Sri Lanka sigiriya
Yonder-India-Indiamaingallery7
Nepal Mustang lowres

The vast peninsula separated from the Eurasian landmass by the Himalayas, is the size of Europe and home to some 1.89 billion people in six countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan (some add the Maldives).

Over centuries, the Mughal emperors, the Rajputs, the Muslim sultanates, the Sikh empire, the British colonialists, all left their imprints on the land and the people. The result is that modern South Asia can be a bewildering patchwork to the outsider. The variety of religions and cultures in the region is staggering. More than 450 languages are spoken in India; the mountain kingdom of Bhutan, with a population of less than a million, has some two dozen languages of its own.

If it can be bewildering, it’s also exciting. The history, the geography, the arts, the cuisine and, it must be said, the rivalries, make the region endlessly fascinating.

And it’s not all about the past. The burgeoning economies of the region fuel talk of the coming Asian Century. Bangladesh now has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. India’s pharma and telecoms industries are world-class and it has a highly developed space programme.

Yes, there is still much poverty, and some political uncertainties, but there’s also huge optimism for the future. It’s the future that makes South Asia so exciting today.

Alternatives to Goa

Five places like Goa without the downsides

Goa is renowned as India’s major beach destination, with everything from luxury resorts to makeshift huts, but its popularity has come at the cost of overdevelopment, Westernisation and a sometimes over-rowdy party culture. However, there is much more to India’s beach scene than trance parties and Westernised towns. Fortunately, there are still many coastal destinations in India that are similar to Goa, but which have escaped some of the downsides of mass tourism...read more

16 days

Everest Base Camp

The classic route to Everest Base Camp
View itinerary
14 days

Annapurna & Poon Hill Sunrise Trek

A customisable trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary and Poon Hill
View itinerary
14 days

Forbidden Mustang & Walled City Trek

A trek through Nepal’s restricted Tibetan side
View itinerary
15 days

Manaslu Circuit Trek

A wilder, quieter and more remote trek to see Himalayan giants
View itinerary
15 days

Helambu & Langtang Trek

Crowd-free trekking on Kathmandu’s doorstep
View itinerary
8 days

Classic Golden Triangle

Explore the culture and history of northern India
View itinerary
13 days

India's Golden Triangle & tigers

Taj Mahal and Rajasthan tiger safari
View itinerary
21 days

Classic northern India

The Golden Triangle and Rajasthan by train, plane and automobile
View itinerary
  • India

    India

    A dazzling kaleidoscope of colour
    Over one billion people and 23 major languages — India is one of the world's most diverse places...
  • Delhi

    Delhi

    Start your Indian adventure in capital city Delhi...
  • Agra

    Agra

    Your arrival into Agra will give you your first glimpse of the world-famous Taj Mahal...
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    ...
  • Rajasthan

    Rajasthan

    The Land of Kings
    Rajasthan is a riot of colours...
  • Jodhpur

    Jodhpur

    Known as the Blue City, Rajasthan’s second largest city is dominated by the formidable 15th century Mehrangarh Fort...
  • Jaipur

    Jaipur

    Known as the pink city, Jaipur is a Rajasthani royal city that offers spellbinding sights and sounds...
  • Ranthambore National Park

    Ranthambore National Park

    Located in the heart of Sawai Madhopur district, Ranthambore National Park is a tiger reserve and former hunting ground of maharajas...
  • Ajabgarh

    ...
  • Nagaur

    ...
  • Narlai

    ...
  • Udaipur

    Udaipur

    The City of Lakes is undoubtedly the most romantic place in Rajasthan...
  • Delwara

    ...
  • Jaisalmer

    Jaisalmer

    ...
  • Pushkar

    ...
  • Bundi

    ...
  • Kerala

    Kerala

    Exploring God’s own country
    Kerala is one of India’s most beautiful states...
  • Kochi

