Price

$1690

Available: 7 spaces

Secure your place on this trip with $350 deposit. Final payment due 60 days before departure.

    Sorry, this program is full. Please provide your information below so that we can add you to our waiting list.




      • Hotels: Standard Class

      • 12/22/2024 - 01/04/2025

      • Max Participants: 16

      • 14 Days / 13 Nights

      Overview

      From the spice plantations of Pondicherry to the incredible Meenakshi Temple, Southern India has a fascinating historical significance going back more than 3,000 years. This two-week program offers a perfect balance of guided excursions and free time to explore on your own. Traveling by train, bus, rickshaw, and country boats will bring you closer to the locals and is a fascinating way to gain insight into the peaceful backwaters of Kerala and the stunning temples of Tamil Nadu.

      Southern India Map

      GEEO will be partnering with the Center for South Asia at UW-Madison. Accompanying the trip will be Professor Mou Banerjee. As a representative of UW-Madison she will provide guidance to teachers during the trip and help with the development of classroom activities and lesson plans that focus on the historical, cultural, social, political, economic, and environmental aspects of Southern India. Professor Banerjee's first book, “The Disinherited: Christianity and Conversion in Colonial India, 1813-1907” is soon to be published by the Harvard University Press.

      What's Included:
      • Fort Kochi orientation walk
      • Kathakali dance show
      • Wayanad Tea Factory and Plantation Visit
      • Chaumundi Temple and Mysore Palace visit
      • Mamallapuram Shore Temple visit
      • Pondicherry orientation walk
      • Madurai cycle-rickshaw ride and Sri Meenakshi Temple visit
      • Cardamom Hills spice plantation tour
      • Visit to Theruvarom Women Empowerment Project
      • Kerala Backwaters Homestay experience
      • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout and local guides
      • 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners – allow $295-385 USD for meals not included
      • Hotels (12 nts), homestay (1 nt, multi-share)
      • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by private vehicle, ferry, auto-rickshaw, and cycle-rickshaw
      What's Not Included:
      • International air travel
      • Incidentals
      • Travel health and cancellation insurance
      • Applicable visas
      • Tips or gratuities
      • Airport taxes
      • Beverages
      • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
      • Optional tours and admissions
      • Arrival and departure airport transfers

      Itinerary Download PDF

      Arrive in Kochi at any time. Due to the potential for flight delays or cancellations, we recommend that you plan to arrive in India at least a day in advance. This will also give you time to adjust to the time difference and overcome any jetlag. We can book extra hotel nights for you in Kochi before and/or after the trip. Please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2:00-3:00 p.m. There are no planned activities until an intro meeting around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., usually in the hotel lobby. Check for a sign or ask at the reception desk about the exact time and location of the group meeting. Please make every effort to arrive in time for this meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up tomorrow. After the welcome meeting, visit the harbor to enjoy the sunset over the Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) followed by an optional group dinner.

      This morning, take a train followed by a scenic drive to Kalpetta, a friendly town with a backdrop of majestic hills. The Wayanad region of the Western Ghats in Kerala is renowned for its sprawling tea plantations that produce some of the finest teas. The group will arrive in the late afternoon or early evening, giving you some time to explore the quaint town before finding a place to try out delicious Southern Indian cuisine. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by train, 2 hrs by private vehicle

      Enjoy a beautiful nature walk in Wayanad, home to many endangered species. The region has an amazing diversity of flora and fauna as well as a long and significant history; the Edakkal caves have remarkable and rare Stone Age carvings. Later, enjoy a visit to a tea factory for fascinating insights into the world of tea production. With an expert guide, stroll through the rolling hills blanketed with vibrant green tea bushes, breathe in the aroma of freshly plucked tea leaves, and explore the factory to learn about the tea-making process, including the withering, rolling, drying, and grading of the tea leaves. Finish off the visit with a fresh cup of local tea.

      Travel to Mysore (formally Mysuru), one of the cleanest cities in India, located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills. The city was the seat of the Wadiyar dynasty and was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore for almost six centuries, from 1399 until 1947. Approximate travel time: 4.5 hrs by private vehicle

      Imagine life as a Maharaja during a guided tour of the Mysore Palace, home of the former royal family, which ruled from 1399 to 1950. Learn about the rich history of Indian royalty and soak in the splendor of an era long gone. Later, join the throngs of Hindu pilgrims at Chamundeshwari Temple on the top of Chamundi Hills. See the monumental statue of Nandi the Bull (ridden by the Hindu god Shiva) while admiring the temple's intricate architecture. In your free time, visit the Devaraja fruit and vegetable market or join a yoga class at one of the many local institutes.

