Southern India small group vacation
This bestselling India vacation, run by one of our oldest partners, has local communities and wildlife at its heart. See some of the projects they have funded in action as you explore wildlife-rich reserves, the Western Ghats and Kerala.
Cochin Western Ghat Mountains Munnar hillstation Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple Periyar National Park Houseboat on Kerala backwaters Alleppey Kovalam
US $2079ToUS $2379excluding flights
Optional single supplement from £608 - £720.
Minimum age 16.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Southern India small group vacation
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Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
5 Reviews of Southern India small group vacation
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 02 Mar 2020 by jill shortman5 stars Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Feb 2020 by Gillian SlaterIt was very good. The guide Sam Benjamin was excellent Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019 by Diane WestonExcellent.... Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019 by Mike PorterYou need to enjoy rice and more rice with every meal! Read full review
Reviewed on 08 Feb 2018 by Susan WheaverThe hike up mountain to have picnic with stunning views was the highlight. Also the early morning tour of the market before breakfast. Read full review
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetAccommodation & 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.
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.
PeopleLocal 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.
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.
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.