19 Countries With Visas on Arrival for Indians

Holidays abroad that don’t require you to battle long lines for a visa.

Please login to bookmark

The waters of Petite Anse beach in Mahé, Sychelles, have thriving coral gardens, perfect for snorkeling. Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Sunny Mauritius, historic Jordan, wild Kenya—there are (thankfully) many countries to visit that don’t involve never-ending visa forms, long queues, embassy interviews, or submitting your financial records, birth certificate, proof of employment, god-only-knows-what-they’ll-ask-for-next. All you need is a plane ticket and valid passport.

A word of caution, however. Rules change often and certain journeys may require transit visas, so check in advance if your flight has a stopover.

Seychelles

Seychelles’ secluded beaches and lagoons make it a popular destination for honeymooners, but the cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean makes for a great family holiday. Introduce the kids to the wonders of the marine world, and then to the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island, a sanctuary for the endangered species, where tourists can interact with the creatures under a ranger’s supervision. At Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, walk through a palm forest whose enormous 12-metre-long leaves tower over visitors’ heads. The site is believed to be the original home of the coco de mer trees that have the largest seeds in the plant kingdom, which can weigh up to 30kgs.

Jordan

petra

The Al-Khazna, part of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Petra, shimmers in candlelight. Photo: JPRichard/Shutterstock

There are many reasons to visit Jordan—Biblical sites, Jewish monuments, waters rich in coral, and desert landscapes that have moved poets and kings. But its most striking monument is the ancient sandstone city of Petra. Over 2,000 years old, it abounds with myths of queens, crusaders, and blood-thirsty bounty hunters convinced that its tombs still hold ingots of gold. Hike through its soaring temples by day, but don’t miss Petra by Night, when the UNESCO World Heritage Site is lit only by thousands of candles. Read more about Petra, and Jordan’s other draws, here.

Bhutan

dochula-pass

An hour’s drive from Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city, is the Dochula Pass, which has 108 chortens (stupas) built in memory of Bhutanese soldiers. Photo: Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn)/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Mountain views, centuries-old Buddhist monasteries, and bowls of ema datsi—the Bhutanese national dish of chillies and melted cheese—are an integral part of a visit to the Himalayan country. Famously known for prioritising Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is a must-visit for travellers with a spiritual bend, but it also has forests and mountain paths perfect for long hikes, and contemporary events like the Mountain Echoes literature festival that takes place in Thimphu, the capital city. For more on the festival, click here. For a hilarious read on bar-hopping in Thimphu, click here.

Cambodia

Turist exploring the Ta Prohm Temple, Angkor Temple Complex, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, Asia

Gigantic roots wrap themselves around the ruins of Ta Prohm temple in Siem Reap’s Angkor Archaeological Park. It was built in the 12th-century complex as a Buddhist monastery and university. Photo: Jan Wlodarczyk/Age Fotostock/Dinodia

The Khmer country of Cambodia has emerald landscapes, fantastic myths, and a crimson-tinged history. Acquaint yourself with the delicate flavours of its cuisine at a cooking class in Phnom Penh, the capital city, but make time to visit the Killing Fields too, to understand the country’s complicated past. Siem Reap, in northwestern Cambodia, is home to the sprawling temple ruins of the Angkor Archaeological Park, bustling bazaars, and lively bars where the crowds linger well into the night. Use our Siem Reap guide to plan your trip and to make the most of the city’s cafes, museums, and markets.

Cape Verde

cape-verde

The African islands of Cape Verde have rocky beaches and a lifetime supply of Instagram throwbacks. Photo: abbildbar/Pixabay/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1PKFaP7)

Shimmering seas and craggy peaks greet visitors to Cape Verde, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean of western Africa. Go windsurfing in São Pedro on the island of São Vicente, or hiking on the mountainous island of Santo Antão. The town of Cidade Velha on the island of Santiago was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics, and is now on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Much of its historic monuments have crumbled, but there’s still plenty to explore—and large, fresh seafood spreads at meal times.

Comoros Islands

comoros islands

The island vibe is strong on the Comoros. Hang loose with the locals, play in the sand—it’s all good. Photo: David Stanley/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Fire and water meet on the Comoros Islands, which rise out of the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and Mozambique. The African island nation has bright blue waters with blooming coral reefs, and active volcanic peaks: perfect for activity-seeking travellers. Accommodation in Comoros tends to be rustic—it isn’t as well-equipped as dive-heavens like Seychelles and Mauritius—but that also means less crowds and a richer, more intense cultural experience.