      Enjoy a scenic ride to the east coast today on India's extensive rail system. Play cards, chat with your fellow passengers, or soak in the landscapes before arriving in Chennai. From there, continue south for a short ride to the small village of Mamallapuram. The group will visit several temples and shrines at Mahabalipuram, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that were created during the 7th and 8th centuries. The Shore Temple stands out among the complex for its marvelous view of the Bay of Bengal. Made of granite, the temple is actually comprised of three shrines, two dedicated to Shiva and one to Vishnu. Approximate travel time: 8 hrs by train, 1.5 hrs by private vehicle

      Use some free time to explore all Māmallapuram has to offer. Opt for a swim in the ocean or a jog along the beach, explore the monuments by bicycle or on foot, or go shopping for handicrafts and jewelry.

      In the morning, drive to Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry), formerly the largest French Colony in India and an important trading town. The city's layout has a strong French influence, with wide boulevards and French-style houses. You'll have a brief walk with your tour leader, but for more in-depth information, we recommend an official guided tour by a local. The group will visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to learn about the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, the yogi who developed what he called Integral yoga or supramental yoga. Its aim is a spiritual realization that not only liberates a person's consciousness but also transforms their nature. Approximate travel time: 2.5 hrs by private vehicle

      Today, enjoy the drive to Madurai, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Located on the banks of River Vaigai, Madurai has been a major settlement for two millennia and has a documented history of more than 2,500 years. It is often referred to as "Thoonga Nagaram," which means "the city that never sleeps." Its skyline is dominated by the fourteen colorful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple. Approximate travel time: 6-7 hrs by private vehicle

      Enjoy a tour of Madurai aboard a cycle rickshaw, allowing you to see the sights at a slower pace from street level. Check out the fruit and vegetable market, watch the traditional pressing of oil by a pair of bulls, and visit the famous Gandhi Memorial Museum in the historic Tamukkam Palace. Later, visit the gorgeous Meenakshi Temple, considered the finest example of religious architecture in South India. The enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvati, also known as Meenakshi. Even before you pass through the massive stone walls of the temple, the fourteen striking gopurams (monumental gateways covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals, and monsters all painted in vivid colors) loom high above. After visiting the temple complex, opt to visit the handicraft shops or duck into the cool shade of the covered stone tailor’s market where, for a few rupees, rows of expert tailors will whip you up a custom shirt in minutes, all done on antique foot-pump sewing machines. In the late evening, opt to visit the Meenakshi Temple again for a glimpse of the nighttime rituals. Starting around 9:00 p.m., the temple is completely different than it is in the daytime. The nighttime rituals feature incense and lively spectacles.

      Drive to Thekkady, the spice capital of India, adjacent to Periyar National Park. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the plantation and tea factory to learn more about spice and tea production from this region. You might even get to enjoy a sample or two! You'll have the option of taking a boat ride on Periyar Lake, a great way to get to know the region and spot some animals. Periyar National Park is also home to over 200 species of birds, and the view from the boat offers a unique perspective for birdwatching. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle

      Travel down to the backwaters from Thekkady to catch a private boat for the short journey to the village homestay. Enjoy strolling under the palm trees, weaving in between the rice fields that cover the island while learning more about the lifestyles of the locals. Watch the sunset on the winding backwaters with locals in a small country boat. There may even be time to kick back and enjoy a local toddy (an alcoholic drink made from a coconut). In the afternoon, explore the island with a local to observe the different facets of local life and meet the people who live in this unique location. Just before sunset, hop on a small country boat with locals to enjoy sunset on the winding backwaters. Approximate travel time: 4-5.5 hrs by private vehicle, 15 minutes by boat.

      Spend the morning with your host family learning to cook local food, watching the toddy tappers at work, or wandering around the village. Leave the village and travel by boat and private vehicle back to Kochi. Along the way, enjoy a traditional Kerala lunch prepared by women of the Theruvarom Empowerment Project, which provides women from rural areas an alternative source of income by honing their hospitality and culinary skills. Learn about the local cuisine and socio-economic fabric of the region as you get to know the women, all while taking in live entertainment. After arriving back in Kochi, get to know this delightful city through a guided walk. Visit the Dutch Palace and Jewish Quarter with its 400-year-old synagogue. Explore St Francis Church, the oldest church in India. Spend your final evening in India enjoying a Kathakali performance, a form of traditional Kerala dance. Considered one of the oldest dance forms in India, Kathakali is a combination of drama, dance, music, and ritual. Characters with vividly painted faces and elaborate costumes re-enact stories from the Hindu epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The dance drama, performed exclusively by men, is famous for its amazing costumes, extensive makeup, and explosive body movements. Approximate travel time: 15 minutes by boat, 2 hrs by private vehicle.

