Highlights
  • Relax in peaceful backwaters
  • Spot wildlife in beautiful parks
  • Uncover ancient temples
  • Explore tea and spice plantations
  • Take a rickshaw ride through the streets of madurai

From calm Kerala backwaters and spice plantations to incredible temples and searching for tigers in the wild, have your camera ready as you experience the highlights of Southern India. This two-week adventure offers a great balance of guided excursions and free time to explore on your own. Travelling by train, bus, rickshaw, and country boats will bring you closer to the locals and is a fascinating way to gain insight into the peaceful backwaters of Kerala and stunning temples of Tamilnadu.

Trip Description
Best of Southern India
 
Destinations
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

42,577
G Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
100% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 32,401 Great 10,162 Average 5 Disappointing 1 Terrible 7
Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8
Best of Southern India

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Itinerary

Day 1 Kochi

There are no planned activities before the evening welcome meeting, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. After the welcome meeting, visit the harbour to enjoy sunset over the Chinese fishing nets followed by an optional group dinner. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2 Kochi

Enjoy a morning orientation walk of Fort Kochi. After, take some free time to explore before an evening performance of kathakali, a form of traditional dancing from Kerala. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Kathakali Dance

Day 3 Kochi/Kalpetta

Take a morning train followed by a scenic drive to reach Kalpetta, in the Wayanad district. Transport: Train (4.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

Day 4 Kalpetta

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghat region of Kerala, it is spread over an area of nearly 345 sq km and has a variety of exotic flora and fauna. The sanctuary was declared as a site of Project Elephant in the year 1992. Included Activities: Wayanad Nature Walk Wayanad Sanctuary Wildlife Drive

Day 5 Kalpetta/Mysore

Travel to Mysore (formally Mysuru) located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 6 Mysore

Imagine life as a Maharaja on a guided tour of the Mysore Palace. Later, join the throngs of pilgrims at Chamundi Hills, with its temple on top, and Nandi the Bull (ridden by the Hindu god Shiva) a short walk below. In your free time, visit the Devaraja fruit and vegetable market or join a yoga class at one of the many local institutes. Opt to drive to Somnathpur, home to one of the most famous Hoysala Temples in India. Included Activities: Chamundi Temple Visit Mysore Palace Visit

Day 7 Mysore/Māmallapuram

Arrive by train to Chennai before continuing south for a short ride to the small village of Mamallapuram. Visit the 7th century Shore Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Included Activities: Shore Temple Visit Transport: Enjoy a scenic ride to the east coast aboard Indian's vast rail system. Play cards, meet your fellow passengers or let the landscapes soak in. Train (8.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)

Day 8 Māmallapuram

Free time to explore Mamallapuram.

Day 9 Māmallapuram/Puducherry

In the morning, drive to Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry), formerly the the largest French Colony in India and an important trading town. There is a strong French influence in the city's layout, with wide boulevards and French-style houses, but the city is undoubtedly Indian. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours)

Day 10 Puducherry/Madurai

Travel inland to Madurai, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)

Day 11 Madurai

After visiting the temple complex, opt to visit the handicraft shops or duck into the cool shade of the covered, stone tailor’s market where, for a few rupees, rows of expert tailors will whip you up a custom shirt in minutes, all done on antique foot-pump sewing machines. In the late evening, opt to visit the Meenakshi Temple again for a glimpse of the nighttime rituals. Included Activities: Cycle-Rickshaw Tour Meenakshi Temple Visit

Day 12 Madurai/Periyār Sanctuary (1D)

Thekkady, adjacent to Periyar National Park, is the spice capital of India. On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the spice plantations and a tea factory. Opt for a boat ride on the Periyar Lake. Included Activities: Cardamom Hills Spice Plantation Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

Day 13 Periyār Sanctuary/Kerala Backwaters (1L, 1D)

Travel down to the backwaters from Thekkady to catch a private boat for the short journey to the village homestay. In the afternoon, explore the island with a local person to observe the different facets of local life — it's a great opportunity to meet and talk with the people who live in this unique location. Just before sunset, hop on a small country boat and journey along with the locals to enjoy sunset on the winding backwaters. Additional Notes: For this homestay, you will only need to take a small overnight bag. Your main bags will be transferred directly to the hotel in Kochi. Included Activities: Kerala Backwaters Homestay Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.50 hours, 145km) Boat (0.25 hour(s))

Day 14 Kerala Backwaters/Kochi (1B)

The morning is spent enjoying the last of our host family's hospitality. Learn to cook some of the wonderful food, watch the toddy tappers at work, or wander around the village and explore more of the life on the backwaters. Depart the homestay and travel back to Kochi. The trip ends on arrival to Kochi in the early afternoon. Included Activities: Departure Day (Activities) Transport: Boat (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 1,189

Price Per Day:

