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Southern India

From US$ 1,520 US$ 1,444
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highlights
  • 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 tigers, elephants, sloths and birds on safari around two of the best places in India to observe wildlife up close - Mudumalai National Park and Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Feel energy radiate from the world’s largest solid crystal in the experimental city of Auroville
The Southern India tour starts and ends in Kochi. The Southern India is an Explorer tour that takes 15 days taking you from Kochi, India and through other destinations in Asia.

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 iconic cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-infused Pondicherry 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.
Your Southern Indian adventure starts today in Kochi. Attend a welcome meeting at 6 pm with the travel group. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you arrive into 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 throughout history. Explore with one of our Urban Adventures, or wander down to the shore and seek out the huge Chinese fishing nets dotted along the coast of Fort Cochin.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
This morning, explore Kochi on an orientation tour. Board a local ferry 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 visit to Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth and home to many rare antiques. Then amble around the spice bazaars and antique stores of Fort Cochin. In the evening, experience a Kathakali performance. This Keralan dance is an ornately costumed display of storytelling, requiring complete control of the body.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
Most of today is spent travelling. Catch a three-and-a-half hour train to Coimbatore, before travelling by private vehicle to Ootacamund (approximately four hours). Often referred to as ‘Snooty Ooty’, it was here that the game of snooker was named and possibly invented. Stretch your legs exploring the town’s Hindu temples or stroll through what almost feels like English countryside. Ooty is pleasantly mild in the summer but can get cold in winter, so make sure you come prepared with adequate clothing. We stay in nearby Conoor, where dinner is included at our accommodation tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today board Ooty’s famous toy train for a ride along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Be sure to get a window seat for great views. In nearby Conoor, visit a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Spend the rest of the day exploring Ooty’s Botanical Gardens, which are home to over 650 species of plants and trees. Alternatively, embrace your romantic side with a boat ride on the lake.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Ooty - Botanical Gardens - INR 50
  • Ooty - Boat ride - INR 200
Take a private vehicle for the short drive to Masinagudi today. Set against the backdrop of the Nilgiri mountains, 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 game sanctuaries in India to observe wildlife in close proximity. Embark on a short safari in search of tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, spotted deer and much more. There's also an amazing variety of birdlife in the park. Tonight’s family-run accommodation in Masinagudi is mixed gender dormitory style with a common bathroom. This dorm room is only open to our groups.
Accommodation
  • Jungle Lodge
Travel by private vehicle across the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore, stopping to share a biryani lunch with our local friend Raju and his family. Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot. Your leader will provide an orientation tour for you to get your bearings. A visit to Mysore is incomplete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is full of colour, mosaics and mirrors.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
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 to pay an optional visit to Tipu Sultan’s mausoleum in Srirangapatna, or to return to Mysore for a palm reading or to catch a film at the local cinema. Tonight take an eleven-hour overnight sleeper train to Chennai.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train
Optional Activities
  • Mysore - Cinema - INR 100
  • Mysore - Tipu Sultan's Mausoleum - INR 500
After arriving in Chennai, take a private vehicle along the scenic East Coast Road to Mamallapuram. Explore this ancient seaport town by bicycle, paying a visit to the 7th-century Shore Temple and the enormous bas-relief rock carving known as Arjuna's Penance. There will also be time to inspect the town’s numerous mandapams (pillared temple pavilions), watch stonemasons at work or to relax at a beachside restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Travel by private vehicle for five hours through palm trees and rice paddies to Puducherry (or Pondicherry), with a stopover at Auroville. Comprised of 80 rural settlements and home to over 1,500 residents, more than half of who are foreign nationals, the living project of Auroville is dedicated to unity and also houses the world's largest solid crystal. On arrival in Puducherry, join a group 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Take a taxi to the railway station at Villapuram and board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approximately six hours). Madurai’s Tamil roots stretch back 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in India. Wander the lamp-lit labyrinth of the Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the Lord Shiva and goddess Meenakshi. Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays a detailed account of India’s struggle for independence along with the bloodstained dhoti the famous leader wore when he was assassinated.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free
This morning, travel by public bus 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. In the evening, enjoy a tour of a local spice plantation.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Venture back into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary today for a guided nature walk (you’ll be provided with leech-proof socks). Be on the lookout for bison, wild boar, elephants, spotted deer and tigers. For something extra, opt for a boat tour on the lake, which was artificially formed by the building of a dam in 1895. Now a vital water source for local wildlife, you may see elephants bathing playfully in the shallows if you’re lucky.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Periyar - Boat trip
Travelling by private vehicle, pass through rubber, tea and coffee plantations on the way to the backwaters of Kerala. Board a boat to cross to the island village where you’ll stay with a local family tonight. In the late afternoon, explore the island with a local English-speaking guide or your homestay host. This is great chance to meet locals and learn more about their unique way of life. Take a leisurely punt boat ride around the waterways and enjoy the scenery. In the evening, share stories and a traditional home-cooked Keralan meal with your host family.
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Wake early, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey. From here, take a two-hour local bus back to Kochi. The rest of the day is free for some last-minute sightseeing or shopping.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
There are no activities planned for the final day. You’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night), Hotel (11 nights), Jungle lodge (1 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Resort (2 nights)
Meals
  • 5 Breakfast, 3 Lunch, 3 Dinner
Transport
  • 4x4 Safari Vehicle , Auto rickshaw , Boat , Bus , Cycle rickshaw , Ferry , Overnight sleeper train , Private vehicle , Train
Included Activities
  • Kochi - Fort Kochi walk
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit
  • Mudumalai National Park - Wildlife Safari
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Mysore - City walk
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple
  • Mamallapuram - Cycling tour
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temple
  • Auroville - Experimental township
  • Puducherry - Walking tour & Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - National Park
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Village walk
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Kochi are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Southern India tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 15 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 12 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Kochi/Kochi
image description
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Southern India
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. For any departures within 16 June 2018 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Southern India tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Southern India tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Southern India tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    17 Apr 2018

