Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Southern India tour
Chennai Kerala Southern India Trip

Southern India

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 1,318 $ 88 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Discover the waterfalls, tea plantations and spice markets of South India’s Western Ghats, a jungle-clad mountain range older than the Himalaya and one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
  • Known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Kochi is a fascinating blend of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences, and is best explored by ferry
  • Step back in time among the iridescent hills of the very British ‘Snooty Ooty’ - home of snooker and the charming Nilgiri toy train
  • Search for elusive wildlife, including elephants, sloths and birds on safari around two of the best places in India to observe nature up close - Mudumalai National Park and Periyar National Park
  • Experience a unique way of life with a family homestay in the idyllic backwaters of Kerala

Short Description

Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats or even on pilgrimage in Madurai. From iconic cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-infused Pondicherry and the vast landscape of Periyar - southern India's spirituality, friendly people and wild animal sanctuaries make it a fascinating part of the country to explore.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Kochi
End City Kochi

Destinations

India

Cities & Attractions

Chennai Kerala Kochi

Activities

N/A

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Itinerary

Day 1 Kochi

Your Southern Indian adventure starts today in Kochi. Attend a welcome meeting at 6 pm with the travel group. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you arrive into Kochi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Once an important spice-trading centre, Kochi has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule at various times throughout history. Explore with one of our Urban Adventures, or wander down to the shore and seek out the huge Chinese fishing nets dotted along the coast of Fort Cochin.

Day 2 Kochi

This morning, explore Kochi on an orientation tour. Board a local ferry to Mattancherry and drop by the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century before it was renovated and presented to the Rajas of Cochin by the Dutch. Pay an optional visit to Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth and home to many rare antiques. Then amble around the spice bazaars and antique stores of Fort Cochin. In the evening, experience a Kathakali performance. This Keralan dance is an ornately costumed display of storytelling, requiring complete control of the body.

Day 3 Ootacamund - Conoor

Most of today is spent travelling. Catch a three-and-a-half hour train to Coimbatore, before travelling by private vehicle to Ootacamund (approximately four hours). Often referred to as ‘Snooty Ooty’, it was here that the game of snooker was named and possibly invented. Stretch your legs exploring the town’s Hindu temples or stroll through what almost feels like English countryside. Ooty is pleasantly mild in the summer but can get cold in winter, so make sure you come prepared with adequate clothing. We stay in nearby Conoor, where dinner is included at our accommodation tonight.

Day 4 Ootacamund - Conoor

Today board Ooty’s famous toy train for a ride along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Be sure to get a window seat for great views. In nearby Conoor, visit a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Spend the rest of the day exploring Ooty’s Botanical Gardens, which are home to over 650 species of plants and trees. Alternatively, embrace your romantic side with a boat ride on the lake.

Day 5 Mudumalai National Park - Masinagudi

Take a private vehicle for the short drive to Masinagudi today. Set against the backdrop of the Nilgiri mountains, Mudumalai National Park was once the Mysore Maharaja's private hunting ground. In 1974 it was brought under Project Tiger and is now one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe wildlife in close proximity. Embark on a short safari in search of tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, spotted deer and much more. There's also an amazing variety of birdlife in the park. Tonight’s family-run accommodation in Masinagudi is mixed gender dormitory style with a common bathroom. This dorm room is only open to our groups.

Day 6 Mysore

Travel by private vehicle across the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore, stopping to share a biryani lunch with our local friend Raju and his family. Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot. Your leader will provide an orientation tour for you to get your bearings. A visit to Mysore is incomplete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is full of colour, mosaics and mirrors.

Day 7 Mysore - Overnight train

This morning head out of Mysore and climb Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga. Continue on to the Keshava Temple in the small town of Somnathpur, an excellent example of Hoysala architecture. You’ll also have some time to pay an optional visit to Tipu Sultan’s mausoleum in Srirangapatna, or to return to Mysore for a palm reading or to catch a film at the local cinema. Tonight take an eleven-hour overnight sleeper train to Chennai.

Day 8 Mamallapuram

After arriving in Chennai, take a private vehicle along the scenic East Coast Road to Mamallapuram. Explore this ancient seaport town by bicycle, paying a visit to the 7th-century Shore Temple and the enormous bas-relief rock carving known as Arjuna's Penance. There will also be time to inspect the town’s numerous mandapams (pillared temple pavilions), watch stonemasons at work or to relax at a beachside restaurant.

Day 9 Auroville - Puducherry (Pondicherry)

Travel by private vehicle for five hours through palm trees and rice paddies to Puducherry (or Pondicherry), with a stopover at Auroville. Comprised of 80 rural settlements and home to over 1,500 residents, more than half of who are foreign nationals, the living project of Auroville is dedicated to unity and also houses the world's largest solid crystal. On arrival in Puducherry, join a group walking tour to see local temples, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the French Quarter. Once a French colony, you’ll see evidence of French influence in Puducherry's architecture, its wide town squares and even in the uniforms of the police.

Day 10 Madurai

Take a taxi to the railway station at Villapuram and board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approximately six hours). Madurai’s Tamil roots stretch back 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in India. Wander the lamp-lit labyrinth of the Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the Lord Shiva and goddess Meenakshi. Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays a detailed account of India’s struggle for independence along with the bloodstained dhoti the famous leader wore when he was assassinated.

