South India Family Explorer

16 Days in South India: Bangalore | Coorg | Mysore | Masinagudi | Ooty | Chinnar | Munnar | Cochin

  • Bangalore
  • Coorg
  • Mysore
  • Masinagudi
  • Ooty
  • Chinnar
  • Munnar
  • Cochin

From $15,550 for a family of four people in two rooms, valid up to 31 March 2022

Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current price  Trip Code: WV20SIFE

  • Introduction

    Spend family time together visiting a wide variety of locations, partaking in many diverse and exciting activities, outdoors and in cities, whilst staying in ecolodges and homestays each with their own personality.

    A tour through a wide variety of diverse locations in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for adventurous, environmentally conscious travellers of all ages.

    Stay at locally owned down to earth properties with a low environmental impact, home-style accommodation such as family run eco-lodges and homestays each with a strong commitment to protecting the environment.

    Activities and experiences vary from day to day; outdoor nature walks under the guidance of a naturalist, safaris into reserves and parks, biking and hiking, a walking tour in a historic city, cultural encounters and some days relaxing by a swimming pool.

     As this is a private tour, we can customise the itinerary to meet your particular time frame and interests, including tailoring the itinerary to focus on specific regions and activities to suit your desired activity-level and/or family’s age range.

    Please be in touch to receive a tailor made itinerary.

  • Day 1 Bangalore

    Arrive at Bengaluru International airport. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your resort on the outskirts of Bangalore city.  The journey is around an hour.

    Your accommodation is at Our Native Village, an eco-friendly resort, themed in a local village style, offering an opportunity to explore the rural setting. Nearby there is a renowned dance school “Nrityagram” that you may wish to visit. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

    An optional visit to the city can be arranged, time permitting. Explore the colonial past intertwined with the modern hi-tech lifestyle in this busy city. Whilst in the city travel on the Metro and auto rickshaws. The tour is about 6 hours.

  • Day 2 Coorg

    This morning drive from Bangalore to Coorg, a journey of around 6 hours, stopping enroute to visit the Tibetan settlement at Bylekuppe.

    Bylekuppe is the largest Tibetan settlement outside India after Dharamshala.  Dotted with Tibetan monasteries, the settlement it is an ideal place to spend time visiting the monasteries and maybe have a bite to eat in a Tibetan restaurant.

    Later continue to the Ibnii Resort Coorg for 2 nights. Spread over 125 acres of pristinely wooded former coffee estate, with lakes and mists and early morning dew, bird songs and cicadas and a deep hue of lush green, The Ibnii is an ideal eco destination for a family.

    The Wooden Cottages promises a bird’s eye view and blend effortlessly with the woods around, a perfect hideout from where you can enjoy spotting the 40 varieties of bird life around, from the comfort of a spacious sit-out.

  • Day 3 Coorg

    A full day at leisure to relax at the Ibnii Resort or visit the local area with your driver.

    There are options for Nature Walks with an in-house naturalist through thick woods and an ever-green canopy of bird songs and monkey chatter.

    Take an evening stroll with a plantation expert to hear the humble origins of the world’s most beloved beverage. The sprawling coffee estate hides an enchanting story of how the plant journeys through natural cycles, human care and grading process before it ends up as sheer joy in your cup. Indulge in the pleasure of creating your own brew starting from the bean to the infusion in your cup besides sneaking a peek at a planter’s life the Koda-vas are privileged with.

    With your driver, you could also visit nearby places of interest such as the Madikeri Fort in Coorg and the Abbey Water Falls, where water cascading from a cliff of 21 meter’s, provides a spectacular sight.

  • Day 4 Mysore

    This morning depart Coorg for Mysore, a journey of around 3 hours. Stop enroute to visit the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, home to some of the most exotic birds in South India. The birds you may see include cormorants, darters, white ibis, spoon billed storks, open billed storks, painted storks, white necked storks, egrets, herons, terns, swallows, kingfishers, sandpiper etc. Take a boat ride around the sanctuary to get a closer look at the birds and crocodiles.

    Upon arrival check into Efkays Homestay for 2 nights. Efkays is a bungalow set in sprawling grounds on the outskirts of the city of Mysore. It is the home of Raian and Jyotsna who live in a separate house on the estate. They are excellent hosts and personally look after their guests.  The homestay has just 3 rooms with comfortable living spaces, a swimming pool and outdoor seating space. All the rooms are large and spacious with ample space to spread your luggage and feel at home. It’s a great place to unwind after a tour of the city which is just a short drive away. The homestay is fully serviced and includes a full kitchen service offering a selection of both Indian and continental cuisine.

