A fascinating journey through India's tropical south, do experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture and most importantly the people.
Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills. Despite its relative riches, the majority of the population in Kerala life continue with agriculture, tea, coffee and spice plantations and the coir industry, which still provides the basic economic structure of the region.

Trip Duration - 10 days  |   Grade - Heritage & Cultural Tour  |   Accommodation - 8 nights hotel and 1 night Houseboat

On arrival meet and assistance at the airport, then proceed to your hotel and check-in at hotel Fort House. This afternoon you will be invited to explore this historic town with a walking tour- starting with the visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks, have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Later on proceed to a local theatre in the evening to see a demonstration on Kalaripayattu - Kerala’s traditional martial art and perhaps the oldest of its kind in the world. Overnight stay. (Bed and Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning continue your tour of this colonial township with some local delights. Take a tuk tuk – the most popular mode of transport among the localities and stop at the Dhobi Khana (laundry station), once throbbing with activity, it is now a picture of slow extinction. Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery. Then visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century. By Midday proceed to the Houseboat for your Backwaters cruise. These boats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times and made out of huge planks of Jack wood, joined with coir from Coconut shells.These original kettuvallams were once used to carry tons of rice and spices. They are today converted into comfortable floating accommodation offering enchanting cruises through the backwaters. Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. You will be offered to accompany the Chef on a visit to the direction a local food market to buy all the ingredients for the execution of your sumptuous Keralan meals served on board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation of Kerala backwaters. En route enjoy a country canoe ride – there is no better way of taking a closer look at the life and activities on the backwaters. Dinner & overnight on board the Houseboat. (Full Board)

Wake up with the tunes of the birds and after your breakfast, disembark for your onward journey in Aranmula. Check-in at Mannaas veedu homestay, constructed as per the Vasthu Shastra (Ancient science prescribed by the Rishis) and completed with a Nalukettu - a central courtyard – in the traditional architecture in Kerala. Meet with the host Mr Aji Alex, born in Kerala, who was formerly a successful hotel director and Chef who decided now to dedicate his life to showcase the culture and purity of the village life to his guest. He and his family are totally devote in running this house with love and passion. Enjoy an exquisite lunch executed by your host Chef in the traditional Kerala Syrian Christians way which blends the Indian and European taste. Later on the day, you can meet the masters of metallurgy at Aranmula and learn about this famous Aranmula Kannadi - the fine metallurgical art of making metal mirrors. As per local belief the handmade Aranmula Kannadi is considered as an auspicious object kept in households for bringing prosperity, luck and wealth, displayed at functions like marriage. Continue your tour – a visit to one of the Temples is truly a learning experience. Tonight savour a homely made dinner and an overnight stay. (Full Board)

After your breakfast, enjoy a walk through the premises, the host would take you through the farm with its variety of spices, then there is a stroll through the village to familiarise with the Kerala's village life, where you may meet the locals or visit their houses. Later on go for a visit at the Elephant Camp in Konni where one gets a chance to feed and bath the friendly giant.
Rest of the afternoon free, you can walk around the lush green garden and sip on a tender coconut on a hammock on this serene atmosphere Or you may opt for an authentic Ayurveda therapy massage – (Payable Locally) under the supervision of qualified physicians and trained masseurs. This evening you will witness a Syrian Christian cooking demonstration with your host and enjoy a dinner. It is a unique occasion to learn the traditional cooking methods of the Syrian Christian culture with grandmother recipes. You may want to keep these unique recipes back home ! Overnight stay. (Full Board)

Enjoy a breakfast at the home stay and after leaving your host, take a beautiful drive from the plains to the green mountains of the Nilgiris. Rubber, Coffee and Cardamom plantations and tea gardens will follow. Arrive at in Thekkady - Periyar Wildlife Reserve. This sanctuary is an established tourist spot and home to elephants, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. with unending Chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Check-in at hotel Green woods. Later the day proceed to Harvest Fresh Farm located in the lush Cumbum Valley and flanked by hills of orchards, vineyards and vegetables fields. At your arrival you will be invited to take a Bullock cart ride from Lower Camp through vegetable farms that are in various stages of harvest, ride over a gushing stream & past fruit orchards of mangoes, papaya’s & bananas. On the way back, go for a spice plantation visit where you can touch, smell and taste almost all the spices seen worldwide. Due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 meters above sea level, Periyar is blessed with numerous types of spices. Later enjoy a stroll through the spice Markets of Kumily. Back to hotel for your overnight stay (Bed & Breakfast).