    Kochi

    The port city of Kochi (also known as Cochin) is Kerala's biggest conurbation, but is actually made up of a collection of tiny islands and outcrops...
  • Munnar

    ...
  • Eravikulam

    ...
  • Kumarakom

    Kumarakom

    Kumarakom is the perfect jumping off place for houseboat tour in Kerala...
  • Alleppey

    ...
  • Thekkady

    ...
  • Periyar National Park

    Periyar National Park

    Found near Thekkady in the Western Ghat mountains, Periyar National Park is home to sought after populations of elephants and tigers...
  • Kottayam

    ...
  • Varkala

    ...
  • Mangalore

    ...
  • Kannur

    ...
  • Wayanad

    ...
  • Cheruthuruthy

    ...
  • Kollam

    ...
  • Kovalam

    ...
  • Mumbai

    ...
  • Goa

    ...
  • Maheshwar

    Maheshwar

    The holy town of Maheshwar sits alongside the sacred Narmada River about two hours south of Indore in Madhya Pradesh...
  • Karnataka

    ...
  • Tamil Nadu

    ...
  • Chennai

    ...
  • Nepal

    Nepal

    The country at the top of the world
    With the spectacular Himalayas running down its eastern side, it’s no surprise Nepal is known as the roof of the world...
  • Kagbeni

    ...
  • Dolpo region

    Dolpo region

    A vast and little known swathe of western Nepal...
  • Lo Manthang

    ...
  • Upper Mustang

    Upper Mustang

    Shrouded in mystery and completely closed to outsiders until 1992, walking here is as much a cultural experience as a mountain one...
  • Langtang Valley

    ...
  • Annapurna region

    Annapurna region

    Home to the Annapurna Circuit, the classic walk of Nepal and one that for many years was hyped as quite simply the single best trek on the planet...
  • Everest Base Camp

    Everest Base Camp

    A trek to Everest base camp is as much a pilgrimage as a straightforward trek, but there’s much more to the region than ‘just’ Mt Everest...
  • Kathmandu

    ...
  • Pokhara

    ...
  • Jomsom

    ...
  • Machha Khola

    ...
  • Phakding

    ...
  • Gokyo Lakes

    ...
  • Tengboche Monastery

    ...
  • Kala Patthar

    ...
  • Cho La Pass

    ...
  • Namche Bazaar

    ...
  • Makalu

    Makalu

    Isolated villages, forests hung in mosses and orchids, high yak pastures and, finally, the rock and ice wastes around Makalu base camp for some of the most inspiring mountain vistas in Nepal...
  • Chitwan National Park

    ...
  • Dharapani

    ...
  • Larkya La Pass

    ...
  • Manaslu region

    Manaslu region

    The worlds eighth-highest mountain, surrounded by steamy lowland valleys and fields of rice slowly giving way to ice coated passes haunted by snow leopards and who knows what else...
  • Poon Hill

    ...
  • Machhapuchhare Base Camp

    ...
  • Thasang

    ...
  • Tatopani

    ...
  • Galeshwor

    ...
  • Chisapani

    ...
  • Gul Bhanjyang

    ...
  • Magingoth

    ...
  • Tharepati

    ...
  • Surche Phedi

    ...
  • Lauribina

    ...
  • Thulo Syabru

    ...
  • Lama Hotel

    ...
  • Kanchenjunga

    Kanchenjunga

    Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain on Earth and the hike to the base camp of this daunting peak is one of the most exciting treks in...
  • Langtang region

    Langtang region

    Visible from central Kathmandu, Langtang has some of the most accessible trekking in Nepal – if it weren’t for the traffic you could almost walk from your guesthouse straight to the mountains...
  • Kyanjin Gompa

    ...
  • Lobuche

    ...
  • Far West region

    Far West region

    A landscape of deep, dank forests, sparkling sheets of water, lonely mountains crushed in ice and snow, narrow canyons and ancient villages...
  • Dingboche