      There are no planned activities today, so you may depart Kochi at any time. If you wish to extend your stay in Kochi, consider booking post-tour accommodation with us. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is usually mid-morning, but luggage storage services are available at the reception desk. Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO programs in the same school year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs per year). If you would like to extend your time abroad but don't see another GEEO program that interests you, let us know. We can work with you to find a trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Their tours are open to the general public and not designed specifically for educators, but we can still offer you and your travel companions a discounted educator price on any additional tours that you book.

      Details

      Frequently Asked Questions
      Please read our general FAQs, where you can find essential information that applies to all of our programs.
      Resources to Learn & Teach about India
      Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
      Terms and Conditions
      It is very important to review our Terms and Conditions before signing up for a GEEO program.
      GEEO Program Confirmation Process
      We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
      Cancellation Policy
      All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in writing by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105.
      • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to the start of your program, all your program fee payments will be refunded excluding your $350 deposit, which is kept on file for future use and never expires.
      • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to the start of your program, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit will be kept on file for future use and will never expire.
      • If you cancel within 30 days prior to the start of your program, you will receive no refund, but your deposit will be kept on file for future use and will never expire.
      Exceptions to this cancellation policy may apply for grant recipients.
      Trip Notes
      1. India is a country that is very different from anything you will have experienced before. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Pollution, poverty, and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here, we have come to love this large and wonderfully different country, but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way.
      2. In India, there are very different attitudes to timekeeping, public cleanliness, privacy, and service. Plumbing can sometimes be temperamental, and power will often just vanish. Optimistic menus turn out to have only one dish available and everyone – everyone – will want to know your name. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a healthy sense of humor, we know that you – like all of us – will be captivated by what India has to offer.
      3. Please be careful about attracting too much attention to the group in large cities. An innocent conversation with a local man in a train station can result in the group being surrounded by 40 curious men who also want to talk or be in the group's physical space. It can get really uncomfortable even if they mean no harm. You will always attract attention as a westerner. Please ask your tour leader what is appropriate before interacting with local men.
      4. Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.
      5. During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and "talk" with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.
      Group Leader Description
      All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
      Fitness Level
      This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
      Single Travelers
      Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org to request a single room. Please note that if you book the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all nights except for night 13 (homestay).
      Joining Instructions
      Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details. If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning. When arriving at Kochi Airport, you will need to get a taxi to take you to the hotel, as public buses are not reliable and the airport is located roughly 20 miles outside the city. The drive should take between 45-60 minutes depending on traffic and the time of day. Please order your taxi from the prepaid taxi booth in the arrivals hall. The cost is roughly INR 550-650 ($6-8 USD). The taxi booth will give you a receipt that you need to give to the driver but not until you arrive at the hotel. Be aware that touts at the airport, even at hotel reservation counters, may try to trick you into booking a hotel room by claiming that your prior reservation is invalid. Ignore them. If this is your first trip to India, a transfer is recommended. If you have paid for an arrival transfer with us, your driver/local operator will be waiting for you with a G Adventures sign with your name on it. Please look carefully once you exit the baggage hall. If you don't see your transfer driver in Cochin International Airport, please call the local transfer provider directly: Mr Saurabh Bhandari: +91 9971697407 Mr Shivaji Singh: +91 9958446907
      Emergency Contacts
      Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Office (Delhi) G Adventures South Asia Manager, Sorab (Delhi, India) Emergency number: From outside of India: +91 88 5180 6614 From within Delhi: 88 5180 6614 From within India, but outside Delhi: 088 5180 6614 G Adventures Asia Office in Bangkok (if for some reason you can’t reach any of India emergency numbers) 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. CST (GMT +7) +66-02-3815574 If you are unable for any reason to contact G Adventures’ local office, they have a toll-free line which will connect you directly with their Toronto office: Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
      Packing List
      Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person. Suggested Checklist
      • Clothes for religious sites – knees and shoulders must be covered
      • Small towel and swimwear
      • Raincoat and/or umbrella
      • Personal clothing for warm to hot weather – we recommend packing 8-9 days of outfits, so you only have to do laundry once; covering shoulders is advisable
      • Fleece top for flights and nights, which can get down into the 60s.
      • Shorts – covering knees is advisable for women; some would say men too
      • Long pants
      • Sturdy walking shoes – closed toe is a good idea
      • Sport sandals or flip-flops
      • Daypack
      • Insect repellent
      • Sunblock
      • Sunglasses
      • Sun hat
      • Watch or alarm clock
      • Toiletries – your hotels will have soap and shampoo
      • Camera
      • First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
      Optional Checklist
      • Travel pillow
      • Lock for all bags
      • Flashlight or headlamp
      • Money belt
      • Water bottle
      • Phone/tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
      • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
      • AirTags or Tile trackers
      • Packing cubes
      • Earplugs
      • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
      • Ziplock bags for wet clothing
      • Reading/writing material
      • Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
      • Headscarf for women
      • Light fleece top