  • Trip title

    Southern India

  • Trip code

    HHSS

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018

  • Introduction

    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 iconic cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-infused Pondicherry 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.

  • Style

    Original

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    4x4 Safari Vehicle,Auto rickshaw,Boat,Bus,Cycle rickshaw,Ferry,Overnight sleeper train,Private vehicle,Train

  • Physical Rating

    2

  • Finish point description

    The Intrepid Kaleeveedu Lodge is a traditional 1940's Kerala home located in the heart of Fort Kochi, within walking distance to all of the major attractions, and five minutes from the Basilica Church. The Lodge comprises eight air conditioned rooms with ensuite bathroom and hot water. The property also features a beautiful garden and pond bringing a great escape after a days site-seeing.

    If you experience any problem with your booking please call our local Intrepid representative on +91 9999 916229 or +91 9645 096220

    Check-in time is 12 noon.

    Please note that we do not offer additional accommodation at the lodge due to room limitations and any pre / post accommodation will be booked at the White Rose Hotel in Kochi. Please be aware you will need to make your own way between these two properties. The distance is approximately a 5 minute drive, or a 10 minute walk.

  • Finish point instructions

    A departure transfer is available - enquire at time of booking.

    A taxi to the airport takes approx. 90 minutes and costs approx. 1000 INR for an air conditioned car. Ask the hotel reception to help you arrange a taxi.

    Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid 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 were 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.

  • Joining point description

    The Intrepid Kaleeveedu Lodge is a traditional 1940's Kerala home located in the heart of Fort Kochi, within walking distance to all of the major attractions, and five minutes from the Basilica Church. The Lodge comprises eight air conditioned rooms with ensuite bathroom and hot water. The property also features a beautiful garden and pond bringing a great escape after a days site-seeing.

    If you experience any problem with your booking please call our local Intrepid representative on +91 9999 916229 or +91 9645 096220

    Check-in time is 12 noon.

    Please note that we do not offer additional accommodation at the lodge due to room limitations and any pre / post accommodation will be booked at the White Rose Hotel in Kochi. Please be aware you will need to make your own way between these two properties. The distance is approximately a 5 minute drive, or a 10 minute walk.

  • Joining point instructions

    Kochi's (Cochin) International Airport is 50km north east of the city. Taxis are the only available transport, and the journey takes approx. 90minutes. An air conditioned taxi costs approx. INR 1000 from the prepaid taxi booth in the arrivals hall. DO NOT hand your receipt to the driver until you have arrived at the hotel. Ignore any suggestions that "the hotel has burnt down" or "the hotel is full". Rest assured the hotel is there as is your booking.

    An arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 30 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

    If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer look for our local operator that will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name and Intrepid logo.

    if you have any issues finding your transfer driver please call the following number:

    +91 974 647 9660

    payphones can be located in the airport and cost approx 1rp per minute.

  • Communications

    Internet cafes are widespread in India and connections are usually reasonably fast, except in more remote areas. Wifi access is widely available; it's usually free in public areas of hotels but some properties will charge for in room use.

