2024 Southern India Exploration:

A Women’s Healing Retreat for Body, Mind and Soul

Daily Itinerary
October 27 – November 7, 2024
13 Days/12 Nights

Immerse your self and your senses in the splendour of Southern India.  In this tropical clime, you’ll discover how spiritual practices, a lush natural setting and Ayurvedic medicine come together to create a sense of personal balance on all levels – body, mind and soul.  My Essential Earth Explorations small-group women’s travel program offers daily opportunities for experiential learning, guided touring of significant temples and ashrams, and the chance to create life-long friendships with fellow travellers.  This is an ideal Exploration to share by inviting a friend, daughter, or mother to join you on this deeply healing experience. Take a look at what I have planned for you with the help of my incredible travel partners at Learning Journeys.

Sunday, Oct 27 – Day 1    ARRIVE DELHI

Welcome to the New Delhi Airport. Upon arrival, please go through Immigration (with filled Disembarkation form, eVisa and passport), collect your baggage and pass through Customs. After clearing Customs, move to the Arrival Lounge where your Learning Journeys Representative will receive you (Near EbixCash Counter, towards Gate 4) and transfer to your nearby airport hotel. Your room will be reserved from 1400 hrs onwards to rest on arrival.

Overnight in Delhi at the Hotel Pride Plaza Aerocity (Meals are not included)

Monday, Oct 28 – Day 2    FLY TO KOCHI – the Malabar Coast

Have a relaxed morning and breakfast at the New Delhi airport hotel.

Late, transfer in time back to the airport for our afternoon flight to Kochi.

Welcome to Kochi Airport and Southern India! You will be met by the Learning Journeys Representative in the arrival lounge and transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Kochi (or Cochin), a city of the world before the world was fully known! Later it became the principal harbor for the Malabar coast’s spice trade and emerged as the main trade port for the Arabs, Europeans and Chinese who came to buy pearls, pepper, silk, ginger and indigo. Kochi rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, including the Jewish and Christian people who built places of worship and their own communities.

If time permits today, take a panoramic drive of the Fort Kochi area and in the evening visit the nearby Shiva Temple at Ernakulam, where you will learn about rituals and the process of worship with your tour escort. Witness the prayer ritual here and truly begin your sojourn to this part of the world. (If our flight lands in the evening, we will do this the next day).

Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at our hotel together.

Overnight in Kochi at the Brunton Boatyard (Meal: B, D)

Tuesday, Oct 29 – Day 3    KOCHI – a Cultural Melting Pot

Start the day with a gentle, group yoga session. After breakfast, visit the ancient harbor town of Kochi and meander through the bustling harbor with its quaint streets for a morning of guided, local sightseeing. Visit the St. Francis Church – the oldest European church in India. We’ll also stop to see the old Jewish “Jew Town” synagogue, and make a third stop to see the dated murals and Portuguese antiques at the Mattancherry or Dutch Palace.

Let’s have more of Kochi and enjoy a local menu lunch in the Fort Kochi area. Later, browse the vibrant, pungent spice markets before moving on to the much-photographed and fascinating Chinese fishing nets that line the shore of Fort Kochi.

Enjoy an afternoon healing opportunity to meet 1:1 with an Ayurvedic physician. Afterward, take the option to experience Ayurvedic treatments.

Dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Kochi at the Brunton Boatyard (Meal: B, L, D)

Wednesday, Oct 30 – Day 4    KOCHI – Explore Hinduism and Spirituality

Start the day with a group yoga session before a full day of exploration and learning. After breakfast, visit the birthplace of Sri Shankaracharya at Kalady. Shankaracharya was a great reformer who reestablished Hinduism in the 8th century. He was a spiritual light and extraordinary scholar of Hindu religion who was born a true yogi. He was blessed with superhuman capabilities. At the age of two, he could fluently speak and write Sanskrit. At the age of four, he could recite all the Vedas, and at the age of twelve, he took Sanyas and left his home to detach from material life and pursue a peaceful spiritual path. He left his body when he was just thirty-two! In these twenty years he is said to have walked across the entire country of India from South to North and West to East to share the message and methods of yogic practice.