Fiji

degei-waeisoui

For a taste of Fiji culture, step out of the manicured resorts, and into shack-style restaurants like Eco Café. Photo: Niloufer Venkatraman

Comprising about 330 islands, Fiji is a haven for water babies. The island nation, located in the South Pacific Ocean, teems with marine life—manta rays, barracudas, whitetip sharks, and leopard sharks. Work up an appetite snorkelling and scuba diving in its waters and then partake of a lovo, a traditional Fijian barbecue of meat, fish, and root vegetables that’s cooked in a pit in the ground. Read more here.

Nepal

the-everest-base-camp

The Everest View Hotel, near Namche Bazaar, is frequented by trekkers making their way to the Everest Base Camp, one of Nepal’s most popular hiking circuits. Photo: Egmnot Strigl/Imagebroker/Dinodia

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, making it irresistible to trekkers, but there’s more to the Himalayan country than its lofty peaks and breathtaking mountain trails. The Kathmandu Valley is filled with heritage monuments that are well worth visiting despite the damage of the recent earthquake. Close to the capital, Chitwan National Park has misty, riverine landscapes that are home to rhinos and elephants. There’s rafting also along the Trisuli River, the canyon swinging and bungee jumping at the Last Resort, a short drive from Kathmandu—plenty to do. Plus, the Indian rupee is worth more than the Nepali rupee, making it one of the few places on the planet where our currency goes a long way.

Indonesia

wildlife

Indonesia’s forests and national parks host primates like the crested black macaque (right) and endemic birds like the Wilson’s bird of paradise (bottom left) and the red bird of paradise (top left). Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee

Indonesia has lush rainforests and clear waters, both brimming with wildlife. For an active break, go birdwatching or snorkelling in the archipelago of Raja Ampat, home to the world’s richest coral reef biodiversity. In Bali, visit food markets where you can stock up on fragrant spices and coffee and snack on black rice pudding and pancakes topped with sugar and coconut. Also visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, where about 600 Balinese long-tailed macaques live among moss-covered stone statues and temple ruins—like a scene straight out of The Jungle Book.

Jamaica

jamaica

Time your holiday to Jamaica during carnival season. Bacchanal, which takes place around April in the city of Kingston, is one of the most festive times of the year. Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1PKFaP7)

Crystal-clear waters, Caribbean breezes, and beaches befitting desktop backgrounds draw tourists from around the world to Jamaica every year. Immerse yourself in its laid-back Caribbean culture by dancing to bass-thumping reggae, sipping on local rum, and tucking into plates of spicy jerk chicken. In Kingston, the capital of the island nation, pay tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter Bob Marley at the Bob Marley Museum.

Kenya

zebras

For unforgettable animal sightings, spend time in the plains of Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Photo: Image Broker/Indiapicture

It’s time to start plotting that African safari. Visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve to witness the legendary wildebeest migration between July and October, or go on a 14-day walking safari through the country’s Tsavo National Parks. There are wildlife encounters to be had in cities too. The Giraffe Centre near Nairobi lets visitors get up close with the leggy creatures to feed them, pet them, even get kissed by a giraffe. For more on what that feels like, click here.

Cook Islands

cook-islands

The seas around the Cook Islands are home to manta rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, even humpback whales, which visit between June and September. Photo: Robert Linsdell/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

The Cook Islands are a snorkeller’s paradise, known for its warm, blue lagoons, and Instagram-friendly views of palms shimmying in the breeze. Spend your days exploring its rich marine life, taking long walks on the beach, and sipping on chilled beer in a cafe on Rarotonga, the largest of all the islands in the country. The islands, which are associated with New Zealand, were named after British navigator Captain Cook but have a strong Maori community.

Laos

laos

Laos’ emerald landscapes and villages are the perfect antidote to the grime and nosie of the city. Photo: Poswiecie/Pixabay/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1PKFaP7)

Sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, Laos is perfect for a vacation that’s off the beaten track. In the last few years, it has also emerged as a destination for cycling holidays in winter, when the weather is pleasant. Wind past swaying rice fields, up rocky mountain paths, and along rivers that are tonic for city-weary eyes.The regions of Luang Namtha and Luang Prabang in the north and Vang Vieng in the heart of Laos are particularly popular with itineraries that include visits to forest temples and gushing waterfalls, and pit stops for traditional Lao meals of sticky rice and spicy meat curries.