    Public phones are rare with the exception of airports. Private STD/ISD/PCO call booths do the same job, offering inexpensive local, interstate and international calls at lower prices than calls made from hotel rooms.

    Calling internationally from India: dial 00 (the international access code), then the country code of the country you’re calling, then the area code (without the initial zero) and the local number.

    Posting airmail letters to anywhere overseas costs ₹25/15.
    International airmail postcards cost around ₹12.
    For postcards, stick on the stamps before writing on them, as post offices can give you as many as four stamps per card.

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip involves some long stints of travel, which can be tiresome but offer a quintessential Indian experience. On the third day of the trip you’ll be travelling for 7-8 hours by train and private vehicle. On the seventh night you’ll take an eleven-hour overnight sleeper train from Mysore to Mamallapuram.

    Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender.

    The hill station of Ooty can be cold at night, especially in winter, so come prepared with warm clothing. You’ll also need warm and waterproof clothing for your visits to Mudumalai and Periyar National Parks.

    We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

    Long distance and overnight trains can often be delayed and occasionally cancelled. Please see the transport section of the essential trip information.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

    Food is a way of life in India. You can snack for a bargain or dine in the finest Indian restaurants.  

    Generally you can eat very cheaply in India. There is a huge choice of restaurants and street stalls serving traditional and local Indian food. In bigger restaurants in areas frequented by more tourists there is a choice between Indian, Chinese and Western style food.

    India caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg and pure veg section of the menu. If in doubt please check with your tour leader.

    Your tour leader will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly 

    Some tips that will help you stay well when eating in India include.

    - Stick to restaurants and street stalls busy with locals - local families eating there are a good bet.
    - Wash your hands before eating (most restaurants will have a hand basin or bathroom)  or use a sanitising hand gel
    - give yourself a few days to get used to local food, especially spicy food.
    - if in doubt,  stick to the veg meal
    - avoid salads and peel fruit to avoid eating skin that may be washed in local water
    - steer clear of ice unless in higher end restaurants
    - fresh lime and soda is an excellent (and cheap) drink for hot days
    - drink more chai

    Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow so patience is a must.

  • Money matters

    The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).

    The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which are readily available in most towns.

    Look for Bank of India or ICICI ATM's. Our experience has shown they are the most reliable ATM's to use for withdrawals. Your tour leader should be able to direct you to these banks.

    Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful.

    The use of credit cards can be restricted, mainly to major hotels, shops and establishments.

    SPENDING MONEY:
    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    COMMISSION:
    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Indian tourism industry.
    In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.
    Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.
    While Intrepid endeavours to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.


    TIPPING:
    If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

    Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
    We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

    The amount to budget for on this trip is: 2000 INR.

    Please note that this doesn’t cover a tip for your tour leader.

    Your Group Leader: You may consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $US 5-7 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip.

    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest INR20. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

    Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier.

  • Climate and seasonal

    December to March
    Pleasant weather – warm days, cool nights.
    December and January bring chilly nights in the north.
    Temperatures climb steadily from February.

    April to June
    April is hot; May and June are really hot and dry.
    From June, the monsoon sweeps from south to north, bring high temperatures and humidity
    Cooler in the hill and mountains across the country

    July to November
    Monsoon begins until November.
    The southeast coast and southern Kerala see heavy rain from October to early December.

  • A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.

    Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

  • Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

    In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, transfer or accommodation issues, you can reach our local India Intrepid office on their 24 hour number; 


    Intrepid Emergency contacts: +91 9999 005 019

  • Accommodation notes

    Some of the accommodation along the way is very basic, staying in local guesthouses and homestays with limited facilities. Some facilities are shared and some accommodation has cold water only. We use a mixture of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms.

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own.

    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

    SLEEPER TRAINS IN INDIA:
    Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned (fan-cooled at times), a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths, sheets, pillow and blanket are provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. There are basic toilet facilities at the end of each carriage, but no showers available on overnight trains. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same/mixed gender situation. Most trains have a dining carriage or a food/snack cart that is brought through the carriages. There are also plenty of vendors selling tea, coffee, water and snacks during the journey.

  • Transport notes

    Main roads in India are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and chickens). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local public transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced well trained. If you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know in the first instance. Please always wear your seatbelt

    Distances in India do not reflect the driving time. (In Australia for example 100km is usually an hour on the highway) Patience and a sense of humor (as well as a music player or books) is a must on long travel days.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights a single room is not available:
    Day 5 Jungle Resort
    Day 7 Overnight Train

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Homestay (1 night),Hotel (11 nights),Jungle lodge (1 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Resort (2 nights)

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