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Classic Kerala Tour Package: Plantations and Backwaters

God’s own country to Venice of the East- this Kerala tour will leave you asking for more!

Classic Kerala Tour Package: Plantations and Backwaters

$770 per person

The moniker, “God’s own country” so befits Kerala. Our Kerala Tour Package to this beauteous land takes you through heritage places- Fort Kochi, hilly plantation lands- Thekkady, deep into the wilderness to the ecotourism spot- Gavi, to the enchanting land beside the lake- Kumarakom, to the ‘Venice of the East’, – Alleppey backwaters, and a memorable houseboat cruise in the backwaters, and last, but one of the best on the list, to the famed beach town of Kovalam to just chillax.

Classic Kerala Tour Package Highlights

  • Day 1, you arrive in Kochi. You are then taken to the heritage town of Fort Kochi. After checking in, you can relax and spend the day as you choose to.
  • Day 2, go on a detailed tour of Fort Kochi, visiting important landmarks. Enjoy a relaxed lunch by the waters, and end the day with an evening of martial arts and dances at the Greenix Village.
  • Day 3, you visit a very beautiful destination in Kerala, Thekkady. Here you visit the Elephant Junction for a rare interaction with elephants. Round it off with a visit to the Spice Plantation in Thekkady as a premium part of our Kerala Tour Package.
  • On Day 4, you go on a one-day trip to Gavi. Locked away in the wilderness, an ecotourism tour with a lot of activities has been arranged for you.
  • On Day 5, you go to Kumarakom, nestled beside the famed Vembanad Lake. Here you get to unwind and you can go on a boat ride, take an Ayurvedic massage, or visit the bird sanctuary nearby.
  • On Day 6, you go to the backwaters of Kerala in Alleppey. Here an overnight houseboat cruise is arranged. While relaxing on the houseboat you are treated to sumptuous Kerala cuisine.
  • Day 7, you are taken to the beach destination in Kerala, Kovalam. After checking in, you can relax, take an Ayurvedic massage, stroll, and swim, or just sit by the waters.
  • On Day 8, you get to explore the famed beaches in Kovalam and a couple of tourist spots in the roundabouts. You can visit nearby rubber plantations, museums, and temples.
  • On Day 9, do any of the things mentioned in Day 8 highlights or you could visit the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram or visit Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
  • On Day 10, your Kerala Tour Package, beautiful God’s Own Secrets trip comes to a close. An airport transfer takes you to the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport for your journey back home.

Inclusions

  • Hotel accommodation in a double/twin room (breakfast included) (except on the houseboat cruise where all meals are served)
  • A full day Gavi eco-tourism excursion (This includes boating, trekking, and a safari)
  • Entry tickets to the Greenix Village Cultural Centre
  • Guide at Fort Kochi
  • All transfers, sightseeing and temple visits as per the program itinerary. You travel in an AC Toyota Innova vehicle (Please note: We strive to provide the same driver for the entire trip)
  • Packaged water stocked in the car
  • Any and all applicable taxes are included

Exclusions

  • The to and fro airfare or train fare
  • Entrance fees to monuments or landmarks as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any meals that are ordered other than that which is part of the “Cost includes”
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, liquor etc.
  • Additional costs and charges as applicable based on any changes made during the holiday
  • India visa charges
  • Travel insurance

Expert Travel Opinion

Experiential Travellers – Kottayam district is home to many experiential plantation centric stays and Plantation bungalows. A stay here (Instead of Thekkady / Periyar) can offer this Kerala Tour Package travellers an experience of living in a working plantation and enjoy experiences around these plantations.

Instead of Kumarakom, guests can choose to stay in a homestay in the backwaters in South Alleppey for a more intimate backwater experience. One can witness toddy tapping, taste local brew (Toddy), visit Coir and local craft villages and undertake canoeing.

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Tour Plan

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Day 01 - Kochi

Arrival at the Kochi International Airport and travel to Fort Kochi

On Day 1 of your travel to Kerala, you arrive at the Kochi International Airport. Here you will be met by our travel representative and you will be allotted a personal driver for the entire course of your journey in Kerala. After about an hour’s drive, you reach Fort Kochi (which is about 45kms away from the Kochi International Airport).

