Budget Backpacking tour of South India
A Budget Backpacking Tour of South India (Mumbai, Goa, Hampi, Mysore, Kerala)
This backpacking through South India trail is ideal for young budgeted travelers looking at travelling starting in Bombay and then moving through South India. You would be flying into Bombay (Mumbai), and after spending a couple of days, take a train along the coast to Goa. Then travel onwards to the beautiful Hampi, the beautiful city of ruins, and then make your way south to Mysore, ending your holiday in beautiful and relaxing Kerala.
South India Tour Route
Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Kochi – Munnar – Thekkady – Allepey
Contact us to know more about this tour or even to book and customize the tour for you.
Modes of transport for South India budget tour
You would be covering large distances during the first half of your tour. Travelling from Mumbai to Goa, Goa to Hampi, Hampi to Mysore. The best and most economical option is travelling by overnight trains from place to place. Trains are fast, dependable and a great way to both experience India and interact with the locals.
From Mysore you would be taking an overnight bus to Kochi, Kerala. Once in Kerala you can travel either by local buses (cheaper, but more time consuming) or hire a car and driver during your entire stay in Kerala.
A sneak-peak of the beautiful fields one can visit in Munnar, Kerala
Where will you stay?
Considering this is a budget tour you would be staying at inexpensive hotels and homestays during your trip that are both clean and comfortable. Some of the major backpacking highlights are the locations from your hotels. You could be right by the beach in Goa, have a view of boulders and rice fields in Hampi or even the beautiful tea plantations and backwater views in Kerala.
Cost of the South India Backpacking Tour
The cost of the tour would vary between USD 400 (EUR310) to USD 550 (EUR430) per person depending on the following:
- What time of the year you are travelling
- Your train travelling preference (i.e. A/C train, sleeper class, etc.)
- If you like having a private room at all times
- If you are travelling alone or as a couple/group
The cost includes:
- Overnight stay throughout your trip
- All train tickets
- Taxi and driver between cities when train is not possible
- India Someday planning and bookings fees
- All taxes
Highlights of travels in South India
Backpacking through South India will provide splendid beaches, hills, ruins and great food, and it is strikingly different than a tour of North India. Also generally the people are a lot more relaxed and unaggressive (in terms of touts) than their counterparts in North India.
1. The chaos and distinct vibe of Bombay (Mumbai)
We recommend spending a few days in Bombay at the start of your tour. It’s a bustling city with old colonial buildings, lovely sea fronts, bars, cafes and additionally interesting slum and cycling tours. In many ways Bombay is an assault on your senses, yet it is incredibly rewarding as you will be thrown head first into the incredible and vast diversity of India.
2. Beaches of Goa, Ruins of Hampi
Your next two stops are genuinely complete opposites, but that’s a good thing when backpacking. First stop in Goa will provide warm beaches all year long, inexpensive food, alcohol, rice fields, and beautiful Portuguese historical architecture. It is extremely relaxing and there’s a lot to do from riding a scooter across the myriad of beaches to a vibrant nightlife.
Hampi is a mesmerizing city of ruins. You will love walking or cycling around this town. From the ancient Maurya Empire to the great Vijayanagara Empire based out of Hampi, the history here is rich. For history buffs and for those of you who like the outdoors, Hampi is heaven.
3. Riding the Indian Trains
Trains in India are a fascinating experience. There is a distinct buzz at the railway stations even getting lovely chai while on the trains. You get to see Indian families and often interact with them. As the train chugs along between your destinations you get great views of the Indian countryside and its little villages.
The Konkan Railway Route (above) is scenic and picturesque during the monsoon period. This train runs from Mumbai to Kerala (passing Goa en route)
4. India is all about food
For a foodie India is an ultimate paradise. South Indian food is very different from North Indian food, including delicious dosas with different chutneys, Kerala parotas and freshly boiled rice replacing the staple roti and mouth-watering spicy curries that are not for the faint-hearted!
Delicious steamed idlis – Credits: Roland Tanglao
5. Meet locals, meet travellers
Since you will be staying at a mix of homestays and hotels while backpacking through South India you would get to interact with locals for enthralling and interesting conversations and also with numerous other travellers along the way.
6. The striking diversity of Kerala
Kerala is gorgeous! It has everything from hiking with beautiful views of tea plantations, riding and bathing elephants, trekking in forests, canoeing in the backwaters and if you’d like lazing on the beach at the end of your holiday.
Kerala is stunning! It has everything from hiking and trekking with gorgeous views of tea plantations and forests, to canoeing through the backwaters. Even riding and bathing elephants is something you can do!
Also, if at the end of your backpacking trip you’d like to just laze around on nice beaches, that’s completely fine too. A relaxing, yet highly rewarding end to your journey backpacking through South India.
Click here to read more about more travel experiences in Kerala.
Click here to read about a budget backpacking tour of North India.
Contact us to help you plan your India trip
The following tour can be customized to the number of days you are looking at or even different places you’d like to see. In fact, we can help you plan trips to anywhere in India irrespective of your budget.
If you’d like to slightly more detailed descriptions, here’s some great blogs: