Kerala Wildlife, Backwaters & Beaches – 12 Days / 11 Nights
The sunset cruise around Cochin harbor on the first day will set the mood for your short trip. You will also get to see the popular religious monuments as you go sightseeing. The Kathakali dance performance will bring you closer to the local culture, while there is ample time to get back to nature as you explore the wildlife sanctuary and spice farm.
Cochin International Airport
11 Nights,12 Days
.All Meals in Houseboat
.Local English Speaking Guide with Applicable Entrance Fees
.Airfare, Visa, Travel Insurance etc.
.Meals other than mentioned
.Tips, telephone calls, laundry, shopping etc
.Any other items other than mentioned above
You’ll be met on arrival and transferred to Eighth Bastion, Kochi for a two night stay. The rest of the morning and the afternoon are at leisure. This evening there is a relaxing sunset cruise around Cochin harbor. This is an ideal way to all the activity around the harbor as well as Cochin’s iconic Chinese fishing nets.
The day begins with a half-day sightseeing tour of Cochin, a vibrant city on India’s southwest coast. This morning’s guided tour focuses on the historical and characterful heart of the city, the area of Fort Cochin . Surrounded by a wonderful blend of colonial architecture you’ll be taken to Mattancherry Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church and for a close-up look at the Chinese fishing nets. Following the tour you’ll hop on an auto-rickshaw to explore the rest of the city – a fun experience that children (and adults) of all ages are sure to love.
This evening you’ll attend a Kathakali dance performance, where the dancers primarily use facial expressions to tell a story. We’ll arrive early so you can see the performers applying their elaborate and colorful make-up.
This morning they’ll be a five to six hour drive through the picturesque Western Ghats to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary for a three night stay at Spice Village, Periyar . For lunch you’ll stop at an estate bungalow and eat with a local family.
Periyar is well known for the variety of spices grown in the area. This morning you can take a guided tour of the spice gardens and see how the various spices are grown, harvested and used. Or alternatively you can join the Pepper Vine program at the resort and take a tour of the property with a naturalist who will talk you through all the plants, rare herbs, tree and birdlife within the property.
This afternoon you will drive to the nearby entrance to Periyar National Park where you will board the boat for your afternoon cruise on the lake. This is a good way to spot wildlife that have come down to the lake edge to drink, and you may be lucky enough to spot deer, gaur (Indian bison), and elephants. An interesting physical feature of this park are the flooded trees that rise eerily from the water. If you are interested in the local style of cooking you could go for a cooking demonstration at the resort that is open for all residents in the evening. There is also a cultural show with local dances performed.
This morning ‘ELEPHANT JUNCTION’ program, there’s a chance to get up close and personal with some of Periyar’s largest residents! You’ll be taken to a plantation where you can join in the washing and feeding of elephants and later take a ride (20-30 minutes). The rest of the day is at leisure.
After breakfast there’ll be a four hour drive as you leave behind the spice plantations of Periyar and head to the backwaters, passing through small villages and paddy fields. Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom will be home for the next two nights.
This morning you’ll set off for a cruise on Vembanad Lake on the backwaters. The rest of the day is at leisure.The resort has a butterfly garden that always proves popular with children and there’ll be a naturalist on hand to point out the different species. Coconut Lagoon also has canoes that guests can take out onto the canals or Vembanad Lake; perfect for a leisurely afternoon on the backwaters.
An hour drive will take you from Kumarakom to Mararikulam where you’ll stay at the Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam for four nights.
Day 9, 10 & 11
Day at leisure.
Early morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred to Cochin airport (two hours) for your return flight home via Dubai.