Exquisite Temples and Tropical Landscapes

Treasures of South India

India

14 Days

From $8,895

Level 1+

Easiest

Overview

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    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    South India is simply dazzling, with its spice ports, colonial towns, and magnificent temples nestled in a lush tropical landscape. Our hand-crafted journey delves deeply into this colorful realm as we watch an ancient dance-drama performance, explore by houseboat on tranquil Kerala waterways, and discover Tamil Nadu's sacred architecture, where carved temples soar high above palm forests. Along the way, we savor legendary cuisine, from coconut-infused fish curries to tangy rasam.

    Arrive: Kochi, India

    Depart: Chennai (Madras), India

    Highlights

    • Ancient trading port of Kochi on the Arabian Sea
    • Private houseboat with an on-board chef
    • Madurai's colossal temple, French colonial Pondicherry by the sea
    • South India's savory cuisine, from curries to dosas

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      In Kochi (formerly Cochin), with its stunning location along the Arabian Sea, our walks reveal the legacies of its European past, from British mansions and Dutch cottages to a 16th century synagogue.
      As we glide by deluxe private houseboat, Kerala's picturesque rural scenes are all around us. Our journey on waterways through this quiet region reveals the life of people working their fields with water buffaloes and fishing with nets from traditional longboats. We may even see some school boats (no school buses here). After heading through tea plantations to Periyar in the Cardamom Hills, we continue to Madurai. The vast, fortress-like Shri Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple dominates this city, and we immerse ourselves in the fascinating temple scene, with its Shaivite priests and ongoing weddings.
      Crossing a green landscape of rice paddies and coconut palms, we discover Chettinard mansions and ancient temples in wayside villages. Bustling Karaikudi, with its antique shops, and famed Thanjavur, a center for art and music, are wonderful highlights. On Day 10, we explore, Kumbakonam, the main commercial area for the Thanjavur region and home of the 17th century Kubareshwara Temple, which towers over the town.
      In Pondicherry, the former capital of French India, we walk the lanes of the French Quarter. From our beach resort, we marvel at Mamallapuram's rock-cut temples by the sea and visit an open-air museum of traditional Tamil culture. Depart on Day 14.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in first-class hotels and private houseboat
      • All meals
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from arrival until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Visa fees

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Brunton Boatyard

      Kochi, India

      Days 1-2 (2 nights)

      Set by the water's edge in Fort Kochi, the Brunton Boatyard is a 19th century shipyard that was converted into a charming 22-room hotel that captures the ambience of a bygone era. All the guest rooms are beautifully furnished in colonial-style antiques and have balconies with stunning views of the...

      Traditional Houseboat

      Alleppey, India

      Day 3 (1 night)

      The beautiful houseboats of Kerala, called kettuvallams, were once used to transport rice, spices, and other goods to the port of Cochin. Today these delightful 80-foot barges make fantastic overnight accommodations for a journey along the lagoons of Kerala. The private, air-conditioned houseboats come in a variety of shapes and...

      Spice Village Hotel

      Periyar, India

      Days 4-5 (2 nights)

      A marvelous eco-friendly hideaway, Spice Village has about 60 thatched bungalows scattered in a park-like setting. The bungalows aren't air-conditioned but the altitude, breezes, and forested surroundings make them very comfortable. The bar, once the park headquarters for Periyar, has a charming atmosphere and the feel of an old colonial...

      Gateway Hotel Pasumalai

      Madurai, India

      Days 6-7 (2 nights)

      This restored colonial home, with its unique hilltop location overlooking the temple city of Madurai, is full of character and charm. Built atop Pasumalai Hill amid 62 acres of tranquil gardens, it is a former governors' residence that feels more like a house than a hotel. The old-fashioned rooms blend...

      Bangala Hotel

      Karaikudi, India

      Day 8 (1 night)

      The Bangala is a family-run heritage hotel in Karaikudi, the main town in Chettinad country. It has been in the same family for 100 years and was transformed into a 34-room hotel about 12 years ago, centered around the original colonial garden. It has a relaxed ambience and a traditional...

      Mantra Koodam

      Kumbakonam, India

      Days 9-10 (2 nights)

      This eco-friendly hotel is spread over landscaped acres along the banks of the Veera Chozha River. It has comfortable air-conditioned guest cottages, a pool, and  a restaurant that serves classic South Indian vegetarian cuisine prepared the traditional way. Ayurvedic spa treatments and yoga sessions are available.

      Palais de Mahe

      Pondicherry, India

      Day 11 (1 night)

      The boutique Palais de Mahe is set in the colonial area of Pondicherry near the seaside promenade. Guest rooms are spacious, with high ceilings, and the hotel's verandas, courtyard, and period furniture give it a French Colonial atmosphere. The poolside café is good place to relax and there a lovely...

      Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay

      Mahabalipuram, India

      Days 12-13 (2 nights)

      Spread across 46 acres along a stretch of private beach, this resort complex has spacious, well-keptâ  rooms, either beachside or poolside, as well as a huge swimming pool, spa services, and multiple dining options. It's an easy walk to many of the shops and monuments at Mamallapuram.

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Hashmat Singh

      View Profile

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 1+, Easy, according to our trip grading system. It is a vehicle-based cultural and natural history adventure. Accommodations are in hotels and lodges. Although this is not a difficult trip, please remember that travel in India is an intense experience. The essential requirements are flexibility, a sense of humor, curiosity, enthusiasm about new peoples and places, and an openness to the unexpected.
      Review Trip Level Details
      We expect temperatures to be warm to hot, ranging through the mid-70Fs to 80Fs. During this season, the average high temperature on the coast at Kochi is recorded as 86°F. At higher elevations, such as at Periyar, it is much cooler. The south of India has two distinct monsoon seasons: one in summer and another from October to mid-November. We don't expect heavy rain to be a problem on our trip, but there can be occasional showers at any time between November and February.

      Extend Your Trip

      Client Testimonials

      "Seeing the festivals in the small villages was a highlight of the trip."