Once you arrive in Fort Kochi, a heritage place, if time permits, you can take a short walk to the Fort Kochi beach to catch the sunset followed by a nice, quiet dinner in the evening in any of the many charming restaurants in Fort Kochi or you can simply relax in the hotel to recover from the tiring flight journey.

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Day 02 - Kochi

Explore Fort Kochi

On Day 2 of your trip, take a guided morning walk around Fort Kochi town and check out the heritage Chinese fishing nets and see how traditional style fishing is carried out. You could also walk in the heritage bylanes that are lined up with colonial-era heritage homes and charming heritage hotels. Then you could visit the St. Francis Church (that dates back to 1503AD), it is considered as the oldest European Church in India.

Thereafter, take a short drive to visit the Jewish town of Mattancherry (it is about 2kms from Fort Kochi) and visit the Mattancherry Palace and the adjoining Jewish Synagogue. This synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in the world. From here, drive about 4kms southwards and visit the Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the eight Basilicas in Kerala.

You return to Fort Kochi for lunch (you could enjoy a nice lunch at the Harbour Front Restaurant. It comes recommended and while you lunch here, you could watch ships that pass you by). In the evening, take a short walk to the Greenix Village, a cultural center where you enjoy an authentic experience of different dance and martial art forms of Kerala.

Expert Tips

  • For those interested in cycling or experiencing a ride in a local transport such as an auto rickshaw, it is a good option to try this from Mattancherry or just after the Santa Cruz Basilica visit.
  • If you have some time to spare in the afternoon, you may take the inter-island ferry and explore the islands around Kochi or visit the Kumbhalangi backwaters (it is about 12kms away) to get a first-hand look at the villages and life around the Kerala backwaters.
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Day 03 - Thekkady

Travel to Thekkady / Periyar, visit spice plantations and spend time with elephants

On Day 3 of your trip, you travel to Thekkady / Periyar (it is about 2500 feet above sea level (ASL) - It is about 160kms away from Fort Kochi – approximately a 4.5-hour drive). You travel through rich rubber plantations in Kottayam district. The drive itself is an experience as you pass rich planters’ homes and Syrian Catholic churches.

You arrive by lunchtime and after lunch in the afternoon, for about an hour you get to visit the Elephant Junction and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience amidst the gentle giants. Your elephant experience comprises of a 45-minute elephant ride, timber dragging, elephant feeding, and a photo session.) This is followed by a visit to a Spice Plantation for an interesting orientation session about the different types of spices grown around the area (Some of the spices grown here include cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg).

Expert Tip

  • At the Spice Plantation, you can also buy spice samples as souvenirs or spices that you can take back home for cooking.
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Day 04 - Thekkady

A day trip to Gavi- The Ecotourism excursion

On Day 4 of your trip, you depart early (6:00 AM) for a full day guided Gavi Ecotourism tour. This trip lets you explore and experience the Periyar Reserve Forest. The entrance to Gavi is about 40kms (about 1.5 hours from where you are staying). The Gavi Ecotourism tour includes breakfast and lunch along with a wide range of activities such as bamboo rafting, jeep safari, nature walk, bird watching sessions, and park orientation sessions. After a day’s trip, you return to the hotel by evening.

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Day 05 - Kumarakom

Travel to Kumarakom - Enjoy the Lakeside Experience

On Day 5 of your trip, you depart in the morning to Kumarakom (it is about 110kms from Thekkady – The journey time takes approximately 3 hours). On the way to Kumarakom, you drive past the rubber plantations in Kottayam district, and you travel through the city of Kottayam and then you reach the lakeside area of Kumarakom.

Kumarakom overlooks the largest freshwater lake in Kerala, the Vembanad Lake. Kumarakom is where you may unwind in leisure after you have relatively spent a brisk couple days and here you get to enjoy the serene lakeside environs.

