Port (200 INR / £2.2 / $3.3)
  • Art Class (1000 INR / £11 / $16.5)
  • Amber Fort and Monkey Temple (200 INR -only for fort / £2.2 / $3.3)
  • Food Tour (200 INR / £2.2 / $3.3)

Jaisalmer:

  • Jaisalmer Fort (600 INR / £6.6 / $10)
  • Gadsisar Lake and Sunset Viewpoint (Lake is free, viewpoint 100 INR / £1.1 / $1.65)

Jodhpur:

  • Flying Fox (1999 INR / £22 / $33)
  • Cooking Class (1500 INR / £16.6 / $25)

Udaipur:

  • Old City and City Palace Visit (30 INR / £0.3 / $0.45)
  • Prajapati Musical Instrument Class (900 INR -only for fort / £10 / $15)
  • Miniature Painting Art Class (250 INR / £2.7 / $4)
  • Henna Tattoo Class (300 INR / £3.3 / $5) Yoga Class (500 INR / £5.5 / $8.25)

Mumbai:

  • Dharavi Slum Tour (500 INR / £5.5 / $8.25)

Goa:

  • Kayaking (2833 INR / £31.5 / $47.25)

Kochi:

  • Kathakali Show (350 INR / £3.9 / $5.85)
  • Kalaripaytuu Show (350 INR / £3.9 / $5.85)

Up to 20 people can take part in each tour.

There are washing machines in each hostel for you to do your laundry.

At the hostels, you can store your bags. They will be tagged and recorded. This is a very safe system.

Across India, there are 3 key seasons:

  • The hot season – March to June

Temperatures in Delhi and surrounding areas range between 23-36 degrees Celsius at this time of year. Southern India at this time is incredibly humid.

  • The monsoon season – July to September:

July and August is monsoon season. This doesn’t mean that it is raining all day everyday but there is usually a heavy downpour or two each day and then the sky clears – very refreshing!

  • The cool season – October to April

The weather in the south of the country has less variation and remains hot and humid year round. The best time to travel to this region is between November and February. Temperatures can range between 11-26 degrees Celsius in areas near Delhi. It is worth taking layers for the evenings.

You will need a e-visa for India. This can be done online. We will provide detailed instructions on how to apply.

Your passport needs at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India and at least two blank pages for stamping in your passport to get your visa.

You will also need proof of a return or onward journey ticket to be eligible for the e-visa.

You should always visit your GP or local travel clinic to find the most up to date information about vaccinations.

There are many modern medical facilities and hospitals and you will always have access to medical help while you are on the tour.

Whether you are a solo traveler or traveling as a couple, pair or group, you can join the tour.

Throughout your tour, you will be able to communicate with your tour leader. Your tour leader will not accompany you for all activities, but is contactable at all times. For each leg, you will have a different English-speaking tour leader, who is an expert in that area.

Staff at Oyster’s head office and in-country will be responsible for your safety and welfare while you are on the  tour. This will start from the moment you arrive at the meeting point. Before and after these times, you will be outside Oyster’s responsibility and should make sure that you act safely and avoid risk. This is also true if you choose to leave the project during your time off. We will give you plenty of guidance and advice about this.

You can to upgrade to a private room. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person

Room upgrades include single, double and twin rooms:

Delhi-Mumbai 15 days = £250

Delhi-Goa 18 days = £450

All bedding is included. When you camp on the camel safari – camping and sleeping equipment is provided.

There are plenty of ATMs so accessing money in India is straightforward. We advise that you let you bank know in advance that you are traveling.

You cannot pre-order Indian Rupee (INR) – we recommend you take cash to change at the bureau de change at the airport. The country predominantly uses cash, so it is recommended you carry enough for a few days.

The cost of living is relatively cheap in India. Delicious meals can be bought for as little as 100 INR. We recommend you take between 500-1000 (£5.50-£11 / $7-$14.40) for food per day.

Here are some approximate prices:

  • Tea – 5-10 INR (£0.05 / $0.07)
  • Thali – 80 – 100 INR (£0.87 – £1.10 / $1.15 – $1.40)
  • Short taxi ride – 45-75 INR (£0.50 – £0.80 / $0.65 – $1)

Yes, there are so many different options to choose from. The Adventure Leader will be able to help direct you to suitable restaurants.

You will be heading to some remote areas where, depending on your network, your phone may not work, but you can get a local SIM or use WiFi for internet. Please note that the cost of making calls varies depending on what state you are in.

If you want to get a local sim, you will need to do this at the airport and you will need your passport, 2 color passport photos, a copy of your visa and proof of address.

Alternatively, you can us a new system introduce by the government called Trabug. This will provide you with a rented phone.

GMT +5.30 in India

India 3 pin plug (type D) or 2 pin plug (type C)

13-day tour – see dates below:

START DATE END DATE (13 days)
11th May, 2019 23rd May, 2019
15th Jun, 2019 27th Jun, 2019
6th Jul, 2019 18th Jul, 2019
17th Aug, 2019 29th Aug, 2019
14th Sep, 2019 26th Sep, 2019
19th Oct, 2019 31st Oct, 2019
16th Nov, 2019 28th Nov, 2019
7th Dec, 2019 19th Dec, 2019
11th Jan, 2020 23rd Jan, 2020
8th Feb, 2020 20th Feb, 2020
14th Mar, 2020 26th Mar, 2020
4th Apr, 2020 16th Apr, 2020
11th Apr, 2020 23rd Apr, 2020
2nd May, 2020 14th May, 2020
6th Jun, 2020 18th Jun, 2020
15th Aug, 2020 27th Aug, 2020
12th Sep, 2020 24th Sep, 2020
10th Oct, 2020 22nd Oct, 2020
24th Oct, 2020 5th Nov, 2020
21st Nov, 2020 3rd Dec, 2020

 

18-day tour – see dates below:

19th Oct, 2019 5th Nov, 2019
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