      Carol G.

      Boulder, CO

      "One of the best trips my husband and I have taken—a feast for the senses and the intellect. Fabulous temples, beautiful countryside. I especially appreciated our many glimpses into village life, religious practices, and traditions."

      Joanne C.

      Pittsboro, NC

      "One of the best trips we’ve ever been on."

      Joe K.

      Mission Hills, CA

      "One of the best trips we've ever taken."

      Judith L.

      San Jose, CA

      "Fantastic. Inspiring. Spiritual. Educational. Memorable. A feast for the senses. Just a few of the many words to describe the Treasures of South India trip. One of the many highlights was interacting with the locals during Pongal festivities. The locals expressed such joy in seeing us as we did in seeing them. Having traveled with other companies, I can without a doubt say that WT has the best guides. "

      Lee R.

      New York, NY

      "Hashmat's enthusiasm for his country is infectious, his enjoyment of people unending, and his work and efficiency unbelievable. I'm looking forward to another trip with him."

      Roberta R.

      Woodstock, VT

      "This was my first trip to India and I cannot imagine a better introduction. Because of the care with which the trip had been planned and organized, I was able to relax, enjoy, and try to fully absorb the experience without spending even a moment concerned about the quotidian details of the trip. What a luxury."

      Virginia V.

      Salem, OR

      "An extremely well thought out and well executed itinerary and the best Trip Leader I’ve ever had."

      William N.

