South India Revealed

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
16 days
From: $ 1,184 $ 74 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • Golden beaches and age-old fishing villages make Goa one of India’s most popular retreats – and a perfect place to consider extending your southern India adventure.
  • Take the atmosphere of Shimla or Darjeeling, add lush tropical jungle and you have the Western Ghats: a hotspot of thundering waterfalls, tea plantations, spice markets, and echoes of a colonial past.
  • Glide through the backwaters of Kerala on a pole boat, going ashore for a village homestay – a beautiful break from hotels and a perfect way to get close to local customs and culture.
  • Cross into Kochi – a colonial centre and major port city in India’s southwest. Explore the seaside Fort Kochi area and consider watching a traditional Kathakali dance performance in your free time.
  • Paddle by canoe to your guesthouse in the temple town of Hampi to enjoy a special stay on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.

Short Description

Unplug from everyday routine and head to the beaches and backwaters of southern India. Explore the lush landscapes, intriguing cultures, bustling bazaars, and incredible cuisine of this region. Jump on and off local transport and go rural through coconut groves and fishing villages, discovering the heart of the subcontinent. See ancient ruins and stunning temples, eat spicy curries, and drink luscious lassis. You'll zen out as in the relaxed, unique towns of Varakala and Hampi. Explore the Keralan Backwaters in a pole boat before heading to an island village for an overnight homestay with a local family. Join the bustle of city streets and, at the end of it all, unwind on the beautiful beaches of Goa.

Style Small group tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Trivandrum
End City Goa



Attractions & Cities Visited

Kochi Periyar

Activities & Interests


Age Requirement


No Single Supplement
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Day 1 Trivandrum

Welcome to India! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting this evening at 6 pm. Afterwards, join your local leader on an orientation walk around Trivandrum. Tonight is all about introductions, so perhaps get together with your group after the walk and have an optional dinner – your leader will be able to suggest the best neighbourhoods for a delicious local meal.

Day 2 Varkala

In the morning, head up the coast by private vehicle for around 2 hours to the town of Varkala. Once settled into your hotel, use the free time to explore the Keralan coast, which is home to some of India’s best beaches. Soaring cliffs protect Varkala’s sandy bay and, depending on the time of year, dolphins can be spotted from high up on the rocks. In the evening, maybe head into town to one of the numerous restaurants serving fresh, local seafood caught right off the coast.

Day 3 Varkala

Enjoy a free day in Varkala. This is a great place to sit back and relax, but if you want to get active there are plenty of water activities on offer, such as surfing and windsurfing. Even though this is a popular destination for Indian tourists, the beaches are quiet and pretty laidback. Today is also the perfect time to check your Lonely Planet app and see what else is popular around the area. Take the rest of the day to relax, beachside, or otherwise, before the rest of South India beckons.

Day 4 Kerala Backwaters

This morning, take a 3-hour train journey along the Keralan coastline to Alappuzha (Alleppey). Once an important trading port and now renowned for the annual Snake Boat race in August, Alappuzha is the starting point for most journeys into the backwaters. An auto-rickshaw will take you from the train station to the boat boarding point. Explore the Keralan Backwaters in a pole boat before heading to an island village for an overnight homestay with a local family. Your guide will take you on a walk around the village and introduce you to the community.

Day 5 Kochi

In the morning, cross the backwaters by private boat back to Alappuzha. You’ll then take a 2-hour local bus to Kochi, arriving around midday (12 pm). Once arrived, go for a walk around the Fort Kochi area, where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. In the early evening, there’s the option to attend a classic Kathakali dance performance – a snapshot into traditional cultures of the region.

Day 6 Kochi

Today, head to the Mattancherry part of Fort Cochin to explore the old Jewish quarter, synagogue, and Dutch Palace (Kochi Palace) on a guided walking tour. The tour takes around three hours, with the rest of the day free to do as you wish. Afterward, why not join an Urban Adventure day tour, such as Aromas of Kochi, to get more of an in-depth look into this city and its cuisine. Visit for more information, and check with your local leader in advance if you’d like to book one of these trips.

Day 7 Periyar

This morning, get ready for a day of travel as you head by private vehicle to Periyar National Park (approximately 7–8 hours). After checking in to your hotel, head out on a tour of a local spice farm. Walk through the winding pathways among the plantations as the scent of cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla lingers in the air. Take in the beauty of the cardamom flowers, enjoy the cool breeze and watch the sunlight seep in through the leaves of the pepper plants surrounding you. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed evening around your accommodation, perhaps settling in for an early night.

