Southern India

15 days
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Small Group Tour
Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats, or even on pilgrimage in Madurai. From cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-influenced Puducherry and the vast landsca...
26%
$2,525
From$1,870
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Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Discover the waterfalls, tea plantations and spice markets of South India’s Western Ghats, a jungle-clad mountain range older than the Himalaya and one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
    • Known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Kochi is a fascinating blend of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences, and is best explored by ferry.
    • Step back in time among the iridescent hills of the very British ‘Snooty Ooty’ – home of snooker and the charming Nilgiri toy train.
    • Search for elusive wildlife, including elephants, sloths, and birds on safari around one of the best places in India to observe nature up close – Periyar National Park.
    • Experience a unique way of life with a family homestay and home-cooked meals in the idyllic backwaters of Kerala.
    • Soak in India’s changing landscapes on a trip that uses rail travel. By choosing trains to get around, you’ll be giving yourself the best opportunity for local interaction, at a more relaxed pace.
    • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-managemen

What's this trip about?

    Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats, or even on pilgrimage in Madurai. From cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-influenced Puducherry and the vast landscape of Periyar, southern India's spirituality, friendly people, and wild animal sanctuaries make it a fascinating part of the country to explore.

Details

Itinerary focusOff the Beaten Path
Group sizeIntimate group - max of 12 people
Age range15 years and up
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityKochi
End CityKochi

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • High Adventure
  • Local Immersion & Homestays

Destinations

  • Asia
  • India

Attractions

  • Chennai
  • Kerala
  • Kochi
  • Periyar

Activities

  • Culture
  • Historic sightseeing

Trip includes

    • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
    • Kochi - Dutch Palace
    • Kochi - Kathakali performance
    • Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit
    • Bandipur - National Park Safari
    • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
    • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
    • Mysore - Leader-led walking tour
    • Mysore - Keshava Temple
    • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple
    • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
    • Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour
    • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
    • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
    • Periyar - Home cooked meal
    • Periyar - National Park
    • Periyar - Guided nature walk
    • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
    • Kerala Backwaters - Village walk

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 Kochi

Your Indian adventure starts today in Kochi with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive in Kochi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Once an important spice-trading centre, Kochi has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule at various times through...

Day 2 Kochi

This morning, take on Kochi with a leader-led orientation tour. Take a local tuk tuk to Mattancherry and drop by the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century before it was renovated and presented to the Rajas of Cochin by the Dutch. Pay an optional vi...

Day 3 Conoor

Buckle up, because most of today is spent travelling. Catch a 3.5-hour train to Coimbatore, before travelling by private vehicle to Conoor, where dinner is included at your accommodation tonight.

Day 4 Ootacamund – Conoor

Spend the morning in Conoor with an orientation walk and a visit to a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Later board Ooty’s renowned toy train for a ride along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Be sure to get a window seat for great views over th...

Day 5 Mudumalai National Park – Bandipur

Take a private vehicle for the short drive to Bandipur today. Set against the backdrop of the Nilgiri Hills, Mudumalai National Park was once the Mysore Maharaja's private hunting ground. In 1974 it was brought under Project Tiger and is now one of the best sanctuarie...

Day 6 Mysore

Travel by private vehicle across the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore, stopping to share a biryani lunch with local Loval host and family. Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot. Your leader will provide an orientat...

Day 7 Mysore – Overnight train

This morning, head out of Mysore and climb Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga. Continue on to the Keshava Temple in the small town of Somnathpur – an excellent example of Hoysala architecture. You’ll also have some time...

Day 8 Mamallapuram

After arriving in Chennai, take a private vehicle along the scenic East Coast Road to Mamallapuram. Explore this ancient seaport town by tuk tuk, paying a visit to the seventh-century Shore Temple and the enormous bas-relief rock carving, known as Arjuna's Penance. Th...

