North East India Self Drive Tour (17D/16N)
Reviews 2 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
Min Group Size Medium Group
Our North East India self drive tour explores 5 of the 7 sister states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Nagaland, and their lesser-known cultures and pristine environs.
Assam is the gateway to the Northeast and the most populated city in the region is its capital city, Guwahati. The state is famous for its colorful festivals, simple yet delicious cuisine, the mighty Brahmaputra river, and vibrant culture. Our North East India tour begins and ends with Guwahati, the largest city in Northeast India.
Arunachal Pradesh is a land full of mystique and hardly explored by local tourists. Called the Land of the Dawn lit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh is a giant patch of green and white on the map. Most of Arunachal Pradesh’s terrain consists of deep valleys flanked by highland plateaus and ridges that rise to the peaks of the Great Himalayas.
Located about 29 km from MacMahon Line (that separates India from China), the breathtakingly beautiful Mechuka Valley lies in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. With a name that literally means the medicinal water of snow, this surreal valley has picture-postcard views of snow-capped peaks, vast meadows, and evergreen pine forests. Until recently, the bowl-shaped valley was known only for its airfield – it was one of the crucial strategic locations during the 1962 war with China – and became accessible by road only a decade ago.
Kohima is the state capital and the largest inhabited area of Nagaland. It is the land of the Angami tribe and was named after the wild Kewhi flower which grows in the mountains. Kohima is located at an altitude of 1500m and offers a beautiful view of the lofty Japfu Peak and the surrounding Naga Hills. The quaint town has become a popular travel destination in recent years as it hosts thousands of visitors every year during the colorful Hornbill Festival organized by the tourism department in the first week of December.
Meghalaya is often referred to as the Abode of Clouds and is a crown jewel of the North-Eastern states of India. The ever-growing tourist hotspot can wow you with its stunning waterfalls, pleasant climate, gorgeous valleys, lakes, caves, and lively culture. However, the focal point of tourism seems to be the numerous, scenic waterfalls scattered all over the hill region, and these attract thousands of people to the heavenly state each day. And we get to cover a lot of these during our North East India self drive tour.
Manipur is often referred to as the Crown Jewel of India, with its exotic landscapes, graceful traditions, beautiful people, and a bounty of unspoiled nature. It’s a place to mysteries, unexplored cultures, delectable cuisines, and geographical variety and is home to interesting tribes such as the Nagas and Kukis. Sadly, not much is known about this Indian state apart from the Manipur capital of Imphal. So, here’s our list of 10 off-the-grid places to visit in Manipur!
Total kilometers for this adventure ~ 2,500
Driving Days – 15
Road Conditions – Mix of tarmac, dirt roads, broken tarmac, snow, & black ice
Refund & Cancellation process for the North East India Self Drive Tour
5% of the total amount to be deducted towards GST for any time cancellation
5% of the total amount paid on website or payment gateway link to be deducted as payment gateway charges
90% of the total amount to be refunded if canceled on or before 30-July-2021
50% of the total amount to be refunded if canceled on or before 30-August-2021
No refunds if canceled on or after 15-Sept-2021
No shows will lead to Zero refunds
Refunds would be processed and settled within 30 days from the date of cancellation
Cancellation due to any Force Majeure or natural calamity would lead to rescheduling of the North East India tour
**All tariffs are on a per-person basis**
- Hotel stay on twin sharing basis
- Deluxe camp stay on twin sharing basis
- Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
- Morning tea, evening tea, and light snacks
- Pick up & drop to and from Guwahati airport/railway station
- Lead SUV with Moto Overlanders tour leader & tour manager
- Emergency food supplies, first aid kit in lead SUV
- Limited stock of water, snacks, etc
- Inner line permits
- Moto Overlanders goodies
- Tire inflator and puncture repair kit in the lead vehicle
- Route planning and trip management
- Entry ticket to select monuments
- Your flights/trains to and from Guwahati
- Vehicle rentals, fuel, tolls, parking fee, and other vehicle-related costs
- Any additional food item not mentioned in the Includes section
- Kaziranga safari charges
- Single room accommodations. Room upgrades
- Any kinds of insurance
- 5% GST
- Alcohol, cigarettes, and personal items
- Early check-in or late checkout at the hotels
- Traffic fines due to wrong driving
- Fees for activities
- Liability for change in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control like change in flight and train schedule; cancellation of flights/trains, political disturbances, natural phenomena, etc.
