Kerala situated on the glorious Arabian Sea with a long shoreline dotted with a plethora of scenic hill stations that are ideal for a quiet and memorable hill holiday of Kerala. This journey will take you to some tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green, spice and tea-covered hills offering a panoramic view of green rolling hills, rich vegetation, scintillating lakes and several waterfalls.
The tour starts with metropolis city Cochin famous for its harbor, Chinese fishing nets, and architecture influence of Anglo, Dutch and Portuguese. Head towards a small bustling village called Thekkady (Periyar), is the scenically valley of cardamom hills of the Western Ghats. With numerous plantations of cardamom, rubber, vanilla and coffee etc, spice plantation is a prime attraction in Periyar. You have an option for nature walks, bird watching, taste the various spices and not to forget shopping spices which are grown here.
The expedition then accommodates you to Cardamom House, which is a traditional house in stunning natural settings. Cardamom house surrounded on the hillside of the Western Ghats and is owned and managed by Dr.Chris Lucas, a retired English physician. Here you can experience the typical way of life of the villagers in this unspoiled Indian village named”Athoor” to be discovered.
Thereafter, ascend to the peak of Western Ghats – Munnar. This charming hill station is carpeted in emerald green tea plantations, unending spice gardens and offering breathtaking view of the mist clinging mountaintops. This beautiful hill station was once a summer resort of the British Government in South India due to the fresh mountain air.
Last but not the least, board the enchanting houseboat and begin cruise along the serene backwaters. As you cruise along, you will witness life in the backwater villages of Alleppey. You will travel down the small canals dotted with houses, paddy fields, coconut trees, marketplaces, and temples. Watch local people engaging in a variety of daily activities from fishing to boat-making.
Our representative will receive you on arrival at the airport in Cochin and will take you to the hotel. In the evening, enjoy traditional Kathakali dance performances or a kaleidoscope of martial arts and traditional dance forms of Kerala. Overnight will be at Cochin.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Afterwards, begin the sightseeing tour of Cochin which includes The Santa Cruz Cathedral, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry or ‘Dutch Palace’ and also the famous St. Francis Church- the first European Church that was built in India. Later, head to the harbor where local fishermen use the old Chinese fishing nets introduced centuries ago. Overnight will be at Cochin.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Periyar, upon arrival and check in to the resort. Post lunch, visit the local fishing village around Periyar and enjoy the lush greenery and watch the locals collecting honey. Optional if time permits take a boat ride at Lake Periyar. This is the most enjoyable part - seeing the wildlife around the lake in a boat. From the safety of a boat, you can witness herds of wild elephants coming down to the water. Overnight will be at Periyar.
Early morning, proceed for jungle walk experience at Periyar National Park. You will see the rare species of plants and animals. The ‘experience’ will be customized as per your preference depending on how many hours you want to spend in the park. Return to resort for the breakfast. In the afternoon, visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and tea estates. On your way back to the hotel, you can stop at the local Kumily market to buy the fragrant spices. Overnight will be in Periyar.
After breakfast drive towards Athoor village. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the homestay owned and managed by Dr.Chris Lucas. All rooms have either twin or separate double-bedded accommodation, face south, and have modern western style bathroom facilities en-suite with solar heated hot water. The water comes from deep bore wells and is potable. With just two guests to each staff member, we can assure that you will, be personally looked after and "spoiled rotten" during your stay. The meals are prepared using only the freshest produce purchased daily from the local markets and the house takes great pride in the variety of food that they serve. Overnight will be at Cardamom House.
After breakfast, experience a typical back of beyond unhurried Athoor village that has remained frozen in time. We suggest that you simply stroll through the village at your own pace, absorbing the atmosphere and watching as the rural life unfolds. On the track you will pass a Hindu Temple situated under a Banyan Tree, Continuing your stroll you will pass Banana Plantations, fields of Chilli and Groundnuts, and of course hundreds upon hundreds of Coconut Trees. The villager who’s Way of life is dependent on agriculture, is very friendly and will welcome you. Some of the Cardamom House staff either hail from or are living in Athoor and will ensure that they are there to help you, introduce you to people and help with the devilishly difficult Tamil language, Athoor is truly an unspoiled Indian Village waiting to be discovered. Overnight will be in Cardamom House.
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Munnar, reach and check in to the resort. After some relaxation, you can explore the beauty of the tea gardens and shop for black tea, green tea, coffee, cashew-nuts, homemade chocolates and various local spices. Overnight will be at Munnar.
After breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Munnar. Start with a visit to Christ Church, Mattupetty Dam, the scattered villages, Eco-Point, Kundala Dam, Nyayamkad & Attukal Waterfalls. Later in the day, visit the Tea Factory, old Munnar and shop in the local market. Rest of the evening will be spent at leisure – strolling and finding small buildings of historical importance around the hill station. Overnight will be at Munnar.
After a leisurely breakfast, proceed to Kumarakom. Reach Kumarakom and proceed to jetty. Check in to a traditional Kerala style houseboat and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake. The houseboat, with all modern comforts, lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. All meals will be served on the boat freshly prepared by the crew. In the evening the boat will anchor by the lush paddy fields. Dinner would be laid out in the boat. Enjoy the tranquility of the water around and spend the night on the houseboat.
Breakfast will be on board. Cruise through the backwaters watching children going to school and the village markets opening. Disembark the boat at the finishing point where your driver will be waiting for you to drive to Cochin. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. Later in the evening, enjoy Cooking Classes in Cochin followed by dinner. Overnight in Cochin.
After breakfast, as per the flight timings, you will be transferred to the airport to take a flight back home with sweet memories of the tour. TOUR ENDS!