Travel With Locals

Have you ever been in a situation where on your visit to famous tourist destination you are forced to wait in long queues just to have a glimpse of over-hyped , over-crowded tourist spot and wished you could have better option to explore that place in terms of local customs & culture instead of following the fixed package itinerary having coordinated guide tours. Have you ever imagined that your travel could be filled with unexpected scenes, encounters and experiences, like in the movies?

Travel with locals is just an answer to this. Travel with locals helps a traveler to have unique tour experience by connecting with locals and experience the local life as it is, not how mass tourism companies masquerade it. People who live in the destination know their place inside out . That’s why only locals can provide you with local activities that are REAL, things to do that don’t appear in any travel guide and helps you to tour the destination from local’s perspective. Travel with locals is about finding those cool and cozy spots that locals’ like to hang out at and missing the tourist traps. You may have also heard about a lot of exciting and fun adventures the area you plan to travel has to offer, yet you have no idea how to get around and find these places.Konark Sun Temple

Just imagine how much easier finding all the action can be if you could travel with locals who could show you all the best places to visit. These local guides are not listing random places either – all the content is created by well selected local editors who write reviews about the places they like themselves and would recommend to their best friends which may include culinary tours to shore, villages, wineries, local markets excursions, local village etc.

Also , private tour guides can easily adapt to the needs of their customers, whereas on a packaged group tour that wouldn’t be possible.There are several websites which assist you with travel with locals guides option like toursbylocal.com , localguiding.com and will give you the insight of your travel plan and the guide before you actually undertake the tour.

How It Works ?

For Travellers : Do you know where you want to go? Then enter your destination and you’ll get a list of all tours and activities in your selected destination. Each tour contains detailed information on the person providing the tour. Look at the tour guide’s profile to learn more about their personality. Find travel tips and advice they have shared with web community. Read their guiding history to get an idea of their competence. Evaluate their quality and reliability by checking reviews from previous clients. To confirm your booking you only have to pay a deposit of 10% of the tour price. It’s as simple as using your credit card or paypal. Click on the “checkout” button to make this down-payment. This will take you to our secure payment page.

After completing your booking you’ll receive an email with full details of your booking including tour guide contact information.

On the day of the tour you’ll have to pay the remaining 90% of the tour price directly to the guide in cash as outlined in the booking confirmation. However, the cost of hiring a private tour guide varies, but for an experienced guide, it is expect to be charged more that price included admission to all of the attractions visited as well as all of subway, bus, taxi and even boat fares.

For Local Guides : The websites sell and distribute tours and activites online. Market your tours with ease. It helps to market the tours with ease. These sites proudly displays the guide behind each tour. Optionally, you can offer instantly bookable tours. Free listings & worldwide exposure. List the tours absolutely free and the websites will then promote the activities to the global audience of travel enthusiasts and partners.

The Golconda Fort – Pride of India

Golconda (sometimes spelled as Golkonda) Fort was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Golconda which flourished in the 14th to 16th century. It is situated 11 kilometers from Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. With walls ranging from 17 to 34 feet broken by 87 semi-circular bastions, some reaching 60 feet in height, and built on a granite hill that is 400 feet high, it remains one of India’s most magnificent fortress complexes.

Even before the Kingdom of Golconda rose in prominence, when the Kakatiya Dynasty ruled the region. According to legend, a shepherd boy found an idol in the area. When this was reported to the Kakatiyan king, he ordered a mud fort to be built around it. The fort eventually known as Golla Konda, which in Tegulu meant Shepherd’s Hill. The area eventually became a heated battleground between three kingdoms, finally culminating in the victory of the Islamic Bahmani Sultanate and the fort became a capital of a major province of the Sultanate. When Quli Qutub Shah declared his independence from the Bahmani Sultanate in 1518, the Qutub Shahi Dynasty arose and Golconda became its seat of power. Over the next couple of decades, successive Qutub Shahi kings expanded the mud fort into a massive and expansive fort of granite, with a circumference that extended to around 5 kilometers. The fort remained to be the dynasty’s capital until it was moved to Hyderabad in 1590. The fort was then expanded to have a 10-kilometer outer wall that enclosed the city.

In 1686, the Mughal prince Aurangzeb started to lay siege on the fort of Golconda, with the intent of claiming Hydebarad, the wealthy capital of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. The fortress proved to be as impregnable as its reputation claimed. In 1687, when Aurangzeb finally managed to breach the fort after a nine-month long siege. It was said that the fort only fell down because of a traitor who sabotaged the gate.

