South India Revealed

16 Days | Beaches, backwaters and biryanis aplenty

4.6 out of 5 based on 47 reviews submitted.
NZD $1,503
View dates and book

Unplug from everyday routine and head to the beaches and backwaters of southern India. Explore the lush landscapes, intriguing cultures, bustling bazaars, and incredible cuisine of this region. Jump on and off local transport and go rural through coconut groves and fishing villages, discovering the heart of the subcontinent. See ancient ruins and stunning temples, eat spicy curries, and drink luscious lassis. You'll zen out in the relaxed, unique towns of Varakala and Hampi. Explore the Keralan Backwaters in a pole boat before heading to an island village for an overnight homestay with a local family. Join the bustle of city streets and, at the end of it all, unwind on the beautiful beaches of Goa.

Trip overview

Map of South India Revealed including India
Trivandrum, India
Goa, 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 54.52 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.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Golden beaches and age-old fishing villages make Goa one of India’s most popular retreats – and a perfect place to consider extending your southern India adventure.
  • Take the atmosphere of Shimla or Darjeeling, add lush tropical jungle and you have the Western Ghats: a hotspot of thundering waterfalls, tea plantations, spice markets, and echoes of a colonial past.
  • Glide through the backwaters of Kerala on a pole boat, going ashore for a village homestay – a beautiful break from hotels and a perfect way to get close to local customs and culture.
  • Cross into Kochi – a colonial centre and major port city in India’s southwest. Explore the seaside Fort Kochi area and consider watching a traditional Kathakali dance performance in your free time.
  • Paddle by canoe to your guesthouse in the temple town of Hampi to enjoy a special stay on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This is a trip made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers. The itinerary has a mix of included activities and free time when your leader will offer suggestions. Please budget spending money for optional activities you want to take part in.
  • We are covering a lot of distance in a vast country, so this trip involves some long train rides. These can at times be a bit gruelling, but offer a quintessential and authentic Indian experience. Sleeper trains are a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of all genders. More information can be found in the 'Transport' section of the Essential Trip Information.
  • This trip runs year-round, so it’s important to be aware of just how hot it can get in India in the summer months and choose the season that best suits you.


Map of South India Revealed including India



3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner


Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Public bus, Auto rickshaw, Taxi, Train, Canoe, Boat


Homestay (1 night), Hotel (11 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

  • Trivandrum – Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Guided village walk
  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Art) performance
  • Madurai - Leader-led walking tour
  • Mysore - Leader-led walking tour
Add on activities
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance - INR500
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace - INR20
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk - INR1400
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple - INR50
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple - INR200
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace - INR200
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple - INR100
  • Hampi - Vittala Temple - INR500

Dates and availability

Loading trip dates and availabilities...

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 10, 12 and 14 (overnight sleeper train) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

2. 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


4.6 out of 5 based on 47 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.

Filter by rating

Lauren · Traveled March 2024
For all prospective travellers: this is a BASIX trip. It is an incredible experience designed for fit, healthy, adventurous, flexible, adaptable, independent travellers who thrive off the beaten track. You are not getting a luxury tour for a bargain - you are getting a grassroots adventure. PLEASE - READ THE TRIP NOTES CAREFULLY and seriously consider whether this trip is ACTUALLY suitable for you. Be capable and willing to carry your own bag and take responsibility for your own adventure.
Review submitted 03 Apr 2024

Brian · Traveled March 2024
South India revealed was a fascinating trip through a beautiful part of India, experiencing a variety of modes of transport and meeting such friendly people. The historical sites and natural landscapes were an absolute pleasure to behold and our guide was so friendly and informative, I feel that everyone came away with a new understanding of this beautiful part of the world.
Review submitted 28 Mar 2024

Laura · Traveled March 2024
The South India Revealed tour by Intrepid has been an amazing experience - it’s a great mix of culture, history, beaches, local food and sights. Our guide Chandra was very generous with his knowledge about the area and made the trip so much fun! I had such a great time exploring the different cities and towns (and trying different local dishes!)
Review submitted 28 Mar 2024

Simon · Traveled March 2024
India is a very diverse country with a rich and colourful history. Be prepared to be immersed into something very different and accept the chaos as the normal . Our guide steered us through with great aplomb and I feel enriched for the experience.
Review submitted 17 Mar 2024

Michelle · Traveled March 2024
I enjoyed my trip of south India with all its complexities, culture, history and food. It was a little rough at times as I expected and it was worth it. Vinit was a professional, helpful and knowledgeable leader and also provided some lovely extra experiences beyond the itinerary
Review submitted 17 Mar 2024
South India Revealed
NZD $1,503