updated 9/30/2009 11:21:34 AM ET 2009-09-30T15:21:34

The Real Deal: Two nights in Kochi one at Casa Linda and another in a homestay in Alleppey; two nights each in Periyar and Varkala at guesthouses or hotels; one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner; guided activities including a tour of Fort Kochi, visits to Periyar Tiger Reserve and spice plantations, and a boat tour in Kerala; all entrance fees; and transportation by bus, boat, taxi, and rickshaw; from $399 per person—including all taxes.

When: Depart Mondays Sept. 28, 2009–May 10, 2010, Sept. 6, 2010–May 9, 2011, Sept. 5–Dec. 26, 2011.

The fine print: Airfare is not included. The starting rate includes a local cash payment of $100 per person. Airport-hotel transfers start at $20 per person each way. Based on double occupancy. Solo travelers can be paired with a roommate or pay $139 for a private room. Maximum group size is 15; the average group size is 10. U.S. citizens must obtain an entry visa for India through Travisa Outsourcing, at a cost of $73. Use booking code AHBB. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Gap Adventures, 800/708-7761, gapadventures.com.

Why it's a deal: The cost of the Beaches & Backwaters package breaks down to less than $67 a night, and it covers almost everything—accommodations, sightseeing tours, entrance fees, transportation within India, and a few meals. Plus, a tour leader will be at your services throughout the trip to make sure it goes smoothly.

More: Additional nights in Kochi start at $40 per room per night at Casa Linda. Want more time on the beach? Tack on this four-night stay in Goa, which starts at $469 per person (trip code: TAHGBC).

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


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