Golconda was once renowned for the diamonds found on the south-east at Kollur Mine near Kollur (modern day Guntur district), Paritala (modern day Krishna district). During that time, India had the only known diamond mines in the world.

Golconda’s mines yielded few diamonds. Golconda was the market city of the diamond trade, and gems sold there came from a number of mines. The fortress city within the walls was famous for diamond trade. However, Europeans believed that diamonds were found only in the fabled Golconda mines.

Magnificent diamonds were taken from the mines in the region surrounding Golkonda, including Darya-e Nur, meaning sea of light, at 185 carats (37.0 g), the largest and finest diamond of the crown jewels of Iran. Many famed diamonds are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Golconda, such as:

  • Darya-e Nur
  • Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond
  • The Koh-i-noor
  • The Hope Diamond
  • Princie Diamond
  • The Regent Diamond
  • Wittelsbach Diamond

Today, even after almost 800 years, the fort still stands as one of Hyderabad’s greatest architectural wonders. One of its greatest engineering marvels is the fantastic acoustic effects: one hand-clap at a certain point below the entrance dome can be heard at the highest point of the pavilion almost a kilometre away. This was said to be used for warning the royals in case of an attack.

The ‘Abode of Gods’- Rishikesh & Haridwar

Rishikesh also known as the ‘Abode of Gods’ is a city in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. Rishikesh is approximately 25 km north of the city Haridwar and 43 km south west of the state capital Dehradun. It is the 7th largest city in the state of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary ‘Kedarkhand’ (the present day Garhwal). Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the demon king of Lanka; and Lakshman, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, using jute rope bridge. The point, where the present ‘Lakshman Jhula’ bridge stands today. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by iron-rope suspension bridge in 1889. It was washed away in the 1924 floods. Then it was replaced by the present stronger bridge.

Lakshman Jhula

In 2013 the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand suffered mass destruction caused by floods natural disaster at the city of Rishikesh. The whole Indian government came to the aid of the people of Uttarakhand. Through these noble acts in no time the home of Gods was ready to welcome the tourists from all over the world. I was very excited and thrilled to go back to Rishikesh again and enjoy the world’s best yoga as the city is also nicknamed as the yoga center of the world. So I planned an itinerary for myself which also included the white water rafting on the foothills of the Himalayas.

Day 1: Nainital to Haridwar (Approx.210 Kms, 5-6 hrs )

Check in Hotel. In the evening visit Har-ki-Pauri to view the holy Ganges Aarti. This is the place where the main bathing takes place. The place is called Brahma Kund, the myths says this is the place where the nectar can be dissolved in the holy water of river Ganges. Visit the market near the place.

Day 2: Haridwar to Rishikesh (24kms/1hr)

After breakfast check-out from Hotel & drive to Rishikesh for some heart throbbing adventure in the Ganga River. The white water rafting starts early morning and its booking can be done through internet and even walk in reservations are most welcome. The best rafting experience in India, which has many pits and many courses that can be chosen. After the tiring afternoon it was time for some sightseeing of Laxman Jhula & local sightseeing. Evening, it was some resting time and the next morning we drove back to Nainital.

Top 5 Spring Break Spots

So midterms are over, and now you are looking for a place to retreat and cool out. Well, below are this season’s 5 most popular Spring Break destinations. Each place has its own unique formula for fun and relaxation. Whether you are looking to kick back and be lazy for 7 days or have a penchant for nonstop excitement, you’ll find that these spots will allow you to experience the best of both.

Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

Pura Vida, the mantra of Costa Rica, captures in a nutshell the sprit and personality of the country. I traveled to Costa Rica with one of my college roommates a couple of years ago. For 9 nights and 10 days we traversed the Central Valley, Northwestern region, and Central Pacific Coast. Our last full day was spent in a vegetative state on a barren strip of beach in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, one of the country’s many national parks and preserves. Imagine yourself sprawled out on the beach… directly in front of you is an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean and about 100 yards behind you a dense rainforest… Ahhhh, the essence of Pura Vida; (Pure Life).

Individuals looking to escape the concrete jungles of America can find refuge in Costa Rica’s naturally diverse landscapes and relaxed culture. Except for the capital city, the country is void of the daily stress and hostility characteristic of urban life. Iguanas, white-faced monkeys, toucans, armadillos, and crocodiles — those are just a few of the forest inhabitants that make the country a rich, ecological wonder.

