Adventurous Things to do in India
I use either Get Your Guide or Viator when looking for day trips. GYG has great options but limited, and I wrote a post about their top tours in India. For this article, I’m going to link to Viator just because they have more inventory and more reviews from people who took the tours. I am an affiliate of many companies, which means I get a percentage, so I could link to any (this isn’t sponsored for Viator), I just think they have the best options for adventure in India.
This is going to be day trips or 2-day trips max, not big tours over multiple destinations (see my favorite long-term tour options here from G Adventures). These prices are going to be higher than what you could negotiate in person but they are sort of obscure so you might not be able to even find who you would need to negotiate with. Beyond that, I am getting feedback from you guys that you want to have things a little more organized on your trip and don’t want to just wing it because of the stress. You don’t have to book these way in advance, and I suggest doing it as you go along so you don’t feel “stuck” on a certain schedule.
Almost all of the tours mentioned below included pick-up and drop-off from a hotel, bus station, train station, or airport. Most include at least one meal and a snack. I also checked reviews and made sure to put only tours that had good feedback of at least 4/5 stars. KEEP IN MIND: prices fluctuate from peak season to monsoon and are set by the tour operator (not Viator) so they can change and might be slightly different from the price I saw when I looked.
Adventure 1-day and 2-day tours for India that you should totally consider while traveling here, regardless of your budget, based on my favorite India travel memories!
1. Explore Kerala’s Backwaters + the Best of Kochi $85
The backwaters are usually the top thing that travelers want to do in India. Personally, I loved it but felt that a day was enough and staying the night was a little bit too much (it wasn’t that comfortable and it got boring after a full day). This is a day tour, not overnight. They show you the best of Kochi like the Chinese fishing nets then you go on the famous houseboats. There are dozens of tours for backwaters but this is the highest ranked. Book the backwater tour here.
2. Cycling through Udaipur at Sunrise $44
Udaipur is so stunning. It’s the “white city” and the most romantic city in India. There’s a lot to do for tourists which is all in my guide to Udaipur, but this sunrise cycling trip is pretty unique. It starts in the empty quiet city and goes out into the hills. Breakfast is included and you’re dropped to your hotel before 10 am – a great start to the day! Book the Udaipur cycling trip here.
3. Playing Holi in a Safe Environment in Delhi $87
Holi is the festival of colors, one of the most popular festivals in the world, and on many people’s bucket lists. When Holi rolls around, I get about 30 messages a day from mostly girls asking where they can play Holi and stay safe. Delhi is usually where people are, and I tell them to find a private “pay to enter” party as it keeps the riff-raff out. Festivals in India can get out of hand with bhang and drinking – leaving men to feel it’s “okay” to grope a little. I myself have been groped on Holi in Goa. Someone jumped in my car and grabbed me. I recommend playing Holi with local friends and if you don’t have any, this “tour” is a great option to see a traditional day of Holi with a family, food, and of course, lots of colors. This festival will be in March 2018. Book the Holi tour here.
4. Experience Diwali with a local family in Delhi $92
Diwali is the famous festival of lights. Of course, it would be best if you knew a friend of a friend in Delhi so you could do this for free, but in case you don’t I recommend at least ONCE while in India trying to do a homestay or spend a day with a local family. You learn SO much. It’s no secret I didn’t love Delhi on my first visit but I started to like it when I revisited and stayed with friends who were living there. This is an expensive tour, in my opinion, but the only one there and it does include transportation, meals, and more. If you lucky enough to be in India during Diwali, it’s worth considering since it’s such an epic holiday. The date will pop up once it’s set, sometime late October or early November. Book Diwali here.
5. Cycling tour of the top attractions in New Delhi $32
Delhi can be stressful as a tourist and haggling for rickshaws is no fun. You can do a cycling tour to see all the top attractions like Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Chandni Chowk without stress for just around 30 bucks which is such a good deal. It’s a giant crowded city of 19 million people so having a little group with you will make you feel safe and make sure you have no FOMO over top attractions in Delhi. Plus, riding a bicycle will make it all more fun! Breakfast is included and the food in Delhi is great. Book this cycling tour of Delhi.
6. Cycling around Mumbai $29
Similar to the tour above, I thought I’d mention this bicycle tour of Mumbai. Mumbai was the first place I ever went in India and I saw a lot from walking and taking the local train. It is hectic and fun, but not for everyone. Doing a tour may suit you better. I checked out the itinerary and it covers all the hotspots and top attractions. I would do this at the beginning of your time in Mumbai as after the tour you’ll have a better handle on the best areas to hang out in the city.