Menu

Witness the sublime beauty of South India.

South India has something for everyone. Discover a colonial port town, stand in awe of majestic tea covered hills, laze about on the backwaters, explore rural villages and relax on one of Kerala's world famous beaches. Starting from Mumbai, this 15 day tour takes guests through the best of Kerala, the south India state that National Geographic Traveller has named one of the "50 places to see in a lifetime," and one of the "ten paradises of the world." You'll see why when you visit this charming, friendly, and laid-back part of India.

But we’ll also take you further and deeper into South India. We’ll visit rural Karnataka where guests will stay at the family home of your guide and Reality Tours founder, Krishna. Learn about village life as you spend two days in this coconut and fish filled tropical paradise. A mix of must-see sights such as the colonial port city of Kochi,the tea plantations of Munnar and numerous opportunities for local interaction make this tour the ideal choice to gain a full picture of South India.

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives in the communities where we work. Like all of our tours, 80% of the profits fund Reality Gives, our education NGO based in Dharavi, Mumbai. Thank you for supporting our programs by signing up for the tour!

  • 1

    Colonial Kochi

    Reeling in Chinese fishing nets with the local fisherman and catching a traditional Kathakali dance performance are only two of the many adventures you will have in colonial Kochi!

  • 2

    Munnar Tea Plantations

    Spend some time with local farmers and visit their tea plantation as well as the factory where the world famous tea is made!

  • 3

    Alleppey Backwaters

    Kick back, relax, and enjoy the view as "God's own country" drifts past your houseboat as you slowly make your way through the Alleppey Backwaters.

  • 4

    Village Visit

    Krishna is truly in his element when he is in a South Indian village. Originally from a village just across the state border, Krishna is the perfect host to introduce you to village life.

  • 5

    Kovalam

    After a whirlwind 10 days, spend some time relaxing on the beach, taking part in some water activities, or do some shopping.

Departure Dates

17 Sep, 15 Oct, 12 Nov, 3 Dec, 7 Jan (sold out), 4 Feb, 11 Feb, 8 Apr, 29 Apr

(Further dates may be available upon request)

Price

Travel Style

At Reality Tours and Travel, we want you to be able to explore India as authentically as possible. This means not restricting you to a suffocating itinerary, but also giving you the appropriate guidance and knowledge that will enable you to gain a good understanding of the places you visit. On this trip there will be a balanced mix of included activities, and free time to explore on your own. We’ll stay on the ground for the duration of the tour, exploring Kerala by van, train and houseboat!

Accommodations

Accommodation is always in locally owned mid-range hotels. All have hot water and most have Wi-Fi. Single passengers will share a twin room with another group member of the same gender if required. One night we will spend on a houseboat. You are welcome to pay extra to ensure you have a room to yourself throughout the trip- please get in touch for costs.

Meals & Inclusions

This tour includes various meals including breakfast in the majority of our overnight hotels, several lunches and dinners, as well as a range of activities and entrance fees along the way.

The detailed itinerary provides a day-by-day break down of included meals and activities, as well as a few optional suggestions.

Testimonial

"My 10-day Kerala tour was the highlight of my 6-week visit to India. Travelling with Krishna (our guide) was great fun and his interactions with the people we met along the way opened them up to us so we felt we got inside the "real" India rather than just seeing the tourist facade."

-Robyn, Australia via Email

Day 1 2

MUMBAI

Arrive in Mumbai.
Sightseeing in the city on Day 2.


Arrive in Mumbai at any time and check into the hotel any time after 12:00pm. There are no activities this day, so enjoy exploring the city on your own. In the evening, your guide will come to greet you and the rest of the group in the hotel lobby. Over a welcome dinner, Krishna will go over the itinerary for the next 14 days!

On your second morning, we will travel together to Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums and the heart of small-scale industry in Mumbai. The tour of Dharavi, our company’s signature tour, ends in the early afternoon and you’ll have this afternoon and evening free to explore on your own or take part in our Market or Night Tours.

