I22 SOUTHERN INDIA IN DEPTHNEW SEARCH
Periyar boat trip and guided nature walk; Mysore's Maharaja's Palace; Nilgiri Mountain Railway--rare scheduled steam train; Belur & Halebid: exquisitely carved temples; Bangalore & Hassan: modern & traditional; Overnight houseboat cruise on canals of Kerala
Breakfast and dinner are included daily, one lunch. Evening meals on tour will be taken mostly at hotels. In India, most restaurants of an international standard are associated with hotels. In some locales we endeavour to break up the buffet dinners with a meal at a local restaurant but, overall, the imperatives of hygiene and quality dictate hotel meals. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees are included for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.
Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, visas.
Seasonality and Weather
For most of the country, Nov-March is the best time to visit, with October being the end of the monsoon. During those months, temperatures range from 65-95 F/19-37 C in the south. March-June is dry and exceedingly hot (85-110 F/30-44 C), and June-Oct is generally a wet time. While conditions can vary widely, you must be prepared for some sticky heat.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Ground transport via private air-conditioned motor coach and air-conditioned day train. The tour is not physically strenuous though it is busy; you must be prepared for some early starts, be steady on your feet, and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage from time to time. Train travel is comfortable and air-conditioned (where climate warrants).
Accommodation in air-conditioned 3-star hotels. Hotel properties are mostly modern and Western style. Some are older, character properties with simpler rooms and perhaps no elevators. The hotels indicated on our itinerary reflect our preferred properties in each location. On average they can be considered the equivalent of a North American 3-star, though in some more remote areas (ie, Periyar), and at some heritage properties, there is no official star rating. Some properties have swimming pools. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Laundry services at most hotels for a modest cost. Porters are generally available (see 'Inclusions').
THE HOUSEBOAT will be approx 60 feet long and 13 feet wide in the middle. There are comfortable beds, and traditional lanterns, a sundeck for daytime relaxation. Some of the houseboats have the provision for air-conditioning, but most travellers do not care for the all-night gasoline engine noise required to run the units. Most people find that the peace and quiet, and comfort provided by a fan, are preferred. NOTE: Single cabins are NOT available on the houseboat. Single supplements reflect sharing for this one night.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.
10-21 (plus Tour Leader)
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