Tea Gardens and Backwaters
Tea Gardens and Backwaters - A Kerala Experience - 8 nights/09 days
Destinations of North India Explored - Cochin, Munnar, Periyar, Kumarakom, Houseboat
Day 01 - Arrive Cochin
You will be met upon your arrival in Cochin and transferred to your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay.
Day 2 - In Cochin
Cochin's half day of sight seeing includes Cochin Harbour terminus where the Chinese fishing nets present a wonderful sight; Mattancherry Dutch Palace; The Jewish Synagogue and St. Francis Church (built in 1510 Vasco Da Gama was originally buried here). Later visit the Hill Palace which was built in the 19th century by the Raja of Kochi, the Kochi province was ruled from here. Your overnight stop in Cochin includes a Kathakali Dance Show.
Day 03 - Drive Cochin to Munnar (135 kms/03 hrs)
Drive to Munnar, located at a height of 1600 m., in the midst of very beautiful tea gardens and coffee plantations. On arrival, check in to your chosen hotel and spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the surroundings on your own.
Day 04 - In Munnar
A relaxing day and overnight in Munnar - if you are in the mood there is the option of a tour to one of Munnar's tea gardens or Spice plantations.
Day 05 - Drive Munnar to Periyar (140 kms/3.5 hrs)
Drive to Periyar, regarded as one of the best places to see the Asian Elephants. After checking into your Periyar hotel for a 2 night stay, take a late afternoon boat ride into the Wildlife Sanctuary. In the cool of the evening as the sun sets wildlife comes to drink at the Lake's edge. .
Day 06 - In Periyar
Morning visit to a Spice Plantation - the area is famous for cardamom, coffee and tea plantations and you will learn a bit about the many uses of the spices, both medicinal and culinary! Overnight in Periyar.
Day 07 - Drive Periyar to Kumarakom (200 kms/04 hrs)
Morning drive through tea and then rubber plantations, interspersed with small cardamom, coffee, ginger and pepper-growing estates to the tranquility of Kumarakom. Check in to your chosen retreat and enjoy the remainder of the day discovering nature's beauty at your own pace.
Day 08 - Kumarakom to your Houseboat
Board your private house boat for an overnight stay. This cruise along the beautiful backwater canals of Kerala is a highlight for most travellers. The converted rice barges or "Kettuvallams" sail along shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals where coconut and cashew are loaded onto dugouts. You pass villages built on narrow spits of land, stopping to visit local markets by bullock-cart, or to marvel at craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making traditions.
The boats offer one or two cabins with a small sitting room and a crew of 2 staff and a chef. Onboard the cuisine is authentic Kerala cuisine, purchased fresh along the way. For most of the journey, the boat is poled, sailing only between dawn and dusk. Although the accommodation on board is basic, this is an unforgettable experience
Day 09 - Disembark at Alleppey, drive to Cochin Airport (85 kms/02 hrs)
Disembark at Alleppey and drive to Cochin Airport in time for your departure flight.