Day 11 Periyar

This morning, travel by public bus along a winding road to the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. High in the ranges of the Western Ghats, the park is set among stunning scenery and is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Southern India. In the evening, enjoy a tour of a local spice plantation.

Day 12 Periyar

Venture back into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary today for a guided nature walk. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal spotting tour, but look out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants or gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage or just relax in this scenic setting.

Day 13 Kerala Backwaters

Travelling by private vehicle, pass through rubber, tea and coffee plantations on the way to the backwaters of Kerala. Board a boat to cross to the island village where you’ll stay with a local family tonight. In the late afternoon, explore the island with a local English-speaking guide or your homestay host. This is great chance to meet locals and learn more about their unique way of life. Take a leisurely punt boat ride around the waterways and enjoy the scenery. In the evening, share stories and a traditional home-cooked Keralan meal with your host family.

Day 14 Kochi

Wake early, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey. From here, take a two-hour local bus back to Kochi. The rest of the day is free for some last-minute sightseeing or shopping.

Day 15 Kochi

There are no activities planned for the final day. You’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,318
Price Per Day: $ 88 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Sep-20-2019Oct-04-2019$ 1,318Yes9 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2019Oct-11-2019$ 1,318Yes11 spots left Reserve
Oct-06-2019Oct-20-2019$ 1,318Yes9 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2019Oct-25-2019$ 1,318Yes8 spots left Reserve
Oct-18-2019Nov-01-2019$ 1,449Yes2 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2019Nov-08-2019$ 1,339Yes6 spots left Reserve
Oct-27-2019Nov-10-2019$ 1,356Yes7 spots left Reserve
Nov-01-2019Nov-15-2019$ 1,407Yes5 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2019Nov-22-2019$ 1,339Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-15-2019Nov-29-2019$ 1,470Yes2 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2019Dec-06-2019$ 1,339Yes6 spots left Reserve
Nov-29-2019Dec-13-2019$ 1,390Yes9 spots left Reserve
Dec-08-2019Dec-22-2019$ 1,390Yes10 spots left Reserve
Dec-13-2019Dec-27-2019$ 1,458Yes8 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2019Jan-03-2020$ 1,715Yes4 spots left Reserve
Dec-22-2019Jan-05-2020$ 1,635Yes8 spots left Reserve
Dec-27-2019Jan-10-2020$ 1,665Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-29-2019Jan-12-2020$ 1,665Yes9 spots left Reserve
Jan-03-2020Jan-17-2020$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Jan-10-2020Jan-24-2020$ 1,760Yes11 spots left Reserve
Jan-17-2020Jan-31-2020$ 1,760Yes7 spots left Reserve
Jan-31-2020Feb-14-2020$ 1,690Yes8 spots left Reserve
Feb-02-2020Feb-16-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Feb-07-2020Feb-21-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Feb-11-2020Feb-25-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Feb-14-2020Feb-28-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Feb-21-2020Mar-06-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Feb-28-2020Mar-13-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Mar-13-2020Mar-27-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Apr-03-2020Apr-17-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Apr-10-2020Apr-24-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Apr-17-2020May-01-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-11-2020Sep-25-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-18-2020Oct-02-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-25-2020Oct-09-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-02-2020Oct-16-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-04-2020Oct-18-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-09-2020Oct-23-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-16-2020Oct-30-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-23-2020Nov-06-2020$ 1,625Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2020Nov-08-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-30-2020Nov-13-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-06-2020Nov-20-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-13-2020Nov-27-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-20-2020Dec-04-2020$ 1,690Yes11 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2020Dec-06-2020$ 1,690Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-27-2020Dec-11-2020$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-04-2020Dec-18-2020$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2020Dec-20-2020$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-11-2020Dec-25-2020$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-18-2020Jan-01-2021$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2020Jan-03-2021$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-25-2020Jan-08-2021$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-27-2020Jan-10-2021$ 1,760Yes12 spots left Reserve
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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

3,163 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,356
Great 625
Average 101
Disappointing 37
Terrible 39
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Southern India

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Wonderful leader, great itinerary

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Wonderful leader, great itinerary

Excellent coverage and interest levels - feel

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Excellent coverage and interest levels - feel we know South India in some detaqil

The opportunity to see aspects of real

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The opportunity to see aspects of real life and not just the tourist sights.

All down to the tour guide Charles

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
All down to the tour guide Charles who turned a good tour into an excellent tour.

The trip was very well planned and

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The trip was very well planned and ran to schedule, we were always informed about what was to come, the food was amazing throughout and our tour leader Charles was very knowledgeable, responsive to our needs and a pleasure to travel with. I would definitely recommend to others as I found that the trip lived up to Intrepid's philosophies and overall, it was a really enjoyable experience!
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Very full trip, great inclusions, great leader

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Very full trip, great inclusions, great leader

Details

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

Homestay (1 night),Hotel (11 nights),Jungle lodge (1 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Intrepid Kaleeveedu Lodge
  • 1/387 Pattallam Road (near Police Quarters)
  • Kochi
  • Kerala
  • INDIA
  • Phone: +91 4842218980

Trip ID#:

intrepid-HHSS

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