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Wayanad Boathouse

Discover Kerala with Houseboat Stay

Example 7 Day Tour
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This 7-day trip from Cochin to Kumarakom introduces you to the rich culture of southern India. Explore the cities of Cochin and Muziris, the ancient port cities located on the Kerala coast. Visit the Jewish synagogue and the Dutch Palace, and watch the classical dance, Kathakali, performed live. Explore the town of Munnar, renowned for being surrounded by rolling hills studded with tea plantations, and participate in an early evening nature walk through a plantation or a tea tasting session. Enjoy a backwater tour through Kerala's network of lagoons, lakes, and rivers while staying at a boathouse in Kottayam.
The fishing nets of KochiLocal Kerala VillageCoffee and Tea PlantationFood and travelKathakali Dance PerformanceKathakali Dance PerformerCochin CitySanta Cruz BasilicaCochin CityWayanad Boathouse
Highlights
  • Explore the vibrant city of Cochin, the gateway to Kerala
  • Watch live the traditional and famous Kathakali dance performance
  • Join a nature walk through the tea plantation in Munnar
  • Discover rural Kerala on a private houseboat stay through the backwaters
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Cochin

On your arrival at the International airport in Cochi and after clearing customs & immigration, the representative will greet you and will assist you on a drive to your hotel 

Cochin is a vibrant city situated on the southwest coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala. Its strategic importance over the centuries by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.
 

Day 2: Cochin

After your morning breakfast at the hotel, get ready for Muziris Heritage Tour. This tour offers an introduction to the many faiths and cultures of the Malabar Coast. Muziris is an ancient port city on the Kerala coast, an hour’s drive north of Cochin. The city is known for trading spices, silk, and precious stones exported to Rome, Greece, Egypt, etc. Enriched by trade contacts, Muziris became a melting pot of world cultures. The earliest Jewish settlers in India landed on the Malabar Coast and flourished in Muziris. It is also where St. Thomas the Apostle is said to have first landed in 52AD, bringing Christianity to India.

After lunch at the hotel, be ready for the highlights of the city of Kochi. The tour begins with visiting the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Friday & Saturday), built-in 1568 by the prosperous Jewish trading community. The oldest synagogue in India was partially destroyed in the war in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch. In the mid-18th century, the clock tower was added, and paved floors with exquisite hand-painted blue willow tiles from China.

Continue to the Dutch Palace (closed on Friday). Build by the Portuguese in the middle of the 16th century. The structure was taken over in 1663 by the Dutch, who added some improvements before presenting it to the Rajas of Cochin, who made further improvements. This palace is notable for some of the best mythological murals in India.

The next stop will be St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Build-in 1503 by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524 on his third visit to India. His body was buried in St Francis Church before his remains were returned to Lisbon 14 years later. The Santa Cruz Basilica is considered one of the finest and most impressive churches in India.

Driving back to the hotel, witness the iconic Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala). Believed by traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets. These nets are found only in Kochi, where many fishermen use these massive nets, with a whole stretch of the coast along with Fort Kochi and Vypeen dotted with them. Your tour concludes with a visit to Fort Cochin - a small community with a natural harbor and one of the most important trade centers in the south of India, Kochi Fort of Kerala is one of the most important towns in the state. 

In the evening, witness the performance of the famous Kathakali Dance show. The Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala, and the impressively facial expressions, hand gestures, and dance moves will leave one spellbound. The Kathakali dance performance is represented by colorful costumes, different hands, and facial gestures with cosmetics made from various natural pigments. This cosmetic is ground on a stone and mixed with coconut oil before the performance. These traditional colors used in the make-up are obtained from natural substances and locally available herbs mixed with a base of coconut oil. 

Day 3: Cochin | Munnar

After breakfast, drive for about 130 km drive/4-hours to Munnar.

Munnar, the famed hill station of south India, is a romantic locale where natural beauty is everywhere to visit, explore, and enjoy. Located at the confluence of three mountain streams – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala – the word ‘Munnar’ means three rivers in Malayalam. Situated about 1600m above sea level, the hill station had been the summer resort of the British Government during the colonial era. Imprints of the colonial past stand tall in the Munnar town in the form of English country cottages. Virgin forests, savannahs, rolling hills, scenic valleys, numerous streams, splashy waterfalls, sprawling tea plantations, and winding walkways are all part of the great holiday experience of traveling to Munnar. Munnar is also known for Neelakurinji, a rare plant that flowers only once in twelve years. The ‘kurinji season’ in Munnar is a magnificent sight when the hills and valleys get bathed in the blue of the Neelakurinji blooms.

Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel before your early evening nature walks through the plantation or tea tasting session. 

Day 4: Munnar

On this day, join in a morning Yoga and Meditation session with an experienced yoga practitioner.

After breakfast, visit a tea plantation and the Tea Museum in Munnar town to gain an insight into the art of tea making, which is important in this area and to the local community. Return to the hotel for an afternoon and evening at leisure. If you are still feeling energetic, there are several walking trails through the soaring evergreen forests of this 60-acre estate to see cardamom cultivation and processing.

Day 5: Munnar | Kottayam

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, take a (170 km/ 4 hrs) drive from Alleppey to Kottayam Jetty to embark on a backwater cruise on your private houseboat, locally known as a Kettuvallam. 

The Kettuvallam, literally ‘tied together boat,’ is a comfortable and traditional way to get around the Backwaters. In times past, this was Kerala’s equivalent of a container ship, up to 100 feet long and able to carry 30 tons of cargo. Great planks of seasoned and oiled Jack wood were lashed together with coir rope and seams stuffed with coconut fiber before being slathered with a nice goop of boiled cashew shells to keep it watertight. Climb aboard and relax in bamboo and palm-thatched canopy to provide shelter from the sun, comfy cane chairs to watch the world go by, and a table to take your meals. 

Be relaxed for a popular peaceful backwater experience in Kerala like no other while the houseboat crew finds a quiet spot to moor for the night. After a cold beer during sunset, dinner is served, followed by fabulous star-gazing in the open skies. Fringing the coast of Kerala and winding far inland is a vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers, and canals. These backwaters represent a unique geographical formation & are the basis of a distinct lifestyle.

Day 6: Kottayam | Kumarakom

After breakfast onboard and a ride to the Jetty, disembark and Check-in at Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom.

Coconut lagoon is located upon the Vembanad lake, one of India’s largest inland lakes with its distinctive ecology that support a plethora of natural life. There’s only one way to get to Coconut Lagoon: over the water from the private jetty about a kilometer upstream. If you are a bird enthusiast, the Coconut Lagoon will give you many days of happy bird spotting. 

Day 7: Cochin | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to Cochin airport for a 1-hr drive to connect flight for onward destination.

Accommodations

Old Harbour Hotel - Cochin

Lakes & Lagoons Houseboat

Coconut Lagoon - CGH Earth Resort

Coconut Lagoon - CGH Earth Resort
Coconut Lagoon - CGH Earth Resort
Coconut Lagoon - CGH Earth Resort

Spice Tree Munnar

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$1,920

Notes

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Included
  • 5 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • 3 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)

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When to Go

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