Though there are many spots to visit in Dandeli, they aren’t far from one another. Two days is sufficient for a sweet vacation in Dandeli or at least to visit all the must-see places. Here’s how you can plan out your Dandeli itinerary.
Before we get into the trip, let’s get into the most important part of travel – packing your bags!
What to Pack for Dandeli
For two days, here are some items you’ll need:
- 2-3 sets of clothes – I recommend light summer clothes. Heavy wet clothes (like jackets) are difficult to return with.
- Plastic bags – for those wet clothes.
- Flip-flops/espadrilles/sandals – or something you can take on and off quickly.
- Sun-screen lotion
A backpack with these items is the minimal requirement. Missing some of them? Look for items you need here:
Since I live 50 kilometers away from Dandeli, it isn’t troublesome to travel. However, most tourists come from Bangalore and Goa. So book your stay much earlier. Dandeli is a popular tourist spot – it’s difficult to get a room on spot.
For those who carry valuable items on travel, also consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance is necessary when you’re visiting a dangerous or theft-prone spot.
Dandeli is safe, but you’ll be around the Kali river a lot and you’re sure to get soaked while rafting. Anyway, check out HeyMondo for travel insurance. Oh, and all my readers get a 5% discount on their purchase through my referral link.
1. Check-in Resort in Dandeli
Arrive early in the morning and check-in your resort, homestay, or wherever you’re residing at. It’s best to check-in before you visit any place. Leave your bags behind and carry a smaller pack.
Rafting or any of the other activities, be sure to carry a change of clothes while stepping out. Sunscreen lotion can also come in handy – it’s optional.
Dandeli is a jungle-ish area alright. But a pair of sandals would do better than shoes. With water activities, you’ll be taking off your footwear often. And you’ll mostly be out here for water activities, so the sandals or flip-flops (even better) are suggestible.
Transport: Plan out your transport firsthand. See if your resort has transportation facilities. If you wish to use your own transport, a four-wheeler is recommended. It can get difficult if your bike breaks down, services are not available for kilometers. The best option (and the one we chose) would be to hire a car with a driver.
Check out how our trip went on my other post: Dandeli Travel blog
The drivers in Dandeli know their roads well and have contact with others in the area in case of emergencies as well.
2. Start with Water Activities
After unpacking at your stay, go straight for water activities (this doesn’t include rafting). This can differ in situations. Sometimes, your resort can suggest you start with rafting right away. You can go with that and then come back to water activities later.
I’ll elaborate on why rafting timings change later. Anyway, here are the other water activities:
- Jacuzzi bath
- Coracle ride
- River crossing
Kayaking was the first one we went for. Brace up your arms as you’ll need a lot of strength to push (kayak) yourself through the water. Zorbing seemed fun too, except we were already tired with kayaking, so we hit the jacuzzi bath. A reminder: It’s best to apply sun-lotion before you go in at noon.
The sun made sure we all burnt down to medium brown when we came back.
All these activities come together at the same place. It shouldn’t be a long drive from your resort. In fact, some great riverside resorts like the Whistling Woods are right next to the river.
We paid for all the water activities beforehand, so we just had to wait for our turns. Speaking of waiting, whichever opportunity you get first in these activities, go for it!
We decided to go kayaking first and we had to wait for 20 minutes! Anyway, all these fun wet activities will end by half of the day. You’ll be exhausted (and contented) by then too :)
Check out my other Dandeli Itinerary post on Travelista Club!
3. Visit Dandeli Backwaters and Tribal Shop
We visited the backwaters on our way back to the resort from the river. Either way, it’s a lovely spot. When we visited it, we couldn’t drive through it. So we decided to walk through the path while the car drove around the backwater walls.
There isn’t much to see here, but with the huge stones on either side of the road, you can great pictures.
Towards the end of the backwaters road, you’ll find a Tribal shop with local products made in Dandeli. Check that out for souvenirs as well. Later, we got back into the car which was already waiting for us.
4. Campfire and Dinner
Enquire about your bookings prior to your travel. We had our dinner and breakfast for the following morning included in our package. Additionally, we had hired the car only for one day (to take us to the river, backwaters, and back to the stay).
What they provide for dinner differs from one homestay to another. It isn’t much to worry about. By the time we settled down to eat, we were too hungry to mind the food. But we had an amazing time.
After that, we had a campfire. This is considered an activity when you visit most websites that offer their Dandeli adventure services – but it really isn’t. At least it wasn’t for us. The campfire was already set before we arrived and we sat all around it for an hour or so and talked of our day.
5. Gear up For Rafting
As mentioned earlier, go rafting as early as possible – before you head to Dandeli, ask your resort or guide about its availability.
Rafting is possible when there is a strong current. Sometimes, it isn’t available. Dandeli is known for rafting so don’t miss it out. Make sure to ask your booked resort/homestay if rafting is available about a week before your visit.
Furthermore, there are two options for rafting. One is short-range rafting and the other is long. The time you spend here differs. The short-range rafting (usually 1 kilometer) doesn’t last long while the long 9-kilometer range can fill in your whole day.
You’ll need another change of clothes here.
Book your stay today for the best prices on Booking.com! Here’s a map that can help you plan your budget better (The prices mentioned are for 2 adults):
6. Trekking and Cycling
These are optional. They aren’t the specialties to experience in Dandeli.
That would sum up your itinerary. So two days and one night’s stay is perfect for a vacation in Dandeli. You’ll miss out on either the water activities or the rafting for anything less. And anything more than two days can get dull.
But visiting Dandeli is always fun – notably with friends.
I visited Dandeli with a group of friends last year, 2019, after our 12th graduation. And now we’re on our different streams, all physically distant from one another. Dandeli is our number one go-to spot to catch up on old times.
That being said, it brings us to the end of this Dandeli itinerary.
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