      Long Beach, CA

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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This intriguing old city in the green and tropical state of Kerala has a stunning location on a series of islands along the Arabian Sea as well as a long and colorful history as a trading city. Our accommodation in Kochi is the Brunton Boatyard, a boutique hotel with harbor-view rooms. We gather for a Welcome Dinner this evening.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":2,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Kochi","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In our explorations today, we wander the old lanes of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Palace, where we come upon such incongruous sites as traditional Dutch architecture, the Pardesi Synagogue, and other oddities that reflect the European influence on Kochi. Tonight we attend a performance of Kathakali, the elaborate and ancient dance-drama native to Kerala. Overnight at hotel.\r\n\r\nKochi: The harbors of the Malabar Coast were a favorite port of call in the spice trade for two thousand years, attracting a mix of Arab, Christian, and Jewish settlers and traders from the Middle East. In the early 15th century, the Europeans arrived, and the Rajas of Kochi were keen to expand the spice trade and welcomed them. The British arrived thereafter and eventually took control of the lucrative spice trade. By 1800, Kochi was part of the British Madras Presidency. One of Kochi&apos;s old districts, Fort Kochi, is a quiet European enclave that still contains some fine old British mansions and a few Dutch cottages. Kochi&apos;s historic Mattancherry district bustles with traders in tea, jute, rubber, and spices, and is the area called Jewtown, where the Pardesi Synagogue, founded in 1568, still exists. Jews were a respected part of Keralan life until the arrival of the Portuguese, who brought the persecution of Jews with them. Many Jewish names are seen on houses and businesses in this district. Also in Mattancherry is the Mattancherry Palace, locally known as the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese and given as a gift to the Rajas of Kochi.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Kerala Backwaters Cruise","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A morning drive bring us to the romantic port town of Alleppey (known now as Alappuzha), once one of the best known seaports of the Malabar Coast. Much of the colorful traffic on Alleppey&apos;s waterways is from the thriving coconut fiber industry. On arrival, we board our houseboat for a relaxing cruise and overnight in the tranquil &ldquo;backwaters&rdquo; of Kerala, a beautiful region nestled between the sea and the hills of Kochi where we see people working their fields with water buffaloes, fishing with nets from traditional longboats, and washing clothes at the water&apos;s edge. We may even see some school boats (no school buses here) transporting uniformed children. The natural setting ranges from brilliant green paddy fields to tropical canopies dense with banana trees and coconut palms. We can glimpse through the trees at small farms, homes, churches, and mosques that dot the canals and lakes. We take our meals on board, served by our on-board chef. Overnight aboard a traditional kettuvallam, our own private, air-conditioned 80-foot houseboat with comfortable double cabins and private bathrooms.\r\nDriving Time: About 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Cardamom Hills \/ Periyar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Disembarking from our houseboats, we drive across rugged country roads through tea, spice, and rubber plantations to Periyar in the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghat Mountains. At Periyar, set at a refreshingly cool altitude of around 3,500 feet, we stop in at a spice plantation and attend a performance of Kalairaputtu (a local martial art). Overnight at Spice Village, a collection of bungalows in a forested setting in Periyar.\r\nDriving Time: About 5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Periyar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Centered on an artificial lake created by the British in 1895, Periyar was formerly the private hunting ground of the royal family of Travancore. It became a reserve in 1933. We enjoy a morning forest walk to look for Periyar&apos;s rich birdlife, shop for spices at local markets, and enjoy an afternoon gameviewing excursion by boat on the lake. Overnight at hotel.\r\n","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Periyar \/ Madurai","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India, set on the River Vaigai. After lunch at our hotel, we explore this lively metropolis, with its bustling bazaars and history dating back over two thousand years. We stroll through a labyrinthine market full of produce, flowers, incense, and aromatic herbs, and enjoy a sunset view of the fortress-like Shri Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple, breathtakingly baroque with its profusion of gods, goddesses, rearing horses, and mythical figures. Its 12 towering gopuras (gateways) are visible for miles around. Overnight at the Gateway Hotel Pasumalai, an elegantly refurbished colonial home overlooking the city.\r\nDriving Time: About 4 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Madurai","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Madurai's Meenakshi temple is one of the largest in India, enclosed by 15-foot-high walls and almost a city within a city. We take ample time to explore it, listen to the traditional temple music, and appreciate the beauty of its Shiva shrines. It is said that each day more than 15,000 faithful visit this temple, and there are about 50 bare-chested Shaivite priests in attendance. The principal shrines are closed to non-Hindus, but there&apos;s plenty to see, including ongoing weddings, religious instruction, and the prostrations of devotees at innumerable shrines. Time permitting, we may also visit the Nayak Palace, built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak, or watch the sleeping ceremony at Shri Meenakshi. Overnight at&nbsp;hotel.\r\n\r\nNote: During Days 7-9, we may be lucky enough to come across a celebration of Pongal, a festival of thanksgiving during the year&apos;s harvest. Women decorate the ground entrance of their homes, and\/or their central courtyards, with beautiful &ldquo;kolams,&rdquo; artistic designs drawn with brightly-colored rice flour, while people dress up in their best and gather in the villages for festivities like bull running, bike racing, and &ldquo;uriyadi&rdquo; (using a pole when blindfolded to smash a hanging pot).","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Karaikudi","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A scenic drive brings us through the &ldquo;rice bowl&rdquo; of Tamil Nadu, a lush, green landscape of paddy fields, coconut palms, and tiny, ancient villages. This region we pass through is known as Chettinad, cultural home of the Chettiars, a community that dates back to the Cholas and made its fortune as merchants and jewelry dealers. Not many Chettiars reside in Chettinad now. Most migrated in the 19th and 20th centuries to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Burma, and elsewhere, but they sent back lavish furnishings for their magnificent ancestral mansions. We will visit intriguing off-the-beaten-path sites along the way, including a few Chettinad mansions and the ancient wayside Ayyanar temple, decorated with huge pottery figures of animals. We continue to the bustling town of Karaikudi, the district headquarters. Overnight at the Bangala Hotel in the heart of Chettinad country.\r\nDriving Time: About 2-3 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Thanjavur \/ Chola Temples \/ Kumbakonam","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Beginning around the 9th century, the Chola kings constructed huge, elaborate Shiva and Vishnu temples all over Tamil Nadu&mdash;no other state of India is so dominated by temples and so famed for its temple architecture (more than 90 temples still exist!). Chola bronze sculptures are an art form known throughout the world, especially the variations on the famous &ldquo;dancing Shiva,&rdquo; posed standing on one leg and surrounded by flames. The Cholas cast these images in bronze using the &ldquo;lost wax&rdquo; process known to have been used in India for thousands of years. The Tanjore (Thanjavur) school of painting, with its painted images decorated by semi-precious stones and gold leaf, originated in this town in the 18th century. We begin today with a two-hour drive to visit these stunning temples of Thanjavur, including the Brihdishwara temple, built by King Rajaraja I as a site of Shiva worship, which dominates the city's skyline. Local specialty shops have an amazing array of antique brass pots, old coins, copper plates, Tanjore paintings, and Thanjavur crafts. After lunch, we visit the bronze gallery at the museum and continue our drive to Kumbakonam, a former center of the Chola kings and the main commercial area for the Thanjavur region. Overnight at the Mantra Koodam, a peaceful retreat with a garden setting.