Enchanting Western Ghats

19 Days Nature & Wildlife Tour

A Small Group Escorted Journey

SMALL GROUP TOURS

Enchanting Western Ghats

19 days from NZ$7,950 (US$5182 /€4989)per person
Limited to 10 guests | Escorted by Joji Jacob
2025 – 1 to 19 Feb 2025
2025 – 1 to 19 Dec 2025

Please contact us if you wish to customise this itinerary to suit your travel needs.

Enchanting Western Ghats

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?
Come with us, a small group of 8-10 friendly and curious travellers, on an amazing journey through the lush green landscapes of Southern Karnataka and Northern Kerala, where you will discover charming cities, vibrant silk markets, scenic coffee plantations, stunning natural rainforests and diverse wildlife. These regions are part of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts some of the world’s most diverse and endemic species of plants and animals. You will have the chance to see rare and endangered animals such as majestic tigers, gentle elephants, elusive leopards, furry sloth bears, playful lion-tailed macaques, graceful Nilgiri tahrs and colourful hornbills. You will also admire the variety of flora, including delicate orchids, feathery ferns, towering palms, flexible bamboo and medicinal plants.

This tour is one of our ‘Farm-to-Table’ series, where we explore different aspects of India’s rich and varied culture through a common theme. In this case, we will learn how the spices and coffee grown in these areas have shaped the local cuisine, art, craft and lifestyle. You will visit aromatic spice plantations and fragrant coffee estates and learn about their history and production. You will also taste some of the finest coffee and tea in the world and enjoy the aroma of spicy cardamom, pungent pepper, sweet cinnamon and nutty nutmeg. You will see how these products have inspired the creation of beautiful textiles, pottery, paintings and jewellery by local artisans. You will also get to interact with some of the farmers and craftsmen who grow and make these products and learn about their traditions and challenges.

Our tour leader, Joji Jacob, has meticulously curated this 19-day experience. With his intimate knowledge of the region, he’ll lead you on a path of unparalleled discovery. Immerse yourself in authentic experiences that will leave a lasting impression.

Ready to ditch the tourist trail? Uncover hidden gems alongside Joji, experiencing the “real India” in all its vibrant authenticity. He’ll share captivating insights into the region’s history, culture, and political landscape. Meet the locals, experience their legendary hospitality, and witness traditions passed down through generations.

Relax and unwind in the comfort of expertly chosen hotels, resorts & houseboats. Let Joji take care of everything, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable journey.

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But this adventure goes deeper. Interact with diverse tribal communities, learning about their way of life and the challenges they face. Visit inspiring social enterprises that empower marginalised groups and promote sustainable living. Participate in community activities, from playful games and cooking classes to unexpected moments of serendipitous connection with the locals. 

Are you ready to discover the hidden gems of the Malabar Coast and the Western Ghats? Join us on this incredible journey, and together, let’s create memories that will last a lifetime!

Bengaluru | Mysuru | Coorg | Kabani | Wayanad | Kozhikode | Kochi | Alappuzha

19 Days Western Ghats escorted tour route map
Joji Jacob

Joji Jacob

Tour Director

Joji Jacob, a native of this region, is leading this tour. He has spent many years travelling and studying these regions and has acquired a deep knowledge of their history, culture and natural wonders. He will share his enthusiasm and insights throughout this tour, showing you the hidden gems and the best spots to enjoy the local cuisine, scenery and traditions. You will learn a lot from his expertise and experience and have a memorable and enriching tour with him.

We are nature lovers, so this trip included two days on safari in the Nagarahole National Park, travelling by jeep and boat and observing wildlife, including elephants, gaur and even an elusive tiger… Read More

Jenny & Peter Atkinson

ITINERARY

Day 1, 2 & 3 – Bengaluru (Bangalore) - Arrival

Namaskara – Greetings from Bengaluru, the gateway to the beautiful Western Ghats!

Upon arrival at Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport, one of our team members will personally welcome you and escort you to your private transportation for a comfortable ride to your accommodation.

For two days, we’ll take you on a journey to discover Bengaluru’s rich history, heritage, and modern developments through its unique architecture, art, cuisine, and crafts.

Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka in southern India, is famously known as the Silicon Valley of India due to its thriving IT industry and innovative mindset. The city is a beautiful blend of ancient temples, palaces, modern skyscrapers, and malls, offering a diverse cultural experience and a vibrant nightlife for visitors to relish.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe Pauls

Day 4 & 5 – Mysuru (Mysore)

Delve into the captivating heritage city of Mysore! Witness a bustling cocoon market come alive at dawn, where farmers hawk their silky treasures. Marvel at the intricate hand-painted playing cards, a dying art form kept alive by a single, dedicated craftsman.

Unwind with the soothing aroma of sandalwood – a Mysore speciality. Explore the historic factory, where the ancient art of extracting oil from the heartwood is unveiled. Indulge in luxurious soaps, powders, and even intricate carvings, all crafted from this precious resource. And of course, no trip to Mysore is complete without experiencing the world-famous silk sarees. Imagine the feeling of exquisitely soft fabric against your skin, adorned with intricate zari work that whispers of a rich history.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationRoyal Orchid Metropole

Day 6 & 7 – Kodagu (Coorg)

Leaving the hustle and bustle of city life, we head towards Coorg, which is situated in the lap of the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats in Karnataka. Referred to as ‘Scotland of India’, it is famous for its tranquillity, coffee plantations, architecture and rich culture. Here, gentle treks lead you to tribal villages, where ancient traditions are kept alive. Meet the Kodavas, a warrior clan with a deep reverence for nature. Witness their vibrant festivals, pulsating with music and dance, a testament to their unique culture. Coorg isn’t just about serenity; it’s a biodiversity hotspot teeming with life. Explore diverse landscapes, each bursting with its own story. Unforgettable adventures await in this land of breathtaking beauty!

Meals:   B | L(1) | D
AccommodationHeritage Resort

Day 8 & 9 – Kabani

Kabani in Nagarhole National Park is a great place to experience wildlife. The name Nagarhole comes from two Kannada words – ‘Nagar’, meaning snake, and ‘Hole’, meaning streams. It was once the hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mysore. Today, it is home to various animal species, including approximately 250 bird species. The Kabini River borders the park’s northern edge, while the Bandipur National Park is located on its southern edge. A dam on the Kabini River and its beautiful reservoir divide the two national parks.

The Nagarhole National Park is home to several animal species such as four-horned antelope, sloth bear, jungle cat, civet, spotted deer, elephant, wild dog, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), Sāmbhar, wild boar, black-napped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin. This park is also home to several reptiles, including cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers, and different species of lizards.

The park has approximately 250 bird species, including the common babbler, bee-eater, bulbul, dove, crested serpent, hornbill, Malabar pied, alexandrine, peacock, woodpecker, warbler, great Indian reed, eagle, crested hawk, golden-back parakeet, and southern tree pie. However, the park is most famous for its herd of wild elephants, which can be seen in good numbers.

Meals:   B | – | –
Accommodation: Kabini River Lodge

Day 10, 11 & 12 – Wayanad

Leaving the Malabar Coast, we head towards Wayanad, the ‘Land of the Paddies’. Nestled amongst the mountains of the majestic Western Ghats, this region envelopes you with its lush green hillsides covered in coffee, banana, rubber and tea plantations. This breathtaking natural beauty is home to the local tribals, who will share their perspectives with you.

Meals:   B | L | D
AccommodationVythiri Resort

Day 13 & 14 – Kozhikode (Calicut)

Another ancient trading port, this city is famous for being the place where Vasco da Gama landed in India. Here, we will visit a local market, marvel at the traditional art of jewellery making, feast on culinary and cultural experiences with one of the renowned chefs of this region, and spend time with a couple of my esteemed friends to enjoy the locals’ perspectives on their unique culture.

Meals:   B | L(1) | –
AccommodationThe Raviz Calicut

Day 15, 16 & 17 – Kochi

We continue on our southern route and arrive in the bustling metropolitan city of Kochi, Kerala’s Harbour city. Here we will feast our eyes on silk and cotton textiles, gold and platinum jewellery and everything in between. To really take in this colourful, fun, eclectic and history-rich location, we will stroll through the spice market, cycle through the narrow lanes of Fort Kochi, catch a ferry ride with the locals, and go to the market with a chef who will treat you to a special culinary experience at the chef’s home to draw this tour to its personal conclusion.