Included:
Day 1: Welcome dinner
Day 2: Dharavi tour

See More >

Day 3 4

KOCHI

We’ll arrive in Kochi by plane in the morning and check in to our hotel. Day 4 is flexible.

Travel by: Plane
Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours flight.

In the morning you’ll check in into our hotel. In the afternoon there will be an orientation walk with your guide, including spending time with some fisherman at the famous Chinese fishing nets and a chance to try it yourself first-hand.

During the second day in Kochi you will be free to explore Kochi and visit the sights.

In the evening, you’ll attend an amazing Kathakali performance. Kathakali, a 17th century dance-drama that originated in Kerala, will capture you with its elaborate costumes, make-up, and most of all, complicated facial expressions.

Included:
Day 3: Flight to Kochi
Day 3: Walking tour
Day 4: Kathakali performance

See More >

Day 5 6

MUNNAR

Travel by van to Munnar departing Kochi in the morning after breakfast, arriving in Munnar in the late afternoon.

Travel by: Van
Estimated Travel Time: 6-7 hour drive, with interesting stops along the way. During the long, winding journey to Munnar, Krishna will show you many aspects of Keralan village life, including understanding some local industries such as brick making.

Arriving from the hustle and bustle of Kochi, you’ll barely recognize where you are amidst the rolling mountains, fresh air, and tea plantations stretching as far as the eye can see.

Upon arrival in Munnar in the late afternoon, you’ll have time to get settled into your guesthouse and explore Munnar a bit on your own and Krishna can help you decide how to spend your next day here. Like hiking? Great! Want to learn how tea is farmed and produced? No problem! Prefer to sit back and relax with a good book, a nice cup of tea, and enjoy the scenery? Good choice!

On Day 6, you’ll have the chance to visit Munnar’s tea museum to really understand what makes this hill station famous. You’ll learn how the tea transforms from a simple leaf to a piping hot cup of chai. And in the evening you will also see a traditional martial arts performance, Kalari Payatu.

Included:
Day 5: Lunch en route to Munnar
Day 6: Entry to Munnar’s tea museum
Day 6: Kalari Payatu Performance (Martial Arts)

See More >

Day 7 8

ALLEPPEY

Laze about on a houseboat in Alleppey’s beautiful backwaters.

Travel by: Van
Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours

On Day 7 we’ll continue south from Munnar to Alleppey, home to some of Kerala’s most famous backwaters. Along the way, we’ll stop off at a spice plantation to learn about the ingredients that make Indian cuisine so vibrant.

We’ll arrive in the afternoon, settle into our guesthouse, and Krishna can recommend a number of restaurants for dinner this evening after the long journey.

The Kerala backwaters are a vast network of lakes, rivers, canals, and lagoons that make up over 900 km of waterways. The beauty of the backwaters is unmatched and cannot be missed.

Day 8 will begin early with a visit to a local fish market, where Krishna will help you choose delicious seafood to be cooked on board our very own houseboat for lunch! After visiting the fish market, we’ll make our way to the backwaters and board our kettuvallam (Keralan houseboat). It will be a relaxing day spent cruising along the backwaters, observing rural life along the backwaters, and maybe even stopping off for one of Kerala’s famous toddys!

We’ll stay overnight on the open water in our houseboat and enjoy dinner aboard.

Included:
Day 7: Lunch en route to Alleppey
Day 8: Visit to a spice farm
Day 8: Full day stay on private houseboat cruise (seafood lunch with vegetarian options included onboard)

See More >

Day 9 11

KOVALAM

After a free morning in Alleppey, we will take an early afternoon train to Kovalam.

Travel by: train
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours

After the arrival, day 9 is completely open, allowing you to choose how you would like to spend your time on this stunning beach. Options include water activities, lounging on the beach, cooking classes, yoga/pilates, ayuverdic treatments, temple visits, and shopping. You can also do a great day trip to the very southern tip of India, Kanyakumari.