\r\nDriving Time: About 4-5 hours, with stops","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":10,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Kumbakonam","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We visit fascinating sites including the spectacular Airavateshwara Temple at Darasuram. This superb and little visited monument, a wonderful introduction to the Chola period sculpture, has fine black basalt images adorning its wall niches and inner shrines, including images of Nagaraja, the snake king, with his cobra hood, and Dakshinamurti, an image of Shiva as a teacher expounding under a banyan tree.&nbsp;We also visit the&nbsp;17th century Kubareshwara Temple, which towers over the town. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":11,"Headline":"Pondicherry","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In the tiny village of Gangaikonda Cholapuram (its long name means &ldquo;the town of the Chola who took the Ganges&rdquo;), we explore a magnificent temple built by the Chola king Rajendra I in the 11th century. We then head to Pondicherry, the former capital of French India. The French relinquished their control of &ldquo;Pondy&rdquo; some 50 years ago, but reminders of the colonial days remain and the Tricolor flies over the grand French consulate. We&apos;ll enjoy a stroll through the beachside French Quarter, where we see richly ornamented Catholic churches and hear French spoken. Overnight at hotel.\r\nDriving Time: About 5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":12,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Mamallapuram","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We drive to the small seaside town of Mamallapuram this morning and check into our hotel. Mamallapuram is known for its extraordinary rock-cut art, a legacy of the maritime Pallava Kingdom, for which Mamallapuram was a major port between the fifth and ninth centuries. Stone carving is still a thriving tradition here. This afternoon, we head out to visit the temple and cave complexes at Mamallapuram, with their open-air bas-reliefs and rathas (chariots) carved from single boulders. Our visits include the beautiful Shore Temple towering above the sea and the famous low-relief carving known as Arjuna&apos;s Penance. All of these creations, made between the 5th and 9th centuries when the Pallava Kingdom was at its zenith, are beautifully detailed and depict gods, animals, and scenes of everyday life in a natural and engaging style. The temples are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also visit the outdoor museum of Dakshinachitra, a center for South India's living traditions of art, architecture, crafts, and performing arts. Overnight at Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay.\r\nDriving Time: About 3 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":13,"DayTo":13,"Headline":"Mamallapuram","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We spend the day exploring more temples in Mamallapuram&nbsp;before gathering in the evening for a festive Farewell Dinner. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":14,"DayTo":14,"Headline":"Chennai \/ Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Transfer to the airport in Chennai (1-1.5 hour-drive) and depart on homeward-bound flights.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Kochi","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In Kochi (formerly Cochin), with its stunning location along the Arabian Sea, our walks reveal the legacies of its European past, from British mansions and Dutch cottages to a 16th century synagogue.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Kerala Houseboats \/ Periyar \/ Madurai","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"As we glide by deluxe private houseboat, Kerala&apos;s picturesque rural scenes are all around us. Our journey on waterways through this quiet region reveals the life of people working their fields with water buffaloes and fishing with nets from traditional longboats. We may even see some school boats (no school buses here). After heading through tea plantations to Periyar in the Cardamom Hills, we continue to Madurai. The vast, fortress-like Shri Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple dominates this city, and we immerse ourselves in the fascinating temple scene, with its Shaivite priests and ongoing weddings.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Karaikudi \/ Thanjavur \/ Kumbakonam","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Crossing a green landscape of rice paddies and coconut palms, we discover Chettinard mansions and ancient temples in wayside villages. Bustling Karaikudi, with its antique shops, and famed Thanjavur, a center for art and music, are wonderful highlights. On Day 10, we explore, Kumbakonam, the main commercial area for the Thanjavur region and home of the 17th century Kubareshwara Temple, which towers over the town.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":14,"Headline":"Pondicherry \/ Mamallapuram \/ Chennai","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In Pondicherry, the former capital of French India, we walk the lanes of the French Quarter. From our beach resort, we marvel at Mamallapuram&apos;s rock-cut temples by the sea and visit an open-air museum of traditional Tamil culture. 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He holds a BA in History from Delhi University and is a noted photographer. His book, Trekking in the Himalaya (Roli Books), features photographic essays from Ladakh to Bhutan. Born an army brat, Hashmat traveled extensively as his father was posted in various remote regions of India. His first big Himalayan trek was at age 12, with his school group, and during college, he headed into the Himalaya to take mountaineering courses. A passionate traveler, Hashmat has been instrumental in designing new adventures for us throughout Asia. The profession of Trip Leader combines several of his interests&mdash;hiking, exploring the mountains, photography, and meeting new people. He&apos;s a favorite of WT travelers&mdash;as one of them put it, &ldquo;Hashmat is a longstanding member of the guiding hall of fame.&rdquo; He lives in Delhi with his wife and two children.","BioLong":"Hashmat Singh has led over 180 journeys on three continents for us since 1990. He holds a BA in History from Delhi University and is a noted photographer. His book, Trekking in the Himalaya (Roli Books), features photographic essays from Ladakh to Bhutan. Born an army brat, Hashmat traveled extensively as his father was posted in various remote regions of India. His first big Himalayan trek was at age 12, with his school group, and during college, he headed into the Himalaya to take mountaineering courses. &ldquo;Big mountains of the world, whether they are in the Himalaya, Alps, or the Andes, hold a special fascination for me, as do the people living amongst them, holding on to their ancient cultures in a world where everything is rapidly changing.&rdquo; A passionate traveler, Hashmat has been instrumental in designing and leading adventures for us throughout Asia, and in summer, he joins our team of Trip Leaders leading hikes in the Alps. The profession of Trip Leader combines several of his interests&mdash;hiking, exploring the mountains, photography, and meeting new people. He&apos;s a favorite of WT travelers&mdash;as one of them put it, &ldquo;Hashmat is a longstanding member of the guiding hall of fame.&rdquo; He lives in Delhi with his wife and two children."}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Carol G.","GuestLocation":"Boulder, CO","GuestReview":"Seeing the festivals in the small villages was a highlight of the trip."},{"GuestNames":"Joanne C.","GuestLocation":"Pittsboro, NC","GuestReview":"One of the best trips my husband and I have taken&#8212;a feast for the senses and the intellect. Fabulous temples, beautiful countryside. I especially appreciated our many glimpses into village life, religious practices, and traditions."},{"GuestNames":"Joe K.","GuestLocation":"Mission Hills, CA","GuestReview":"One of the best trips we&#8217;ve ever been on."},{"GuestNames":"Judith L.","GuestLocation":"San Jose, CA","GuestReview":"One of the best trips we've ever taken."