7 nights, 8 days
Including Kochi, Munnar, Periyar, Thekkady, Backwaters, Kumarkom, Marari Beach
Airports Arrival Cochin, Departure Cochin
Day 01 Arrival at Cochin International Airport, drive to Kochi (1½ hours).
Pick up at the airport by your driver, travel 40 km to Kochi where you will be taken to your hotel situated within the historic Fort Kochi area. The rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel or to take a leisurely stroll. In the evening you will go on a sunset cruise. For this you will be driven to Kochi Harbour, where you can also check out the colourful activities of the harbour and the Chinese fishing nets. You might opt to take in the evening Kathakali dance show.
Night in Kochi.
Day 02 Full day visit of Kochi.
Kochi is Kerala’s most cosmopolitan city. It is also its main trading centre for spices and seafood. Built around a salt water lagoon of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is in fact a collection of narrow islands and peninsulas. While mainland Eranakulam boasts of concrete shopping malls and glitzy apartment buildings, Mattancherry and Fort Kochi have an old-world charm, with their blend of Dutch, Portuguese and English bungalows and quaint narrow streets. The scenic location of Kochi’s natural harbour, surrounded by palm groves, green fields, inland lakes and backwaters, has enchanted visitors from across the globe for centuries.
You might choose a stroll to take in the atmosphere, to shop or to visit, for example, Jew Town and its synagogue, the Dutch Palace, Saint Francis Church and the Dutch graveyard.
Night in Kochi.
Day 03 Drive to Munnar (3-4 hours).
Scenic drive through the Munnar hills and tea plantations.
Night in Munnar.
Day 04 Full day in the Munnar area.
The rolling high-altitude grasslands are unique to the mountain landscape of the Western Ghats and a striking contrast to the dense shoals or tropical forests of the valleys. The best preserved stretch of this extraordinarily beautiful landscape is the Eravikulam National Park, spread over 97 sq. km at the base of the Anaimudi Mountain. With a height of 2,695 metres this has the distinction of being the highest peak south of the Himalayas. The peak and its environs provide good hiking territory. The park, on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu States, was established in 1978 with the specific aim of conserving the endangered Nilgiri Tahr mountain goat. Today, the park is the home of about 3,000 tahrs, the single largest population of this slate-grey goat in the world. Extremely agile, it inhabits the rocky slopes, and can be observed at surprisingly close quarters. The park is also home of macaques, leopards and packs of dhole, the rare Indian wild dog. Lucky guests will see the famous kurunji, the blue flowers that suddenly bloom en-masse every 12 years and transform the rocky landscape into a sea of blue.
You might choose to do a panoramic tour of the area or to visit the tea factory and the local market.
Night in Munnar.
Day 05 Drive to Thekkady (3½ hours).
Drive to Periyar through the Western Ghats. After checking in at your hotel, you will visit a spice plantation where you can gain knowledge related to various spices that are grown in the area. Later, you can enjoy an elephant safari through the spice plantation. In the afternoon you can enjoy a 2 hour boat trip on the Periyar lake to spot wild animals.
Night in Thekkady.
Day 06 Trekking in the Thekkady area then drive to Kumarkom in the Backwaters (2-3 hours).
In the morning you will be taken for 3 hours of trekking into the forest where you will have the opportunity to see wild animals, birds, butterflies and wonderful scenery.
You will then drive to Kumarakom to board your backwater houseboat. You will be taken through the backwater canals, sight birds and nature, as well as plantations. You will enjoy the surprises of the colourful and friendly village life that you pass along the way. Dinner on the houseboat is always a memorable experience.
Night on a backwater houseboat.
Day 07 Drive to Marari Beach (1 hour).
After breakfast, the houseboat will return you to the small harbour where your driver will be waiting for you. This is another leisure day. After a quiet morning in the backwaters area, you will drive to the world famous Marari Beach near Mararikulam, where you can spend the rest of the day in the way you choose. You can relax at the beach or at your resort.
Night at Marari Beach.
Day 08 Drive and drop off at the airport (1½ hours).
The activities for this day will depend on the time available before your flight. Most of our guests choose to relax at the hotel.
You will be driven to Cochin International Airport in time for your return flight.