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10 reasons to join a small group tour

WHY COMMUNITY-LED TOURISM
Tour leader Nick shows his Mising neighbourhood in Majuli to our guest on a scooty ride

When it comes to a relatively lesser known states of North East India like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and the neighbouring sisters, it becomes quite hard to plan a trip owing to the lack of correct guidelines and information available online. In regions like these, planning becomes painful and tiresome even for the solo traveller.

It is easier in other popular destinations in India to land with a plan to play it by ear and figure each day as it comes. While this would definitely be an adventure on its own here, you would need a lot of time and luck on your hands to truly experience and learn what the region can teach – from its seasons to its diverse cultures

Table of Contents

WHY SET DEPARTURES?

WHY SET DEPARTURES trek
Guests on our fixed departure to Nagaland
Our Set departures are small group tours with fixed itineraries and dates. These trips are mostly all inclusive trips which cover stays, transfers, experiences and meals.
At ChaloHoppo, we limit our groups to a maximum of 12 guests to ensure intimate and immersive experiences.

Our itineraries are handpicked and carefully curated keeping in mind the interests and needs of the 21st century traveller- one who likes to travel hassle-free without compromising on quality. The trips are led by well-versed tour leaders who are supported by experienced local guides throughout the journeys, both of whom make sure that you have a memorable experience in the North East of India.

1. Regional Expertise

Our groups tours are curated through a lot of research, frequent visits and knowledge on the region. As locals from the North East of India, we are always proud and excited to share every diversity of culture, food, nature and experiences the region has to offer. We want to ensure that you experience the best of what is on offer so that you keep coming back and recommending us to your friends and family. From your permits, to your stays, experiences and transportation, to your food preferences, everything is looked after by our passionate travel and operations team.

Our experienced tour leaders not only coordinate the finer details of the tour but also are the storytellers and translators who ensure you go back home actually learning about and truly experiencing the places that you visit.

nick and his family with guest Aakangsha Monga after a wholesome Mising meal in his home
Nick and his family with guest Aaakangsha Monga after a wholesome Mising meal in his home
You just need to hop on board and put your learning cap on! Your days with us will be memories that we guarantee that you will cherish forever.
“Nick, our trip lead made our days truly mesmerising. Apart from leading a group really well, he really is a fantastic human being - always going over and above for us. Oh, and he's super fun to be around - from playing his guitar, dancing on Bollywood songs, to random singing sessions while on hikes - Nick will truly make you feel in love with life. His passion for travelling and love for meeting new people just rubs off on you!”
ChaloHoppo Logo
Soumya P
Traveller

2. Convenience!

Yes, We take care of everything, so you can focus on what truly matters. You may be unable to find the time to plan and organise a trip from scratch but extremely keen to try new experiences. We understand that your days of travel are hard earned. The last thing that you should be facing are more challenges- whether it be during the planning of the holiday, or during it.
We make sure to find the best stays, guides and drivers to work with. We chalk out itineraries according to what works best for the season (there may be a local festival that you didn’t know about!). Finally, we book the properties, guides and drivers well in advance. Without this step, it would get difficult during peak seasons. This entire process is revisited and checked thoroughly because we understand the hard work that it takes to earn a holiday. If you are trusting us with those few days in the year, we will leave no stone unturned to make sure you have one of the most memorable holidays of your life.

One of our groups on our Meghalaya group departure all geared up for their adventure
“The water activities which included kayaking and swimming and cliff jumping were exhilarating and adrenaline pumping to be honest. Our interactions with the local community and village members helped us understand a different side of Meghalaya and their culture and history as well. Overall a fantabulous experience and will definitely recommend everyone to join ChaloHoppo. Kudos to John, Pritika and Arnamitra for all the ground work and research that goes into each trip.”
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-Anirudh S.
Traveller

3. Meet new people with similar interests

One of the best reasons to join a group set departure is that these trips often prove to be a space for like-minded people to meet each other. It is an amazing experience meeting people from different parts of the world, from all walks of life, of all ages – all interested in the same things as you.
meghalaya group photo

In these fast paced times that we live in, it is extremely refreshing to break away
from our normal, our comfort zone, and go into a space where nobody knows you and vice versa. To top that, to go into a space with new people, all of the same interests and from different parts of the world, is an experience that we can guarantee that you will love. Certain trips are immersions into local culture whereas others are action packed adventures. Pick your chapter based on your interests and meet others who have done the same.

Although the idea of coming together with strangers to go on an adventure might seem strange at first, it’s actually a great way to meet new people you’d never meet otherwise. There’s a good chance you’ll come home with lifelong friends from all over the world!

We take great pleasure in saying that in the 7 year journey of ChaloHoppo, we have not just made, but also facilitated countless friendships that have extended well beyond the trip, a couple of which have even grown into stories of happily ever after.
“It was a very different experience than the usual holidays one goes for, being a beautiful one with the kind of people that we met and the crrrrazy adventures we had, not to mention the amazing friendships that I got to make!”
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-Ritika N.
Traveller

4. Alone but not alone

Being in its nascent stages of tourism, there are quite a few challenges when it comes to travelling alone in the region. For example, transportation and taxi services mainly exist within the circuits that are important for the work and movement of the local communities and mainstream tourism. A lot of the hidden gems are off these circuits and organising private taxis for these getaways prove to be complicated and expensive for travellers due to the lack of an organised sector for the same. Moreover, shared taxis mostly leave at dawn so it becomes quite a rushed holiday. Also, with only limited properties to stay, places get booked out early and the best local guides (crucial to truly understand the beauty and culture of the region you visit) are hard to find.

