Premium South India

13 Days | Discover the soul of southern India, from Chennai to Kochi

4.8 out of 5 based on 50 reviews submitted.
EUR €3,150
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Swaying palm trees, rolling hills and calming backwaters make up southern India's lush surface and on this 13-day Premium adventure, you’ll travel off the tourist trail. Head into the home of a local family and be immersed into their culture, head down the French-inspired streets of Puducherry and explore the maze of food stalls in Maduraito to sample some delicious local cuisine. Go into the wilderness of the Periyar National Park to look for local wildlife and tiger tracks, watch a live performance of kalarippayattu and visit tea plantations to learn how this popular beverage is grown and made. With heaps of local food, a night in a converted houseboat and a knowledgeable local leader to help you uncover local secrets – this will be a trip of a lifetime.

Trip overview

Map of Premium South India including India
Chennai, India
Kochi, India
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
This trip generates 61 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.
Premium accommodation

Our best 4-star accommodation and the highest level of service

Premium experiences

All must-see locations plus authentic experiences exclusive to Premium

Premium knowledge

Trips led by our most experienced and highest-rated local leaders

Why you'll love this trip
  • Find out what makes Indian cuisine so special during Exclusive Experiences like an off-the-beaten-path food tour in Madurai, a home-cooked meal with a local family, a fragrant lunch at a spice plantation and an ayurvedic cooking demonstration in Kochi.
  • Enjoy a high-energy Exclusive Experience with a live performance of kalarippayattu in Thekkady – believed to be oldest surviving martial art in India.
  • Witness a fusion of influences in the former French colony of Puducherry, and see touches of a Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and British past in the multicultural Kochi.
  • Experience a thousand shades of green as you tour a scenic tea plantation in Munnar and track footprints in search of wild elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Spend a night in a converted houseboat on the Kerala backwaters – your Feature Stays for this adventure – and watch the world go by as you float along the river.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Is this trip right for you?
  • There are a number of long travel days on this trip. Some journeys take up to six hours, but are a great opportunity to get to know locals, fellow travellers and the diverse scenery.
  • The drive to Munnar on Day 8 is on windy roads into the mountains. Motion sickness can be an issue for some, but the scenery is stunning and regular stops will be made to break up your journey.
  • Southern India can get very hot during the summer so remember to bring lots of water and a variety of clothing. Wearing light, loose layers is one of the best ways to tackle the heat.


Map of Premium South India including India



12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners


Private vehicle, Ferry


Hotel (9 nights), Houseboat Feature Stay (1 night), Kochi Feature Stay (2 nights)

Premium Inclusions
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Chennai - Welcome dinner
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour
  • Puducherry - Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Puducherry - snack stop at local cafe
  • Madurai - Leader-led street food tour
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi 1000 Pillar
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Madurai - Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace
  • Madurai - Local family visit and home-cooked Tamil dinner
  • Thekkady - Expert-guided spice plantation visit and lunch
  • Periyar - Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Art) performance
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Munnar - Tea plantation
  • Munnar - Tea Museum
  • Munnar - Mattupetty Dam
  • Munnar - Leader-led town walking tour
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
  • Kochi - Ferry to Mattancherry
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Ayurveda-inspired dinner
  • Kochi - Converstation with an expert on Satvik Bhojan (Ayurvedic food)

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information
3. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.8 out of 5 based on 50 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Frances · Traveled April 2024
A disappointing second half to a brilliant first, north India, trip. Premier prices but alround second class. Intrepid need to do some work on their southern India staff, itinerary and accommodation. I would definitely not recommend this holiday .
Review submitted 28 Apr 2024

Dirk · Traveled April 2024
This was our 6th trip with Intrepid, and came after doing the fantastic Intrepid India North trip. Disappointed this time, poor program, way too expensive, and leader not up to the standards. Real pitty.
Review submitted 26 Apr 2024

Phu · Traveled March 2024
Afshar was the very definition of a local guide! It was his home town and his home state for a large portion of the trip. As a result the knowledge was superb. He was highly approachable (being in a small group helped) and explained at the beginning of the trip responsible tourism concepts such as down sides of elephant riding and touts which helped me make conscious purchasing decisions. As a foodie he was also extremely helpful when it came to trying all the local cuisine in a safe and healthy manner.
Review submitted 18 Apr 2024

Fiona · Traveled March 2024
Had a wonderful time on this trip, our guide Thilip was amazing, and absolutely made the trip. His love of this land is palpable and the insights he gave so generously added so much depth to the experience.
Review submitted 15 Mar 2024

Gillian · Traveled February 2024
Southern India was so different from the North. The people, the food and the scenery. Less frenetic. The tea Plantations, Backwaters and beaches are stunning. So glad we have seen this part of India
Review submitted 01 Mar 2024
Premium South India
EUR €3,150