Day 9 Puducherry

Travel by private vehicle for 5 hours through palm trees and rice paddies to Puducherry (Pondicherry). On arrival, head out with your group and leader on a walking tour to see local temples, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and the French Quarter. Once a French colony, you’ll see evidence of French influence in Puducherry's architecture, its wide town squares, and even in the uniforms of the police.

Day 10 Madurai

Transfer by taxi to the railway station at Villupuram and board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approximately 6 hours). Madurai’s Tamil roots stretch back 2500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in India. Wander the lamp-lit labyrinth of the Sri Meenaksh...

Day 11 Periyar

This morning, travel by private vehicle along a winding road to the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. High in the ranges of the Western Ghats, the park is set among stunning scenery and is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Southern India. Both today and to...

Day 12 Periyar

Venture back into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary today for a guided nature walk. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal spotting tour, but do look out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants,...

Day 13 Kerala Backwaters

Travelling by private vehicle, pass through the rubber, tea, and coffee plantations on the way to the backwaters of Kerala. Board a motorboat to cross to the island village where you’ll stay with a local family tonight. In the late afternoon, explore the island with a...

Day 14 Kochi

Wake early, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey. From here, take a 2-hour local bus back to Kochi. The rest of the day is free for you to choose your own adventure. Perhaps you’d like to stroll down Princess Street for a spot of shopping, or boo...

Day 15 Kochi

With no activities planned for today, you are able to leave the accommodation at any time.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $1,870
Price per day$125
Last Updated: 7/22/2024
Departure Date
Finish Date
Base Price
Availability
03 Sep 2024
17 Sep 2024
$1,985
20 Sep 2024
04 Oct 2024
$1,930
29 Sep 2024
13 Oct 2024
$1,870
04 Oct 2024
18 Oct 2024
$1,910
06 Oct 2024
20 Oct 2024
$1,870
13 Oct 2024
27 Oct 2024
$1,870
18 Oct 2024
01 Nov 2024
$1,930
20 Oct 2024
03 Nov 2024
$2,075
25 Oct 2024
08 Nov 2024
$2,160
27 Oct 2024
10 Nov 2024
$2,000

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Intrepid Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.5/5  Excellent
Excellent
3,401
Great
672
Average
149
Disappointing
81
Terrible
211
J

Judy

Oct 2015

Written on

Wonderful leader, great itinerary

Wonderful leader, great itinerary

T

Talia

Oct 2015

Written on

The trip was very well planned and

The trip was very well planned and ran to schedule, we were always informed about what was to come, the food was amazing throughout and our tour leader Charles was v...

C

Cathrine

Oct 2015

Written on

The opportunity to see aspects of real

The opportunity to see aspects of real life and not just the tourist sights.

K

Kate

Oct 2015

Written on

All down to the tour guide Charles

All down to the tour guide Charles who turned a good tour into an excellent tour.

T

Teresa

Oct 2015

Written on

Very full trip, great inclusions, great leader

Very full trip, great inclusions, great leader

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Tour Operator

Intrepid Travel

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The Intrepid Travel Experience

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking small groups of travelers on unforgettable trips around the world. What makes them unforgettable? Take a look for yourself and discover the Intrepid experience.

Our travelers have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original and Comfort. Each has a different level of inclusions and accommodation, but all have unforgettable real life experiences as part of the package. Travellers can also choose themed trips, such as Family, Sailing or Food, to suit their interests.

Our group size has an average of just ten travellers, which allows us to get off the beaten track, use local accommodation and transport, and really get to know the culture. It also ensures we are contributing to the local economy; by choosing local suppliers we were able to keep AUD 60 million in local economies in 2012. We’re also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and were the first in our sector to introduce carbon offset trips. This, along with our many corporate sustainability activities, has meant we’re one of the travel industry’s leaders in responsible travel.

Why Intrepid?