},{"GuestNames":"Lee R.","GuestLocation":"New York, NY","GuestReview":"Fantastic. Inspiring. Spiritual. Educational. Memorable. A feast for the senses. Just a few of the many words to describe the Treasures of South India trip. One of the many highlights was interacting with the locals during Pongal festivities. The locals expressed such joy in seeing us as we did in seeing them. Having traveled with other companies, I can without a doubt say that WT has the best guides.\r\n"},{"GuestNames":"Roberta R.","GuestLocation":"Woodstock, VT","GuestReview":"Hashmat's enthusiasm for his country is infectious, his enjoyment of people unending, and his work and efficiency unbelievable. I'm looking forward to another trip with him."},{"GuestNames":"Virginia V.","GuestLocation":"Salem, OR","GuestReview":"This was my first trip to India and I cannot imagine a better introduction. Because of the care with which the trip had been planned and organized, I was able to relax, enjoy, and try to fully absorb the experience without spending even a moment concerned about the quotidian details of the trip. What a luxury."},{"GuestNames":"William N.","GuestLocation":"Long Beach, CA","GuestReview":"An extremely well thought out and well executed itinerary and the best Trip Leader I&#8217;ve ever had."}],"Extensions":[{"TripID":10342,"ExtensionTripID":10284,"Trip_Code":"KANHA","Trip_Name":"Kanha National Park Extension"},{"TripID":10342,"ExtensionTripID":10270,"Trip_Code":"TAJMAHAL","Trip_Name":"Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension"},{"TripID":10342,"ExtensionTripID":10286,"Trip_Code":"VARANASI","Trip_Name":"Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension"}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10342,"SimilarTripID":10588,"Trip_Code":"PJINDIA","Trip_Name":"India: Rajasthan Private Journey"},{"TripID":10342,"SimilarTripID":10335,"Trip_Code":"RAJASTHA","Trip_Name":"Royal Rajasthan and Villages of India"},{"TripID":10342,"SimilarTripID":10249,"Trip_Code":"PJSINDIA","Trip_Name":"South India Private Journey"},{"TripID":10342,"SimilarTripID":10364,"Trip_Code":"SRILANKA","Trip_Name":"Sri Lanka"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":73384,"ProductID":84110,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Exotic Journeys","Address1":"Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shop","Address2":"","City":"New Delhi","State":"","Postal":"110 070","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Kanha National Park Extension","Day":-3,"Sequence":3,"Duration":4,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73384,"ProductID":84109,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Exotic Journeys","Address1":"Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shop","Address2":"","City":"New Delhi","State":"","Postal":"110 070","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension","Day":-2,"Sequence":3,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73384,"ProductID":84112,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Exotic Journeys","Address1":"Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shop","Address2":"","City":"New Delhi","State":"","Postal":"110 070","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension","Day":-2,"Sequence":3,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71468,"ProductID":84596,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"Brunton Boatyard","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Cochin","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Brunton Boatyard (DATES, 1 night)","Day":0,"Sequence":20,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Set by the water's edge in Fort Kochi, the Brunton Boatyard is a 19th century shipyard that was converted into a charming 22-room hotel that captures the ambience of a bygone era. 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The old-fashioned rooms blend colonial touches with modern amenities, and if you sit on the patio terrace to take in the views, you might be able to hear the chanting coming from the temples in the city below. You couldn&#39;t ask for a more peaceful refuge after a day of exploring Madurai&#39;s bustling bazaars and towering temples. The pool, spa, and attentive staff add to a pleasant stay.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-gateway-hotel-pasumalai-exterior_1.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71467,"ProductID":81295,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Bangala Hotel","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Karaikudi","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":8,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"The Bangala is a family-run heritage hotel in Karaikudi, the main town in Chettinad country. It has been in the same family for 100 years and was transformed into a 34-room hotel about 12 years ago, centered around the original colonial garden. It has a relaxed ambience and a traditional kitchen that serves authentic Chettinad cuisine.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-the-bangala-garden-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71361,"ProductID":81189,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Mantra Koodam","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Kumbakonam","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":9,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"This eco-friendly hotel is spread over landscaped acres along the banks of the Veera Chozha River. It has comfortable air-conditioned guest cottages, a pool, and&nbsp; a restaurant that serves classic South Indian vegetarian cuisine prepared the traditional way. Ayurvedic spa treatments and yoga sessions are available.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-mantra-koodam-front-verandah.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72474,"ProductID":82302,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Palais de Mahe","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Pondicherry","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":11,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"The boutique Palais de Mahe is set in the colonial area of Pondicherry near the seaside promenade. Guest rooms are spacious, with high ceilings, and the hotel's verandas, courtyard, and period furniture give it a French Colonial atmosphere. The poolside caf&eacute; is good place to relax and there a lovely rooftop bar and restaurant. All the attractions of the French Quarter are within walking distance.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-palais-de-mahe-hotel-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73439,"ProductID":84640,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Grand Hotel D'Europe","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Pondicherry","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":11,"Sequence":11,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Set in the heart of Pondicherry, this heritage property dates to 1891 and exudes a welcoming touch of French ambiance. Clean and spacious guestrooms feature high ceilings and large windows, while amenities include a swimming pool and spa.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-grand-hotel-deurope-india-bedroom.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71334,"ProductID":81162,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Mahabalipuram","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":12,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"Spread across 46 acres along a stretch of private beach, this resort complex has spacious, well-kept&acirc;&nbsp; rooms, either beachside or poolside, as well as a huge swimming pool, spa services, and multiple dining options. It&#39;s an easy walk to many of the shops and monuments at Mamallapuram.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-radisson-blu-resort-temple-bay-bedroom.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72681,"ProductID":82509,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort and Spa","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Chennai","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":12,"Sequence":11,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Set on the site of an Old Dutch fort, these contemporary cottages are spread across 48 acres along the coastline facing the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The hotel has a variety of restaurants from Seagull, one of Chennai's most popular for Indian and Continental cuisine, to Bay View, an outdoor coastal retreat with thatched-roof gazebos overlooking the sea. The Sun Burst Bar and Upper Deck are additional spots to lounge in the breeze with a glass of Sangria. Guest rooms feature modern furnishings, Egyptian cotton linens, and have ocean or garden views. Take a dip in the outdoor pool, relax with a massage, or work up a sweat in the fitness center.