15 Days Classical Kerala Panorama
Beaches, Wild life safaris, Tea and Spice plantation stays, Back water cruise, and the sights of Kochi
- Historical & cultural interlude at Kochi
- Beach Villa Homestay at Marari beach
- Backwater cruise in a rice boat
- Wild life at Periyar National Park
- Tea Bungalow Homestay in the Hills of Munnar
- Spice Plantation homestay
Day 1, 2 : Historic Kochi :
On arrival, we proceed to Fort Kochi & settle into the heritage hotel, the ‘Old Courtyard’. Fort Kochi is set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas and is a place of cultural diversity - winding streets, shady trees, Kathakali dance, modern Indian art, 500-year old Portuguese houses, mosques, a tiny Jewish community with ancient roots. Once you are settled into your hotel, we can take strolls or go on a tour of the city with our guide. In the evening, you may also want to watch the ancient dance form – the Kathakali
Day 3, 4, 5 : The Marari Beach:
Marari is one of the finest beaches in Kerala – about 15 kms from the old port city of Alleppey. Your stay will be at the Arakkal Beach Villa – the home of Abi & Mini. It’s a home stay with three out houses. It’s a typical village setting. Abi and his wife are great hosts and the food is wonderful. The sea is just a short walk away & you don’t get many tourists coming here. You can explore the quiet village, learn to cook with spices, take Ayurveda massage, or go on an elephant ride. If you are more adventurous, you can also join the local fishermen in their wooden canoes for a short stint at fishing.
Day 6 : The Riceboat Cruise:
We will make our way to the house boat. The houseboat is a converted rice-barge – used for cruising along the backwaters. Reclining on cushions and drifting through quiet canals, you’ll pass through paddy fields grazed by ducks, floating markets, local toddy shops, temples and churches – indeed a ringside view of life along these ancient waterways.
Day 7, 8, 9 : Wildlife at Periyar National Park
Our destination today is Periyar. Periyar has been patronized by the Royal families in the past as the ideal holiday getaway. Periyar is also one of the best wildlife reserves in India and has large herds of Asiatic elephants, Indian Bison as well as tigers. The Periyar lake forms the nucleus of the reserve. We have the next three days to see as much as possible of the wildlife as well a little of the tribal population and their lifestyles. Mannans are among the oldest indigenous group of people to inhabit Periyar Tiger Reserve. Till as late as 1940’s, they used to live in the remotest areas of the tiger reserve eking out a simple living by fishing in the lake and cultivating a few crops. Today they are the main conservators of the forest, enjoy your walk and talk with them through the forest as you discover the endemic flora and fauna of the region. We will be staying at either Spice Village or Lake Palace Resort.
Day 10, 11, 12 : Munnar, the Land of Tea
We will make our way to Munnar (the hill country) after breakfast. Once a favourite summer resort town of the British, the hill town of Munnar is set amidst dramatic mountain scenery with craggy peaks, tall red wood trees, and some of the world’s highest tea plantations. Set at over 1600 m, Munnar is showcase to nature’s bounty. We will check into a Tea Plantation Bungalow , one of the erstwhile mansions of the colonial Tea Czars – and visit the tea factories, estates, take quiet walks & enjoy the beauty of this world at the top of the Western Ghats.
Day 13, 14 : On a Spice Plantation :
We will drive to the plains to a spice plantation area near Palai, to the Mundakkal Spice Plantation homestay, on the farm of Zacharias . The farm (spices, cocoa beans, coffee and rubber) is located in Kerala's spice heartland. Here, in this predominantly farming village, we can learn cooking, go birding (there are 80 species of birds around the villa), take walks in the countryside, go cycling or learn about village operatives – the lifeline of many villagers.
Day 15 : Depart from Kochi
"Thank you very much for a wonderful experience. I have never has such a welcoming & excellent service. The food was exquisite - traditional Kerela cooking, lobsters, musells and fish cooked in such wonderful ways.
A very big thank you to the captain and his crew for making our cruise so memorable"