Macau

the-chapel-of-st-francis-xavier1

Far from Macau’s glitzy casinos and swanky hotels is a quieter side of the city, lined with heritage homes and historic buildings like the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier. Photo: San Hoyano/Oriental Touch/Dinodia

Macau might inspire images of neon-lit casinos but the city in southern China has a rich local culture with Chinese, Portuguese and local Macanese influences. Wander through its older neighbourhoods, dotted with restored heritage homes built in Portuguese style, with large patios and inviting parlours. Or visit the Taipa-Houses Museum complex, which has replicas of these homes, some with furniture, and even mosquito nets.There’s also the Grand Prix Museum to learn about Macau’s challenging Guia circuit, and the Wine Museum, which offers wine-tasting sessions. Macau’s proximity to Hong Kong (about an hour away by ferry) makes it a great family getaway. It helps that Hong Kong also issues visas on arrival for Indians. More here.

Madagascar

lemur

Lemurs are Madagascar’s most famous residents. This particular species, the red ruffed lemur, is found in a small patch of northeast Madagascar. Photo: skeeze/Pixabay/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1PKFaP7)

In addition to having a popular animated film to its name, Madagascar has thick rainforests that are home to rare fauna and even rarer flora, like the strange-looking baobab tree. Keep your eyes peeled for playful lemurs, creepy hissing cockroaches (they do exactly what their names says), and the grey-blue crested coua, considered the most beautiful birds on the island. Head to the coast and hop on a boat to try your luck at whale watching. Every July, Madagascar’s waters welcome humpback whales—around 7,000 of them—looking to find a mate.

Maldives

Maldives

Hotels in the Maldives pull out all stops to ensure their guests appreciate the spectacular seas around them. Photo: Chad Ehlers/Alamy/Indiapicture

The cerulean waters of Maldives have long captured the imagination of travellers around the world. Its hotels cater to every type of tourist: families on a fun, summer holiday, newlyweds seeking intimacy and ocean views, divers hoping for the swim of a lifetime, and party-loving tourists who want dance through the night. The water is the star here for visitors of all categories. Some spend their time swimming with rays, turtles and coral, others take day-long fishing expeditions, and a precious few hire private boats for sunset views and cocktails at sea. But they are all lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean. More on what to expect here and where to stay here.

Thailand

gettyimages-183990642

There are many ways to enjoy the night in Phuket, from cabaret show to live bands and performances by international DJs. Photo: Stephen J. Boitano/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Thailand never gets old. Seek refuge in its secluded beaches or party all night at clubs in Pattaya and Ko Phangan. There are water parks and zoos for a kid-friendly holiday, and street food markets to explore in Bangkok. Folks looking to get outdoors should try trekking in Chiang Mai and sea kayaking in the Phang Nga Bay. Not to forget the sweet-and-spicy Thai cuisine that helps visitors keep up their strength between each of these activities.

Trinidad and Tobago

PS121021TOBAGO_X022.jpg

Trinidad and Tobago is home to 17 types of hummingbirds. Photo courtesy Tourism Trinidad & Tobago

Though the blue waves and endless beaches of Trinidad and Tobago will call out to you, try exploring the rest of the islands too. They have among the highest number of bird species per square mile in the world, including the hummingbird, toucan, and scarlet ibis. Start looking at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary near Port of Spain, before exploring the capital’s other cultural activities, like the museum at the Queen’s Park cricket ground, dedicated to West Indian cricket. The tidal pools of Gasparee Caves, on nearby Gaspar Grande island, are said to be rich in minerals that are good for the skin. More here.

Mauritius

submarine-ocean

Dive under without getting wet with a submarine ride. Photo courtesy Blue Safari

The tiny island of Mauritius has always been a favourite of Indian travellers, thanks to its clear waters and talcum-sand beaches. Snap on a mask and go snorkelling to discover its thriving coral gardens, or try parasailing or a ride in a submarine. The island has something for landlubbers too. The Black Gorges National Park has many trails of varying difficulty levels that weave through rainforests and dry jungles.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE