Southern India small group vacation

“A leisurely 15 day trip through Kerala and Tamil Nadu, traveling in small group, mostly staying in hotels.”

Highlights

Cochin | Western Ghat Mountains | Munnar hillstation | Madurai | Meenakshi Amman Temple | Periyar National Park | Houseboat on Kerala backwaters | Alleppey | Kovalam

Travel Team

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Date
Price
Basis
09 Oct 2021
US $2249
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23 Oct 2021
US $2349
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13 Nov 2021
US $2349
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27 Nov 2021
US $2349
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19 Dec 2021
US $2479
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22 Jan 2022
US $2349
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19 Feb 2022
US $2349
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26 Mar 2022
US $2349
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09 Apr 2022
US $2349
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Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Apr 2022 departure
22 Oct 2022
US $2449
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Oct 2022 departure
19 Nov 2022
US $2449
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Nov 2022 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation & Meals
This trip sees you spend most nights in hotels and one night on a houseboat. You will notice that our hotels employ locally and use local produce from markets in the area wherever possible. The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies like asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. There will even be instances where clients can see the food being made themselves e.g. fresh seafood dishes in Cochin where people bring their own fish.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Craft & Culture
We are keen to encourage guests to engage with the culture of Southern India and to purchase local crafts and services where possible. Your local guide will be able to recommend the best of the area’s colourful and vibrant markets and small businesses and through our commerce, tourist wealth is more evenly distributed. Cochin and Periyar are famous for the spice shops & antique items, Munnar for different kinds of tea and coffee and Madurai for silk and tailor made cloths. There are locally crafted gifts and souvenirs available by most of the landmarks we visit, and your guides will be able to advise you on which to buy and which to avoid. For example, some bangles and other decorative items on sale may claim to be made of ivory - we are against the popularisation of this kind of product and make a point of including a warning in the briefing.

Charity
For years we have been involved in campaigning for tiger conservation in Bandhavgarh. In late summer 2014 we teamed up with The Corbett Foundation, an Indian charity dedicated to conservation-oriented research. They have proved instrumental in enabling us to get the funds to where they are needed. Through this we have now completed the building of a community hall at Tala Village, solar pumps in the park for wildlife and staff in the dry season, bio gas plants and smart stoves for villagers and provided the salary for 2 full time teachers at the government school. Our work in India continues to be of great significance and most recently we have been able to purchase a 4 wheel drive medical vehicle and pay for outreach medical support.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

5 Reviews of Southern India small group vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 Mar 2020 by

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




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




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




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



Reviewed on 25 Feb 2020 by

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


It was all very good, but we particularly enjoyed the walk through the tea plantation and the visit to Periyar.

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


The walk at Munnar is more challenging than the trip notes imply. It is essential to have proper walking shoes and a good fitness level. The walk is very steep
in places and some members of the group struggled with it.

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


Yes

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


It was very good. The guide Sam Benjamin was excellent and we would like to pass on our thanks.

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019 by

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


Overnight on the houseboat and cruising the backwaters

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


Make sure you take mossie repellant and antidiarrheal tabs

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


yes

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019 by

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


The overnight house boat trip

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


You need to enjoy rice and more rice with every meal!

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


Yes, although the home stay was a little disappointing.

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



Reviewed on 08 Feb 2018 by

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


The hike up mountain to have picnic with stunning views was the highlight. Also the early morning tour of the market before breakfast.

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


If you are worried about the way they drive in India. Ask your guide to speak to your driver, who will drive completely differently if requested by the group. You then feel less anxious that you will have a head on crash!

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


Yes. I hope so.

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


Excellent experience of the real India. It was eye opening and informative. The people, colours, sounds, wildlife and all round welcome we recieved from such a well mannered, beautifully dressed, polite and courteous nation will stay with me forever. My only concerns were that the bus was not very comfortable, which made the long days of traveling difficult.

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