Considering these factors, among many more, we believe that one of the best ways to travel around and truly experience the states of the North East of India, especially if you are a solo traveller or someone who is travelling with a friend or loved one, is to join a Set Departure. We have had the pleasure of hosting quite a network of solo female travellers who keep returning to travel and explore the North East with us!

“I planned my very first solo trip with Chalo Hoppo and it was the best one. Got to explore many beautiful and adventurous places.”
ChaloHoppo Logo
-Priyanshikha S.
Traveller

5. Travel with friends without organizing anything

Group tours don’t necessarily mean that only solo travellers are welcome. If you have a friend or two that you want to travel with, but you just don’t have the time or energy to get down to planning the finer details of the vacation, all you need to do is find a group tour that suits your interests and sign up! Everything is planned to the T and with tried and tested itineraries, you are sure to have a blast.

For groups above 3, we would recommend that you get onto a call with our travel experts and tailor-make your dream vacation plan to North East India. That way, you can do exactly what you want, when you want!

6. A smaller hole in your wallet with no compromise on quality

Apart from flights, the most significant expenses while travelling (especially solo)
are generally local transportation, accommodation and experiences.
For transportation, the luxury of having your own reserved vehicle to take you to the
best of spots along your journey, in a way so as to make the most of your day
makes a huge difference to the overall experience. Similarly for stays, the North
East of India does not really have too many backpacker accommodations or
hostels. It is hard to find lodges offering separate rates for single occupancy.
In a Set Group Departure, all of these costs (and other advantages such as a
knowledgeable tour leader and guides) are shared amongst the different travellers.
As local travel experts, we get the best deals for top properties and vehicle rentals
(along with smart, responsible drivers). With all these factors, it is safe to say that group set departures with ChaloHoppo are the most economical way to experience
North East India without compromising on comfort and quality.
Value for money? Absolutely.

A smaller hole in your wallet with no compromise on quality

7. Safety and Reassurance

Travelling alone can be a little intimidating. Most people don’t feel comfortable traveling on holiday alone, especially on a trip to one of the most unexplored regions of India. Many of our travellers often like to plan those last-minute solo holidays to the North-east, but don’t feel safe, and at that point of time, it’s quite difficult to find a travel partner. To add to that the travel restrictions in certain areas as well as COVID-19 safety measures, planning a thorough trip can get tricky and overwhelming.

Joining our set-departures, you can rest easy that all your logistics are taken well  care of.

“In terms of safety for solo female travellers, it was a 10/10 for me without a doubt. The team was extremely professional and were always available to clear any doubts or issues that we had with the itinerary/place etc. …this trip has been top tier for me, and I am already looking forward to going on a trip with them again!”
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Ritika N.
Traveller

8. Hidden Gems, secret stops and new experiences

Tenny jamming with guests by waterfall

As a locally run tour company, we have a team of experienced local guides who know the best hidden spots along the different trails. To maintain a difference, it is important that all the fun is not exposed in the itinerary. Some things are best left off the internet. We also tell our guests to treat it the same way. Get ready because you will get to experience a few surprises along the way!
Also, our tips for the best food and experiences in the region are unbeatable. With local experts like Tenny the rockstar in our team, serenading you with his musical genius by a waterfall, it really does not get better than this.

“ChaloHoppo is not just any other travel company. They will take you the offbeat locations around NorthEast which are still unexplored but are way way better than the all the touristy locations around here.”
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-Deepak J
Traveller

9. Re-discover yourself

Whether it is traditional cuisine, crafts, language or music, we find new interests in new spaces and communities. You knew that a gayan bayan performance would leave you speechless or a dense forest trek in Meghalaya filled with myths, legends and folklore can transport you to different realms of reality? Old passions are ignited, new ones are cultivated. Make new friends who will cliff jump into crystal pools with you and guides who will always look out for you.

Most importantly -

10. A small group tour to ensure you have intimate and in-depth experiences in the region, with the region.

With maximum sizes of 12 people per group tour, we make sure that you can have experiences on an intimate level – whether it is sharing a bowl of local alcohol and fire-cooked food with your local host, or jamming to guitar songs next to a waterfall in Meghalaya with your new friends. We strive to create meaningful bonds with the region and its people through travel – we believe it is not the time spent together but the depth of each experience and value of shared conversations that matter. We simultaneously work on creating awareness amongst our guests on how they can be responsible travellers who can give back positively to a region that hosts them, no matter where they travel to.
Our guest tries her hands at pottery in Salmora, Majuli
“While the meticulous planning and the organizational skills indeed stand out, I would like to highlight the warm relationship they build with the guests. I am still hungover by the Chalohoppo experience. Even now I can vividly recollect the treks, hikes, swimming, the crystal-clear water, camp fire, jamming sessions reliving some classic songs, storytelling, dance and many more."
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-Nipun V
Traveller
“ If you want to work little hard and see the less explored trails, then these are the guys. …I also appreciate that their team follows and support eco ways of exploring such as no plastic water bottles. I would also take a note and appreciate all the travelers with us who religiously followed these instructions. We carried our trash with us till we found a suitable garbage can to dispose off.”
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-Rohit A.
Designer
CHALOHOPPO VALUES

So what are you waiting for?

As proud advocators of the region and everything it has to offer, we know that between the 8 states, there is something or the other for everybody’s interest. Whether it be the white sand by the mighty Brahmaputra in the Assam plains, or the frozen streams and the white snow at 15,200 ft in Arunachal Pradesh, or sunlight seeping through the dense green forests of Meghalaya – the terrains and landscapes of the region hold within them immense cultural and natural heritage that is yet to be fully seen and understood through our hearts. With that, let us take you on a journey of a lifetime through our favourite itineraries and show you how it’s done! What are you waiting for? Here is a list of our group trips!

Want a customised itinerary instead? Here are some reasons why you should get your tour tailor-made with us

Our Set Departures