Unexplored Kerala Tour
Cochin - Cherai Beach - Munnar - Vagamon - Periyar - Kuttikkanam -
Kumarakom - Alleppey - Varkala - Cochin
14 Nights & 15 Days
Day 01 : Arrive Cochin - Cherai Beach (35 kms: 1 hr):
Welcome to the memorizing land of India! Meeting and assistance on arrival at the Cochin airport, our representative welcomes & escorts you by a private car and transfer to Cherai, the closest decent beach to Cochin. The beach shelters a backwater and supports an active fishing community, some of whom use Chinese fishing nets. Rest of your day is free for beach activities. Enjoy the sunbathing under the tropical sun. Overnight at Cherai beach resort.
The Cherai Beach borders Vypeen Island. This beautiful beach is studded with seashells of various hues and shapes. The nearby village gives you glimpses of rural Kerala and Cherai's main industry- prawn farming. This lovely beach is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction of this beach. Cherai is well known for seafood and country wine - Toddy. From Ernakulam you have to take the boat from High Court Jetty or the Main boat jetty to Vypeen.
Day 02 : Cherai Beach
After breakfast day free for rest and individual activities in the Cherai beach, the paradise of sun, sea, sand and surf. Rest of your day is free for beach activities. Enjoy the sunbathing under the tropical sun. Overnight at Cherai beach resort.
Day 03 : Cherai Beach - Munnar (132 kms: 2½ hrs)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Munnar. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Munnar is located at the Idukki district of Kerala State in India. The word "Munnar" means three rivers. 3 mountain streams (Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala) are joining together here. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. There are about 30 tea plantations in and around Munnar. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plants, which make Periyar the feeling of seeing a wide green carpet. You can take a short tour of the Munnar hill station exploring tea gardens and panoramic view of the wonderful hill station. Optionally you can visit Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar) the park is 97 sq. km, situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world. Later return to the hotel for overnight at Munnar.
Munnar, the erstwhile 'summer capital of the British', has become the most sought after holiday destination in South India. It is the luxuriant gift of nature to the Western Ghats, the eastern border of Kerala, 5000ft above sea level. Dense forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and major cash crop plantations cover most of this region. Munnar abounds in animals like elephants and Nilgiri Thar and rich biodiversity teeming with flora and fauna.
Day 04 : Munnar
After breakfast visit to Pothamedu whichoffers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and Long Mountain walks. Visit the tea factory and the museum here. Later visit at Devikulam (7 km from Munnar). This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. Also take sightseeing towards Mattupetty Side, where you can visit the Photo point, Mattupetty Dam, Echo point (The natural Echo phenomenon is always happening here), Shooting point and the Kundale Lake. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 05 : Munnar - Vagamon (120 kms: 2 ½ hrs)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Vagamon. On arrival drive 20 kms to the Vanilla County or similar. On arrival transfer to the resort. After rest day free to rest and relax. Overnight stay at vanilla county. Some of the activities offered here are:
1) Spice garden Visit.
2) Visit nearby Ashram (a meditation centre).
3) Trekking through the nearby mountains.
4) Bathing in the mountain streams.
5) Possibility of seeing elephants at work.
Vagamon: It is a very ideal tourist spot surrounded by the greenery of tea gardens, beautiful meadows, deep puzzling valleys and dales. The enchanting hill station dotted with tea gardens will soon be one of India's foremost eco-tourism projects.
Day 06 : Vanilla Country - Periyar (80 kms: 2 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Periyar. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Then visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, discover the park, animals found here include elephant, gaur and wild boars and birds like ibis and grey heron. The visit is done in a boat at Periyar lake to view animals with a bit of extra luck we may be able to see the rare tiger as well. Later in the evening take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at the hotel.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of India's biggest wildlife sanctuaries covering 777 sq. Km (300 Sq. miles) is a Tiger Reserve. Its centerpiece, the man-made Periyar Lake at the height of 2000 ft. covers 26 sq. km, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The lake is an important source of water for the many wild animals. The Best time to visit Periyar is between OCTOBER and MAY. The best chance of watching animals is during the hot months of march, April and May, when water gets low and the grass dries out, animals especially elephants come down to the Periyar lake to bath & frolic in the water with the young ones.