    This afternoon set out on a walking tour of historic Mysore. Commence your walk by the historic clock tower in the old square, explore some local eateries and walk through the colourful markets taking in old buildings, historic landmarks and end at the Devaraja Fruit and Vegetable Market. The duration of the walk is around 3 hours.

  • Day 5 Mysore

    This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Mysore on electric cycles. The tour will cover some of the main sights however not include visit inside monuments.

    Mysore: Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore and was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a 40-year period in the 18th century when Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were the de facto rulers of the province. The Wodeyars were patrons of art and culture and contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city, which has led to Mysore earning the sobriquet, Cultural capital of Karnataka.

    This afternoon continue to the City Palace of the Maharaja for a tour with a local guide.

    Formerly the residence of the Wodeyar family, the glittering Mysore Palace is a splendid structure, built in 1912, it is a blend of Hindu, Islamic and European styles. Among its many attractions are a magnificent gold throne displayed during the Dussehra festival celebrations and a carved silver door. Its Kalyana Mandapa (Marriage Hall) features paintings that depict the royal times of the maharajas

  • Day 6 Masinagudi

    This morning drive from Mysore to Masinagudi, a journey of around 4 hours.

    Upon arrival check in at the Jungle Hut Retreat.

    Jungle Hut is a family-run property spread across a 20-acres estate in Masinagudi at the foothills of the Nilgiris. It borders a wildlife sanctuary on one side and it is common to see deer and other animals from your verandah. Among the facilities at Jungle Hut is a swimming pool.

    The remainder of the day is at leisure.

  • Day 7 Masinagudi

    This morning is at leisure to explore the local area from the property.

    Jungle Hut and the surrounding area is a hotspot for bird life. They offer bird watching treks with birding guides and other walks and treks in the area at an additional cost.

    This area constitutes the buffer area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Mudumalai and Bandipur Tiger Reserve represents the names of the same forest which is spread over the two neighboring states Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

    This afternoon set out on a shared game drive in Bandipur. Jungle Hut is around 20 kms from the Bandipur Tiger Reserve entrance, from where you board your vehicle for the jungle safari.  Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve was once the favorite hunting ground for the Maharaja of Mysore. This is now a highly protected haven for wildlife with a healthy Tiger population.  Some of the animals that are commonly sighted include elephants, gaurs, and spotted and sambar deer.

  • Day 8 Ooty

    This morning drive from Masinagudi to Ooty, a journey of around 3 hours.

    Upon arrival enjoy an orientation tour of Ooty with your driver before proceeding to your accommodation which is about an hour’s drive from Ooty.

    Check in at the Red Hill Nature Resort.  Perched on a hill with magnificent views of the Emerald Lake and valleys in the front and the hill as a backdrop, Redhill Nature Resort is a family run resort in the middle of Red Hill Tea Estate.

    The main bungalow was built by an Englishman Mr Willie Collins in 1875. Surrounding the bungalow are 7 cottages. The rooms are spacious and features a rustic design with a fireplace, a veranda and an attached bath-room. Each of these rooms has either a view of Emerald Lake or the mountains. Most of the vegetables used in the restaurant are procured fresh from their own organic farm.

  • Day 9 Ooty

    Your day is at leisure at Red Hill Tea Estate. Perhaps spend time relaxing on the veranda, enjoying the beautiful views.

    Alternately participate in a local activity as offered by Red Hill;

    Biking and Hiking: Walk or cycle exploring the area on your own. There a different trail, you may use for biking and hiking. The area is sparsely populated with very few houses in sight. Trek to the Redhill Mountains for a panoramic view of the valley displaying forest, tea estates, agricultural lands and water bodies. The area also has a good birdlife.

    Tea plantation tour and tasting:  A walk through the plantation will let you pluck a few leaves and taste them raw while learning about tea cultivation, growth and harvesting. Tea tasting is a continuation of the plantation visit where you get to taste different type of tea.

    Organic farm visit:  There are many varieties of vegetables grown around Ooty.  Walk around a farm, taste a few fresh vegetables and learn the way they are cultivated organically.

  • Day 10 Chinnar

    This morning an early departure from Ooty for the drive to Manupetty. A journey of around 8 hours.

    You may enjoy a short part of this journey on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway, from Ooty to Coonoor to appreciate the challenging railway construction and to enjoy the stunning views.

