Imagine this - fluffy clouds over the mountains wrapped with tea gardens, whistling of winds, quiet nature trails, historically evocative corners coupled with greenspaces filling your eyes as far as you can see…This is what Kerala embraces you with!
You shall begin this journey, exploring the antiquities of Kochi nestled within the British fort, Dutch Palace, Jewish quarter and Chinese fishing nets. Set foot on the soul soothing hikes and walks amidst the cool air of the alluring hill station of Munnar. Satiate your love for adventure with treks in Periyar’s jungles while you pop your palate by sampling spices from the gardens and enjoy a cooking class with a chef, highlighting Kerala’s taste-bud-tingling cuisine.
Wait there’s more! Navigate the glistening backwaters as you relax in a languid houseboat cruise in Alleppey. Let out your spiritual side with meditation and yoga sessions sprinkled with healthy meals from our organic gardens. Unwind within the landscape of Kumarakom rated by Condé Nast Traveler among the 25 best getaways in the world. And lastly, immerse yourself in Kochi’s arts and crafts and sample some fantastic seafood dishes.
Kerala has a lot to offer to the soul. It is a state of mind with breath-taking vistas. Join us to experience the wellness capital of India. Welcome!
Welcome to Kochi (formerly known as Cochin), also known as Ernakulam, the commercial capital of Kerala. The word Ernakulam was derived from a Tamil word “Erayanarkulam” which means “Lord Shiva’s abode.” Upon arrival at the Kochi airport, our representative will meet and greet you at the airport and help you with the transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure as you to settle into your new space for the next 10 days.
As you welcome a new morning in Kochi, we’ll discover this eclectic city by taking a tuk-tuk through Willington Island and the historic part of old Kochi (Fort Cochin and Mattancherry) dotted with tiled roofs and pastel-coloured buildings. Kochi has the best natural harbour in the country. It is set amidst picturesque lagoons and backwaters famous across the world. Enjoy the breeze passing through the romantic backdrop of swaying coconut and palm trees.
The tour includes the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 and St Francis Church - the oldest church built by Europeans in India.
Catch a glimpse of the fascinating Chinese fishing nets, and participate in Kochi’s main enterprise, commerce, by stopping at any of numerous shops selling tea, jute, chilies, turmeric, cashew, ginger, cardamom and pepper.
This evening, relax on a sunset cruise.
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore Kochi. And today, you will be doing just that.
Pedal away through the picturesque seaside town and witness the city waking up. Join the locals for a hot brimming cup of morning tea, as you get a sneak peek into the diverse communities from faraway lands who have made Kochi their home and meet neighborhoods that live in absolute harmony.
Later immerse yourself in a culinary experience where you shop, cook and eat in the warm atmosphere of a local family’s home filled with stories of indigenous recipes and history. You shall also, get a whiff of the local market produce with our guide as you pick the ingredients for your culinary experience.
We shall end this day with a Cafe Trail. Fort Kochi is known for its quaint cafes, from the old traditional bakeries to the trendy modern nooks that offer you a warm cuppa. Enjoy your coffee, as we get to know the people behind these cafes, their story and what makes them so loved among the locals. We promise you will not fall asleep; we have caffeine for company!
Today we drive to Periyar known as the spice coast. Settle yourself in your cosy hotel modelled on tribal community homes, thatched in elephant grass and set in a lush spice garden. You can also, indulge in their exquisite Ayurvedic facility in your free time.
Pepper, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon you shall be meeting all these spices this afternoon and learn about the traditional, organic techniques used to prepare them for the kitchen.
We said adventure awaits you! It’s time for an interaction with the mighty elephants at a Private Cardamom Estate. We encourage you to spend time with these wonderful beings through a long walk, bathing, feeding and learning how to communicate with them.
Revive your mind with an early morning yoga session at your hotel. The main purpose of yoga is to isolate the mind of all thoughts, worries and fears, and to increase the strength and flexibility of the body. It facilitates the mind to a state of wellbeing and peace.
Now it’s time to have some fun. Post breakfast we shall head for a hiking and rafting experience through some of the richest forest tracks of Periyar Tiger Reserve. A mosaic of habitats will be traversed before you get into rafts made of bamboos to soak in a panoramic view of forest-clad hills. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake.
This evening get a flavour of the authentic Kerala cuisine as you dish up yummy food with the chef in a cooking class. The chef in the resort is a strict follower of 50-mile diet which means all the ingredients are procured from a 50-mile radius, and some of his ingredients come from only 50 yards away.
Today we head to the alluring hills of Munnar. The journey through winding shaded roads from sea level to 6,000 ft takes you through a fantastic range of Kerala's lush landscapes.
Feast your eyes with views of the plantations of coconuts, pineapples, rubber, coffee, pepper, cardamom and vanilla to eventually emerge into an endless vista of verdant tea gardens. Munnar, literally meaning 'three rivers', situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, is the perfect setting of absolute solitude and enjoying moments away from the bustling city life.
After check-in and some rest, get ready for the finest biking trail. Winding its way through the shola forests, cardamom estates and tea gardens, these routes are fascinating to amateurs as well as the enthusiastic professionals. It will give you a ringside view of the beautiful countryside, the indigenous tribals and the tea estate workers.
Buckle up to head for a trekking experience at the peak of the magnificent Lakshmi Hills. Rocky mountain terrains, grasslands, tea plantations with patches of Shola forest, spice gardens and various birds are all ready to welcome you. If we are lucky and the weather is clear we could view Anaimudi (the highest peak in South India) and the waters of Idukki Dam which is listed as the highest arch dams in Asia and 3rd tallest dam in India.
Refreshments/picnic lunch we be served at a suitable place during the trek as you soak in the views.
This trek will acquaint you with the local tea plantation workers, their stories and how the business has changed hands over the years, over a warm cup of tea of course Walk around the Munnar village, breathe in the fresh air of the meadows and relax. This is your time to unwind with nature!
Sit back, gaze at the palm trees, the open sky and witness the village life from a charming houseboat. Today we drive to Alleppey, a prominent ancient trade centre built on strips of land along a magical network of rivers, lakes and lagoons.
On arrival, embark on your private luxurious houseboat, with well-appointed bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. Built without a single nail, the planks of these shallow barges are tied together with strong coir rope. A Kerala lunch and dinner will be prepared and served on board.
Today, we shall disembark from the houseboat and drive to Kumarakom. This place captures the essence and the beauty of Kerala by offering myriad views. Nothing has been added that does not already belong. And if the comforts of life enter (as they must), they do so in a harmonious way.
Here is where you will see the famous 'backwaters, a complex network of lakes, canals and rivers that support a beautiful and fragile eco-system. Including a quiet village tucked away on the banks of the picturesque Vembanad Lake.
Experience the slow paced village life and their livelihood activities like coir yarn processing which is Kerala’s oldest industry. If you wish, you can laze around through the paddy fields and meet the locals too.
Day at leisure for independent activities. (Car and driver at disposal)Optional activities:
This evening, we have planned an exclusive dining experience for you at The Paddy Hut Dining to end your journey in the most memorable way. Let’s keep the rest for you to discover!
Today you will drive to Kochi airport for your international flight back home.
We truly hope you enjoyed your 10-day journey in this tropical paradise. We wish you a safe trip back home and we look forward to hosting you again to explore a few more unknown landscapes and stories of India, in the near future.