<\/body>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-taj-fishermans-cove-exterior-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73384,"ProductID":84109,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Exotic Journeys","Address1":"Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shop","Address2":"","City":"New Delhi","State":"","Postal":"110 070","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension","Day":14,"Sequence":3,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73384,"ProductID":84110,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Exotic Journeys","Address1":"Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shop","Address2":"","City":"New Delhi","State":"","Postal":"110 070","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Kanha National Park Extension","Day":14,"Sequence":3,"Duration":4,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73384,"ProductID":84112,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Exotic Journeys","Address1":"Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shop","Address2":"","City":"New Delhi","State":"","Postal":"110 070","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension","Day":14,"Sequence":3,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"A visa is required for your trip. For more information, please see the \"Visas\" section of your Pre-Departure Information.","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"Extra Service Request Form<br>TOFTigers Information","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"<p>Optional Donation: Your invoice includes an optional donation of $50 per person to the environmental organization <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/donation\/tour-operators-for-tigers.pdf\">Tour Operators for Tigers<\/a>. You can learn more about this worthy project on\nyour online portal. Wilderness Travel actively collaborates with the environmental organizations and communities of the special places we visit, and we invite you to join us in supporting this effort. If you would prefer to opt out, just let us know.<\/p>","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is this <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/beautiful-portraits-of-south-india\/\">blog post<\/a> by one of our own at the Berkeley office, complete with amazing photos from their experience that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is this <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/beautiful-portraits-of-south-india\/\">blog post<\/a> by one of our own at the Berkeley office, complete with amazing photos from their experience that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>India<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-south-india\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"<strong>VISA:<\/strong> A visa is required for all US citizens visiting India. If you have not yet obtained your Indian visa, you must do so prior to your arrival in India. Indian visas cannot be obtained at the Delhi Airport upon arrival and you will be denied entry into India if you do not have a visa prior to arrival. Please send us a copy of your passport and India visa, as well as a copy of your passport photo page&mdash;if you have not done so already.","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"<html><body style='font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;'><\/html>","Custom_Carry-On":"<strong>CARRY-ON: <\/strong>Valuable or essential items, such as well broken-in hiking boots, camera equipment, binoculars, and prescription medications, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage.","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"<strong>DAYPACK: <\/strong>To carry a jacket or rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you.","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<strong>ARRIVING IN KOCHI<\/strong><br>You will be met at the Kochi Airport and transferred to The Bruton Boatyard. After passing through immigration and customs, please exit through Gate 5 and look for our transfer agent just outside the Exit Gate. The agent will be holding up a sign that says \"Wilderness Travel\" and will have your name on a passenger manifest. They will assist you and direct you to the vehicle that will take you to your hotel.<br> <br><br><div>If you are arriving earlier than Day 1, we will still provide a private transfer to The Brunton Boatyard or the pre-trip hotel booked on your own. You will be met and transferred in the same manner as above.<br><br><\/div>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<strong>\nDEPARTING CHENNAI<\/strong><br>\nYou will be transferred from the Radisson Temple Bay for the 1.5 hour drive to the Chennai Airport in time for your departing flight. If you are doing an extension with us, your transfer will also be provided.<br><br>","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to your Trip Leaders and Local Agent (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground. <br><br>We recommend using <a href=\"https:\/\/www.whatsapp.com\/\">WhatsApp<\/a>, and suggest you download the free app and enter the local emergency contact number(s) in advance of your trip.","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"<strong>\nEXOTIC JOURNEYS<\/strong><br>\nKochi: Mr. Kannan<br>\n(+91) 963-333-6600<br>\nkannan@exoticheritagegroup.com<br>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"Delhi: Ambujam<br>(+91) 931-573-6349<br>(+91) 987-182-2882 (mobile)<br>ambujam@exoticheritagegroup.com <br><br><br>Trip Leader: Hashmat Singh<br>(+91) 981-110-3380","Custom_name_slug":"south-india-kerala-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Cultural tour of South India exploring beautiful temples, exotic spice ports, and tea plantations, while enjoying local festivals and a houseboat cruise in Kerala.","Custom_List_Description":"A fascinating cultural tour of South India exploring beautiful temples, exotic spice ports, and tea plantations, while enjoying local festivals and a houseboat cruise on Kerala backwaters.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Treasures of South India Tour | Wilderness Travel","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-21T16:15:01 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport<\/strong>: Cochin International Airport (COK)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time<\/strong>: Day 1, afternoon<br \/><br \/><strong>Meeting Place<\/strong>: A complimentary transfer is provided from the Cochin International Airport to our group hotel, no matter when you arrive. Our WT representative will meet you outside the customs area and will be holding a Wilderness Travel sign. In the evening we gather for a Welcome Dinner. <br \/><br \/>The transfer from Cochin International Airport to the group hotel can take up to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.<\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-21T16:15:43 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport<\/strong>: Chennai International Airport (MAA)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time<\/strong>: Day 14, anytime<br \/><br \/>A complimentary transfer is provided from the group hotel to the Chennai International Airport, no matter when you depart. <br \/><br \/>The transfer from the group hotel to the Chennai International Airport can take up to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-21T16:23:49 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from India. There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US. <br \/><br \/><strong>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip.<\/strong> Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"treasures-of-south-india","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from India. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens need a tourist visa for India. <strong>Indian visas cannot be obtained upon arrival; you must obtain your visa prior to departure.