Discover the southern wonders of India on this relaxing tour of the region. Start in Cochin, seeing the city’s highlights including the famed Chinese fishing Nets and a Kathakali cultural performance, and then head to Periyar where you will tour the Wildlife Sanctuary before heading to Kumarakom, a veritable paradise in the lush backwaters of Kottayam. Relax in Kerala's heartland of nature and then board your deluxe houseboat for an overnight cruise. Enjoy meals prepared on board by your own personal chef while cruising past the serene villages of Kerala. Disembark and then head to Mararikulam for some me-time at a beautifully appointed resort on a forgotten shore midway up the Malabar Coast before concluding your trip with transportation to the airport in Cochin.
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The above is simply a list of highlights and does not represent all of what you will (and can) see on this trip.
Tailor-Made Private Trip
This itinerary is privately guided and crafted to give you an idea of what is possible.
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Prices, if shown, are per person based on a party of at least 2 adults traveling together. A single room supplement cost is applicable for those who would like their own single room. If traveling alone, please contact us for a solo traveler cost. This is a tailor-made private trip, contact us for free personalized trip quote. Prices subject to change.
Hotel with daily breakfast, private houseboat accommodation on full board basis, services of expert English speaking local guides, entrance fees to sites listed on the itinerary, private A/C transportation, and airport transfers. International flights are not included, contact us for preferred rates and schedules.
We can customize this trip. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tailor this itinerary just for you.
Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be met by your local guide in the arrivals area holding a name-board. After a warm welcome & brief introduction, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
You will begin your exploration of the city with a walk through the bustling harbor area and quaint backstreets to discover it’s rich and multifaceted past. Kochi is full of echoes of Kerala's past colonizers, including Hindu and Mughal dynasties, Portuguese and Dutch conquerors, and the British Empire - which came seeking control of the lucrative pepper trade. The city hosts the oldest church in India, 500-year-old Portuguese houses, old tiled houses built in the Chinese pagoda style, and a Jewish community whose roots go back to the Diaspora. In the evening, you will visit a local theatre to experience the Kathakali performance. Kathakali literally meaning "story dance" is the pantomimic dance drama, the dancing and the acting being blended together into an inseparable form.
This morning, drive uphill to Periyar through a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. On arrival, check in to your hotel. Periyar is the ‘Land of the Spices’ Columbus was seeking when he stumbled on the New World; Kerala’s Malabar Coast is famous for its fabulous spice crops. In the afternoon, walk to the neighboring pepper plantation to see traditional plantation techniques walking amidst the rows of vines creeping upwards.
With 16 wildlife sanctuaries and 5 national parks nestled along the Western Ghats; Kerala is a hotspot wildlife destination. The Western Ghats – geologically older than the Himalayas – is one of the world’s most significantly bio diverse regions and has been given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. From the entrance gate, take a guided nature walk for about an hour on a trail through the park towards Periyar Lake. At the bank of the lake, take a bamboo raft and cruise through the scenic Periyar Lake for about 2 hours through many delights of the sanctuary. From the elephant and tiger to the nilgiri tahr sambar, wild dog, leopard smooth-coated otters and lion-tailed macaque – around 35 species of animals live here. Around midday, disembark the raft, return to the gate and head back to the hotel for the afternoon at your leisure.
This morning, drive downhill towards the backwaters of Kumarakom, en-route stopping at a working rubber estate to see rubber tapping technique. Kumarakom, or the 'Venice of the East' is a veritable paradise in the lush backwaters of Kottayam. It is Kerala’s heartland of lagoons, palm fringed lakes and paddy fields, inter-linked with hundreds of winding canals with the typical low slung country boats that carry everything from people to fish, rice and coconuts to the milkman and newspaper boy, local politicians and priests to wedding parties. One of the best ways to enjoy the lake is to take a sunset cruise, an hour-long idyll.
Wake up early for a session of yoga under the guidance of an expert yoga master at the open air platform yoga centre. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Take some time to indulge in the hotel amenities or simply relax with meditation & pranayama session at the yoga centre. If you’d like, take a pleasant stroll across a little wooden bridge to the Ayurveda Centre. Here, you can try massages and treatments for everything from beauty and toning to rejuvenation and stress, all based on India's ancient healing art of Ayurveda.
This morning, take a short drive to Allepey where you board a Kettuvallam, a traditional houseboat and cruise through the day drifting through the backwaters of Kerala. The Kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’- was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only - not even a single nail is used during the construction. The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. The backwaters are a network of canals, lakes, lagoons and estuaries stretching over almost 1000 square miles. Here, palm-fringed narrow canals wind through a vast expanse of paddy fields. As you float along, enjoy the picturesque hamlets that line the banks, migratory birds in abundance, water lilies and coconut groves.
Disembark the houseboat in the morning and drive to Mararikulam to check-in to your beach resort. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure. Please enquire if interested in extending your stay.
Enjoy the full day at your leisure.
Meet and transfer to the airport in Cochin for your departure flight.
Day 2: See Cochin's Chinese fishing nets.
Day 9: Enjoy the coastal bliss of Mararikulam.
This itinerary has been tried & tested and can be booked as-is. However, should you wish to customize your tour, you may contact us here.
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