Arrive in Cochin and transfer to your hotel. Set amidst lagoons and backwaters on the Malabar Coast, Cochin is also known as the ‘Venice of the East’. Over the centuries Europeans have traded ivory, spices and teak. The British, Dutch and Portuguese left their influence on this great city. Afternoon a Sunset harbour cruise to see Bolgahtty Island and the Chinese fishing nets. Overnight stay in Cochin.
Day 2: Cochin
Morning city tour visiting the Dutch Palace, with its 17th century murals of Ramayana. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568, contains the Grand Scroll of the Old Testament. Also visit Fort Cochin and St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Vasco de Gama, who discovered India, was first buried here. Overnight stay in Cochin.
Afternoon a chance to see the famous Kathakali dance performance, a traditional folk dance of Kerala, enacting stories from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabhartha.
Day 3: Cochin - Munnar
Depart by road to Munnar, a hill resort in the midst of cardamom and tea plantations, on the Western Ghats. Situated on the confluence of three mountain streams, this British summer retreat of the Raj has lakes, reservoirs and lush green forests. Munnar is a major centre for the tea industry in Kerala. In the afternoon explore the town. Overnight stay in Munnar.
Day 4: Munnar
Visit to tea and spice plantations to see how the crops are grown. Munnar is close to Anaimudi (2695m), the highest peak in South India and offers plenty of nature walks. Optional visit to the nearby Mattupetty Dam & Evarikulam National park to see the Nilgiri Thar (wild goat). This park is also rich in varieties of bird life. Overnight stay in Munnar.
Day 5: Munnar - Periyar
Drive to Periyar National Park, noted for its elephant herds and a rich variety of bird life. Afternoon wildlife viewing by boat. Overnight stay in Periyar.
Day 6: Periyar - Kumarakom
After breakfast drive to Chengnacherry and take a boat cruise. The cruise takes over 3 hours passing through picturesque narrow canals. Accommodation consists of comfortable cottages with a swimming pool and Ayurvedic message facilities. Overnight stay in Kumarakom.
Day 7: Kumarakom
A day at leisure to relax on the shores of the Vembanad Lake. At your leisure visit the nearby bird sanctuary or a local village. Overnight stay in Kumarakom.
Day 8: Kumarakom - Backwaters
After breakfast board the riceboat and cruise slowly through the palm-fringed waterways of the Vembanad Lake. Your captain and cook will accompany you. See life in the backwaters as you pass through various villages. Overnight on board the houseboat.
Day 9: Backwaters to Alappuzha
Morning leave the houseboat in Alappuzha (Alleppey), an enchanting backwater destination famous for coir and carpet products, fish and lakes. Every year a boat race is held here and features the gigantic snake-boats of Kerala. Afternoon tour of the town includes a visit to a coir factory. Overnight stay in Alleppey
Day 10: Alappuzha - Kovalam
Morning drive to Kovalam, an uncluttered beach of silver sands with rows and rows of tall palm trees. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay in Kovalam.
Day 11: Kovalam
At leisure. During your stay you will be provided with a day excursion to Kanyakumari (Cape Cemorin) ’The Lands End of India' where the India Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meet, visiting Padmanabhapuram Palace & Suchindram en route. Sunset at the Lands End is spectacular. Overnight stay in Kovalam
Day 12: Kovalam
Full day free for independent activities. Overnight stay in Kovalam
Day 13: Depart Trivandrum (Kovalam)
Transfer to the International airport in Trivandrum towards your onward destination with sweet memories
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