    Upon arrival check-into Chinnar Eco Living. This is a working fruit farm, growing mainly pomegranate and papaya among other fruit. Eco Living has 6 rooms, all with a small plunge pool.   The eco-friendly resort has been built with recycled and locally sourced materials.  Located in a rural Tamil village it is a great base to explore and gain an insight into the local way of life.

  • Day 11 Chinnar

    A full day at leisure to enjoy a village walk as arranged by the Eco Lodge.

    There is also a choice of optional activities for consideration;

    Coconut Farm Visit:  Gain an insight into a working coconut farm and the many uses of the Coconut tree. See the various stages of processing to the end product.

    Bird Watching in and around the property: The microhabitat around Chinnar Eco-Living is the richest in Kerala in terms of the number of species, including different types of birds, butterflies and dragonflies.  India is home to more than 1250 bird species. From a series of three bird surveys conducted during 1998-99, a total of 211 species were reported to be from the Chinar sanctuary during the entire period.

    Village Walks and Bicycle Rides:  Observe the rhythms of local life by taking a cycle trail or walking to discover prominent sights around Chinnar Eco Living.

    Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique protected area located in the rain shadow region in the eastern slope of Western Ghats, It is a well-known repository of medicinal plants and supports a healthy population of grizzled giant squirrel, star tortoise, tufted grey languor, gaur, spotted deer, slender Loris, wild elephant, crocodile, tiger, leopard and many a birds, insects and plants.

    The sanctuary offers a host of trekking options to discover the wild. The treks are organized by the Department of Forests and Wildlife in association with Eco-development committees formed by tribal communities.  15 kms one way, a morning departure is recommended with the duration of walk from 2 to 4 hours depending on the activity, up or down jungle tracks and steep hills.

  • Day 12 Munnar

    This morning drive from Chinnar to Yellappetty, a journey of around 4 hours, to a tea estate located beyond Munnar. From here commence your walk of around 30 minutes up the hill to Camp Footprint where a glamping experience awaits.

    Camp Footprint is situated half way up the slopes of Meesapulimali, the second highest peak in South India. With a view of the hills on one side and, the valley on the other, Camp Footprint is located in a forest reserve where there is an opportunity of spotting wildlife.

    The 3 tastefully designed Tepee’s at the camp have all comforts including ensuite facilities and during your stay you will have the services of a naturalist.

  • Day 13 Munnar

    Your day is at leisure to discover the natural beauty of the flora and fauna of the hills.

    Enjoy a short walk in the area, across a variety of terrain from grasslands to Shola forests, seeing endemic birds and animals along the way. The Nature Walk with a naturalist is a rewarding experience. Commence the walk early morning when there is a better opportunity  to see the birds that have made the hills their home. The walk starts from the Camp after a short briefing over tea or coffee.

    A further optional activity available from Camp Footprint is the Meeshapulimala Trek: The highest peak in South India is closed to general public for any activities. At a height of 2,640 meters the Meeshapulimalai Peak is indeed a spectacular peak and the vistas from the top are breathtaking. When nearing the top see the clouds swirling around the peaks below.

  • Day 14 Cochin

    This morning walk to Yellappetty, meet your driver and commence the journey to Cochin, which is around 6 hours.

    Upon arrival check in at Ente Kumbalangi, a homestay in the fishing village of Kumbalanghi, in the suburbs of Kochi. There are 5 large lake facing and spacious bedrooms with modern amenities and an outdoor pool. A number of village activities can be arranged during your stay, such as coir making, crab farming, clam meat processing, net making and Coconut palm weaving.

  • Day 15 Cochin

    This morning enjoy a guided bicycle tour of Fort Cochin and Matenche.

    The oldest European settlement in India, Fort Kochi’s heritage buildings and broad peaceful streets retain an old-world charm and the combination of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Jewish, British and local influences is evident in its eclectic architecture and fascinating character.

    Enjoy a bicycle tour of historic Fort Kochi and Mattancherry with a local guide. As you ride through the streets the guide will narrate interesting stories associated with historic buildings and mansions that were once either Portuguese homes, Dutch Bastions or British Tea Broking offices. The ride takes you past the Dutch Cemetery by the beach, the Maritime Museum and the Indo-Portuguese Museum. Make a stop to visit the Dhobi Ghat; run by Tamils, this is an open-air manual launderette where the washers do the laundry for homes, hotels and hospitals.

    The remainder of your day is at leisure.

  • Day 16 Cochin

    Today you will be transferred from your hotel to Cochin airport for your onward flight. The transfer time is around 2 hours. Hotel check out is by midday

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