Day 07 : Periyar
To day after breakfast visit the Tribal Heritage. A tribal heritage museum built inside the Mannan settlement featuring various type of artifacts related to their ancient agricultural practices, marriage, ceremonies, cultural events, dress code, rituals and death ceremonies is the hub of this ecotourism programme. Tribal heritage mainly involves the tribal museum visit and trekking through the tribal hamlet situated within the periphery of Periyar Tiger Reserve accompanied by a tribal guide. After visiting return to the hotel. Rest of your day is free for relaxation and individual activites. Your may enjoy the ayurveda massage offered here. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08 : Periyar - Kuttikkanam (50 kms: 1 hr)
After breakfast drive to Kuttikkanam, a popular hill station .On arrival transfer to the hotel later after rest day is free for leisure and individual activities. Overnight stay at Kuttikkanam.
Kuttikkanam is a small town located near Peermade in Idukki District. Nestled in the lush green hills, it is an ideal spot for trekking and adventure tourism. It is enriched with cardamom plantations. Thrissanku and Peeru hills are two nearby hill stations around 1 km from Kuttikanam. Breathtaking views of the three ancient royal palaces of the Maharaja of Travancore can be seen. Another main attraction is the Kesari waterfalls (Valanjamkanam falls), in the Kottayam-Kumily route.
Day 09 : Kuttikkanam - Kumarakom (65 kms: 1 ½ hrs drive)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Kumarakom - for the nature-lover. Here in this backwater town, you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings where the only presence is yours and the egrets. Later visit at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, to see bird viewing where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost are found. For an inquisitive bird watcher, it is always advisable to carry their binoculars at all times. Return to hotel, make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy the favorite fresh water food and the local wine. Overnight at the hotel.
The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks is a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Day 10 : Kumarakom - Alleppey: Backwaters tours through sailing boat to Alleppey:
After breakfast, embarks at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Kumarakom by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, moving towards Alleppey. The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dinning area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Overnight at the houseboat.
Alleppey situated in south of Cochin, is the center for backwater cruises in Kerala. It has a large network of canals which passes through the town, provides its lifeline & has a long sandy beach. It is also the center of the famous coir products of Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race - the most colourful snake-boat race in Kerala - is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.
Alleppey A glide in a "Kettuvalam" (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land.
Day 11 : Alleppey - Varkala (125 kms: 2 hrs)
Today morning the break fast will be served on board, then disembark from the houseboat and drive to Varkala. Long renowned by Hindus as a place of pilgrimage, Varkala, 54 km northwest of Thiruvananthapuram, with its beautiful sands and cliffs, is these days a considerably more appealing -and much quieter- beach destination than Kovalam. On arrival, transfer to the beach resort. Rest of your day is free for beach activities. Overnight at the beach resort.
Varkala, a quiet, secluded stretch of sand, the Papanasam beach in Varkala is known for its mineral springs and rocky cliffs. It is an important pilgrimage center for the Hindus who come on pilgrimage to the 2,000 year old Janardanaswamy temple near the Papanasam beach. A dip in the sea at this beach it is believed washes away ones sins. The ancient bell in the temple, which was retrieved from a ship wreck, was donated by the captain of the Dutch ship which sank near Varkala without causing any loss of life Varkala has all the pluses of Kovalam. Solitary beaches, serene backwaters and mineral springs. The beach assumes religious significance on the full moon day of Karkidakam (December/January) when Hindu perform rites for the departed souls here. This rite is called 'Vavu Bali'. Shivagiri Mutt near Varkala is the final resting place of the great social reformer of Kerala, Sree Narayana Guru . . Several thousands of people come here on pilgrimage. The high cliffs along with Arabian sea coast is typical of Varkala. Varkal has today become a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres.
Day 12 : Varkala
Morning after breakfast the day is free to relax with the option of herbal oil massage. Day will be used to watch beach lifestyle and enjoy the besch activties. Soak up your self and enjoy the sunbathing under the tropical sun. Overnight at the beach resort.
Day 13 : Varkala - Cochin (175 kms: 4 -5 hr)
After breakfast, your day is free for beach and individual activites. Later check out from the beach resort and drive to Cochin. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the evening enjoy the Kathakali, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments. Overnight at the hotel.
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
Day 14 : Cochin
take a sightseeing tour of Cochin: Oasis state of Kerala & on to the Malabar Coasts & Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India's most colourful cities. This inter-connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; Visit to Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama. We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. This evening a memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip (of your own) along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced - Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters.
Day 15 : Cochin
**** Back home with great memories. ****
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