He established four main seats of Hinduism in all four directions of the country so that society should look at them whenever required. Adi Guru Shankaracharya is regarded as one of the most important philosophers of all time. In addition, he was a master of Raja yoga and one of the founders of Jnana yoga. In his writing, Adi Guru Shankaracharya proved his extensive knowledge of yoga asana, chakras, mantras and breathing techniques. He was the master in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which is viewed as being the highest possible yogic state.

Lunch will be at the Kerala Ayurveda Village at Aluva. Afterward, enjoy a 1:1 session with an Ayurvedic Physician to learn about your dosha, and receive suggestions to assist you in improving your good health and the balance of energy and well being in your life. Options for Ayurvedic healing treatments.

Later, we will visit the Chottanikkara Devi Temple, believed to be over 1500 years old.  This goddess of power temple is known for curing mental illness and disorders due to evil spirits. It is believed that Chottanikkara Devi possesses supernatural powers and can cure any disease. For this reason, a lot of patients suffering from mental illnesses visit here. ‘Guruthi Pooja’ is an important ritual performed at the temple every evening to invoke Goddess Mahakali and help the afflicted. This large temple includes many steps as we tour. Lit by candlelight, prepare for a warm evening during the ceremony. (If we are invited to witness this special ritual, we will back late to the town by 2130 hours)

Stop for dinner at a local restaurant on the way back after our temple visit.

Overnight in Kochi at Brunton Boatyard (Meal: B, L, D)

Thursday, Oct 31 – Day 5    ALLEPPEY– Houseboat Adventure, Amma’s Ashram

Yoga is the best way to connect with self. Enjoy a morning session before driving 1.5 hrs towards the Alleppey canal network where we will embark on a traditional wooden Houseboat (or Kettuvalloms in local language). Traveling by houseboat is the languid way to experience these tranquil backwaters. Cruise through brackish lagoons and this splendid area full of canals, lakes, and harbours. Relax on the sundeck and observe the landscape and life sailing by.  People’s entire life takes place here on the water. You will see that they sail, swim, bathe, wash, and even buy and sell as hawkers take care of supplies. You’ll also notice the use of water taxi service and how we float past rice paddy fields and fishing villages that line the banks of the canal.

Have lunch onboard.

Later, leave the boat and drive about 2 hrs towards Kollam for a divine engagement!

The small fishing village of Kollam has now become the source of insight and inspiration to the world as the home of the Amma Amritapuri Ashram. Amma is known as “the hugging saint” who is revered worldwide for her selfless service offering love and compassion to millions. Ammathe mother of all, has established Amritapuri Ashram where thousands come every day for spiritual guidance, to unburden their sorrows, or simply to spend a few moments in its ecstatic ambience. Amritapuri is known as the Center of Spirituality, Inspiration, and Love for Humanity.

Depart the Ashram for our hotel to check-in and enjoy dinner.

Overnight in Kollam at The Raviz Kollam (Meal: B, L, D)

Friday, Nov 1 – Day 6     KOLLAM – Spiritual Light, Joy, and Inspiration 

Start the day with a yoga session and visit to Amma’s Ashram where we will participate in prayers and activities as per the Ashram’s schedule. From the stillness of the morning hours when the ashram is wrapped in meditation to the vibrancy of the night when the air is filled with Amma’s sonorous bhajans, Amritapuri is always wonderfully abuzz.

Experience a simple lunch at the Ashram Canteen.

In the afternoon, visit other nearby spiritual ashrams to understand the life and philosophy of these unique places of spiritual learning in Southern India.

Time permitting, visit a coir workshop nearby. The coir industry is one of the major traditional industries in Kerala where a part of the native coconut plant is used to create floor mats, brushes, mattresses and more.