<\/strong> <br><br>Currently, there are two ways for US citizens to obtain a visa for India:<br><strong><br>1.) e-Tourist Visa (Electronic Travel Authorization, ETA), Issued Online:<\/strong> US citizens can obtain an e-Tourist visa (also called an Electronic Travel Authorization, ETA) online through India's Ministry of Home Affairs website, by <a href=\"https:\/\/indianvisaonline.gov.in\/evisa\/tvoa.html\">clicking here<\/a>. <br><br>India currently offers a 30-day e-Tourist visa, as well as a 1-year and 5-year e-Tourist visa. <br><br>For the 30-day option, applicants can apply within 30 days of their proposed travel to India, but no later than 4 days prior to arrival. This visa is valid 30 days from the date of your first arrival in India, and your first arrival must be between the date of issue and expiry on the ETA. Double entries will be granted within the e-Tourist visa validity period stamped on your passport. <br><br>For the 1-year and 5-year options, applications can be made 120 days in advance from date of travel. The 1-year visa is valid 365 from the date the ETA has been granted, while the 5-year visa is valid 5 years from the date the ETA has been granted. Multiple entries and continuous stays are allowed during each visit, but cannot exceed 180 days. <br><br>Currently, this ETA is valid for entry through 29 designated airports and 5 designated seaports, including major cities like Delhi, Cochin (Kochi), Kolkata, and Mumbai. Visitors have the flexibility to depart\/exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India. If you have any questions when it comes to entry points, please check the ETA website for FAQs. <br><br><div>If you think that you might return to India, we recommend that you obtain a 1-year or 5-year e-Tourist visa. <br><br><\/div><div>All applicants will be required to upload a recent passport photo as part of the application process, as well as the photo page of their passport. There are specific requirements when it comes to uploading these documents detailed instructions can be found on the ETA website. <br><br>The ETA application will ask for a &#8220;Reference Name in India&#8221; and &#8220;Reference Name in United States.&#8221; For this, please put the following:<br><strong><br>Reference Name in India:<\/strong> Exotic Journeys<br><strong>Address: <\/strong>Office No. 7, 2nd Floor, Local Shopping Centre<br>B-7 Vasant Arcade, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, 110 070, India<br><strong>Phone:<\/strong> +91-112-612-4069<br><strong><br>Reference Name in United States: <\/strong>Wilderness Travel<br><strong>Address:<\/strong> 1102 Ninth St<br>Berkeley, CA, 94710, USA<br><strong>Phone:<\/strong> +1-510-558-2488 <br><br>Please note that e-Tourist visas can take up to 72 hours or more to process. You will be informed of your visa status via email, although you can also check the status of your visa through the e-visa website. <br><br>Upon arrival, you will need to present a physical copy of your ETA document and passport to the Indian immigration officials. Please make sure that you also have a printed copy of your international flight itinerary.<br><strong><br>2.) Traditional (Paper) Visa:<\/strong> US citizens can obtain a traditional (paper) visa that is stamped into their passport. We recommend that you obtain this through Passport Visas Express (PVE), which is Wilderness Travel's recommended visa processing company. You can learn more at the PVE website, by <a href=\"https:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">clicking here<\/a>. <br><br>Please check service fees, processing times, and specific Indian visa information on the PVE website, as they vary depending on where you live and which Indian Consulate is processing your visa. <br><br>Please note that visa processing times can take between 2-3 weeks for a traditional visa, and require that you send in your physical passport to PVE, along with all application forms and supplemental documents. You will need to allow enough time to process your visa before the trip begins. <br><br>When contacting PVE, please let them know that you are on a Wilderness Travel trip.<br><strong><br>All visa regulations are subject to change. If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, please check with a local consulate for entry requirements.<\/strong><\/div>","Custom_Money":"India's currency is the rupee. We suggest you bring your funds in US cash. You can exchange money at the international airport on arrival and at our hotels during the trip. You will be issued a currency exchange form each time you change money; keep these forms as you will need them to change rupees back into dollars at the airport upon departure. <br><br>Credit cards are accepted in most shops, hotels, and restaurants in India. It is a good idea to have some small US cash ($1s) on hand for minor expenses. There are ATMs at the international airports, and you can use these upon arrival in India. Please note that there are ATM machines elsewhere in India, but they may not be conveniently located near the hotels on our trips. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, for any meals not included in the trip itinerary, and for personal items such as snacks, phone calls, etc. A great variety of craftworks are available in India. Depending on your taste, you could spend anything from $100 to $300 or much more. <br><br>To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. A range of reference would be $155-225 per trip member for the Trip Leader and $85-100 per trip member for the local guide\/drivers. During the trip, the Trip Leader takes care of tips for waiters at restaurants and for porters for luggage handling.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for India is 91. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Internet access is available at most of our hotels, but not on the houseboat.","Custom_Electricity":"India has 230-volt current and either C or D plug types. Bring a converter and plug adapter kit for appliance use.","Custom_Laundry":"Laundry service is available at hotels where we stay a minimum of two nights.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"Entry requirements are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates. All shots should be entered on your International Health Card (yellow card), which is provided by the facility giving the shots. Keep it with your passport while traveling (however, the card is not required to enter India). This provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. We recommend you discuss the following with your physician:<br><strong><br>Polio:<\/strong> People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals).<br><strong><br>Hepatitis A:<\/strong> The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries.<br><strong><br>Tetanus Booster:<\/strong> A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years).<br><strong><br>Typhoid:<\/strong> The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"Malaria is a serious but preventable disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Please discuss antimalarial medication with your doctor, who will explain various antimalarials and their side effects and recommend a regimen for you. In addition to medication, a further precaution against malaria is to wear long sleeves and long pants at dusk. Thin clothing should be sprayed with insect repellent, especially around the elbows and ankles. Use repellent containing DEET. <br><br>If, after returning from your trip, you have a persistent fever with chills, muscle aches, and headache, report to your doctor the possibility of exposure to malaria. <br><br>For further malaria information, consult your doctor or the CDC Malaria Hotline (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers\/\">cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers<\/a>) or by phone at 888-232-3228.","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"In hotels, don't brush your teeth with tap water; use bottled water. Don't use ice in your drinks unless you are sure it was made with treated water. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for guidelines.","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Covid-19":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-south-india\">\nfollowing the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"In India, folk beliefs and religion merge until they become almost indistinguishable. It is difficult for travelers in India to comprehend the traditions and rituals involved in everyday life. As in all travel situations, it is important to observe the local people carefully and use common sense. For example, ask permission before taking a photo, entering a temple, washing at a tap, or touching a baby. You'll almost always find the Indians friendly and helpful. A few guidelines are offered below. <br><br><strong>Body Language: <\/strong>When seated, it is not polite to show the bottoms of the feet, and it is especially rude to point them in someone else's direction. Therefore you should not stretch your legs out or cross them with the sole turned up or out. Also, never step over or on any part of a person as this exposes them to the bottom of your feet. The purity of the body is viewed as being the highest at the head, becoming progressively dirtier down to the feet. This also makes patting children or other people on the head ill-mannered. Touching a person of the opposite sex, even on the shoulder or hand, can easily be misinterpreted and it's best to refrain from doing so. <br><br><strong>Clothing: <\/strong>Be modest in the way you dress while visiting India. (See Notes on Clothing in this booklet.) Women should wear skirts falling at least to the knee, or pants. Bathing suits, halter tops, and tank tops are considered unseemly displays in India and will embarrass local people. Especially in and around temples, wear long pants or a skirt, and a