Meals:   B | L(1) | –
AccommodationThe Dutch Bunglow, Fort Kochi

Day 18 – Alappuzha Houseboat

We’ll drive to Alappuzha after breakfast, also known as the ‘Venice of the East’, where we’ll board a houseboat. We’ll enjoy an authentic Kerala lunch on the boat while cruising the backwaters and absorbing the picturesque surroundings. In the afternoon, we’ll visit a nearby village to witness the daily lives of the locals. As dusk falls, we’ll enjoy dinner under the stars, followed by a night of restful sleep on the houseboat. This immersive experience captures the heart of Kerala’s timeless charm.

Meals:   B | L | D
Accommodation: Houseboat

Day 19 – Kochi Departure!

We have reached the end of our ‘Essence of Western Ghats’ Tour. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed your journey with us. It brings us great joy to know that you have chosen to travel with us and allowed us to introduce you to the serene pleasures of South India.

We allocate a significant portion of our earnings towards community projects throughout India. Don’t hesitate to enquire about these initiatives if you’re interested. You have contributed towards these initiatives by joining our tours. We appreciate your support!

We offer an inclusive airport transfer service to Kochi International Airport for those returning home today. We eagerly await your return for another exhilarating ATI Travel experience. Namaskaram!

TOUR EXTENSION
Our team would love to assist guests who have opted to continue their tour to a beach or hill station by accompanying them to their next destination. We offer two tour extension options:
Tour Extention 1 – (6N/7D) Hill Station, Toy Trains & Village experience
Tour Extention 2 – (6N/7D) Hill Station, Village experience & Beach

If you haven’t yet booked your tour extension, kindly get in touch with us for more details.

Meals:   B | – | –

Group Organiser Discount Available

A group organiser (4-10) can avail up to $2000 discount on a twin share package price.
Please contact us for further details.

INCLUDED

  • Airport meet and greet with private transfers
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Handpicked boutique accommodations
  • Meals as per trip note
  • English-speaking local guides
  • All entrance fees, tips & gratuity
  • Guaranteed departure with just six guests

EXCLUDED

  • Airfares
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Tests & other medical expenses
  • Personal expenses

REQUEST DETAILED ITINERARY

Or call Joji on +64 (0) 21 505 713

An ideal trip for:

Solo Traveler, Group of Friends, Couples

If you want a rich and truly authentic experience of the region(s) being visited in a slow and well-paced manner as part of a small group of like-minded people who appreciate the personal care and attention provided to them, then this is the trip for you. 

Safe Travels with ATI

Since 2013, ATI Travel NZ has been unsurpassed at delivering expertly managed small group and tailor-made boutique travel experiences.
We are uniquely qualified to ensure your well-being when travelling with us.

Our local partner offices work tirelessly with us behind the scenes

Our local suppliers and partners know our health & safety requirements, and our requirement to comply with all local regulations.

We follow the health and safety protocols required for your journey

All protocols involving physical distancing, vaccinations, masking, testing and other safety practices are communicated both before and during your journey. These protocols are carried out according to the latest local regulations and service provider requirements.

We facilitate in-country COVID-19 testing and provide round-the-clock support for any health-related matters

ATI’s network of local offices has the contacts and knowledge to support you throughout your journey, from coordinating COVID-19 testing (for travelling between countries and returning home) to answering any questions you have during your journey. Our local partners are experienced in handling any situation and have the contacts and knowledge to support guests 24/7.

ATI Travel will constantly monitor its safe travel plans to comply with global health and safety protocols

In the event that the tour director has to isolate, the tour will continue with the tour director remotely managing the tour in conjunction with the local team members.

If any of the guests have to isolate, all arrangements will be made to find accommodation and their medical support. This is not included in the package costs and must be covered by the individual’s travel insurance.

The guest can join the tour after the required isolation and clearance if the tour is still active. In the event that the tour has been completed, the guest will be supported to make their return passage home.

We Got You Covered

Something for everyone

Whether you are a first-timer or experienced traveller, our tours meet the expectations, needs and interests of each individual on the tour. Our guests continuously tell us that it surpasses all their expectations.

Active Tour

This tour is suitable for guests who do not mind travelling that extra mile in search of those unique experiences. If you are interested in culture, cuisine, architecture, people interaction and textiles, you will love this tour.  

boutique accommodation

Boutique accommodation, handpicked by us, for you to rest and rejuvenate in beautiful settings such as palaces, homestay, mansions, farm stay, business hotels and glamping is part of the travel experience we curate for you.

Travel in comfort

We provide airport to airport service, for your comfort and safety. Your private vehicle and the English speaking driver will accompany you throughout the journey. Check out the feedback we have received from our guests.

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