In the afternoon relax in the hotel or you could opt for some extras like:

  • An Ayurveda session (Ayurveda is the ancient, traditional Kerala Science of wellness.) This is a must-do experience on a Kerala visit and the afternoon time in Kumarakom is the perfect time for an Ayurveda massage. You can take a full body massage which is known as Abhyanga, A head-oil massage is referred to as a Shirodhara.
  • To take an Ayurvedic massage appointment, please get in touch with the Hotel’s Ayurveda center.
  • Later you can visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (It is a 4km walk) in the evening or take an evening sunset boat ride around the Vembanad Lake.
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Day 06 - Alleppey

Overnight Houseboat Cruise in the backwaters of Alleppey

On Day 6 of your trip, you depart in the morning at around 10:00 AM to Alleppey (It is about 35kms away- The journey time takes about an hour). It is here you get a full-day experience in the backwaters of Kerala. This is facilitated by an overnight houseboat cruise in the backwaters of South Alleppey.

There is a short traditional welcome awaiting you at the houseboat jetty before you board the houseboat. The departure is at 12 noon. You cruise in the comfort of the backwaters around Alleppey town for about an hour and it is here you also get your first glimpse of the Kerala backwaters (This is what gives Alleppey its famed tagline, "The Venice of the East") before halting for a sumptuous lunch.

For lunch, the onboard chef will serve mouth-watering Kerala food (unless informed in advance otherwise) and you can enjoy and experience the delectable Kerala cuisine. The cuisine is highly personalized and one of the best experiences of the trip. The Kerala cuisine food comprises of seafood, meat, fresh vegetables that are cooked on the houseboat typically in Kerala style, and is by itself an experience of sorts.

The cruise resumes at 3:00 PM and continues for about 3 hours before the houseboat docks by the riverbank or by the banks of the canals for an overnight stay. While on the cruise, you pass through villages, churches, temples, and traditional Kerala homes and not to miss verdant pastures and greenery. While on the cruise, you also get to stop at a local market, where you can buy fresh fish, the catch of the day, enjoy fresh coconut water and leisurely witness the backwater lifestyle at close quarters.

Dinner again is another round of Kerala cuisine and this is also an interesting experience, as the chef dishes out another set of surprises based of course on your preference.

Expert Tip

  • Houseboat cruise runs as per a fixed schedule starting at 12 noon and ending the next day morning at 9:30 AM.
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Day 07 - Kovalam

Depart from Alleppey to Kovalam

On Day 7 of your trip, you check out from the houseboat cruise after a sumptuous morning breakfast, at around 9:30 AM. From here, you will be driven to Kovalam (it is about 160kms away – and it takes approximately about 3.5 hours to reach). You will be taken to a beachfront hotel overlooking the Arabian Sea. While here, optionally you can choose to either relax by the beach/ or take an Ayurveda session/walk on the beach/ and enjoy a swim.

Expert Tip

  • You may opt for a quiet dining option at a restaurant overlooking the Arabian Sea
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Day 08 - Kovalam

Explore Kovalam and nearby places

On Day 8 of your trip, and for the next 2 days you get to explore the beach haven of Kovalam and just relax in the beach environs of Kovalam. While here, you can explore the rubber plantation highland areas around Kovalam. Visit museums/temples and more.

You also get to visit the Hawa Beach and the Lighthouse Beach around sunset time.

There are a couple of restaurants, and shops by the beach which travelers can visit for a nice, relaxed evening. OR Visit Thiruvananthapuram (it is about 15-20kms away from Kovalam) OR Visit Kanyakumari (It is about 100kms away from Kovalam – It takes about 2.5 hours to travel one way). It is located in the southernmost tip of India where the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean converge. The place is set at the culmination where the two seas and the ocean meet.

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Day 09 - Kovalam

Explore Kovalam and nearby places

On Day 9 of your trip, you get to explore the beach haven of Kovalam and just relax in the beach environs of Kovalam. While here, you can explore the rubber plantation highland areas around Kovalam. Visit museums/temples and more.

You also get to visit the Hawa Beach and the Lighthouse Beach around sunset time.

There are a couple of restaurants, and shops by the beach which travelers can visit for a nice, relaxed evening. OR Visit Thiruvananthapuram (it is about 15-20kms away from Kovalam) OR Visit Kanyakumari (It is about 100kms away from Kovalam – It takes about 2.5 hours to travel one way). It is located in the southernmost tip of India where the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean converge. The place is set at the culmination where the two seas and the ocean meet.

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Day 10 - Thiruvananthapuram

Departure from Thiruvananthapuram

On Day 10, your trip comes to an end and it is time for you to leave. You depart from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (it is about 15kms away from Kovalam) for your onward journey back home.

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