South India & Kerala vacation

“Enjoy two weeks as part of a small group on a clockwise round-trip from Kochi including two overnight sleeper trains between Mysore and Madurai.”

Highlights

Kochi | Conoor | Mudumalai National Park | Mysore | Mamallapuram | Pondicherry | Madurai | Periyar National Park | Kerala Backwaters |

Travel Team

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04 Oct 2020
US $1500
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23 Oct 2020
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25 Oct 2020
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30 Oct 2020
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06 Nov 2020
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27 Nov 2020
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06 Dec 2020
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18 Dec 2020
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20 Dec 2020
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01 Jan 2021
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08 Jan 2021
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12 Feb 2021
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26 Feb 2021
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12 Mar 2021
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02 Apr 2021
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24 Sep 2021
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03 Oct 2021
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15 Oct 2021
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29 Oct 2021
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05 Nov 2021
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12 Nov 2021
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19 Nov 2021
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26 Nov 2021
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03 Dec 2021
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17 Dec 2021
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19 Dec 2021
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24 Dec 2021
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26 Dec 2021
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31 Dec 2021
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07 Jan 2022
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14 Jan 2022
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28 Jan 2022
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30 Jan 2022
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04 Feb 2022
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08 Feb 2022
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11 Feb 2022
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18 Feb 2022
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25 Feb 2022
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11 Mar 2022
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01 Apr 2022
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23 Sep 2022
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02 Oct 2022
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14 Oct 2022
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28 Oct 2022
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04 Nov 2022
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11 Nov 2022
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18 Nov 2022
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25 Nov 2022
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02 Dec 2022
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16 Dec 2022
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18 Dec 2022
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23 Dec 2022
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25 Dec 2022
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30 Dec 2022
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Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your inquiry.

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
Our jungle retreat in the Nilgiri Mountains makes the most of its natural environment in having created a charming getaway made totally from eco-friendly materials and powered by solar panels. You can take a walk in these beautiful surroundings, led by the retreat’s owner, who is also a passionate naturalist and environmentalist and shares a strong relationship with the local Badaga and Toda tribespeople. There is the possibility of purchasing some of the shawls that are made by the Toda tribes. On a visit to Periyar National Park, you will be supporting the park in its work to protect the many endangered species that live there, including the majestic Indian elephant.

Community

The Impacts of this Trip

You will have many opportunities to interact with the friendly locals in your visit through southern India. In the Alleppey backwaters, the group is split between a few of the village homes for a couple of nights – a great opportunity to meet the local families and learn about how they live in the unique landscape. You can support individuals in this community by going punting with some of the locals who come from poorer families, having the local women sing for the group, or buying local handicrafts to provide extra income and ensuring these skills do not die out. In Mysore, our local friend Raju may take you into his home for lunch, where you can meet his family and learn the Muslim customs his family maintain.

You will have the option of visiting ‘Little Angels’ in the fishing village of Mamallapuram – a project that works with orphans and under-privileged children run by our guide, Stephen. By meeting some of the kids and buying some of the delightful Christmas cards they make, or making a donation, you can help support the resident 32 children to complete their schooling. In December 2004, this seaside town (along with many Indian coastal towns) suffered much damage and some loss of life during the devastating Tsunami. Visiting this area and supporting local businesses helps them get back on their feet.

At the end of our journey, travelers may donate any unwanted clothing, medicines and bandages, which are distributed to an appropriate local charity or support group in Kochi.

Climate

2 Reviews of South India & Kerala vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 14 Feb 2018 by

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


Meeting lots of kind local people, and all the selfies they wanted.

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


Travel light, expect the unexpected, always think about hygiene and keep a sense if humour. Listen to people that have been to India before.

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


Tourism is good for the local people, but doesnt help the road congestion or smells. It did support less use of plastic.

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


Fascinating once i got used to the congestion and number of people, enjoyed the rural parts more than the towns and cities. Quite a lot of sitting on trains and hard seats, some days great, some okay, and some extra good. Very energetic people i travelled with, and we had a great time. Our guide Maddy was fun and he kept us safe, well done!!

Reviewed on 29 Apr 2017 by

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


Experiencing the varied natural beauty of South India including the Western Ghats.

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


Great for those who wish to experience the local foods, sites, forms of transport and culture in a safe and meaningful way.

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


Yes- supported local business and industry, environmentally responsible.

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


Wonderful experience - very professionally and sensitively handled.

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