    ...
  • Syabru Besi

    ...
  • Pheriche

    ...
  • Monjo

    ...
  • Ghorepani

    ...
  • Lukla

    ...
  • Chhomrong

    ...
  • Sinuwa Hill

    ...
  • Deurali

    ...
  • Dovan

    ...
  • Annapurna Sanctuary

    ...
  • Soti Khola

    ...
  • Philim

    ...
  • Machhapucchare Base Camp

    ...
  • Samdo

    ...
  • Namrung

    ...
  • Lho

    ...
  • Deng

    ...
  • Phortse

    ...
  • Ghilin

    ...
  • Samar

    ...
  • Larkya Glacier

    ...
  • Chhusang

    ...
  • Tange

    ...
  • Yara

    ...
  • Lumbini

    ...
  • Pashupatinath

    ...
  • Mount Dhaulagiri

    ...
  • Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka

    Ancient civilisation and endless beaches
    From ancient ruins to a vibrant and welcoming contemporary culture; from lazy afternoons on glorious beaches to hikes through the rolling hills of tea country and wild elephant spotting in untouched national parks; this is a destination that truly has it all...
  • Tangalle

    Tangalle

    Laidback Tangalle in Sri Lanka’s south is one of the region’s more relaxed beach destinations, combining simple guesthouses and some upmarket hotels...
  • Yala National Park

    Yala National Park

    Southeast Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park is the country’s most visited wilderness reserve...
  • Polonnaruwa

    Polonnaruwa

    Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka, a thriving centre of commerce and religion...
  • Udawalawe

    Udawalawe

    Sri Lanka’s finest national park is home to herds of elephants, wild buffalo, crocodiles and leopards...
  • Colombo

    Colombo

    Cosmopolitan Colombo is more than just the gateway to Sri Lanka...
  • Haputale

    Haputale

    The hillside town of Haputale is a little-visited stop on the train route into tea country from Kandy to Ella...
  • Knuckles Mountain Range

    Knuckles Mountain Range

    The Knuckles Mountain Range – also known as the Dumbara Mountain Range – is home to 34 peaks and offers plenty of treks for hikers to explore, with waterfalls, tiny villages and elusive mountain animals part of the experience...
  • Galle

    Galle

    The historic fort town of Galle is best explored on foot, allowing you to take in its grandiose colonial buildings, ancient temples and mosques and many quirky side streets...
  • Kandy

    Kandy

    Central Kandy is one of Sri Lanka’s most significant religious sites, being home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – a tooth from Buddha himself...
  • Gal Oya National Park

    Gal Oya National Park

    Gal Oya is the most untouched of all of Sri Lanka’s national parks and is the only one where you can take a boat safari...
  • Wilpattu National Park

    Wilpattu National Park

    Wilpattu translates as ‘natural lakes’ in Sinhala and ‘10 lakes’ in Tamil, so it’s no surprise what the main attraction is in this national park...
  • Trincomalee

    Trincomalee

    The port city of Trincomalee is best-known as a gateway to the beaches and resorts on Sri Lanka’s east coast...
  • Batticaloa

    Batticaloa

    Batticaloa has only recently started to attract tourists again with the colonial buildings, Old Dutch Fort and the vibrant blue and white St Mary’s Cathedral...
  • Jaffna

    Jaffna

    Jaffna, in Sri Lanka’s far north, offers an insight into the country’s Tamil culture...
  • Anuradhapura

    Anuradhapura

    One of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura is a world heritage site with historical highlights including the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya, the Jetavanaramaya stupa and the Abhayagiri Vihāra...
  • Mihintale

    ...
  • Paramakanda Rock temple

    ...
  • Ella

    ...
  • Dambulla

    ...
  • Minneriya National Park

    ...
  • Horton Plains National Park

    Horton Plains National Park

    Primarily made up of cloud forest and montane grassland, Horton Plains National Park is in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, accessible from Nuwara Eliya...
  • Bundala National Park

