Tea plantation | Kerala | India
FROM: USD $2,555 pp

PRIVATE TOUR: Chennai, Pondicherry and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Kochi, colonial hill stations and a rice boat cruise on the Keralan backwaters. An action packed fortnight in the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, that simply has it all!

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kumily
Alleppey - Venice of the East
Trichy - The high up Rock Fort Temple
Chennai - The gateway of South India
Pondicherry - Former French colonial town
Kumarakom and the famous Kerala backwaters
Historic Kochi - Parsi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, St Francis Church, Fort Cochin, colourful boats and Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront
Tanjore - The ornate Brihadishwara Temple
Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram - Temple towns
Madurai - Great temple town


Breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Touring and excursions as per itinerary
Keralan backwaters - Rice boat cruise (overnight)
Services of a licensed English speaking tour guide at all included sites
All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern Chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles
12 nights SUPERIOR hotels and 1 night rice boat. STANDARD and DELUXE hotel options are also available upon request. Accommodation rating – See Trip Notes for details
Periyar - Boating on lake OR visit to a spice plantation
Entrance fees for all included sightseeing
An airport arrival transfer day 1 and a departure transfer day 14

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tipping - An entirely personal gesture


Day 1


Once you arrive into Chennai you will be met and transferred to your hotel. An afternoon tour of the city includes a vist to St George Fort, built in 1653 and St Mary’s Church, the oldest British church in India.
Overnight: Chennai

Day 2


Chennai - Pondicherry. En route to Pondicherry visit Kanchipuram, one of sacred cities in India and the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, famous for its shore temple. The city is also famous for handwoven silk. In Mahabalipuram, the huge rock-cut sculptures and mandapams (pillared pavilions) date from the 5th to 8th centuries.

Drive south to Pondicherry, a former French colony which exudes a Mediterranean aura - whitewashed residences, ornamental gardens and excellent French-Indian restaurants. Many travellers come to visit the popular Sri Aurobindo Ashram, whose spiritual tenets combine yoga and modern science.
Overnight: Pondicherry  |  Breakfast

Day 3


Pondicherry - Tanjore. Start the day with a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry which includes Aurobindo Ashram, French Colony, Pondicherry Beach and the Sacred Heart Church before continuing south. Arrival at Tanjore, also known as Thanjavur, Tanjore is an ancient fortified town, with a glorious history dating back more than 1500 years. Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins date back to the beginning of Christianity.
Overnight: Thanjavur  |  Breakfast

Day 4


Tanjore - Trichy. Spend the morning on a sightseeing tour of Tanjore before a short drive to Trichy. Our city tour includes the enormous Brihadishwara Temple. Built by Raja Raja in 1010, the World Heritage protected temple has a dome weighing an estimated 80 tonnes which was hauled into place along an earth ramp in a manner similar to that used for the Egyptian pyramids. Trichy has been ravaged by war through the centuries. A lasting legacy is the Rock Fort and its temples.
Overnight: Trichy  |  Breakfast

Days 5-6


Trichy - Madurai. Take a morning sightseeing tour of Trichy before the journey continues south to Madurai. An important centre for worship and commerce, Madurai has been around since the dawn of civilisation in southern India. A bustling city jam-packed with rickshawallas, pilgrims and traders and resembling a seemingly continuous bazaar crammed to the gunnels with shops, markets and lodgings for tourists and pilgrims, Madurai is yours this afternoon. Go immerse yourself. This evening, you’ll witness a religious ceremony at a local temple. On the morning of day 6, enjoy a sightseeing tour. Highlights include the Sri Meenakshi Temple built in 1560 and the city’s busy bazaars. The afternoon is then free for you to further explore the city.
Overnight: Madurai  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 7


Madurai - Periyar. Your journey continues to Periyar, south India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary which is home to sambar, wild boar, elephant, bison, antelope, langur and a small tiger population. You'll stay in Kumily, which is a pretty town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops which is close to the sanctuary.
Overnight: Kumily  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

This morning spot herds of wild elephants and other wildlife on a Lake Periyar boat ride in the reserve, or visit the nearby spice plantation. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Kumily  |  Breakfast

Days 9-10


Periyar- Kumarakom. Continue to Kumarakom. Perched sleepily amongst a tangle of lush tropical waterways known as the Keralan backwaters, Kumarakom is technically an island on Lake Vembanad. An ideal place to relax and be at one with natural surroundings, you’ll enjoy two nights here. Check out the wonderful bird sanctuary.
Overnight: Kumarakom  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 11

Kerala Backwaters - Allapuzha

This morning, you’ll board a traditional Keralan rice boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Allapuzha (Alleppey). The boat will cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes and cruise along peaceful canals where copra and cashews are loaded onto local boats. The on-board cook will prepare locally-inspired food. Relax, read and catch some sun as the boat plies it’s route.
Overnight: Rice Boat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12


Backwaters - Kochi. Disembarking at Allapuzha, enjoy a short drive to Kochi (Cochin). The city of Kochi perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. One can see winding streets with mosques, a 16th century Jewish synagogue and Jewish community with ancient roots and 500 year old Portuguese cottages! Enjoy the remains of the day your way.
Overnight: Kochi  |  Breakfast

Day 13


This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour, including a walking tour of Fort Cochin. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps watch famous Keralan dancers perform. Arrive early so you don’t miss the artists applying their awesome make-up.
Overnight: Kochi  |  Breakfast

Day 14


Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.

If you'd like to extend your stay, we offer a variety of hotels, short stays and add-ons for you to choose from. Please read our best places to visit or best things to see each month for suggested places to visit on your holiday. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please let us know so we can accommodate your request.

For information about visas, top travel tips, best time to travel and much more, browse our travel guide.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The 'Single Room' price is applicable when a single room is required. If travelling solo, an additional ‘1-person’ supplement will apply.

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Twin / Share
Single Room
USD $2555
USD $3885
USD $2865
USD $4355

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room

In Brief

Trip Type
Any day of the year
Hotel Rating
Our rating: Superior
Tour Guide
Yes - for all scheduled sightseeing
Breakfast: 13, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 1
The Golden Temple of Auroville in Pondicherry
View of Trichy from across the water
Wooden boat drifting along the river in Kumarakom
Kochi Chinese fishing nets - Highlight
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