You arrive in Cochin by international flight. After a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our representative would meet and assist you at the airport and to our hotel for check-in. Afternoon we leave for a boat cruise on sunset and in the evening we see Kerala's most popular classical dance, Kathakali. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Cochin always had a very popular and historical sea trade connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe, Dutch and British. It has one of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian coastline. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings and structures representing different regions of the world. It is one of the few places in the world where one can see a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, architecture, mosques, temples and Chinese fishing nets, all in one city. A city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala's commercial hub. In the morning at 0900 hrs we leave for a half day city tour of Cochin, with visits to St. Francis' Church, Dutch Palace (Built by the Portuguese), Jew Town, the Jewish Synagogue built in the year 1568, spice market, where the air is filled with the pungent smell of spices, and Chinese fishing nets. Later in the afternoon we drive to Munnar. The distance of approximately 150 km is covered in around 4 hours while enjoying the scenic beauty with marvelous waterfalls, high mountains and low flying clouds passing through. Upon arrival check-in hotel for overnight stay. (B)
Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in India, Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 Mts. above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience. Munnar is essentially a tea town. Morning post breakfast we head for a half-day tour of Munnar, visiting the world's highest tea estates spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometres, Lush green hills all around - a place to be seen to be believed, and Eravikulam National Park (Park is closed in the month of January and February), the best place to see the Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat). Rest of the day at leisure to explore the destination on your own. Overnight stay at hotel. (B)
Today we head for one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India, the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. Upon arrival at Periyar, we assist you to check in at our hotel. Set on an attractive lakeside, it is South India's most popular Wildlife Sanctuary. Late afternoon at 1500 hrs we shall take you to a guided Spice and palntation tour in one of the Spice Gardens / Plantations for which this region is famous. Overnight stay at the hotel. (B)
Periyar is a place to cruise on the lake and gives an opportunity to see wildlife. It is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, bison (gaur), antelopes, sambhar, wild boar, money etc, and a wide variety of birds. Early morning before breakfast at 0630 hrs we go for a wildlife viewing to the sanctuary on lake Periyar by boat cruise. After two hours of wildlife viewing we get back to the hotel for breakfast. Later we leave for Kumarakom known for its backwaters, huge Vembanad Lake and the famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Check in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay. (B)
Day 06: Kumarakom - Thothapalli (Overnight Houseboat)
After breakfast a visit to Bird Sanctuary. There are two seasons for birds: between October and February there are cormorants, teals, and other ducks and from February to July there are darters (snake birds), night herons, egrets, and Siberian storks. It also has golden backed woodpecker, crow pheasant, white-breasted water hen, tree pie etc. This region is famous for its beautiful backwaters and village life revolving around the banks of these backwaters. On arrival board the houseboat, locally called Kettuvallam, and cruise around backwaters of Kumarakom to Thothapalli to observe and experience the daily life of the villagers along the backwaters. Overnight stay in the houseboat.
Disembark the houseboat and next we head for Kovalam, South of Trivandrum, one of India's best beaches and famous for water sports in Southern India. The day's invested in exploring the unbounded beauty of this place. Overnight stay.