DAY 01: COCHIN [Airport – City 40 Kms / 1 Hour]
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Check in at the hotel. Afternoon, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Cochin, which is the financial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala. The tour covers - The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry (10 AM - 5 PM, Closed on Fridays and national holidays), renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana. The Jewish Synagogue(10 AM – 12 PM and 3 PM – 5 PM. Closed on Saturdays and Jewish Holidays.) at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town. The St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The Santa Cruz Basilica originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese. The Chinese fishing nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese trade. In the evening witness the world famous Kathakali dance at a local theatre, a traditional art form of Kerala and one among the national dances of India. (Timings: Kathakali make-up starts at 5.30 PM & the performs starts from 6.30 PM till 7.30 PM) Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 02: COCHIN - MUNNAR [140 Kms. / 4 hours]
After breakfast (8.30 AM), drive to Munnar. Surrounded by lush green-carpeted tea and coffee plantations, Munnar is a picturesque hill station situated in the eastern part of Kerala. The town is located at the confluence of three mountain streams — Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kudala—and is known for its clean, neat, and brightly painted ambience. The beautiful landscapes, cozy weather, and the smell of tealeaves make Munnar one of the most sought-after destinations in South India. Precisely these were the reason why the British always retreated to Munnar when the heat and humidity was on its peak in other parts of Kerala. Munnar is situated near the Anaimudi Peak, the highest peak in the Western Ghats. The hills here are covered with a carpet of flowers in bloom. Also found here is an exotic plant called Neelakurunji that flowers just once in a 12 year period. Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 03: MUNNAR [sightseeing]
After breakfast from hotel, go for a sightseeing tour of Munnar, which includes visit to Mattupetty Dam, Kundale Lake, and Echo point. You will also visit the Rajamalai were the rarest species of mountain goat, ‘NilgiriThars’, can be spotted, and the Tea Museum which has been built in the Nallathanni estate of Tata Tea. Its collection of memorabilia and artifacts takes you back in time when the tea industry had just begun to make its presence felt in Munnar in 1880s. Browse the museum for its array of curios, photographs and machineries, each depicting important events that contributed to a flourishing tea industry. Munnar is a real hill resort having absolute green cover under misty scent of tealeaves all around, with crisp fresh air and the weather delightfully cool all the year round. Stroll in any direction and the whole world of tranquility and serenity entices you.
Return to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 04: MUNNAR – PERIYAR [110 Kms. / 3 ½ hours]
After breakfast depart for Periyar (Thekkady). Morning drive through the Western Ghats to Thekkady, a beautiful area of tea gardens, rubber estates and coffee and pepper plantations, located high in the Cardamom Hills. This wildlife sanctuary is an established tourist spot and home to elephants, tiger, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. The artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar Lake adds to the charm of the park. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a declared Tiger Reserve.
After check in at Hotel, go for a spice plantation visit.
A walk through the plantation opens up a vista of pristine greenery shrouded by low hanging clouds, gurgling brooks and a pale shadow of the Western Ghats in the backdrop. Accompanied by an English-speaking guide you will be taken on tour of the cover, cardamom, pepper, rubber, vanilla, coffee and tea plantations. The most abundantly found spice in Thekkady is pepper, but you will also see a variety of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and curry leaves on the slanting slopes of the spice plantation.
Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 05: PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM [140 Kms. / 4 hours]
Early morning (6 AM),proceed to the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary for boating.
Nestled at an altitude with temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degree Celsius, the park skirts a serene artificial lake, the Periyar Lake. The most sought after way of wildlife viewing is a steamer cruise on the Periyar Lake past protruding bare tree limbs, while looking out for elephant herds by the water’s edge, sambhars peeking from a thicket, wild boars running amok, and if you are too lucky, you could spot the Great Indian Tiger languishing in a clearing of the forest. Always keep your binoculars handy, you could spot a blue-winged parakeet or a solitary kingfisher perched on an ancient tree limb jutting out of the lake. Of birds, you stand a chance of spotting Nilgiri wood pigeon, white-bellied tree pie, laughing thrushes and flycatchers to name a few.
Return to hotel, after breakfast, you will leave for Kumarakom,which is a peaceful retreat, which takes you to the world of tranquility. Sprawled across a vast landscaped leisure land with many water bodies, it offers you umpteen reasons to soak in the myriad hues of nature.
Kumarakom is a charming emerald peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake. It will take you into the heart of the scenic lake where you will come across plenty of traditional country barges, boats, and canoes. The fresh water of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals, and waterways. This backwater is a haven for countless varieties of species of both fauna and flora. When you need to find a solace from the monotonous daily routine then Kumarakom is undoubtedly the best choice in the fascinating paradise on Kerala. The slender coconut palms swaying to the cool winds here, there and everywhere, the never-ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a thousand varieties, can calm and energize your soul and body.
Check in at hotel upon arrival. Rest of the day at leisure.
1. Go for a short cruise through few of the intricate canals of Kumarakom, in a canopy.
2. Go for aAyurvedic message. All resorts in Kumarakom, have authentic certified Ayurvedic centres, which are managed by a well qualified and highly experienced doctors, assisted by a team of skilled therapists. And they offers several result-oriented therapies designed to unwind, tone up and rejuvenate within a realistic timeframe.
Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 06: KUMARAKOM - ALLEPPEY [HOUSEBOAT]
Breakfast at hotel(12.30 PM), board a Kettuvallam (houseboat) and proceed for an unforgettable overnight cruise, through the mesmerizing unique backwaters of Kerala.
You will have an exclusive houseboat which cruises till sunset, and then it anchors for the night. Your boat has a private balcony with comfortable chairs. The rooms are well furnished with attached bathrooms and air conditioning which functions during sleeping hours. The boat has a fully equipped kitchen and an experienced cook to prepare authentic Kerala cuisine with seafood specialties and fresh vegetables. This is your chance to pick up some fabulous cooking tips!
The waterways of Kerala play a major role in the economy of the state as they link remote villages and islands with the mainland. It is an incredibly different experience to cruise in the backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty of Kerala's villages. Houseboats, also known as kettuvallam or rice boats, are today one of the major tourist attractions in Kerala, but these boats were used to carry rice bags in their earlier days. These houseboats are uniquely designed using local materials like bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. and are a fabulous way to enjoy exploring the fascinating beauties of backwaters. With their languid grace and quaint design adding another dimension to your cruise in the shimmering blue waters.
Lunch, evening tea with snacks and dinner served on board.
Overnight onboard the HOUSEBOAT (Air-conditioning will be functional during sleeping hours only)
DAY 07: ALLEPPEY – MARARI [20 Kms]
Wake up to the chatter of the water birds. A traditional Kerala breakfast prepared by the boat crew awaits you. Disembark the boat after an unforgettable life time experience and drive to Mararikulam, the calm and serene beach of central Kerala located in Alleppey district. A unique beach with coconut palm fringed shore line with fisher men village nearby. An ideal choice for tourists seeking calm and serene settings. Check in to your resort at Mararikulam and explore the wonders of nature.
Check in at hotel upon arrival. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 08: MARARI
Breakfast at hotel. Day free to relax at the resort or venture into the nearby fishermen village and interact with the locals. Tickle your taste buds with the local sea food specialties which comes fresh from the fishermen’s nets around..
Optional – try out a traditional Ayurveda massage which will take away all the fatigue of travel and keeps you rejuvenated. Overnight at Hotel/ Resort.
DAY 09: MARARI - COCHIN
After breakfast, you will be dropped at Cochin airport on time for return journey.
-- END OF TOUR –