Captivating Kerala

1N Kochi , 1N Thekkady , 2N Kumarakom and 1N Kochi
6 days

From

US$ 1,428

per person

Operated by Trafalgar

About the tour

Leave the world behind and connect with the enchanting sounds of nature in Kerala. Savour its lingering aroma of spices, the gentle lapping of its backwaters and its vivid colours at every turn.

Highlights

  • EXPLORE Kochi
  • VISIT Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kumily Spice Garden and St Francis Church in Kochi
  • CRUISE the Kerala Backwaters on a houseboat
  • CONNECT WITH LOCALS Visit and have lunch with a local family in their home in Kochi and gain a fascinating insight into their lifestyle. (Day 5)
  • DIVE INTO CULTURE See an Indian martial arts performance. (Day 2) Discover rural life on a walking tour with a local market visit. (Day 3) See the unique Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi. (Day 5)
  • LOCAL SPECIALIST in Periyar. (Day 2)

Meals

5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners (including Connect with Locals)

Accommodation

Le Meridien Kochi or Similar

1 night(s) in Kochi

Room Type: Standard/Base Category
Meals Included: Breakfast

The Elephant Court or Similar

1 night(s) in Thekkady

Room Type: Standard/Base Category
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort & Spa or Similar

2 night(s) in Kumarakom

Room Type: Standard/Base Category
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Le Meridien Kochi or Similar

1 night(s) in Kochi

Room Type: Standard/Base Category
Meals Included: Breakfast

Included in the price

Kochi

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • Handcrafted Highlights

Day-wise Itinerary

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Day 1: Welcome To Kochi, Gateway To The Backwaters Of Kerala

Dip more than your toes in the bountiful backwaters of Kerala, 'God's own country'. This slice of southern India is a lush garden filled with spices, brilliant colours and the enchanting sounds of nature. Relax on the tranquil shores of the Arabian Sea, let the freshest seafood melt in your mouth and sink into a more straightforward way of life - one where nature sets the pace for the day. But first, on arrival at Kochi Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel. Later, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception with local appetisers.

Day 2: Nature And Wildlife In Periyar National Park

Your love affair with Kerala's lush landscapes begins today. Head to Periyar, named after Kerala's longest river which winds its way deep through the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. Choose to spend the afternoon either relaxing at your stunning resort hotel or soaking up the sounds of nature during an optional immersive Nature Walk with an expert 'Local Specialist'. This evening look forward to an exhilarating 'Dive Into Culture' Kalarippayattu performance. Watch as trained Kalari warriors show off this most ancient of martial arts, jumping and somersaulting in the ultimate coordination between mind and body. This is followed by dinner at your hotel.

Day 3: Onwards To Kumarakom

The intoxicating scents of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves will linger long after today's encounter with Kerala's famous spices. Your first stop today is a visit to Kumily Spice Garden. Here you'll learn how the locals grow and share an astounding variety of flavourful spices, ranging from pepper and ginger to vanilla and cardamom, the queen of spices. Gain insights into the entire process of spice cultivation at close quarters and discover how Kerala's spice trade with the world has shaped its culture and heritage to this day. There's more to experience as you head to Kumarakom, a tranquil village set on the peaceful banks of Lake Vembanad, the largest lake in Kerala. Embark on a walking tour and 'Dive Into Culture' as you admire the vibrant day-to-day of village life in the regional market and on its lively streets.

Day 4: Cruise The Calm Backwaters

Kerala's intrinsic relationship with water takes centre stage today. Enjoy a leisurely start to the day or choose to take part in an optional yoga session before boarding a traditional houseboat for a cruise surrounded by Kerala's iconic backwaters. Take a deep breath and enjoy the slow, sultry pace of life fringing the narrow canals as you wind your way to Alleppey. Watch villagers wave to each other from their wooden Shikaras (traditional boats), see how life unfolds along the palm-fringed shoreline. Even your ride for the day is rooted in history. These houseboats, known locally as Kettuvalloms, were formerly old barges used to ferry rice and spices. Upon arriving in Alleppey, you'll disembark and return to Kumarakom for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Day 5: Explore Multi-cultural Kochi

Remnants of Kerala's colourful centuries-old trading history are best explored in the old port city of Kochi. It was here that Chinese, Arab and European merchants would come to buy the fragrant spices that found their way to tables all over the world. In turn, they left their mark on Kochi's architecture, cuisine and traditions. Colonial bungalows, Catholic churches, mosques and a European fort dot the cityscape of what was once known as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. Enjoy some free time for lunch and then embark on a city tour to see this multi-cultural centre first-hand, including views of the Mattancherry Dutch Palace and St Francis Church, built by Portuguese traders. Visit the Fort Kochi area and see the traditional cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, unique to this part of Kerala. Admire how these fixed land installations made on bamboo scaffolding are artfully lowered into the sea to catch the seafood for which Kochi is so famous. This evening, 'Connect With Locals' and enjoy a cooking demonstration with a local family followed by a delicious 'Be My Guest' Farewell Dinner.

Day 6: Farewell Kochi

Your epic encounter with Kerala's culture and natural wonders has sadly come to an end, but your memories will last a lifetime. Say farewell to your travel companions and take an airport transfer for your onward flight.

Starting from

US$ 1,428

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