Day 8 Periyar

After breakfast, enjoy a free day with an optional walk around Periyar National Park. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal-spotting tour, but do keep an eye out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants, or gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage or just relax in your scenic setting.

Day 9 Madurai

In the morning, take a local bus to Madurai (approximately 4–5 hours). This buzzing city is crammed full of bazaars, pilgrims, and cycle rickshaws. After a walking tour to see the sights, perhaps visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This ancient temple is still in use and features a labyrinth of lamplit corridors leading to shrines.

Day 10 Madurai – Overnight Train

Today is a free day in Madurai. Perhaps head to the Gandhi Museum to learn about the man who fought for India’s independence or wander through the 1000 pillars of Aayiram Kaal Mandapam. This is also a great opportunity to haggle with vendors at the bazaars and the tailors' market. Keep in mind that this evening, you’ll take an overnight sleeper train to Mysore. The journey is approximately 14 hours, so you may want to bring some extra snacks.

Day 11 Mysore

On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Mysore. Mysore is an easygoing town with a pleasant climate. Go on a walk with your group, checking out the ornate Mysore Palace along the way. There’s also the option to visit the Keshava Temple in Somnathpur, which is a stunning example of Hoysala architecture. The temple is a 1-hour drive out of town.

Day 12 Mysore – Overnight Train

Today is a free day in Mysore, with plenty of optional activities to keep you busy. If you’ve seen all you need to in town, perhaps explore the countryside surrounding Mysore. Climb up Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple at the top, which is dedicated to the goddess Durga. At around 7 pm tonight, meet up with your group and board a 10-hour overnight train to Hampi.

Day 13 Hampi

In the morning, arrive in Hampi and cross the river to your guesthouse by canoe. Hampi is a temple town situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Once you’re settled in, make an optional visit to the architectural masterpiece of Vittala Temple. This 16th-century temple contains mandapas (pillared pavilions), a pool, a palace, and the popular stone chariot, which according to Hindu mythology was the vehicle of the Lord Vishnu.

Day 14 Hampi - Overnight train

After breakfast, explore the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire and the huge boulders on the outskirts of town. In the early evening, drive for around 3 hours by private vehicle to Hubli, where you’ll board a 9-hour overnight train to Goa.

Day 15 Goa

Once your train arrives in Goa, head to the hotel and check in. Brimming with Portuguese influences and known for the sandy beaches lining its coast, Goa is a fascinating region in India's south-west. The day is free to do what you like. Perhaps relax on the beach, sip a cocktail at a local bar, or go for a city walk. Tonight, why not get together with your travel crew for a beachside dinner – Goa is cause for celebration.

Day 16 Goa

There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time. Goa is a great place to end the trip – if you can, we recommend staying on for a couple of nights to relax and explore. If you would like to spend more time in Goa, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).


Checking price
Price From $ 1,184
Price Per Day: $ 74 per day
Checking price
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Apr-07-2023Apr-22-2023$ 1,184Sold Out Reserve
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4,260 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,217
Great 675
Average 134
Disappointing 68
Terrible 166

South India Revealed

Had an amazing time in India, felt

Had an amazing time in India, felt well looked after, tour was well organised, leader had amazing knowledge of ALL locations, people and culture

Excellent Tour Guide Charls_x000D_
Excellent Tour that introduces

Excellent Tour Guide Charls_x000D_
Excellent Tour that introduces you to Southern India, it lives up to it's name South India Unplugged._x000D_
It is reasonably priced so that a regular person can go & see India!!
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Great leader, good activities, good hotels, but

Great leader, good activities, good hotels, but would prefer some days/locations extended instead over others

Every day was a new adventure, you

Every day was a new adventure, you learnt new things about India, you saw amazing sites, and you ate great food!

Charls was a fantastic trip leader, made

Charls was a fantastic trip leader, made us all feel very safe and let us get what we wanted out of the trip. India was a great experience due to Intrpid & Charls!
Read more

this trip was so nice after the

this trip was so nice after the hectic north india. south india is a beautiful place


Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Overnight sleeper train,Private vehicle,Public bus,Auto rickshaw,Taxi,Train,Canoe,Boat

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12


Homestay (1 night),Hotel (11 nights),Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)


All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Turtle Beach Resort (Former Red Fox Hotel Goa)
  • 1435, Kannaikwada
  • Morjim
  • Goa
  • 403512

Trip ID#:


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