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Secrets of South India. - 2018

Small group tour
12 days - From US$2735*PP

This captivating itinerary unveils South India’s rich history and culture, from colorful Fort Cochin to the giant ancient temples of Tamil Nadu, from French-influenced Pondicherry to the seaside village of Mahabalipuram. Discover a fascinating corner of India home to colonial history, traditional villages, ancient Hindu tradition and quaint seaside towns.

Inclusions

  • 11 nights hotel accommodation
  • breakfast daily
  • 1 lunch
  • 2 dinners
  • transport in air-conditioned vehicles
  • 2 boat rides
  • small group touring
  • entrance fees
  • tour leader (based on a minimum ten travelers)
  • local English-speaking guides
  • porterage and incidental tipping
  • and tour arrival and departure transfers.

Prices and Departures

Select your month
Start

DECEMBER 2nd
(Saturday)

End

DECEMBER 13th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$3225*

Single supplement:
US$1377*
On Request

This departure is guaranteed to operate

Book now

Start

JANUARY 13th
(Saturday)

End

JANUARY 24th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
On Request

Book now

Start

JANUARY 27th
(Saturday)

End

FEBRUARY 7th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

This departure is guaranteed to operate

Book now

Start

FEBRUARY 10th
(Saturday)

End

FEBRUARY 21st
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

This departure is guaranteed to operate

Book now

Start

FEBRUARY 24th
(Saturday)

End

MARCH 7th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

Book now

Start

MARCH 10th
(Saturday)

End

MARCH 21st
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

This departure is guaranteed to operate

Book now

Start

OCTOBER 20th
(Saturday)

End

OCTOBER 31st
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

Book now

Start

NOVEMBER 3rd
(Saturday)

End

NOVEMBER 14th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

Book now

Start

DECEMBER 1st
(Saturday)

End

DECEMBER 12th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2735*

Single supplement:
US$1250*
Available

Book now

Start

JANUARY 19th
(Saturday)

End

JANUARY 30th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2875*

Single supplement:
US$1310*
Available

Book now

Start

FEBRUARY 16th
(Saturday)

End

FEBRUARY 27th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2875*

Single supplement:
US$1310*
Available

Book now

Start

MARCH 16th
(Saturday)

End

MARCH 27th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2875*

Single supplement:
US$1310*
Available

Book now

Start

OCTOBER 26th
(Saturday)

End

NOVEMBER 6th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2875*

Single supplement:
US$1310*
Available

Book now

Start

NOVEMBER 23rd
(Saturday)

End

DECEMBER 4th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2875*

Single supplement:
US$1310*
Available

Book now

Start

DECEMBER 14th
(Saturday)

End

DECEMBER 25th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$2875*

Single supplement:
US$1310*
Available

Book now

Small Group Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Cochin
Arrive in laidback Cochin, transfer to your hotel, and meet your fellow travelers and Tour Leader (or local guide).

Hotel: Fragrant Nature Kochi (or similar)

Day 2: Cochin City Tour
Join a heritage walk of Cochin and see Fort Cochin, St Francis Church and Dutch Palace Museum. Explore fascinating Jew Town and visit the 16th century Pardesi Synagogue. Discover the wonderful shops and boutiques within the surrounding area at your own pace. Take a sunset cruise on Cochin Harbor before enjoying a Keralan arts performance.

Hotel: Fragrant Nature Kochi (or similar)

Day 3: Cochin to Thekkady
Travel into the lush hills of the Western Ghats, India's premier spice-growing region, before arriving in the market town of Thekkady, gateway to beautiful Periyar National Park. Experience an Ayurvedic treatment, a unique aspect of Indian tradition.

Hotel: Spice Village (or similar)

Day 4: Thekkady to Madurai
Visit Periyar National Park and enjoy a boat ride to view some of the wildlife that inhabit the forested hills including Indian elephants, Gaur (bison), the all-dark Nilgiri Langur monkey and an abundance of birds. After lunch, travel to Madurai and experience the vibrant street life.

Hotel: Heritage Madurai (or similar)

Day 5: Madurai
Visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai's most celebrated attraction and possibly the greatest of all south Indian temples. This is much more than just a place to worship and is a fantastic opportunity to interact with local people who congregate here daily. Before enjoying a special vegetarian thali lunch, stop to visit the Gandhi Museum. In the afternoon, walk through the remains of the Tirumalai Nayak Palace and stroll through Madurai's colorful fresh fruit and vegetable market including 'banana alley'.

Hotel: Heritage Madurai (or similar)

Day 6: Madurai to Karaikudi
Travel to Karaikudi, the home of the Chettiyar community who have made the area a famous cultural center through their rich culture, lavish houses and delicious cuisine. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration in the comfort of your hotel, showcasing the region's famous cuisine before sitting down to savor the dishes.

Hotel: The Bangala (or similar)

Day 7: Karaikudi to Kumbakonam
Continue to Tanjore (Thanjavur), the ancient capital of the Chola kingdom and home to the massive Sri Brihadishwara Temple. Visit the Thanjavur Museum and Sri Brihadishwara Temple.

Hotel: Mantra Veppathur (or similar)

Day 8: Kumbakonam
Enjoy a morning walk through a nearby farming village and gain insights into the daily life of Tamil Nadu's farming communities. In the afternoon, visit the nearby temple town of Darusaram and explore Sarangapani and Kumbeshwara, famous for their erotic sculptures. Stop at a silk weaving village on the way back to your resort where you have the afternoon at leisure.

Hotel: Mantra Veppathur (or similar)

Day 9: Kumbakonam to Pondicherry
Travel to Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal. Enjoy a heritage walk around the waterfront quarter with its distinctly French influence from the time when they colonised the area for nearly 300 years.

Hotel: Maison Perumal (or similar)

Day 10: Pondicherry
Take a morning walk through the colorful flower market before popping into a local coffee house where delicious sweet coffee is 'pulled' in typical southern style. Jump into a cycle rickshaw for a ride through the old town enjoying more of the iconic buildings. In the afternoon, explore Pondicherry independently or visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, one of India's best known spiritual centers.

Hotel: Maison Perumal (or similar)

Day 11: Pondicherry to Mahabalipuram
Drive to the delightful coastal village of Mahabalipuram, a town on a strip of land between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake. It's known for its temples and monuments built by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries, the most famous of which are the Five Rathas and Shore Temple. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the end of a memorable vacation in south India.

Hotel: Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay (or similar)

Day 12: Mahablipuram to Chennai
Transfer to Chennai airport for your onward journey.

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* From prices subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Airfares not included unless otherwise specified. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. If you book with Insider Journeys an additional 2% fee applies to credit card or charge card payments (except in North America, where no fee is charged). Insider Journeys general booking conditions apply click here.