    ...
  • Mirissa

    ...
  • Negombo

    ...
  • Bentota

    ...
  • Sigiriya

    Sigiriya

    Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s main attractions, a natural rock formation that erupts from the surrounding forest and topped with an ancient fortress...
  • Pigeon Island National Park

    Pigeon Island National Park

    Named after the rock pigeon that can be found on Pigeon Island, the national park is one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka...
  • Kalpitiya

    Kalpitiya

    More recently developing a tourism industry, Kalpitiya is made up of fourteen islands mostly populated by fishermen...
  • Arugam Bay

    Arugam Bay

    Tucked away on the eastern edge of Sri Lanka and with only a handful of local hotels and guesthouses, Arugam Bay is regarded as one of the top surfing destinations in the world...
  • Nuwara Eliya

    Nuwara Eliya

    Capital of its namesake district, Nuwara Eliya, sometimes referred to as ‘Little England’, is one of the key tea making cities in Sri Lanka...
  • Bhutan

    ...
  • Maldives

    Maldives

    Perfect beaches and the best diving in the world
    Made up of more than 1,100 individual islands, the Maldives is home to arguably the world’s finest beaches...
  • North Male Atoll

    ...

Places to go in South Asia

South Asia Tours

The Ultimate Everest Trek

The alternative route to Everest Base Camp

19 daysFrom $1,935
Everest Base Camp, Kathmandu, Gokyo Lakes, Kala Patthar, Cho La Pass, Namche Bazaar
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking & Trekking, Active

Everest Base Camp Trek

The classic route to Everest Base Camp

16 daysFrom $1,625
Everest Base Camp, Kathmandu, Phakding, Kala Patthar, Namche Bazaar, Dingboche
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking & Trekking, Active

Annapurna & Poon Hill Sunrise Trek

A customisable trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary and Poon Hill

14 daysFrom $1,350
Annapurna region, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Poon Hill, Machhapuchhare Base Camp
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active

Mustang Multisport Adventure

Epic bike, hike and rafting adventure

12 daysFrom $2,890
Upper Mustang, Thasang, Tatopani, Galeshwor
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking & Trekking, Water Sports, Active, Biking, Nature & Wildlife

Forbidden Mustang

A trek through Nepal’s restricted Tibetan side

14 daysFrom $2,235
Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Culture

Manaslu Circuit Trek

A wilder, quieter and more remote trek to see Himalayan giants

15 daysFrom $1,750
Nepal
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active

South Asia Travel Companies

Yonder

Tailor-made luxury holidays to Asia
South Asia, Southeast Asia
Custom itinerary, Private guided tour
Safari, Luxury, Beach, Family, Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Culture, Spiritual

Snow Cat Travel

Group & private tours to Nepal
Nepal
Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Responsible Travel, Conservation

Experience Travel Group

Boutique holidays for curious travellers
South Asia, Southeast Asia
Custom itinerary, Private guided tour
Safari, Luxury, Beach, Family, Nature & Wildlife, Culture

Secret Paradise Maldives

Maldives local island experts since 2012
Maldives
Custom itinerary, Private guided tour
Cruise & Sailing, Beach, Family, Adventure, Water Sports, Active, Diving, Snorkelling, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel

Third Rock Adventures

Private and tailor-made holidays in the Himalayas
South Asia
Custom itinerary, Private guided tour
Family, Adventure, Backpacking, Climbing, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Walking, Nature & Wildlife, Photography, Culture, Responsible Travel, Solo Travel

Compass Holidays

Self-guided walking & cycling tours
Europe, South Asia
Custom itinerary, Self-guided tour
Family, Active, Walking, Biking, Nature & Wildlife

Active India

Tailor-made luxury, cultural and active tours of India
India
Custom itinerary, Private guided tour
Cruise & Sailing, Safari, Luxury, Beach, Family, Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Biking, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Responsible Travel

Travel Max Guide

Day tours and treks in the Himalayas
Nepal
Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Solo Travel

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