Southern India small group tour
Description of Southern India small group tour
On this southern India small group tour you’ll explore Kerala on foot, by bike and on the along with a band of fellow travellers and expert guides. Also known as “God’s Own Country,” Kerala sits in the southwest corner of India, and its serene forests, laid-back backwaters and fragrant spice plantations make an excellent base for this walking trip.
Your adventure starts in the port city of Kochi, which is the oldest European settlement in India. After time to wander the city, you’ll make your way into the forests of the Western Ghats. This is walking terrain at its finest – a lush landscape brimming with birds, butterflies, elephants and tea estates, not to mention some pretty fine hiking trails.
Staying in locally run camps and bucolic resorts, you’ll spend four days trekking in this idyllic setting, exploring mountains and rainforests at a manageable pace. You’ll then take to the waters in a luxury converted rice barge to enjoy the laid back Keralan backwaters.
Above all this trip offers the chance to delve into the heartland of this ever popular Indian state, getting to know its people and its soul, away from the busy hubbub of Indian city life.
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PlanetWe have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to World Biological Hotspots, which this India trip does do.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12 and through walking through many regions during the tour, we minimise the human and environmental impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit. Along with our small group size, we will be staying in local eco lodges and organic farmstays, directly transferring profit into the local economy and creating a smaller carbon footprint than staying at bigger hotel chains.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of India through visiting not only nature reserves and Mathikettan Shola National Park, but also the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Keralan Backwaters. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of India.
PeopleResponsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.
We will be exploring the tribal villages along out walks and the villages along the Keralan backwaters, virtually unchanged for millennia.