South India Escape

Tour India's soulful south, with rolling tea plantations, a cruise on the jungle-fringed backwaters, and beautiful Marari Beach.

tour duration 11 Days from
tour price On Request
tour type Private Tour

Places Visited

UK - Kochi (3N) - Munnar (2N) - Kumarkom (1N) - Kerala Houseboat (1N) - Maraikulam (2N) - Kochi - UK

Tour Highlights

See the cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets on beautiful Kochi Bay
Watch a colourful Kathakali Performance
Visit a local tea plantation in the hill station of Munnar
Tour the Mattupetty Dam, built in the mountains of Kerala
Search for Asian Elephants and Bengal Tigers at the Eravikulam National Park
Take a relaxing boat cruise through the atmospheric Kerala Backwaters

Day 1 Fly to Kochi
Fly overnight to Kochi.
Day 2 Arrive & Explore
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 3 Kochi
After breakfast, enjoy sightseeing around Kochi, including visits to the Dutch Fort, St Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica and the Jewish Synagogue. In the evening, enjoy a Kathakali Dance performance. (B,L)
Day 4 Journey to Munnar
Drive to Munnar, through the winding, steep highlands. (B,L)
Day 5 Explore the Munnar Hills
Tour Mattupetty Dam and the surrounding lake area. In the afternoon visit nearby Eravikulam National Park (closed from Feb-Apr) - home to Asian Elephants, Bengal Tigers and the Nilgiri Tahr. Alternate touring will be light walking through Munnar hillside areas. (B,L)
Day 6 Munnar to Kumarakom
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom visiting Kothamangalam town en route. Here you will tour local rubber, coffee and pepper plantations as well as enjoy lunch with a local family. Continue on to Kumarakom. (B,L)
Day 7 Kerala Backwater Cruise
Visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary before boarding your overnight houseboat. Take in the breathtaking views of untouched rural Kerala. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Relax in Mararikulam
Disembark your houseboat in Alleppey before proceeding to Mararikulam. The remainder of the afternoon is free to spend by the swimming pool or at the beach. (B)
Day 9 Discover the Malabar Coast
Visit Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village, then travel to Cherthala to learn about coir production. Return to Mararikulam in the afternoon. (B,L)
Day 10 Mararikulam & Kochi
Enjoy the morning at leisure. After a late check-out, you will be transferred back to Kochi for your farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 11 Fly Kochi to UK
Fly to the UK. (B)

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Doha Extension 4D/3N

Doha Extension 4D/3N

tour duration 4 Days from tour price 340pp
Singapore Extension

Singapore Extension

tour duration 3 Days from tour price 220pp
Goa Extension

Goa Extension

tour duration 5 Days from tour price 340pp

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.

What's Included

all international airfares
all domestic transportation, departure taxes and current fuel surcharges
all accommodation
meals as stated
entrance fees, guides and daily tours
visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
Please contact our Reservation team for prices for 2015/2016

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is ideal for those who have a reasonable amount of time and are interested in visiting the south of India. Part of this tour is on a houseboat in the Kerala Backwaters. This is a private tour so not all meals are included, this allows you to independently choose some of your own dining experiences.

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