  •   Small groups - average of 10 people per trip
  •   Sustainability - pioneers for the industry
  •   Local leaders - authentic perspectives
  •   Local transport - get close and personal
  •   Local accommodation - experience real living
  •   Intrepid travelers - like-minded companions 

History

Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989. From two university friends, a typewriter and a kitchen desk, it is now a proud member of The Intrepid Group, taking over 100,000 travelers every year.

Intrepid Travel is part of The Intrepid Group of companies, alongside leading small group adventure companies Peregrine, Urban Adventures and PEAK DMC.

Despite growing into a global business with over 1,000 staff based all over the world and over 800 different trips across every continent, we’ve remained devoted to the same grassroots values and responsible travel philosophies that we had at the very beginning.

 

Values

On every trip we operate and in every interaction we have with a client, supplier or local, we live our core values everyday:

  • Integrity – Doing the right thing
  • Responsible – Think global, act local
  • Growth – Stakeholders in our own success
  • Innovation – Thriving on new ideas and embracing change
  • Fun – It’s engrained into who we are and what we do
  • Passion – We are inspired by the work we do and the trips we offer

 

Why we love this operator
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
What they’re known for
Small group tours for all types of travelers at a range of different price points and trips to off-the-beaten-path destinations.

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Logistics

Accommodation

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

Transportation & Flights

Auto rickshaw,Boat,Bus,Cycle rickshaw,Ferry,Overnight sleeper train,Private vehicle,Train,

Transportation & flights

Auto rickshaw,Boat,Bus,Cycle rickshaw,Ferry,Overnight sleeper train,Private vehicle,Train
Guides
All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leader or local representative. The aim of the group leader or local representative 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 group leader or local representative however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your group leader or local representative is new to a particular region or training other group leader or local representative. Your group leader or local representative 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 group leader or local representative can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative. If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services
Visa requirements
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements ADDRESS FOR VISA APPLICATIONS: If you require an address for Visa Applications in India, please use: Intrepid India 25/3 East Patel Nagar Delhi 110008 Phone: +91 11 4500 6400
Health & Safety
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines WOMEN'S SAFETY: Women should exercise caution when travelling in India. Reported cases of sexual assault against women are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling: - Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home - Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, unlit city streets and village lanes when alone at any time of day - Avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night - If you have to use a taxi get them from hotel taxi ranks and use pre-paid taxis at airports. Try to avoid hailing taxis on the street. Some cities (including Delhi and Chennai) have special taxi services for women with women drivers - If you’re being collected at the airport by a driver make sure they have properly identified themselves before you set off. -When leaving your compartment on overnight trains (ie. going to the bathroom), ask a male travel companion to accompany you where possible For further information and advice, visit: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/women-safety-india https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-solo-female-traveller-story/ www.gov.uk/government/policies/supporting-british-nationals-overseas/supporting-pages/advice-for-women-travellers www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/women.html PERSONAL BELONGINGS: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. FREE TIME: Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. FESTIVALS: Travelling in India and Nepal during Holi can at times be unsafe - drinking and drug use is more widespread during this holiday. Your group leader or local representative will advise your group on what places to avoid on this day. It may be necessary to alter your itinerary for the day. Diwali (a lunar festival generally held from mid-October to mid-November every year) is celebrated by local people letting off fireworks in the street. It can be very noisy for several days with extra pollution caused by fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival, your group leader or local representative may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid large crowds gathering and using fireworks. PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. SCAMS: Scams involving ATM and credit cards, train tickets, taxis, temple donations and tourist guides operate throughout India. If you are the victim of a scam, report it immediately to the nearest police station. Even though they may not be able to get your money or goods back, they can issue you with an official loss report for insurance purposes.
Age Requirements
15 years and up
Additional Information

Finish point

  • Abad Fort Hotel
  • Moulana Azad Rd, Near Reliance Super Market, Panayappilly, Chullickal, Kochi, Kerala
  • Kochi
  • INDIA
  • Phone: +91 4844148888
Trip ID
intrepid-HHSS

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