Southern India is a destination going from strength to strength in popularity and to participate on this incredible adventure is to understand why. The southern states offer a rich heritage ethnically and culturally distinct from that of northern India. Palm-fringed seashores, fertile rice fields, upland tropical forests, intricately carved temples and calm ocean lagoons complete the picture.
A two-night houseboat journey along the picturesque backwaters of Kerala, the best in Indian temple art at Mahabalipuram, and the spectacular Maharaja's Palace in Mysore are just some of the highlights of our this trip.
Seasonality and Weather
For most of the country, Nov-March is the best time to visit, with October being the end of the monsoon. During those months, temperatures range from 65-95 F/19-37 C in the south. March-June is dry and exceedingly hot (85-110 F/30-44 C), and June-Oct is generally a wet time. While conditions can vary widely, you must be prepared for some sticky heat.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Ground transport via private air-conditioned motor coach and air-conditioned day train. The tour is not physically strenuous though it is busy; you must be prepared for some early starts, be steady on your feet, and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage from time to time. Train travel is comfortable and air-conditioned (where climate warrants).
Accommodation in air-conditioned 3-star hotels. Hotel properties are mostly modern and Western style. Some are older, character properties with simpler rooms and perhaps no elevators. The hotels indicated on our itinerary reflect our preferred properties in each location. On average they can be considered the equivalent of a North American 3-star, though in some more remote areas (ie, Periyar), and at some heritage properties, there is no official star rating. Some properties have swimming pools. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Laundry services at most hotels for a modest cost. Porters are generally available (see 'Inclusions').
THE HOUSEBOAT will be approx 60 feet long and 13 feet wide in the middle. There are comfortable beds, and traditional lanterns, a sundeck for daytime relaxation. Some of the houseboats have the provision for air-conditioning, but most travellers do not care for the all-night gasoline engine noise required to run the units. Most people find that the peace and quiet, and comfort provided by a fan, are preferred.
NOTE: Single cabins are NOT available on the houseboat. Single supplements reflect sharing for this one night.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.
10-21 (plus Tour Leader)