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South India: Explore Kerala

If the north of India offers brilliant fuschia and turquoise, its south offers the coolest, most luxuriant greens anywhere. This compact trip offers the perfect taste of Keralas stunning tropical beauty. Stroll its beaches, ride in a canoe through its backwaters along quiet canals, explore southern palaces, and enjoy some of the countrys most incredible flavours. Experience a part of India thats truly off the beaten path.


Duration: 7 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, History, Beer Tasting Physical rating: Light
Accommodation standard:   Moderate% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 155175
Starts: Kochi, India Finishes: Kochi, India
You will visit
  • Kochi
  • Vypīn Island

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Kochi

Arrive at any time and transfer to hotel. There are no planned activities, so check in and enjoy the city.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Transport:
Private Vehicle

02

Day 2: Kochi (1B)

After breakfast, explore the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Visit the Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century, the St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and Santa Cruz Basilica, built by Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk through the fish market and the famous Chinese fishing net, believed to have been brought by traders from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the evening, attend the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala called "Kathakali," which combines literature, music, painting, acting, and dance.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Meet with a Local Spice Expert
Kathakali Dance

03

Day 3: Kochi/Kumarakom (1B, 1D)

Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace then continue to Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Enjoy a canoe paddle along the narrow canals and take a walking tour through the paddy fields and Chempu village.

Included Activities:
Tripunithura Hill Palace Visit
Canoeing
Walking Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)

04

Day 4: Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters (1B, 1L, 1D)

This morning we travel to Allepey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals, where we board our private houseboat. You can sunbathe on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life take place along the water. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of water birds, palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants.

Included Activities:
Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Excursion
Family Homestay and Culinary Experience

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)

05

Day 5: Kerala Backwaters/Vypīn Island (1B)

Meet with a representative at the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme and learn about the ongoing efforts by local communities and National Geographic to conserve the Vembanad Wetlands. Also visit a clam sanctuary and meet local fishermen who show us how they harvest and prepare the mussels. After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore.

Included Activities:
Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)

06

Day 6: Vypīn Island (1B)

Free time on Vypīn Island.

07

Day 7: Vypīn Island (1B)

Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Arrival transfer
    • Walking tour in Kochi
    • Learn about spices with a local expert
    • Kathakali cultural performance
    • Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace
    • Kumarakom canoe ride
    • Walking tour of the paddy fields and Chempu village
    • Houseboat day trip along the Kerala backwaters
    • Homestay with cooking demonstration and meal with local family
    • Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/resorts (5 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    Meals Included
    • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Minibus, houseboat, canoe, taxi, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Learn the true meaning of relaxation on a houseboat cruising Kerala's backwaters
  • Discover how fishermen's nets can be an attraction in their own right
  • Tour a spice market with a local expert
  • Drool over delicious South Indian cuisine with a cooking demonstration
  • Enjoy a homestay with a local family