Return to our hotel with options for Ayurvedic healing treatments.

Dinner at hotel.

Overnight in Kollam (Meal: B, L, D)

Saturday, Nov 2-Day 7    THE ROAD TO THEKKADY – Rubber Plantation, Kathakali dance

Morning yoga at the hotel before breakfast, then take the 5-hour drive to Thekkady, a lush green corridor famous for its spice plantations. Along the way, we will stop at a Rubber Plantation for a chance to learn how natural rubber is made from latex oozing out of rubber trees.

We will arrive at our hotel in time for lunch. Then enjoy the time to relax in your room before a very exciting experience!

We’ll travel to a local theater to witness a Kathakali dance performance. The word Kathakali literally means “Story-Play”.  Kathakali is known for its large, elaborate makeup and costumes. The themes of the Kathakali are religious in nature, and it is the most elaborate form of dance in southern India. We will reach the theatre before the show starts to meet the artists and witness their preparations for the show. We’ll also learn about the significance of the costumes and facial expressions. Then we will get to watch and enjoy their performance!

Return to the hotel for dinner.

Overnight in Thekkady at Spice Village (Meal: B, L, D)

Sunday, Nov 3 – Day 8     THEKKADY – Scenic Jeep Ride, Tea Estate, Spice Plantation, Essential Oil Workshop

Early morning group yoga practice. After breakfast, ride in a Jeep on dirt roads up to the top of the hill to Ottakathala Medu. See nature’s unparalleled beauty there. Visit a Tea Plantation and factory. Then stop at a village to witness more about rural life in Southern India.

Visit a Spice Plantation where you will be enticed by the aroma of spices like black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. We’ll also learn how spices are grown, harvested, processed, and prepared for the supermarket.

After lunch, enjoy an afternoon workshop to explore the essential oils and spices of Southern India at Spice Village. This session will give you an overarching understanding of:

  • Which plants and spices are native to Kerela.
  • How they are grown, harvested and processed.
  • Sensory experience of sampling local spices and essential oils produced in the region.

Late afternoon options for Ayurvedic healing treatments or just relax and read your favorite book.

Dinner at hotel.

Overnight in Thekkady at Spice Village (Meal: B, L, D)

Monday, Nov 4 – Day 9     DRIVE TO MADURAI – Sri Meenakshi Temple, Hinduism, and Prayers

After breakfast, we will drive 4 hours eastward to Madurai – a completely different environment to explore other wonders of Southern India.

The small city of Madurai is also known as “Athens of the East” because of its ancient and rich history. Today’s developing town of Madurai claims the history traced far back from the fourth century BC when famous the Greek traveler, Megasthenes, visited and wrote about it.

The city’s role in the spice trade with other countries in the Mediterranean led it to have cosmopolitan connections and a cultured lifestyle. The city is very religious, energetic, and visitor-friendly. The city’s skyline is impressive and magnificently colored with gateway towers of the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which is the heart of the city, attracting visitors from all over the world. This historic temple is one of the oldest and largest temples in India. The city is also famed for its jasmine flowers known as Madurai Malligai, which are exported from this area.

Check in to The Gateway Hotel Madurai and enjoy lunch.

This afternoon we will visit local markets to experience the pomp and splendor of Madurai. Explore this city’s impressive 17th-century royal Thirumalai Nayak palace, a fusion of Dravidian and Rajput architectural styles.

As we continue, discover the remarkable Sri Meenakshi Temple, perhaps the ultimate artistic masterpiece of India, with twelve towers covered with stucco figures of mythical animals, deities, and monsters, splendidly painted in vivid colours. The original temple was constructed around 2000 years ago and was ransacked by the Muslim invader Malik Kafur in the 14th-century. Today’s structure is believed to have been built in the 17th-century. Look forward to the Thousand-Pillared Hall where we will examine some of the 985 beautifully decorated columns.