While there are plenty of resort packages available, backpacking offers the best cultural experience and the best bargains for the budget traveler. During my 10-day trip I spent less than $100 total on lodging. My favorite spot was Cabinas Iguana Keanda. This budget lodge is located in a small town called La Fortuna about 6 km from an active Volcano. During the day we could see the smoking volcanic mountain from our cabin, and at night, we could hear it grumbling and spewing lava rocks. 

If you are a thrill seeker, like I am, your options are endless. I went white water rafting in the Sarapiqui River, hiking around the Arenal Volcano, rappelling down a waterfall near Quepos, and trekking through the Monteverde Cloudforest.

Costa Rica is my top pick for Spring Break 2004. It is an unforgettable, life changing experience.

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau

Meet the Bahama Mama: 1 fluid once orange juice. 1 fluid ounce pineapple juice. 1/2 fluid once each of rum, grenadine syrup, and coconut-flavored rum. 1 cup crushed ice. Blend and serve over powdered white beach.

Hungry? Try some conch fritters with a side of fries and crab. When you are tired of eating and sun bathing by the crystal clear water, go shopping on Bay Street or brush up on your golf game at one of the best courses in the Western hemisphere.

Nassau is a perennial Spring Break hotspot, because it has all of the ingredients you need for a great vacation. Island activities cater to the college crowds. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a few of your classmates.

During the day you can parasail, scuba dive, waterski, and snorkel (best if done before the Bahama Mama). At night, make your rounds at the clubs, pubs and casinos. Whatever you decide to do, it is impossible not to have a great time in Nassau.

Negril, Jamaica

86 degrees, a soft warm breeze, and the riddums of Bob Marley in the background — welcome to Jamaica, 146 miles of leisure and relaxation. Negril is on the far west end of the island, and its claim to fame is a seven-mile strip of the best beaches in all of Jamaica. On this uninterrupted stretch of white sand you will find small outdoor eateries, live music, beach bars, and the typical beach and water activities. For the exhibitionists, there are a few nude beach areas as well.

In the evenings, nothing beats watching the colorful sunsets over Negril’s 45-foot cliffs. You can grab a front row seat at one of the restaurants and hotels dangling on the edge. Instead of beach below, the cliff side has rocky bluffs and caves for adventurous swimmers to explore.

After the sun goes down, you can enjoy the bonfires and music on the beaches. During Spring Break some of the beach side hotels host concerts (they had Ziggy Marley a few years back). Negril is the largest tourist city in Jamaica so accommodations are plentiful. It is the perfect place to experience a calmer side of the Caribbean.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Everything you heard about Rio is absolutely true. The city shamelessly indulges all of the five senses and in the process, creates about five more. Home of the samba and bossa nova, Rio has a rhythm and soul unmatched anywhere in the world. The culture is colorful and dramatic, the city breathtaking and beautiful.

The nightlife will have you sleeping most of the day, but once you awake there is plenty to see: the Tijuca Rainforest, Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountains, and the famous Impanema and Copacabana beaches. Those interested in the cultural arts can visit one of the many galleries and museums. If you are hungry for Brazilian cuisine, I hear that feijoada is a must try.

Rio has a spice for all tastes and budgets. Pack a thong and some sunscreen, and leave all of your inhibitions at home.

Los Cabos, Mexico

Lovers Rock in Los Cabos, Mexico

Last spring I took a trip to Los Cabos with my compadres. As a bartender passed us our tequilas he said “what happens in Cabo, stays in Cabo.” So out of respect for the Cabo code, I won’t say which Fortune 500 CEO we saw pass out, inebriated that night. But if one of us owned a T720i cell phone camera (hint), I’d have some great photos for this story.

In Los Cabos happy hour is all day and every night. The resort town is built exclusively around tourism. West Coast people know it well, and for many Californians, Cabo is a weekend playground. It is located in Baja California about 1000 miles south of San Diego. The land is basically desert, so it barely gets a drop of rain.

Extracurricular activities include golfing, ATV tours, parasailing, sportsfishing, surfing, and of course partying until you pass out. New clubs and bars pop up often, but the most famous (and wildest) are the Giggling Marlin and El Squid Roe. Los Cabos is what Spring Break is all about.