7 experiential travel outfits for your Great Northeast India trip

Northeast India

India’s Northeast is a fascinating land of rich traditions, ancient practices and deeply held culture. The region's bountiful nature and the delicious local food that makes every meal a culturally symbolic experience makes travelling in this part of the country richly rewarding. This region, just like the rest of the country, is not homogenous. Ideally, you should be making multiple trips to cover each distinct part of the region. Whether you are planning to explore one state (or even one portion of a state) or you intend to traipse across multiple states in the Northeast, it is best to put your holiday in the hands of an experienced travel outfit that has deep roots in the region and works closely with the local community. Here’s our list of 8 RT operators who can help create your dream Northeast India holiday:

1. Kipepeo

This Northeast India and Bhutan focused RT operator has been running trips in the region for over a decade. It works only with locals on all its trips and works with local NGOs and communities on conservation, development and livelihood related activities. They organise truly immersive fixed departure and customised trips in the region. Importance is given to interactions with the indigenous communities, understanding their ancient and sustainable practices and traditions and living with them in their homes as much as possible. Its fixed departure tours an interesting mix of active holidays and cultural tours. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/kipepeo/37

2. Curtain Call Adventures

Started by textile designer and Northeast native Julie Kagti, Curtain Call Adventures offers curated and customisable tours for small groups in the Northeastern states of India. They specialise in trips built around special interests like tribal textiles, local cuisine or performing arts. They offer scheduled and customisable trips. Another speciality of the travel outfit is its kid-friendly tours. Named Little Roots, these family tours are organised keeping in mind the needs of the littlest travellers in the group. It follows many RT practices and particularly works closely with the craft communities and artisans of the Northeast through textile tours. Read more:  https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/curtain-call-adventures/338

3. Holiday Scout

Run by young Arunachal Pradesh native Sange Tsering, Holiday Scout offers customised and fixed departure adventure, pilgrimage, wildlife, cultural and environmental tours to various parts of Northeast India. Guests are guided by locals from the communities they are visiting. Travellers stay in local homestays or at eco-resorts or guest houses. Travellers will also get an authentic taste of regional and homemade cuisine not just in the homestays where guests will halt, but also on the route at small local kitchens that only locals know of. Read more:  https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/holiday-scout/275

4. ChaloHoppo

ChaloHoppo’s experiential tours place an emphasis on local interaction while staying in homestays. In order to enable these getaways, the ChaloHoppo team cultivates relationships with the local tribal population of these areas, research with them the perfect getaway for guests, as well as teach them the finer points of hospitality so that they can grow. They offer some unique tours, like a chance to play a football tournament with a local team in Cherrapunjee! Read more:  https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/chalohoppo/259

5. Eastern Routes

This Meghalaya-based outfit offers tours in all the Northeastern states. It offers over 50 carefully curated itineraries, ranging from shorter tours of less than a week focused on one region/locale or a festival to longer tours of almost a month that cover multiple states in the Northeast. The tours cover a wide variety of experiences, like local cuisine, festivals, handicrafts, wildlife and trekking. They also offer trekking and camping trips in the Northeast that focus on jungle survival skills like learning to find drinking water in the wild or starting a campfire without matches. Read more:  https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/eastern-routes/319

6. Majuli Tourism

Run by a native of Majuli Island in Assam, Majuli Tourism offers itineraries across the region. Its ‘Border Tours’ to areas close to India's borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar or Tibet are quite unique. The Majuli focused itineraries are the mainstay. The largest river island in the world, Majuli is a unique ecosystem of people and fauna and flora. The island tours organised by the outfit give travellers an insight into the way of life on this island. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/majuli-tourism/292

7. The Folk Tales

Winner of IRTA 2018 Gold Award in the Best Cultural Immersion Operator category, The Folk Tales is not a purely Northeast India focused outfit. However, this outfit that is quite focused on its RT credentials and goals offers some great tours to the region and ensures it works very closely with the local communities there. It organises tours to Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/operators/folk-tales/74

8. Camping Co

This is for those who want to do independent travel in the region by road but want some support system. Camping Co is a young venture that offers recreational vehicles on short term rent from Guwahati for travellers to explore the Northeast. The overlanders come equipped with camping gear and rooftop and ground tents. Travellers can also rent out a camping kit, which includes camping essentials like folding chairs, barbeque, metal kettle and mugs. They also partner with camp sites run by locals in the region ensuring travellers have access to kitchens, restaurants, toilets and charging points while on the road. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/camping-co/309