The religious city of Madurai is also renowned for its ‘mess’ culture; inexpensive, clean eateries that serve up a variety of delicious food – from biryani, parottas and kal dosais to a wide range of meat delicacies. Our dinner today will be at one of the local restaurants!

Overnight in Madurai at The Gateway Hotel Madurai (Meal: B, L, D)

Tuesday, Nov 5 – Day 10   MADURAI – Temples, Cooking Class, People and Rituals

After breakfast, we will visit another famous temple of Madurai city. Thiruparankundram Temple is an 8th century rock cut cave temple dedicated to Lord Murugan (Subrahmanya). The main shrine is an early rock cut temple which has cells that house the sanctums of Subramanya, Durga, Vinayakar, Shiva and Vishnu. Meet a young priest here to do prayers and learn more about the traditions being followed at the temple.

Today’s lunch will be at the home of a middle-class family where we will enjoy and learn about Madurai home cooking.

Take an early dinner at our hotel as we will to go for a special temple visit this evening. We will return to the Sri Meenakshi Temple to observe the temple’s dramatic closing ceremony, a music-filled and colorful ceremony in which Lord Sundarshewar is carried in a palanquin to the temple.

Overnight in Madurai at The Gateway Hotel Madurai (Meal: B, L, D)

Wednesday, Nov 6 – Day 11   MADURAI – Local Life, Artisans, Peasants and Their Stories

After breakfast we will travel to the outskirts of Madurai. Enjoy a walk through the interesting village where people craft small idols out of clay. They make Lord Ganesh for Ganesh Chaturthi, Bommai Kolu dolls for Navaratri, and make nativity sets for Christmas as well. Meet these artisans at work in their homes to uncover many stories and legends.

This insightful trail will bring many wonderful encounters. We will witness villagers performing daily activities in the fields and streets. This is a wonderful day to engage with the local people with the potential for some of these types of experiences: participate with them in the fields; teach children in a school ; or visit a Gurukul where Sanskrit and Vedic studies are being done by youngsters. A meaningful day indeed!

Return to town and be at leisure at our hotel to enjoy a Farewell Dinner together.

Overnight in Madurai at The Gateway Hotel Madurai (Meal: B, L, D)

Thursday, Nov 7 / Friday, Nov 8 – Day 12           FLIGHT TO DELHI – Departure  Day

After breakfast, transfer to the Madurai airport for our flight back to Delhi.

Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to our nearby airport hotel where we can check in, freshen up, repack and relax with dinner at the hotel before transfers to the Delhi airport for our flights back home.  Many flights to the USA depart in the early morning hours. Should you have a departure on November 8, your hotel room is available to you as late as 12:00 noon if needed.

Overnight reservation at Hotel Pride Plaza Aerocity (Meal: B)

Safe travels back home! Depart from India, taking with you the healing experiences for body, mind and soul. Love and light until we meet again on another great journey together!

Program Pricing*

2024 Southern India Exploration, October 27 – November 7, 2024

Double Occupancy: $5,620 Per Person + $480 Air Supplement

Single Occupancy: $7,340 Per Person + $480 Air Supplement

Air Supplement includes roundtrip airfare within India, traveling as a group from New Delhi to Kochi, returning from Mandurai to New Delhi.

*All prices are net, payable in US Dollars.

Program Price Includes:

  • Arrival meet & greet by Learning Journeys representative at airport and transfer to your hotel in New Delhi, and in Kochi
  • Private English-speaking Daily Tour Manager for the group
  • Transportation: modern, air-conditioned deluxe vehicles
  • Deluxe transportation provided throughout your journey
  • Airfare supplement covering New Delhi/Kochi and Mandurai/New Delhi
  • 2 nights Hotel Pride Plaza Aerocity in New Delhi (arrival and departure nights) Hotel check in time is 1400, and check out is 1200 Noon.
  • 3 nights 5-Star Brunton Boatyard hotel in Kochi
  • 2 nights 5-Star The Raviz Kollam in Kollam
  • 2 nights 4-Star Spice Village in Thekkady
  • 3 nights 5-Star The Gateway Hotel Madurai
  • 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • Beverage: One bottle of water 0.5 L per person offered on each excursion. Additional bottled water will be stocked in the vehicle for longer drives. Meals are inclusive of bottled water and in-house soft drink brands. Hotels generally include coffee and tea at no additional cost.
  • Entrance fees to all sites and monuments visited
  • All currently applicable taxes, tolls, parking fees, fuel costs and service tax

