Kerala & Tamil Nadu mountain biking vacations, Western Ghats

“Take on a tailor made mountain biking itinerary over six days that features the back roads, biodiversity and naturally rugged beauty of southern India's Western Ghats. ”

Highlights

Thattekkad | Munnar | Pollachi | Valparai | Kochi | Indira Gandhi National Park | Neriamangalam | Western Ghats | Sholayar |

Departure information

This trip can also be tailor-made to suit your interests, time schedules and budget requirements.
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kerala & Tamil Nadu mountain biking vacations, Western Ghats

Besides being the best way to explore the less traveled roads along the Western Ghats, mountain biking lets you meet up with the local communities, the indigenous people and a chance to understand their unique culture and lifestyles. For the muduvans & the kaadar tribes living among the upper reaches of the Western Ghats, income by being the local trackers and guides has helped them to make a decent living . Expeditions like these give an opportunity also to visit them at their villages and interact with them and gives the travelers a chance to appreciate local cultures. Such visits are factored in this cycling tour.

This trip also helps in raising awareness about the unique bio-diversity of the Western Ghats which is one of the 34 bio diversity ‘Hot Spots’ of the earth. There is a heightened threat level of bio-diversity and endemism particularly of the Nilgiri Tahr at Munnar and the Lion Tailed Macaque at Valparai – the last viable surviving areas of these once abundant species. All parks in this region have Eco Development Committees and Forest Protection Teams employed in tourism related work and arranging all wildlife programmes for tourists. So when one enters the park & takes part in safaris or treks in the park, the proceeds of such activities go to the local communities directly and almost in full.

The places you will be staying are small single owner properties, small holdings or eco lodges and approximately 30% of the money you will be spending for staying here goes directly to the local communities by employing them as support staff and guides for tourism related activities like visit to the tribal village, forest walks, tea estate and farm visits. On the first night you stay at Hornbill Camp which is made of locally available materials and constructed exclusively by using locally available expertise in reed leaf thatching. There is very little concrete used, instead tents are used and more importantly only maximum of 2 kva electricity is used in the camp. The water is heated using solar heaters and the kitchen refuse is recycled for use in the spice plantations nearby.

As the traveling is on cycles most of the way, it enables you to take in the surroundings without damaging the environment. We always believe in small groups of maximum 6 persons to reduce impacting on the ‘carrying capacity’ of the region they are passing through, most of which are protected forests. Our strict policy of Leave No Trace helps protect the environment and is an example to the locals by removing all waste from place to place.

Reviews of Kerala & Tamil Nadu mountain biking vacations, Western Ghats

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We just returned from our customized cycling tour of Kerala India. We have been on a few good cycling tours in Europe but they could not compare to this extraordinary vacation. We were treated like royalty and so respectfully from the minute we were picked up at the airport until we departed. We wanted an active adventure and that's exactly what we had. We were enchanted by Kerala. The people we met while cycling on the roads as well as those we met in
the accomandations were so friendly. The vacation provider staff were
excellent and so informative , knowledgable and helpful. I can't praise them enough. The highlight of the trip was the interesting Indian culture, the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife we saw including exotic birds and butterflies, mongooses, elephants, gaurs, wild dogs, monkeys and more. The riding was perfect for us with 2 days of challenging mountains and the rest mostly undulating roads. We were often able to extend our riding if we wanted. We
also spent one morning kayaking which was a nice change from the cycling. We enjoyed the Indian cuisine and we were vegans and found we had too much to eat. We had cooking lessons and even learned how to put on the sari. We kayaked to a toddy shack and had toddys ( fermented coconut like the local beer) with our guides. We especially enjoyed the accommodations on the home stays and liked the personal spice tours. A real perfect active vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The vacation provider is willing to arrange visits or activities according to your
interests. Ask. We wanted to vary our itinerary and they helped us arrange it by adding kayaking, visits to schools and bird sanctuaries. They are eager to help with whatever you need.
Be prepared that except for the initial day, the ride is on scenic roads with traffic. Through the major cities where the traffic is very congested you are transferred through them so you won't have to deal with it.
Be open to new experiences and challenges as well as curious then you'll be so surprised by what is waiting for you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our shopping supported the local economy and individuals. Also we stayed in many eco friendly accommodations.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent! Amazing! Almost perfect. Highly recommended.

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