Tourism has a direct and indirect global economic impact of over $7.6 trillion every year, according to Statista. Travelers are spending more money than ever before, and it often feels like they’re getting less and less for every dollar they spend. It now costs between $25 and $200 just to check a bag on a flight, and it seems like airline seats get smaller by the day.
To make up for increased costs, travelers are doing everything they can to make their experiences memorable. This is one reason why adventure travel has been trending. With its huge variety of landscapes, geographic regions, and cultural areas, India is the perfect destination for such travelers. The options for activities are endless, and transit is easy to manage even if you aren’t fluent in the local language. These ideas will get you started planning for your next vacation.
Kayak the Brahmaputra
There are a number of different adventure companies that host kayaking expeditions along the Brahmaputra, which runs for over 1,800 miles from the Himalayas and goes through Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on its way to the Bay of Bengal. Each expedition starts in a different spot, but you can generally expect between 110-125 miles of rafting over the course of 1-2 weeks. You’ll be with a small group, and together you’ll pass through incredible rain forests, mountains, and intense rapids that require patience, strength, and skill to navigate.
Before you book your spot, read reviews of various adventure companies, and make sure you have the training needed to negotiate this intense physical challenge.
Paraglide in Himachal Pradesh
The towering mountain ranges and lush valleys of Himachal Pradesh make it one of the best paragliding and parasailing spots in the world. The Solang Valley, Kullu Valley, and Bir Billing are all considered top destinations for the sport, and there are lots of local agencies that cater to both amateurs and professionals.
Spring and fall are the ideal times for paragliding. Most paragliding adventure companies offer transportation to and from the jump site, and you may even have the option of renting a GoPro camera to capture your experience from the air.
Motorcycle Tour of Sikkim
Sikkim, in the mountainous northern region of India, is home to some of the most critically endangered species in the world. The government enacted a strict tourism policy to protect the region, and efforts are being made to encourage more sustainable forms of tourism, including homestays with local families.
Motorcycle tours of Sikkim have become increasingly popular, as they allow you to witness the spectacular environment firsthand. Depending on where you book, you may be given the option to connect with locals through a homestay or monastery visit. These tours typically last a week, which gives you plenty of time to experience incredible scenery on the back of your motorcycle. To attempt this, you should be an accomplished rider, and be ready to adapt to the local equipment and terrain.
Dune Bashing in Jaisalmer
Dune bashing is an activity where you’re let loose on a massive sand dune in a powerful SUV. Instead of taking part in a traditional Indian safari on camelback, you’ll be given a seat (as either driver or passenger, depending on your qualifications) 4X4 and encouraged to explore the Sam Sand Dunes near the fort Jaisalmer, in the middle of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan and close to the border with Pakistan.
While dune bashing the sand flows like water, which gives the feeling of riding a roller coaster or surfing on dry land. The out-of-control feeling is just part of the fun, and it can be the ultimate adrenaline-packed adventure.