Arrive in Guwahati
The first day of our North East India tour is for you to reach Guwahati and check in to your hotels. You can spend the day exploring Kamakhya temple, Brahmaputra river, and eat a traditional Assamese dinner. In the evening, we take delivery of our vehicles and head back to the hotel. We end the night with a pre-trip party and dinner at a local restaurant.
Guwahati to Bomdilla (270 kms, 8 hours)
Drive through Guwahati onto the national highways as we travel across the Brahmaputra river towards Kalaktang, Rupa, and finally Bomdilla. This is an offbeat route that goes through rural areas, off-road stretches, and village roads.
Bomdilla to Tawang (180 kms, 6 hours)
After breakfast, we make our way through Bomdilla town towards Tawang. On the way, we cross the Sela Pass – altitude 14,000 feet! The ride won’t be easy as we battle cold weather, snow, and the threat of AMS at those altitudes. But our highly experienced team knows exactly how to tackle these situations.
Stay in Tawang
After breakfast, we head out to the idyllic village of Zemithang. This is the last village civilians are allowed to travel to and is right next to the Indo-China border. If the weather is conducive then we cover Bum La and explore Madhuri Lake as well. The itinerary for the day includes sightseeing in the Tawang area. We will cover the famous Tawang Monastery, the War Memorial, Tawang Market and engage in some shopping in the evening. At night, we will arrange for a traditional meal to be served for all of us.
Tawang to Dirang (135 kms, 5 hours)
Time to head back and Dirang will be our first stopover on the way back. After crossing the Sela Pass yet again, we take a rest day in Dirang. In the evening, we take a stroll through the Dirang market and/or drive to the Dirang Monastery. We can also explore the stunning Sangti valley located an hour away.
Dirang to Tezpur (200 kms, 7 hours)
Time to go down into the flatlands as we drive through the dusty roads towards Tezpur. The city is rich in Ahom culture and a great spot to chill by the Brahmaputra. An evening sunset by the Brahmaputra is the icing on the cake!
- Day 7 Tezpur to Kaziranga (150 kms, 4 hours)
Kaziranga to Kohima (215 kms, 7 hours)
So far, we’ve traveled through Assam and Arunachal, and now it’s time we head into the land of the Nagas! We drive to Kohima city, the hub of tourism and culture in Nagaland and the largest city of the state. We check into our hotels in the evening and rest for the day. At night, we are served some lip-smacking local cuisine!
Stay in Kohima
The plan for the day includes visiting places like the World War II Memorial, Reconciliation Church, State Museum, Kisama Heritage Village, and a couple of small villages in the region. Along with this, all our meals with be traditional Naga meals as we immerse ourselves in the local culture and cuisine.
Kohima to Imphal (140 kms, 5 hrs)
Time to bid adieu to Nagaland as today we cross borders and drive to Manipur’s capital city, Imphal. It’s a short 5-hour drive that will take us through beautiful rural stretches in Nagaland and Manipur. On the way, we get to drive past the popular villages of Kigwema, Zakhama, and Viswema that we covered a day back! After checking into our hotel in Manipur, we explore the Kangla Fort and the East Gardens.
Stay in Imphal
Driving out of the city, we make our way towards Loktak Lake. This is the largest freshwater lake in North East India and is the only floating lake in the world! Right next to it is the Keibul National Park and it’s the only floating national park in the world! Such experiences are the highlights of our North East India tour!
Imphal to Silchar (250 kms, 9 hrs)
Hope you are well rest as we have a long drive ahead. From Imphal, we make our way back into Assam. The drive from Imphal to Silchar goes through the mountain stretches and will take time to complete. Silchar is a major cultural center in Assam and after checking into our hotels in the evening, we head out to explore the city and its food!
