Essential South Kerala
Duration: 8 Days
Type : Explore
Kerala: fully loaded:
South India”s largest tea-growing region, the rolling hills around Munnar are carpeted in emerald-green tea plantations, contoured, clipped and sculpted like ornamental hedges. The low mountain scenery is magnificent – you are often up above the clouds watching veils of mist clinging to the mountaintops. Munnar itself is a scruffy administration centre, not unlike a North Indian hill station, but wander just a few kilometres out of town and you”ll be engulfed in a sea of a thousand shades of green.
Kodanad, set on the Southern banks of the Periyar River amid the beautiful high ranges near Perumbavoor, is one of the largest elephant training centres in Kerala. Earlier elephants captured from the Malayatoor forests (the forests in the East and North of Kodanad) were trained here. Since the introduction of a ban on elephant capture Kodanad has been reduced to a training centre.
The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. In the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great apportunities for treks and mountain walks.
Alleppey – mirror still lagoons, picture book lakesides, palm fringed canals, shores bustling with glimpses from day to day life in the country side.
Kovalam is famous for its beaches, among the most pristine in India. Kovalam is extremely popular among westerners due to shallow waters and low tidal waves. It is also one of the oldest tourist enclave in India, which known among tourist circuit right in 1930s. Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India- the Kovalam beach.
Thiruvananthapuram is built on hills by the sea shore and sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Thiruvananthapuram is ranked first in the number of foreign tourists visiting Kerala and is a fascinating destination for holidaymakers. Thiruvananthapuram is a historic city, dotted with many historical structures, parks, museums, tourist centers and palaces. Its also famous for its distinctive greenery, present all over, a rare site in any bustling Indian city.
Day 1: Arrival at Cochin. Meet and transfer to Cochin / Fort Cochin. Half day visit of Fort Cochin in the afternoon with a visit to Dutch palace, spice markets, art galleries etc. Transfer to town in a ferry from Fort Cochin. Optional time for city hoping the evening.
Add ons: Watch Kathakali performance in a theatre in Fort Cochin in the evening | Cycling tour of Fort Cochin | Dinner at a sea side restaurant in Fort Cochin.
Day 2: After breakfast transfer to Munnar by road (4 hours). Check in at the hotel on arrival and relaxation for the day.
Add ons: Visit to Kodanad elephant camp | Family hosted Kerala lunch on the way.
Day 3: After breakfast full day visit of Munnar. Visit tea plantation, tea museum, Ervikulam national park, Mattupetty dam etc and back to hotel by evening.
Overnight in Munnar.
Day 4: After breakfast check out and transfer Thekkady by road (4 hours). Check in at the hotel on arrival and relaxation till evening. In the evening board the boat for cruise along the Periyar lake which pass along the fringes of the Periyar Tiger reserve with excellent opportunities to spot wild life at close quarters.
Day 5: After breakfast transfer to Alleppey by road (4 hours). Check in on the houseboat on arrival for a full day cruise exploring the vast canals of Kerala backwaters. Overnight on the Houseboat.
Day 6: After a short morning cruise and breakfast, check out the houseboat and transfer to Kovalam by road (5 hours). Check in at the beach resort on arrival and relaxation for the day.
Add ons: Country boat cruise at Alleppey with visit to spice plantation and homely lunch | Stop over at Pathanamthitta on a family Homestay for freshen up and a kerala feast.
Day 7: Full day at the beach resort
Add ons: Ayurvedic Massage | Day visit to Padmanbhapuram palace and other attractions in Trivandrum | Full day tour with sight visit in Alleppey with extend tour to Kanyakumari.
Day 8: Relaxation in the morning. By noon check out and transfer to Thiruvanthapuram for flight / train to onward destination.