      Document Checklist
      • Passport (with photocopies)
      • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
      • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
      • EUR/USD cash
      • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
      • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
      • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
      • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
      Laundry
      Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge, or you can ask your tour leader where the nearest laundromat is located.
      Passports and Visas
      All GEEO programs require the participant to have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here. U.S. citizens must obtain a visa in advance to enter India. India has an e-visa system that makes the process quite easy. This means you do not have to send your passport to an embassy, but instead do all the paperwork online. The 30-day India tourist e-visa costs $10, and you can apply a maximum of 30 days and a minimum of 4 days before your arrival in India. We recommend waiting until 25-20 days before departure just in case your flight gets delayed. Please go to https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and follow the instructions carefully. Please use the start hotel of your tour as a reference for your visa application. Contact us if you need further information. For visa purposes, your Emergency Local Contact details are below: G Adventures South Asia Manager Mr Sorab Jassawalla (Delhi, India) From outside of India: +91 88 5180 6614 From within Delhi: 88 5180 6614 From within India, but outside Delhi: 088 5180 6614 Please note: When applying for the visa, make sure you state the purpose of your trip is “tourism.” If you write “educational” or anything that makes you stand out as a non-tourist, they may confuse you for either a student needing a study visa or a teacher requiring a work visa.
      Money Exchange
      The local currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR or ₹). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. We recommend that you obtain cash from ATMs while traveling; they will dispense the local currency. We do, however, recommend that you bring at least $200 USD in cash for emergency use or in case you have trouble with the ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but you may be charged an international transaction fee; ask your financial institution about their international fees. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. dollars, the bills should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and dated recently.
      Tipping
      It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Tipping is also one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the local community. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There will be opportunities during the trip to tip your local guides or drivers. You may do this individually, or your tour leader may offer to collect the money and give a tip on behalf of the group. Recommendations for tipping local guides and drivers range from $2-3 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and expectations. Also, at the end of your program, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, a tip would be appreciated. The amount is entirely your personal preference, but as a guideline, $20-30 USD per person per week would be appropriate. We recommend tipping your tour leader in crisp $10 and $20 bills.
      Vaccinations
      GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations for your destination. Please take this seriously!
      Flights
      We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. This program begins and ends in Kochi. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Kochi. You may want to arrive in India one or more days early in case you have flight disruptions. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. You can depart from Amman any time on the final day of the program.
      Plugs and Converters
      There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers (also called electrical converters). The adapter is for your device's plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two- to three-pronged power cord to fit the local outlets. The transformer/converter changes the local voltage to the voltage used in the U.S. India uses European-style type C (two-pin) and type D (three-pin) plugs. The voltage is 230V. (Standard U.S. electrical outlets are 120V.) Most new devices, including phones and laptops, are made to work with the different voltage rates, but some devices, like hair dryers, may only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device's plug or manual to see what voltage range it requires. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity; for example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work with voltages between 100V to 240V. If your device can’t handle the higher voltage, you’ll need to purchase a transformer/converter. You can find world transformers/converters online or at many retail stores in the travel section.
      Expectations
      Before you decide to travel with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
      • Hotels in India have service levels and amenities different than Western standards. The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury.
      • The same goes for transportation. We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. Transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
      • You must be able to carry or roll your luggage easily, so do not over-pack.
      • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
      • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
      • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
      Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
      Itinerary Disclaimer
      While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
      Weather
      December is an ideal time to visit Southern India. Expect days in the 80s and nights in 70s and 60s.

      Costs

      Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
      Tour Company Fee
      See our price in the top right corner
      Optional Activities
      $0-50 USD
      International Airfare from the United States
      Approximately $1,300-2,000 USD If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
      Airport Transfers
      $20-$30
      Visa
      $10 USD for the 30-day tourist e-visa for Americans. You must get the visa in advance.
      Insurance
      $79-200 USD Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as an add-on.
      Tipping
      We recommend $40-60 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $60 to tip other local guides.
      Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
      $300-400 USD
      Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
      Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
      Vaccines
      Variable. Please consult your doctor.
      Souvenirs
      Variable. At your personal discretion.
      Non-Educator Donation
      $100 USD (suggested donation) This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

      Optional Activities

      Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally, sometimes in the local currency, and you do not have to decide in advance which ones you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip.
      Madurai
      Meenakshi Temple Night Visit: ₹50 per person, ₹1000 INR per group
      Thekkady
      Periyar Lake Boat Ride: ₹500 INR per group