Special Site Events & Activities

  • Daily yoga sessions with mats provided in Kochi, Kollam and Thekkady
  • Multiple temple and ashram visits to engage with spiritual activities, special ceremonies and prayers
  • Private Ayurvedic physician consultations
  • Multiple day options for Ayurvedic treatments (price not included in package)
  • Relaxing houseboat day cruise with lunch in Alleppey
  • Kathakali dance performance in Thekkady
  • Guided sightseeing tours of historic areas and local villages
  • Essential oil and spice workshop
  • Cooking class and home visit with a local family
  • Spice plantation experience
  • Tea plantation and factory visit
  • Rubber plantation visit and tour
  • Local craft and spice market explorations
  • Jeep ride to scenic mountain overlook
  • Please note: Some visits or activities may be altered due to unforeseen circumstances.

* Package price does not include:  International airfare to and from India; the highly recommended Trip Cancellation and Medical Emergency Evacuation Insurance;  all items of a personal nature such as laundry, room service, Ayurvedic and spa treatments; any beverage not mentioned in program description; telephone or fax calls,  camera/video fee at monuments; any medical expense; tipping for guides, drivers, porters/bellmen and wait staff, restroom attendants; and any services including guides, admissions, meals and drinks not mentioned in the inclusions.

If your international flight arrival and departure times require a pre- or post-journey, additional night’s stay at your own expense, we are happy to provide information, pricing and to assist you with reservations for that need, should it occur.

Important Notes Before You Register for This Exploration: Traveling in India by land and sea is a unique and captivating experience that will require travelers to walk unaided and with ease at distances of a mile or more, to move quickly through crowds, climb and descend steps, transport their own luggage on occasion, and get in and out of vehicles that may require a sizeable step up. Medical cannabis and some other prescriptive medications may be illegal in India and possession may result in your arrest/jail. Please contact Marty Harger before registering to confidentially discuss any and all prescriptive medications you take, to insure they are allowed in India. As a reminder, all travelers on the 2024 Southern India Exploration must be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of departure.

The Southern India Exploration will travel if a minimum of eight (8) persons have paid deposits before June 30, 2024.  Less than eight will require rescheduling the group for a later date with the option for a full refund of your deposit or transferring it to the future scheduled date.  In the event of rescheduling, make sure your international airline reservations can be refunded or transferred to other uses.

Our itinerary will cover so many wonderful experiences – please read the daily activities fully to insure you understand the rhythm and pace of this program before you commit. It will be a remarkable experience!

Is Your Passport Ready for Travel?   Travelers leaving the USA for India must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months AFTER they return to the USA.  Passport acquisition and renewals have taken excessive lengths of time to process in recent years. Please visit the US State Department website for the latest turn-around times and options for processing well in advance of our departure date.  Also, feel free to contact Marty Harger for suggested alternatives if needed. In addition to a passport, you will need a Tourist eVisa to enter the country. Details on securing an eVisa will be provided well in advance of your departure.

Travel Protection Plan:  Travel protection is highly recommended by purchasing Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Evacuation insurance for this Exploration.  Learning Journeys can recommend options for Travel Protection plans which are suitable for your experience.

Travel arrangements and payment for the Southern India Exploration are made through Learning Journeys.


Questions? Call Marty today at 801-712-5406

Please read the Terms & Conditions below in detail BEFORE YOU CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE BUTTON

NOTE: Once Learning Journeys receives your deposit, you will be emailed a registration link, invoice, and information about Trip Cancellation, Interruption and Medical Evacuation Insurance they offer.

Terms & Conditions

TERMS & CONDITIONS. THIS AGREEMENT sets forth the terms under which we, Learning Journeys agrees to provide you with the services and accommodations for your custom/or package tour.

RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENT. A $1000 non-refundable per person deposit is due at the time of booking via the link provided. Ninety (90) days prior to departure, the non-refundable land and air supplement balance is due to Learning Journeys. For bookings made within 90 days of departure, payment must be wired to Learning Journeys bank account or credit cards must be used for full payment.

FINAL DOCUMENTS REVIEW. While Learning Journeys takes the utmost care in making sure the information on your itinerary and travel vouchers (collectively, “Final Documents”) is complete and accurate, it is your responsibility to carefully read and review the final documents upon receipt. Failure to contact us in time to allow for the correction and re-sending of the final documents could result in the loss or cancellation of your reservation, tickets or services listed on the documents for which Learning Journeys will not be responsible. In such a case, no refunds will be possible. Documents will not be issued unless full payment has been received. Your final travel documents will be emailed to you 14 days prior to departure.

UNUSED TOUR ELEMENTS. No refund will be given for any unused tour features, whether because of customer’s choice, operational reasons, because of bad weather or any other reason.

ERRORS. In case of printing, typographical error, computer error, verbal or human billing error, we reserve the right to invoice or re-invoice participants with corrected billing.

BAGGAGE. Each traveler is limited to one large suitcase (maximum 50 lbs.) and one small carry on due to limited baggage area on buses. For some airlines and taxi/coach transfers, extra luggage and additional weight of luggage may be subject to an extra charge due on the spot.

You are responsible for complying with the airline regulations concerning their baggage allowances and with the airline restrictions on the size, weight and contents of your check-in and carry-on bags. Check with the carrier for luggage guidelines. Learning Journeys is not responsible for loss or damage of luggage or personal belongings. Travel Insurance is strongly recommended to cover loss or damage of your luggage.

AIRPORT: We recommend you arrive at the airport for your check-in at least 3 hours prior to your international flight departure time and 3 hours prior for your domestic flights.

PASSPORT and VISA. For travel outside the United States U.S. citizens must have valid passports, with an expiration date of at least six months after the scheduled return date. If possible, you should renew your passport approximately 9 months before it expires. Travelers are responsible for ensuring that they have the proper travel documents and MUST CHECK with the respective consulate(s) or visa agency to determine whether any visas are required. Each traveler is responsible for processing any required visas. Please ask the respective consulate for visa processing schedule to ensure you receive your documentation at least 7 days prior to departure. Any information provided pertains to US citizens only. Non-US citizens should check with the respective consulate of the country(s) to be visited for current entry requirements.

A valid Government-issued photo ID is required for all domestic flights within USA. It is suggested that you use a passport for domestic travel as well. Select countries require additional documentation for children under the age of 18 years especially when one parent is traveling without the other parent. Learning Journeys is not responsible for denial of boarding due to passenger negligence and cannot offer assistance on location or at the airport. If a passenger has not met the requirements as stated above and is denied boarding the cost of the tour is fully non-refundable.

NOTE: A visa is required for entry into India. For additional information please see: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/

NAMES MUST MATCH PASSPORT. The name given on your Learning Journeys booking must match the name on your passport, and in-turn, the name on your air ticket. Any variation between the spelling of your name on your air-ticket and passport will require re-ticketing, often at the cost of a completely new ticket. The airline will deny boarding if your airline ticket does not match your passport. Learning Journeys requires a copy of passengers’ passport be forwarded no later than 95 days prior to departure. Passengers are responsible for providing accurate information including the exact name as listed on the passport, date of birth and passport number. If the information forwarded is incorrect, the passenger will be liable for any change fees which may occur.

FEES FOR CUSTOMIZED ITINERARY CHANGES. After your final payment (90 days prior to start of services), a $50 fee per person will be imposed for each change of service within your itinerary. These services include but are not limited to changes or cancellations of transfers, hotels, villas, train tickets, day tours and reservations or services of any kind. There is no additional charge for adding services to your itinerary at any time. Changes requested during travel will be considered as a new reservation, with new dates and products priced accordingly. Air ticket changes and cancellations carry different fees as shown above. Fees for itinerary changes are NOT covered by purchased travel insurance.

FEES FOR CANCELED LAND and AIR SERVICES. If you cancel your complete land and supplemental air reservation after full payment, the cancellation charges shown below will apply. Cancellation charges are based on the number of days from the time Learning Journeys is notified of your cancellation, to the start of the services provided – whether air and land or just land services. (Some charges may be avoided by your purchasing optional travel insurance explained above.)

CANCELLATIONS & COMPLAINTS. We work around-the-clock to ensure your vacation goes smoothly and according to plan. But unexpected problems, often out of our control, can still arise. We urge you to work with us in correcting the problem on the spot instead of dealing with it after you return home. If your program has a tour manager, you are required to work with them to resolve pending issues.

If a cancellation or refund is warranted, it is under the express condition that you release Learning Journeys from all further liability and you thereby waive all additional rights and remedies under this contract or any applicable state, federal or foreign law.

GUESTS NEEDING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a tour member for walking, dining, getting on and off motor coaches and other transportation vehicles, or other personal needs. Travelers who need such assistance must be accompanied by a qualified companion. It is the passenger’s responsibility to travel with a collapsible wheelchair, if needed. Electric wheelchairs are not permitted. Please provide your Learning Journeys Program Manager about any specific dietary needs or any specific issues which may require attention during your program.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION. Deluxe ground transportation will be provided to you based on the number of participants in your party. Should the number of participants on any tour drop below estimated passengers, we reserve the right to operate the tour with a smaller vehicle. Please also note that smaller coaches do not have lavatories, TV, etc.). Baggage is limited to one carry on and one suitcase per person. If luggage guidelines are not followed, a second vehicle may be added to accommodate the excess baggage at the passenger’s expense. There are strict laws concerning driver hours on touring coaches that must be always respected. A typical touring day can last 8 hours only. In addition, there are mandatory rest periods during the working day and weekly rest periods depending on the length of the tour.

DELAY CHARGES: If your flight delays cause additional charges for transportation/guides waiting times you will be responsible to pay an extra charge on the spot directly to the vendor. If you purchased travel insurance, it may be covered under the policy. We recommend you check with your Travel insurance company on coverage for Trip Delay.

EXPERIENCES & TRANSFERS: Sightseeing and entrance fees have been included as specified in itinerary. All foreign airport transfers are also included in the land cost unless otherwise requested by the agent. Land arrangements will be provided as described; however, Learning Journeys reserves the right to substitute sightseeing features.

TIPS AND SERVICE CHARGES: All taxes and service charges levied by the hotels or charged by various governments and municipalities are included. We have not included tips to the restaurants, chambermaids, drivers/guide or escort. Tips to servers, chambermaids and local guides should be left at the time of service. Tour Manager and driver tips should be given at the end of the tour.

Suggest Tipping in USD:

(A detailed tipping guide will be provided to travelers prior to departure) Suggested Tipping to be given in the end of each tour:

  • Local Guide: $8 for half-day tour and $10 per person for a full day
  • Driver: $4 per person per day
  • Tour Escort: $10 per person per day

Exceptional circumstances may warrant a higher tip.

SINGLE ROOMS. Be aware that single rooms are often smaller than double rooms. Ask about a “double room/single use” option at a cost above the normal single supplement.

CUSTOMIZED ITINERARY CHANGES. In rare cases scheduled tours maybe cancelled. In such cases Learning Journeys reserves the right to change the scheduled tour itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice and/or to substitute airlines, hotels or features of a similar category for those listed in the confirmed itinerary. Learning Journeys shall not be held liable for any such changes.

