Enchanting Western Ghats

19 days from NZ$8,850 (US$5767 /€5551)per person
Limited to 10 guests | Escorted by Joji Jacob
15th Jan to 3rd Feb 2024

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 personally designed this tour based on his extensive knowledge and experience of these regions. He will guide you through 19 days of immersive and authentic experiences that will enrich your understanding and appreciation of these unique places. He will also share his insights and stories about these regions’ culture, history and politics. He will introduce you to some of the local people who live in these areas and show you their hospitality and customs. He will also take you to some of the hidden gems that are off the beaten track and give you a glimpse of real India. He will ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay at some of these areas’ best hotels and resorts.

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Along the way, you will interact with various tribal communities and learn about their traditions and challenges. You will also visit some social enterprises that empower marginalised groups and provide them sustainable livelihoods.

You will meet inspiring people who are working to conserve the environment and promote education, health and women’s rights. You will also participate in community activities, such as games, cooking classes and various serendipitous activities.

This tour is so much more than just sightseeing. It’s a meaningful adventure that will inspire and connect you with nature and people. So come join us and discover the hidden gems of the Malabar Coast and the Western Ghats. We can’t wait to share this incredible journey with you!

Bengaluru | Mysuru | Coorg | Wayanad | Kozhikode | Cheruthuruthy | Kochi

Essence of Western Ghats South India 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.


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)

Let’s head from Bengaluru towards the southwest to reach Mysore City, the Heritage City of Karnataka. This cultural hub has a lot to offer to visitors from all over the world. One of the attractions of Mysore is its silk cocoon market, where you can witness the process of silk production from silkworms. The market is located near the railway station and is open from 6 am to 11 am every day. You can see how the farmers bring their cocoons and sell them to the traders, who then sort them according to their quality and weight. You can also admire the hand-painted playing cards made by a skilled artist named Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat. He is one of the few surviving practitioners of this art form, which originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals. He uses natural colours and paints intricate designs on circular cards made of paper or cloth. He also teaches this art to anyone who is interested in learning it. Another speciality of Mysore is its sandalwood products, which have a history that goes back to the 20th century when the Wodeyar kingdom established the Government Sandalwood Oil Factory. You can find sandalwood soaps, powder, oil, and artifacts in the markets of Mysore. The factory also offers guided tours of the production process of sandalwood oil, which is extracted from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree. The oil is used for various purposes like perfumery, cosmetics, medicine, and religious rituals. Mysore is also famous for its Mysore silk, which is produced in the same factory and sold in various shops like Ksic Mysore Silk Showroom. Mysore silk sarees are elegant and exquisite and have a history dating back to Tipu Sultan’s time. He was the one who introduced sericulture in Mysore and encouraged the growth of mulberry trees, which are essential for silkworms. The sarees are known for their soft texture, rich colours, and intricate zari work. They are also durable and do not fade easily. Mysore is a vibrant city that will enchant you with its beauty and charm. It has many other attractions like palaces, temples, gardens, museums, and wildlife sanctuaries that you can explore and enjoy.

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 we will visit farms, take in culinary experiences and undertake gentle treks to meet and interact with the tribals of this region before we leave for the next state, Kerala. Coorg is home to the Kodavas, an ancient clan with extraordinary martial abilities and unique culture. They worship nature and their ancestors and celebrate festivals like Kailapodh and Puthari with great fervour. They also have distinctive dances like Umma and Bolak-aat that showcase their grace and valour. Coorg is also known for its diverse wildlife and ecology, with four types of vegetation and four protected areas that are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Coorg is a land of beauty, adventure and heritage that will enchant any traveller.

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

Day 8, 9 & 10 – 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 11 & 12 – 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 13, 14 & 15 – Cheruthuruthy

Next, we take a leisurely drive south to a river retreat on the banks of the Nilla river. We will explore Kerala architecture, art & performance, walk through paddy fields and visit various talented local artisans living nearby.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe River Retreat Heritage Ayurvedic Resort

Day 16, 17 & 18 – 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 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. Your contribution towards these initiatives is made possible 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!

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, Houseboat & Village experience
Tour Extention 2 – (6N/7D) Beach, Houseboat & Village experience

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.


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


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


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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