top that covers the shoulders and upper arms. Men may wear shorts up to mid-thigh, but no shorter. It is permitted for men to rest and sunbathe without a shirt, but it is considered extremely rude for men to walk about bare-chested. <br><br><strong>Water: <\/strong>Spring water is considered sacred and is protected by ritual. River and stream water is not subject to these taboos. Many villages have only small springs from which to draw their water. Do not casually take water from these springs. It is best to receive permission from a local person. If there is no one nearby, then follow these guidelines: Use only a very clean utensil to draw water. Do not drink directly from this utensil or from the spring. Do not brush your teeth or wash anything near the spring. Carry water 20 feet or more away from the spring before washing. If the water source becomes polluted by careless practice, the consequences for the village are disastrous. <br><br><strong>Shrines: <\/strong>Along almost every street and trail you will find temples and shrines of all sorts. Regardless of their size, they are revered with great devotion, and having the opportunity to visit these temples is often a highlight of the trip. <strong><em>Please note that before entering any temple, you must remove your shoes. In some cases, socks must be removed as well (you will be barefoot), and you may be forbidden to wear leather of any kind (such as a leather belt) or eat food.<\/em><\/strong> <br><br><strong>Begging: <\/strong>Begging is a tradition in India and can be difficult for westerners to confront. There are no easy answers as to whether to give small amounts of money to beggars. It is ultimately up to each of you to decide. Children along popular travel routes often ask for candy, pens, or money. Rewarding this behavior sets up a barrage of requests for more, a dependency on products not locally available, and in the case of sweets, an increasing dental problem. We, therefore, ask that you do not give anything to children: no candy, pens, balloons, or money. If you like, you can bring pens, crayons, large felt-tip pens, paper, maps, or postcards to donate to schools we pass along the way. <br><br><strong>Homes: <\/strong>Indians are very hospitable and it is common for them to invite travelers into their homes. If your hosts take off their shoes before entering a household or room, do likewise. Inside, cooking and eating areas should be treated with special respect. Avoid going into the hearth unless specifically invited there; it is sacred, and home to a guardian spirit. Do not touch the fire area or dry your shoes by it, and do not point your feet at or burn trash in the fire. Do not touch food or eating utensils used by local people. Also, many Hindus cannot eat food that has been touched by a foreigner, so don't offer anything from your plate. <br><br><strong>Photography in Temples: <\/strong>Many temples in India do not permit indoor photography (within the temple\/complex itself). Your Trip Leader will advise you of any photo restrictions prior to entering each location. In addition, please take special note of any signs prohibiting photography during the trip.","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>Visa for India<\/li><li>Passport<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>Expense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li>Standard hard or soft-sided suitcase, with a small padlock (must be unlocked for air travel in the US). Rolling suitcases have been the preferred choice of past travelers.<\/li><li>Daypack for a water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you during the day<\/li><li>Small roll-up duffel to carry home purchases<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Clothing":"We recommend that you bring comfortable, lightweight clothing and shoes made for walking. India is still a traditional culture. Visitors should take care to dress modestly. For women, long pants, skirts, or knee-length hiking shorts are fine. Skimpy or revealing tops are generally frowned upon. Men should wear shirts with sleeves and long pants or knee-length hiking shorts. In some temples, shoes must be removed. <br><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only; we encourage you to pack as lightly as possible.<br><ul><li>Lightweight long-sleeved shirts<\/li><li>Short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts (loose and modest)<\/li><li>Light cotton or quick-drying synthetic pants<\/li><li>Knee-length skirts for women<\/li><li>Knee-length hiking shorts<\/li><li>Folding umbrella (umbrellas can also be used for sun protection)<\/li><li>Lightweight fleece sweater<\/li><li>Lightweight waterproof rain shell&mdash; useful for cool early-morning game drives in the park<\/li><li>Sturdy walking shoes or running shoes with good traction (sturdy shoes that are easy to slip on and off for temple visits are best)<\/li><li><strong>Important:<\/strong> bring one or two pairs of heavy or padded socks for the long distances we walk in temples, often on stone floors (shoes are not allowed in temples). Please note that some temples do not allow shoes or socks, so you will have to walk barefoot.<\/li><li>Tevas or other sandals<\/li><li>Underwear\/socks. Synthetics dry faster.<\/li><li>Shade hat with a wide brim<\/li><li>Sleepwear<\/li><li>Bathing suit (for hotel pools)<\/li><li>Casual city\/hotel attire<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li><strong>Important: <\/strong>Two sturdy reusable water bottles, 1 qt. capacity (Nalgene brand is recommended; single-use plastics \/ plastic water bottles have been banned in the South India region for environmental reasons, so filtered water will be provided throughout the trip to fill-up your reusable water bottles)<\/li><li>Good quality sunglasses with case<\/li><li>Personal toiletries<\/li><li>Plastic bags to organize items in your duffel<\/li><li>Flashlight, spare batteries. Blackouts are common so it's a good idea to keep a flashlight handy in your hotel room<\/li><li>Money belt or neck pouch<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><ul><li>Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, lip balm with sunscreen. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headaches.<\/li><li>Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>Insect repellent. Repellents with DEET are recommended. DEET content of about 30-35% is ideal (higher DEET content is not recommended). Wipe DEET off your hands before touching plastic surfaces (such as binoculars) because it can damage the plastic. Aerosol repellents are useful for spraying on clothes.<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing<\/li><li>Antihistamine such as Benadryl<\/li><li>Pepto-Bismol tablets for indigestion and diarrhea<\/li><li>Imodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Camera, spare batteries, spare flashcards, lens cleaner<\/li><li>Binoculars (recommended)<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Bandana to protect the neck from sunburn and for protection from dust on drives<\/li><li>Voltage converter and plug adapter for appliance use in hotels<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"Satellite phones are no longer allowed to be brought into India. If you bring a satellite phone to India, it will be confiscated and you could be subject to serious penalties, including arrest. Please double-check entry requirements on your own before traveling.","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Exquisite Temples and Tropical Landscapes","Custom_Lodging":"12 nights first-class hotels, 1 night aboard private houseboat","Custom_Meals":"All meals included","Custom_Difficulty":"Overland travel with walking tours, cultural explorations","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"This trip is rated <strong>Level 1+, Easy<\/strong>, according to our trip grading system. It is a vehicle-based cultural and natural history adventure. Accommodations are in hotels and lodges.\n\nAlthough this is not a difficult trip, please remember that travel in India is an intense experience. The essential requirements are flexibility, a sense of humor, curiosity, enthusiasm about new peoples and places, and an openness to the unexpected.","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"We expect temperatures to be warm to hot, ranging through the mid-70Fs to 80Fs. During this season, the average high temperature on the coast at Kochi is recorded as 86\u00b0F. At higher elevations, such as at Periyar, it is much cooler. The south of India has two distinct monsoon seasons: one in summer and another from October to mid-November. We don&#39;t expect heavy rain to be a problem on our trip, but there can be occasional showers at any time between November and February.","Custom_Accommodations":"","Custom_Cuisine":"","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}