CUSTOMIZED TOUR CANCELLATIONS BY LEARNING JOURNEYS. From time-to-time a tour departure may be cancelled for lack of participation or other operational reasons. In such a case, Learning Journeys sole responsibility is to provide a complete refund of monies received without any other liability whatsoever including any additional costs or fees related to cancellation of airline tickets or other travel reservations not made by Learning Journeys.

Learning Journeys is not responsible for necessary cancellations due acts of government; bites or attacks by animals, insects or pests; sickness; the lack of appropriate medical care; evacuation to same, if necessary; weather; strikes; acts of God; acts of terrorism or the threat thereof; events of force majeure; war; quarantine; epidemics/pandemic or the threat thereof; criminal activity or any other cause beyond the company’s control.

MISCELLANEOUS. Foreign air-conditioning systems in public places, hotels and motor coaches are not up to U.S. standards. If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs.

The right is reserved to decline, to accept or retain any person as a member of these trips at any time. In any such event, Learning Journeys’ sole obligation is to refund for any unused accommodations or other trip features. Passenger certifies not to have any mental, physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers.

RESPONSIBILITY. Learning Journeys Ltd. and their employees, shareholders, officers, and directors does not own or operate any entity which goods or services for your trip, including, for example, lodging facilities, transportation companies, guides or trip leaders, food service providers, equipment suppliers, ground operators, etc., including, without limitation, various entities which may utilize the Learning Journeys name. Learning Journeys is not responsible for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity, nor for any act or inaction of any other third party not under its control.

Without limitation Learning Journeys is not liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damage, injury, death, loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity of any kind which may be occasioned by reason of any act or omission beyond its control, including, without limitation, any willful or negligent act, failure to act, breach of contract of any third party, such as an airline, train, hotel, restaurant, or food supplier; bus, taxi, van, or local ground handler; local outfitter or guide, which is, to, or does supply any goods or services for this trip.

Learning Journeys is not responsible for any loss, injury, death, or inconvenience due to delay or changes in schedule or failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart safely; overbooking or downgrading of accommodations; insolvency or default of any third party; acts of government; bites or attacks by animals, insects or pests; sickness; the lack of appropriate medical care; evacuation to same, if necessary; weather; strikes; acts of God; acts of terrorism or the threat thereof; events of force majeure; war; quarantine; epidemics/pandemic or the threat thereof; criminal activity or any other cause beyond its control and cancellation policies per the contract will apply.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE WARNINGS. In the case of a government issued warning, we will provide our utmost consideration to the severity of the warning and accomplish everything possible to safeguard the well-being of our passengers. We reserve the right to evaluate each booking on a case-by-case basis for potential refund/cancellation fees, re-scheduling of tours or itineraries and postponements.

BINDING ARBITRATION. I agree that any dispute concerning, relating, or referring to these Terms and Conditions, this release, the catalog, or any other literature concerning my trip, or the trip itself shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration according to the then existing commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association in New York. Such proceedings will be governed by substantive New York law. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or part of this contract is void or voidable. Upon payment of a deposit, tour participant indicates acceptance of the above Terms and Conditions and of the Arbitration Agreement.

NOT INCLUDED: Passports, laundry, food and beverages not listed on the itinerary International Travel Tax and Porterage at U.S. Airports, as well as all other items of a personal nature.

FORMS OF PAYMENT:  CHECK or CREDIT CARDS.  We accept all major credit cards for the total amount of the cost of the tour.

Please note if you confirm and proceed with your booking you are automatically accepting these terms and conditions.

See the appropriate REGISTRATION BUTTON above the Terms & Conditions
to secure your place on my 2024 Southern India Exploration!

I hope you’ll join me in 2024!

Click on the link below to download a PDF copy of my Southern India Exploration, including descriptions, itinerary, pricing plus Terms & Conditions.

2024 Southern India Exploration – Marty Harger’s Essential Earth Explorations