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 |

Please feel free to email the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

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Date
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15 Sep 2017
US $ 1535
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29 Sep 2017
US $ 1625
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06 Oct 2017
US $ 1508
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10 Oct 2017
US $ 1436
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13 Oct 2017
US $ 1436
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20 Oct 2017
US $ 1436
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27 Oct 2017
US $ 1436
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31 Oct 2017
US $ 1436
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03 Nov 2017
US $ 1494
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10 Nov 2017
US $ 1508
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14 Nov 2017
US $ 1490
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17 Nov 2017
US $ 1534
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21 Nov 2017
US $ 1534
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28 Nov 2017
US $ 1490
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01 Dec 2017
US $ 1548
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05 Dec 2017
US $ 1534
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12 Dec 2017
US $ 1490
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15 Dec 2017
US $ 1690
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22 Dec 2017
US $ 1655
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29 Dec 2017
US $ 1655
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02 Jan 2018
US $ 1620
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05 Jan 2018
US $ 1620
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09 Jan 2018
US $ 1505
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12 Jan 2018
US $ 1565
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16 Jan 2018
US $ 1408
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19 Jan 2018
US $ 1408
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23 Jan 2018
US $ 1354
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26 Jan 2018
US $ 1354
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30 Jan 2018
US $ 1354
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02 Feb 2018
US $ 1505
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06 Feb 2018
US $ 1505
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09 Feb 2018
US $ 1505
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13 Feb 2018
US $ 1505
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16 Feb 2018
US $ 1505
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23 Feb 2018
US $ 1505
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02 Mar 2018
US $ 1505
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16 Mar 2018
US $ 1505
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23 Mar 2018
US $ 1505
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06 Apr 2018
US $ 1565
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13 Apr 2018
US $ 1565
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20 Apr 2018
US $ 1505
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14 Sep 2018
US $ 1505
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21 Sep 2018
US $ 1505
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28 Sep 2018
US $ 1505
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05 Oct 2018
US $ 1565
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09 Oct 2018
US $ 1565
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12 Oct 2018
US $ 1565
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19 Oct 2018
US $ 1565
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26 Oct 2018
US $ 1565
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30 Oct 2018
US $ 1565
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02 Nov 2018
US $ 1565
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09 Nov 2018
US $ 1565
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16 Nov 2018
US $ 1620
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23 Nov 2018
US $ 1620
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27 Nov 2018
US $ 1620
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30 Nov 2018
US $ 1620
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04 Dec 2018
US $ 1620
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07 Dec 2018
US $ 1545
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11 Dec 2018
US $ 1545
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14 Dec 2018
US $ 1620
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18 Dec 2018
US $ 1435
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21 Dec 2018
US $ 1620
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28 Dec 2018
US $ 1620
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Vouchers
Accepted
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 enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South India & Kerala vacation

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.

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.

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.

4 Reviews of South India & Kerala vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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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.

Reviewed on 17 Jun 2010 by

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


A fantastic trip. The highlights were canoeing down the Amazon with the sights and sounds of the jungle, watching the sun rise over one of the wonders of the world- Machu Picchu, to the incredible floating Uros island on Lake Titicaca where a small community lives on a surface of straw.

One trip but every day included something which took our breath away. The perfect tour in one of the most interesting countries I have ever visited.

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


Take is slowly to adjust to the altitude. Take in every wonderful moment. Use lots of anti bacterial handwash.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, we visited several communities sponsored by the operators foundation and the trip overall was carbon neutral.

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


Wonderful, fabulous, went beyond my already high expectations. Everyone should do this one, it's a gem.

Reviewed on 01 Feb 2010 by

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


Sitting in a shallow boat being punted along the backwaters whilst Matthew sang traditional songs from the area accompanied by his young friends. The sun was setting, birds were settling down for the night and the atmosphere was calm and quiet - it was marvelous. The exciting parts I remember are transport related - the road down from Ooty will take a lot of beating!

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


Forget everything you know, or think that you know, and go with the flow. There is a lot of traveling - most of it is entirely comfortable, but you will spend hours and hours sitting, Use the free time you have at each location to get out and about - move and look about you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Local buses and cars, locally hired boats, daytime and overnight train travel - nothing was luxury coach and remote from others traveling to the same places. Guesthouses and hotels were locally, or Indian, run. Guides were all local, and the visits to peoples houses were particularly rewarding. I do believe we contributed to the very local economy wherever we visited. Boats and trains limit impact on the environment, but buses and cars were necessary for the length of journey we undertook.

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


Absolutely wonderful - and in making it so I would acknowledge the good company provided by the others on the trip, and the reliable and resourceful leader, Sam, who made it all seem so easy. This is a fantastic way to be given a taste of what a wide area of the south of India has to offer, and helps highlight places to which a return is required!

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2006 by

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


When Peter Lemass organised a car and driver for my wife and me so that we could go round Ooty and Ketti to see where I used to live as a boy. Also the Rock carvings at Mahabaliporam. Also the stay with Thomas in the Kerala backwaters.

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


Take a universal sink plug and don't take too many clothes because you will buy good stuff there.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I hope it benefited the local people and I am sure all efforts were made to minimise the effect on the environment.

4. Any other comments?


Many thanks to Peter Lemass for his leadership and attention to detail. His advice was well thought out and done with a considerable amount of humour which set a very good tone for the trip.

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