Highlights of Kerala

Nicknamed ‘God’s own country,’ this south-western state at the tip of India is one of the best places for adventurers to uncover the secrets of India’s traditions.

This 12 night trip into Kerala offers a mix of city life and everything that nature can provide. Travel through rubber plantations, cruise down a labyrinth of canals and lakes, and get the opportunity to ride on an elephant through a spice plantation. To wind down your trip, head to the quiet sandy beaches in Mararikulam that are nestled between fishermen villages.

Day 1: Arrival in Cochin

Upon arrival in Cochin, you will meet your guide and be transferred to your hotel, Brunton Boatyard.

Stay: Brunton Boatyard

Day 2: Cultural visit of Cochin

Meet your guide for a morning sightseeing of Fort Cochin, visiting St Francis Church (where Vasco da Gama was originally buried before his remains were returned to Portugal), the Santa Cruz cathedral and the nearby, unique cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. You will also visit the Jewish Synagogue and stroll through the markets and Dutch Palace.

In the early evening, watch the Kathakali Dance show at Greenix Theater, which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers narrate the story through intricate facial expressions and gestures, with sudden leaps, spins and freeze balances, each wearing fantastic costumes and elaborate make up.

Stay: Brunton Boatyard

Day 3: From Cochin to Periyar

After breakfast, proceed on a private road transfer to Periyar.

Periyar or Thekkady is  located in the Cardamom Hills and has one of India’s best parks for spotting elephants, bison, wild boar, oxen, deer and a variety of birds. Take a boat trip on Periyar Lake or experience a safari on an elephant through coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations.

Stay: Spice Village

Day 4: Wildlife watching in Periyar

When morning comes, head down nature trails with a tribal guide, where you will get an excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands.

Or go for a tour in one of the major spice plantations in Kerala.  Due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 meters above sea level, Periyar is blessed with numerous types of spices – making this farm a captivating place to wander through.

Stay: Spice Village

Day 5: From Periyar to Kumarakom

After a leisurely morning, drive to Kumarakom, an emerald peninsula of paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters that juts out into Lake Vembanad. Perhaps more famously known as the Backwaters this area is made up of labyrinth of canals and lakes that stretch between the capital Kochi and Quilon in the south.

Stay: Kumarakom Lake Resort

Day 6: On the backwaters

After breakfast, transfer to board on Oberoi Vrinda for a three day trip. The luxurious vessel meanders through a series of picturesque canals and lakes. Guests can strike conversation with the local fishermen and learn more about their local fishing traditions.

The vessel will anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner on board

Stay: Vrinda

Day 7: Aboard the Oberoi Vrinda

From the Vembanad Lake jetty, Vrinda heads south, towards Alleppey. Sailing through scenic backwaters, guests can observe life along these “water highways” while passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level.

You will be transferred to a traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrower sections of the backwaters, then head back to Vembanad Lake Jetty.

Stay: Oberoi Vrinda

Day 8: Aboard the Oberoi Vrinda

Head to near Chambakulam where you will transfer onto the rice boat once again. Visit St. Mary’s Church, a 100-year old Hindu temple to Mother Goddess, and explore the Chambakulam snake boat yard, which displays one of the traditional long snake boats used in races.

Stay: Oberoi Vrinda

Day 9: Oberoi Vrinda to Mararikulam

After breakfast, the boat will sail past Pallathurathy and take you to Mararikulam.

Stay: Carnoustie Beach Resort & Ayurveda Spa 

Day 10 - 12: Time at leisure in Mararikulam

Relax at the beautiful Mararikulam for the next few days, which sprawls across 55 acres of lawns, far-flung lotus ponds and coconut groves.

Stay: Carnoustie Beach Resort & Ayurveda Spa 

Day 13: Departure

Depart from Mararikulam for your return flight home.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival in Cochin Brunton Boatyard
Day 2: Cultural visit of Cochin Brunton Boatyard
Day 3: From Cochin to Periyar Spice Village
Day 4: Wildlife watching in Periyar Spice Village
Day 5: From Periyar to Kumarakom Kumarakom Lake Resort
Day 6: On the backwaters Vrinda
Day 7: Aboard the Oberoi Vrinda Oberoi Vrinda
Day 8: Aboard the Oberoi Vrinda Oberoi Vrinda
Day 9: Oberoi Vrinda to Mararikulam Carnoustie Beach Resort & Ayurveda Spa 
Day 10 - 12: Time at leisure in Mararikulam Carnoustie Beach Resort & Ayurveda Spa 
Day 13: Departure

Inclusions

Included

  • Hotel accommodation bed & breakfast basis.
  • Meeting and assistance on arrivals and departures
  • VIP meet and greet at Delhi airport.
  • Transfers, sightseeing by an air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees to all monuments (One time visit only) as per the above program.
  • Private & exclusive sightseeing tours as per above program with services of an English speaking local guide
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Any meals other than that mentioned in the program.
  • Camera/video fees at various monuments
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for al Lightfoot Travel holidays)

Map

1. Kochi, Kerala 2. Periyar 3. Kumarakom 4. Chambakulam 5. Mararikulam

Price available upon request

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant