Trip Highlights

Experience the exceptional history of Cochin that dates back over 600 years
Enjoy a Kathakali performance
Visit the tea plantations in the magnificent Munnar Hills
Discover the exquisite wildlife at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Traverse the charming backwaters around Alleppey in a private houseboat
Feel the soothing sand and rejuvenating waters on the shores of Kovalam

Trip overview:

Kerala is the most beautiful, calmest and the relaxing destination in South India. Step back in time on this 11-day tour through India’s southern state of Kerala. The wealth of spices has created an exceptional history unlike anywhere in the world. From the European neighborhoods of Cochin to the tea plantations of Munnar, you will witness the diverse landscapes and captivating culture. Dip your toes in the sand on Kovalam Beach and indulge in a moonlit dinner as you drift down the serene canals around Alleppey. The depths of history and local magnetism are endless in Kerala.

Day 1 (The Cultural South)

Welcome to Kochi, the gateway to Kerala and a city filled with layers of history. The Portuguese built their first stronghold along the northern tip of the peninsula. The scent of spices is still enticing and prevalent. You are met at the airport by a private transfer and escorted to your hotel. The antique Chinese fishing nets create a skyline above the Arabian Sea. You can see them dip down into the water, counterbalanced by large stones and guided by agile fishermen.
The depth of the city’s past spans over 600 years and continues to allure both visitors and locals, including Salman Rushdie, whose novel The Moor’s Last Sigh, centers around Cochin’s historic neighborhoods. In the evening you will indulge in a Kathakali performance. The classical Indian dance-drama is filled with elaborate costumes and intricate movement with traditions that date back to the 17th century.

Day 2 (A Local Charm)

After breakfast drive to Vaikom village to meet a local family. Enjoy the cooking demonstration followed by lunch on banana leaves with the family.Later continue your drive to Kochi.In the evening, attend Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre.

Day 3 (Southern Insight)

In the morning you will tour through the city to find the rich past displayed with pageantry and pride. The Dutch Cemetery was consecrated in the 18th century and continues to stand near Kochi Beach. The headstones are worn but the names and dates are remarkable, each one commemorating a Dutch merchant, soldier, or trader. The Paradesi Synagogue remains a historic jewel.Sephardic Jews erected the walls in the 16th century. In the afternoon you will find yourself at the Mundackal Plantation. The property is set on a 104-acre rubber estate and is surrounded by pepper and coconut plantations.The evening brings you to Munnar Town where you easily settle into the evening and quiet sounds of the hillsides.

Day 4 (The Mountains of Munnar)

The morning is tranquil around Munnar. The hills are verdant and look endless. The greenery of tea plantations stretches over the rolling mountains in the distance. After breakfast, you will venture to Rajamal, a mountain hill that stands over 8,840 feet above sea level. It is also home to the only mountain goat in India, the Nilgiri tahr, found south of the Himalayas.
The craggy mountains seem to surround you in every direction. Waterfalls cascade along the hilly regions and tumble into fabulous, misty pools. In the altitudinal rocky terrain, you can see the light brown coat of the ibex-like goat as the animal grazes on the thin, firm grass.overnight in Munnar.

Day 5 (The Wildlife Continues)

The endless green of Munnar is soon behind you as you make your way towards Thekkady, a city adjacent to the natural splendor of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Western Ghats Mountain Range creates a horseshoe-like valley. When you arrive at Periyar Lake you will step aboard a boat and cruise on the water in search of the region’s celebrated wildlife. The evergreen forest is vibrant and strong.The water glistens; the deer are quiet and graceful.

Day 6 (A Reserve Experience)

Periyar National Park covers over 357 square miles and is filled with a remarkable collection of wildlife. After breakfast, you venture into the expanse of evergreen trees that open up to savannah. A troop of elephants marches through the verdant plain. You can see a baby elephant surrounded by the large bodies of several others, protecting her from possible predators.

Day 7 (The Calls of Kumarakom)

After breakfast you leave the trundling hills of the Western Ghats behind and make your way to Kumarakom. The foothills and morning mist gives way to the endless blue sky and towering palm trees. You are taken to your hotel by a boat and can see the reflective water up close. With the afternoon at your leisure, you can enjoy the quiet waterways or venture out into the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary to witness some of the celebrated avifauna of Kerala.The sanctuary covers 14 acres of land. Siberian crane is known for their migratory patterns and pure white plumage.

Day 8 (Water Bound Alleppey)

The canals wind around Alleppey, which caused the area to be known as the “Venice of the South.” You board a houseboat and drift down the charming network. Near Vembanad Lake, the land surrounding the banks gives way to paddy fields. The local vendor paddles down the way in his catamaran. Bananas and coconut groves fill the plantations. The night sky is rich with twinkling stars.You savor the meal, dining beneath the unparalleled starlight as you continue to cruise alongside reaching palms.

Day 9 (Tender Sands)

In the morning you can watch fishermen pull in their expansive nets. Breakfast brings you the familiar flavours of chai masala. After your meal, you will have a private transfer to Kovalam Beach. The lighthouse stands on a rocky hill outcrop and is candy striped. A salty and sweet aroma sits on the back of the breeze. You can dip your toes in the water and feel the refreshing cool stroke your skin.

Day 10 (A Day at the Shore)

The sunrise over Kovalam is soaked in rich orange. You can enjoy fluffy rice pancakes soaked in coconut milk or the sweet flavors of fresh banana and mango. The day is at your leisure to experience the beach in your own way, whether stretching out along the warm sand or sitting in a café and watching the day pass you by. Away from the beaches is the Vizhinjam Rock Cut Caves where you will find 18th-century temples.Between the elegant cave carvings and the rejuvenating sea, the day will be filled with joyful splendor.

Day 11 (A Beachside Departure)

The morning blossoms with fabulous flavors and soothing sound. After breakfast, you will have a private transfer to Trivandrum where you will make your flight home. You can watch the palm trees fade beneath the clouds. The canopy covers the canals.

Cities Covered
Kochi
Munnar
Periyar
Kumarakom
Alleppey
Kovalam
Trivandrum

Hotel Suggestions

Kochi

CGH Earth – The Brunton Boatyard

Munnar

SpiceTree

Periyar

CGH Earth – Spice Village

Kumarakom

CGH Earth – Coconut Lagoon

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