Silchar to Shillong (210 kms, 8 hrs)
Once again we drive through state borders, as we head into Meghalaya today. Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya and the base to cover the most famous spots in the state. From Silchar, we will drive through mountainous terrain, and several ghats to get to Shillong city. It will be a tiring drive but we get to see beautiful landscapes on our journey.
Stay in Shillong
Meghalaya has a lot to offer and we make the most of our time here. Right after breakfast, we head out towards the surreal crystal clear waters of Dawki, near the Bangladesh border. On the way to Dawki, we also get to visit, Mawlynnong which is Asia’s cleanest village! After a round of boating in Dawki, we head North towards Krang Shuri falls. These are probably one of the most scenic waterfalls in India and a must-visit site. The visit to the falls will take a couple of hours post which we head towards Shillong city. For dinner, we visit a local restaurant that serves authentic Khasi delicacies.
Stay in Shillong
Waterfall time! Located just an hour away from Shillong, is Cherrapunjee, once the wettest place on earth. We don’t want any rain but the plan is to cover a few of the most scenic waterfalls in the Cherrapunji region. Along with that, we take you to the mysterious Mawsmai caves too. While in Shillong, it is a must to visit the famous Police Bazaar. In the evening, you are free to walk around the market while engaging in shopping and eating street food.
Shillong to Guwahati (100 kms, 3 hrs)
It’s the last day of the tour and time to head back to Guwahati. But before, we do that we still have some sight-seeing to do in Shillong. After breakfast, we take a walk inside Ward’s Lake post which we drive towards the Grand Canyons of India, Laitlum. The gorgeous views of the canyon will leave you spellbound as it presents a pretty sight of the surrounding landscapes. On the way, we stop over at Smit village for a quick peek into this quaint Khasi settlement.
Post lunch, we drive down the hills and back to Guwahati. The evening will be spent on a boat trip on the Brahmaputra river followed by a traditional Assamese dinner. The vehicles will also need to be returned at the end of the day!
Depart from Guwahati
This is the end of the North-East India tour and you will be dropped at the airport or railway station for your journey back to your home cities!
Click on the below menu to see the list of questions
Every tour is personally delivered by both our trip leaders, who will be your tour guides and trip leaders respectively. Here is an intro to our team
Yes. In Guwahati, we can help you connect with vehicle rental vendors and you are free to select a vehicle of your choice.
We recommend vehicles that have high ground clearance and a minimum engine capacity of at least 1,200 cc. Since you will drive across off-road terrains, the car should have the capacity to take on such roads, carry the weight of passengers and luggage, etc. Ideally, something equal to or better than a mini SUV will do the job.
We encourage our guests to experience the local cuisines of the destinations we travel to. In remote areas, we might not get options for eating different cuisines. During our North East India tour, we will ensure you get wholesome, tasty, and hygienic food wherever we go.
The northeast region of India has a mix of different landscapes, from the flatlands of Assam to the mountain passes of Arunachal. During this tour, you will travel through highways, off-road stretches, village roads, broken asphalt – basically any kind of terrain might come our way.
To make our tours eco-friendly, we do not encourage using packaged drinking water. We recommend that you carry your own water bottles and refill them in every hotel we stay in. However, we will keep a supply of water with us in case of emergencies.
Our North East India tour is designed to blend in homestays, hotels, and resorts in each destination to balance comfort with the local experiences. All your accommodations will be clean, hygienic, comfortable, and safe.
While driving, we should have access to public toilets/hotel toilets. But there will instances where there are none and you will have to answer nature’s call in nature.
We carry a basic first aid box with us and encourage you to carry your own medicines as well. In case of an emergency, we take you to the closest available medical center. We would also request you to share any pre-existing medical conditions and allergies if any with us
Here is the list of all documents you will need for the trip
- Original Aadhar card
- Original driver’s license
- 10 passport size photographs
Yes, but these meetings are not necessarily in person. Before the tour, we will get in touch with you through email/phone or face to face sessions, and brief you about things like what to expect during the trip, basic ground rules, things to pack, etc.
November 26, 2021 - December 12, 2021
December 13, 2021 - December 29, 2021