After an early breakfast, go on a full day Bamboo rafting - a community based initiative including the tribal community. This excursion takes the participants into the remote areas of the Periyar National park through a 2hrs trek and a peaceful and relaxing bamboo rafting. This is a very good opportunity to experience the Flora and Fauna of the region. Later the day enjoy an interactive Cooking Session with a local family followed by dinner. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)

After breakfast, drive to Munnar, South India's largest tea-growing region, passing through the rolling hills and sculpted tea gardens.It was the favourite summer resort of European settlers for centuries. Check-in at the Eco Tones Resort. Afternoon, proceed to the Eravikulam National Park (subject to opening)- A sanctuary for the mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr. The Park stands out for the beauty of its rolling grasslands spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan devan hills.Later if time permits see the Mattupetty dam with its still water reflecting the tea gardens around. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)

After your breakfast, go on a full day trekking passing through the rolling hills and sculpted tea gardens of Munnar (Difficulty level is easy / duration 4-5 hrs). You will be transferred by Jeep to your trek starting point at Top station village. From there go walking, passing through the Tea Plantations where you can interact with the Tea workers. Continue your trek path to the village of Pazhathottam and observe the farmers raising their fields. Enjoy a Picnic Lunch served en route. Finally you will be picked by the Jeep to proceed to Koviloor village and later oriented back to your hotel.
On your way back to Munnar head to Srishti TATA project for a visit. This project is a venture of Tata Global Beverages for the rehabilitation of the differently abled. Enjoy some shopping time in this community center where you can buy a Strawberry jam (handmade), some handmade paper or also some clothing naturally dyed on site. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)

Breakfast. Leave for Cochin, enroute visit a Tea Factory and get to learn everything you need to know about the Nilgiris tea, while witnessing the step-by-step of the manufacturing process. During the drive back stop at Kerala's first heritage and archaeological museum, the Hill Palace (12 km before Cochin). This museum, built in 1865 in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, houses the royal collections of the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi such as oil-paintings, sculptures in stone and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne). Arrive in Fort Kochi and check-in at hotel Fort House. Evening visit to Greenix village Museum to see the illustrations of traditional arts and crafts of Kerala and also witness a demonstration on Kathakali – the dance drama unique to Kerala. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)

Time to say good bye. After breakfast transfer to the Kochi International airport to connect your flight back home


Suggested Day Excursions


Day 5 - Thekkady Bamboo rafting half-day / Spice Plantation in a Jeep / Cooking demo and Dinner with a Kerala Family

Day 6 - Thekkady Day with the Mannan / Spice Plantation by Jeep / Fishing in Thekkady / Cooking demo and Dinner with a Kerala Family

Day 7 - Munnar Trek between Tea Museum and Srishti TATA project / Harisson Tea Factory Visit and Trek

Day 8 - Kulukumalai Trek / Trek between Tea Museum and Srishti TATA project / Harisson Tea Factory Visit and Trek

Hotel Envisaged

Destination Hotel Meal Plan #Nights
COCHIN The Fort House Bed & Breakfast 1
Houseboat Marvel Tours cruise Full Board 1
ARANMULA Mannaas Veedu Full Board 2
THEKKADY Greenwoods Bed & Breakfast 2
MUNNAR Ecotones Bed & Breakfast 2
COCHIN The Fort House Bed & Breakfast 1

TOUR INCLUDES

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis at all places mentioned or similar
  • Meal plan as specified above
  • Transportation by an air conditioned medium as per the program
  • Backwaters cruise on Full Board
  • An Sightseeing tour of Fort Kochi with an English speaking guide
  • A Kalaripayattu show
  • Overnight Elephant camp visit
  • A Spice plantation tour
  • A full day Bamboo rafting in Periyar reserve
  • A Cooking Demo and dinner with a local family in Thekkady
  • The Tata Tea Museum visit
  • A visit at the Eravikulam National park
  • Tea Factory visit
  • A Hill Palace museum visit
  • A Greenix village Museum visit with Kathakali Dance
  • All currently applicable taxes

TOUR EXCLUDES

  • Any other services not covered under inclusions
  • Any Personal Expenses like tips, Laundry, telephone, extras at the hotel
  • Any Flight / Train tickets, airport taxes, visa charges, insurance