On day 10 we will have more time to relax and enjoy the local activities before we climb aboard a night train to take us back north, to Heranjalu.

Included:
Day 9: Train to Kovalam
Day 10: Train to Heranjalu.

See More >

Day 12 13

HERANJALU

Our train will arrive in Byndoor in the early morning and from there we will take a tuktuk to Krishna’s village, Heranjalu.

Travel by: train
Estimated Travel Time: Overnight train

After the arrival we’ll have breakfast with Krishna’s family in their home, where we will be spending the next few days. Following breakfast Krishna will orient you with an introductory walk through the village. Take advantage of his intimate local knowledge to learn about life there.

In the afternoon we will participate in whatever village activities are happening at the time. This could be farming, a celebration, walking to the nearby river that is central to local life, or visiting the nearby coast and backwaters. We will once again join Krishna’s family for a group dinner in the evening.

On the second day, we’ll spend the morning participating in more village activities before we travel back to Byndoor in the afternoon to catch our train to Mumbai.

Included:
Day 12: Train to Byndoor
Day 12: Activities at Krishna's village
Day 13: Train to Mumbai

See More >

Day 14 15

MUMBAI

Our train will arrive in Mumbai in the early morning.

Travel by: train
Estimated Travel Time: Overnight train

The rest of the day is yours to see or do anything that you missed at the start. You are also welcome to join one of our city tours such as our Market Tour, Local Transport Tour, or Street Food Tour.

That evening our trip will sadly come to an end and we'll enjoy a farewell dinner together. The following day you can depart at any time.

Included:
Day 14: Farewell dinner

See More >
1

Can this tour be customised?

At present all our tours in South India are of fixed itinerary and duration. Unlike many operators we directly arrange all the tour services ourselves without using any agents. This makes sure we are confident in the quality of the service offered and allows us to focus on our unique local community connections in the areas visited.

See More >
2

Can we have a private tour?

Yes, we do offer private tours, but the price will need to be increased accordingly. Please get in touch for a quote!

See More >
3

What is the nearest airport?

Mumbai has an international airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport). Domestic flights from Delhi and other major Indian cities are also available.

See More >
4

Is there a minimum or maximum number of people to run the tour?

Our minimum group size is 2 and maximum is 12.

See More >
5

What is the accommodation like?

We stay in mid-range, locally owned hotels. All hotels have hot water and most have Wi-Fi. Single passengers will share a twin room with another group member of the same gender if required. One night we will stay on a houseboat. You are welcome to pay extra to ensure you have a room to yourself throughout the trip - please get in touch for costs.

See More >
6

Are meals included?

The tour package includes various meals including breakfast in the majority of our overnight hotels, several lunches and dinners.

See More >
7

Are all of the activities included?

The package includes several activities and entry fees. We also have additional suggestions for activities that aren’t included in the tour price. Please see the itinerary tab to see the included and optional activities.

See More >
8

How does payment work? Can I pay online?

A deposit payment of 20% is required. Full payment is then due by at least 60 days before tour departure. Advance payment is necessary in order to confirm the booking and can be made via bank transfer or by using our online card payment system

See More >
9

Can we do any dates not on your website?

Yes absolutely! Our tours are minimum 2 people but for private tours we can look at providing dates that completely suit you. If you are interested in a shared tour we can often also still offer your preferred dates, guarantee the tour and invite other passengers to join.

See More >
10

Do you arrange international flights?

All our tours ensure easy international and domestic flight connections before and after the tour. We do not arrange therefore but if there are any flights within your tour itinerary we do organise these and they are included within the tour cost.

See More >
11

Do you offer airport transfers?

All of our nearest arrival airports offer pre-paid, safe and simple taxi options to your start hotel. So we prefer to provide detailed information on this in advance rather than charge you extra unnecessarily like some operators!

See More >