$ 85 per day
 
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Mar-24-2019Apr-06-2019$ 1,449YesSold Out Reserve
Mar-31-2019Apr-13-2019$ 1,449Yes7 spots left Reserve
Apr-05-2019Apr-18-2019$ 1,399Yes10 spots left Reserve
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Apr-14-2019Apr-27-2019$ 1,399YesSold Out Reserve
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May-12-2019May-25-2019$ 1,399YesSold Out Reserve
May-19-2019Jun-01-2019$ 1,189Yes12 spots left Reserve
May-26-2019Jun-08-2019$ 1,399YesSold Out Reserve
Jun-02-2019Jun-15-2019$ 1,399Yes12 spots left Reserve
Jun-09-2019Jun-22-2019$ 1,399YesSold Out Reserve
Jun-16-2019Jun-29-2019$ 1,189Yes14 spots left Reserve
Jun-23-2019Jul-06-2019$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
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Mar-06-2020Mar-19-2020$ 1,449YesSold Out Reserve
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Aug-02-2020Aug-15-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Aug-07-2020Aug-20-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
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Aug-30-2020Sep-12-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Sep-04-2020Sep-17-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2020Sep-26-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Sep-20-2020Oct-03-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2020Oct-10-2020$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Oct-04-2020Oct-17-2020$ 1,449Yes15 spots left Reserve
Oct-09-2020Oct-22-2020$ 1,449YesSold Out Reserve
Oct-11-2020Oct-24-2020$ 1,449Yes15 spots left Reserve
Oct-18-2020Oct-31-2020$ 1,449Yes15 spots left Reserve
Oct-23-2020Nov-05-2020$ 1,449Yes15 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2020Nov-07-2020$ 1,449Yes15 spots left Reserve
Oct-30-2020Nov-12-2020$ 1,449Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-01-2020Nov-14-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-06-2020Nov-19-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2020Nov-21-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-20-2020Dec-03-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2020Dec-05-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-27-2020Dec-10-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Nov-29-2020Dec-12-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-04-2020Dec-17-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2020Dec-19-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-11-2020Dec-24-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-18-2020Dec-31-2020$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2020Jan-02-2021$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-25-2020Jan-07-2021$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-27-2020Jan-09-2021$ 1,499Yes15 spots left Reserve
Jan-01-2021Jan-14-2021$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Jan-03-2021Jan-16-2021$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Jan-10-2021Jan-23-2021$ 1,399Yes15 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with G Adventures
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Details
Trip Includes
  • Your Local Living Moment: Kerala Backwaters Homestay
  • Alleppey
  • Fort Kochi orientation walk
  • Kathakali dance show
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary walk and safari
  • Chaumundi Temple and Mysore Palace visit
  • Mamallapuram Shore Temple visit
  • Pondicherry orientation walk
  • Madurai cycle-rickshaw ride and Sri Meenakshi Temple visit
  • Cardamom Hills spice plantation tour
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Meals Included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Flights & Transport
Only ground transportTrain, private vehicle, cycle-rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, ferry.TRAIN Traveling in India by train is an experience. Distances in India are long and Indian trains aren't the worlds fastest, but traveling in these adds a fascinating new dimension to a visitor's experience in the country. There is virtually no better way to get to make friends with the people and see the spectacular views of the diverse Indian countryside. The chaos on the Indian Railway stations is a replica of the life in India. G Adventures uses a combination of AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier and sleeper class (for overnight journeys) and AC Chair car or second class seats for day journeys. There are no restaurant or buffet cars on Indian Railways, but on long distance trains an attendant will appear in your coach and ask you if you would like to order food. Regular stops are made at stations where food is also available and on some trains many vendors board the train selling chai, cold drinks and crisps and biscuits. Don't expect pristine western standards anywhere in India, but you'll find AC2, AC3 and AC Chair class fairly clean by Indian standards, with both western-style and squat toilets usually in a reasonably sanitary condition. Sleeper Class and 2nd class toilets may be a different matter! Bring your own toilet paper and hand wash soap or liquid. Indian trains are quite safe to travel on, even for families or women traveling alone, and you are unlikely to have any problems. Having said that, theft of luggage, although rare is not unheard of, so just for peace of mind you might like to take along a chain and padlock to secure your bags (readily available at all Indian stations). Generally, Indian Railways are very efficient, but Indian trains do run late, and sometimes it's hours rather than minutes. Make sure you have something to occupy your time – a good book, magazine or photos of your home country and family to show the Indian travelers also waiting for the train. ROAD Traveling by road is certainly not what people are use to in Western countries. Rules are not always followed, drivers appear to speed, do not stay in their lanes, overtake in seemingly dangerous situations, rarely use their mirrors or driving lights at night time. The horn however is used very frequently and can range from the latest Bollywood tune to Britney Spears! Although the government is investing large sums of money improving the road infrastructure, there is a lot more to be done. As a result some of the roads are poorly maintained, pot holed and uneven. This gets even more pronounced particularly during and after the monsoon. Travel time is very long in comparison to Western countries and short distances can take a lot longer than at home.
Local Flights All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure. Please Note: Only 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kgs will be permitted on our internal flights in India. For any extra weight the airline may charge an additional fee at the time of check-in.
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 15
Max 15, avg 12

Solo Notes

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Accomodations
Hotels (12 nts), homestay (1 nt, multi-share).
A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used in India. These can vary in terms of service, efficiency and cleanliness. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home. Power cuts can and are a regular occurrence in many places, especially throughout North and Central India. Although a number of hotels have generators there may be times when these won’t work. It is also recommended when you are in your room to lock the door, as staff will sometime enter without reason.
Start City
Kochi
End City
Kochi
Guides Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Age Notes

Min. Age: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Additional Information:

Important Notes

1. CULTURE India is a country which is very different to anything you will have experienced before. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this large and wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. In India there are very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. Trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental and power will often just vanish. Optimistic menus turn out to have only one dish available and everyone, just everyone, will want to know your name. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a healthy sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by what India has to offer. 2. COMBO TRIP Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

Meals

Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarians will be able to find a huge range of different foods - India is vegetarian heaven. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Rules & Other Requirements Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Trip ID#: gadventure-22794

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