The name means "land of coconuts"; the palms shade nearly the entire state from the tropical sun and many call the beach at Kovalam the best in India. Travelers come for tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations and exotic wildlife, ayurvedic health resorts, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, and exotic cuisine, a truly unique experience. We will be visiting Cochin, built around a saltwater lagoon of the Arabian Sea and one of India’s most attractive cities. On to the tea plantations in the Cardamom Hills and then Periyar for wildlife viewing The holiday ends with a cruise on a private houseboat or ‘kettuvallom’ through the peaceful palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala.
Day 1: Morning arrival in Cochin. Our executive will meet you and take you to the Palace Hotel. Rest of day at leisure. Evening welcome dinner. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Cochin. We explore the old city this morning, visiting the 16th century Church of St. Francis, the Paradesi Synagogue in the heart of Cochin’s Jewish Town, the Mattancherry Palace, and the enormous cantilevered Chinese fishing nets characteristic of the Kerala coast. Afternoon free. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Cardamom Hills. Today we drive inland and up the winding roads to the picturesque town of Munnar, located amongst tea plantations in the Cardamom Hills at 5.906ft. We spend the afternoon in this delightful spot and stay overnight at the resort. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: To Periyar. This morning we drive down from the hills and continue through coffee and pepper plantations to Periyar, where we stay at the Spice Village. Afternoon boat trip on Lake Periyar, a haven for birdlife, including herons, hornbills and egrets. There are also approximately 800 elephants in the Periyar Reserve, and we hope to see some at the water’s edge. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Spice Plantation. This morning we will have fascinating visit to a small spice plantation, where we will learn about the many uses of the spices, both in medicine and local cuisine. The rest of the day is at leisure. Includes: (B).
Day 6: To Kumarakom. This morning we journey by road to Kumarakom, where we take a short boat ride. Overnight at the resort. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: A full day at leisure. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Houseboat cruise. After breakfast we board our private houseboats or ‘kettuvalloms’ for a memorable day of cruising through the peaceful palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala, passing local farming and fishing communities along the banks of the narrow canals. Each houseboat has two comfortable twin bedrooms with ensuite facilities.
We spend overnight on board. Please note that each houseboat has a variable number of twin bedrooms with ensuite facilities. There is a large open-sided sitting area where meals, using local fish and vegetables (prepared on board) are served. Your houseboat is fully staffed, with a captain, his mate and a butler, who will accompany you on land for short excursions to local churches, temples and other attractions. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Return to Cochin. In the morning disembark at Alleppey and drive back to Cochin for an afternoon and overnight at the Palace Hotel. A farewell dinner has been arranged. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 10: Depart Cochin.
This trip can be tailormade throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your requirements for 2 to 12 people. This tour can be taken anytime.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia India Local Culture Cultural Journey