Day01 / Arrival Trivandrum
Arrive Trivandrum, meet assist at the airport and transfer to Kovalam, the internationally renowned Beach Resort (12Kms drive). Kovalam, a favorite haunt for tourists since the 1930’s, consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. Transfer to accommodation. The day is free to relax on the beach. Night stay in Kovalam.
Day 02 / Sightseeing Trivandrum
A whole day spent sightseeing in Trivandrum. Trivandrum, the Kerala State Administrative Capital is 16Kms from Kovalam. The southernmost part of Kerala, Trivandrum is bounded by the wooded highlands of the Western Ghats in the east and northeast, and the Arabian Sea in the west. A long shoreline with secluded, internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches, hill stations and a rich cultural heritage are awaiting you here. City sightseeing features among other places of interest:
Padmanabha Swami Temple, the only one in Kerala where foreign nationals are allowed near the Sanctum Sanctorum. Known for its mural paintings and stone carvings, the temple is a blend of Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture.
Kuthiramalika, a palace of the erstwhile Composer King of Travancore, displays a rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture with exquisite woodcarvings (closed on all Mondays).
The Napier Museum, houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings (closed on all Sundays & Wednesdays).
Shree Chitra Art Gallery, displays select paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlava & Nicholas Roerich, including some exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. The collection includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali (closed on all Mondays & Wednesdays). The evening is free to relax on the Beach. Night stay at Kovalam.
Day 03 / Kovalam - Kumarakom
Morning drive to Kumarakam (180Km drive). Kumarakam is situated on Lake Vembanad, the hub of backwater tourism in Kerala. Mangrove Forests, Paddy Fields, and Coconut Groves networked by a maze of waterways and canals adorned with waterlillies, make Kumarakam an unbelievably beautiful natural paradise. Transfer to hotel. Night stay in Kumarakom.
Day 04 / Kumarakom
Kumarakom is also one of the enchanting backwater regions of Kerala. The labyrinthine network of rivers, canals, streams and lagoons which form the famed backwaters offer stunning views and is an ideal place to relax . Kumarakom, a bird sanctuary located on the banks of the backwaters and renowned for its varied avian population. Local varieties such as Waterfowls, Cuckoos and Owls, as well as the migratory Siberian Cranes can be viewed here. Day excursion to the bird sanctuary. Afternoon fishing by the Lake. Evening at lesiure. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Kumarakom.
Day 05 / Kumarakom - Periyar
Morning Drive to Periyar (130Km drive). The Periyar Forest is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Lying at an altitude of 900 – 1800m above sea level and spread across 777sq.Km, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty. It’s the only sanctuary in India where you can view wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. Periyar’s biggest attractions are the Herds of Elephants that come down to water and play, lakeside. Transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Periyar.
Day 06 / Periyar - Kumily
Start the day with a short Trek inside the Sanctuary followed by a two hour Boat Ride. Evening leaves you free to check out the local Spice Markets at Kumily, a small town 4Kms from Thekkady / Periyar. Night stay in Periyar.
Day 07 / Cochin
Morning drive to Cochin (225Kms drive). The Commercial Capital of Kerala, and the most cosmopolitan of Kerala’s cities, Cochin is a fascinating blend of cultures. In the evening enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise - The sunset cruise in Cochin along the harbour is also a great experience where you pass other ships and boats of all sizes and can see the Cochin skyline and the Cochin shipyard which is more than 200 years old. Night stay in Cochin.
Day 08 / Sightseeing Cochin
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing in Cochin, takes you very close to the regions History on the international stage.
The Hill Palace Museum, a fully-fledged archeological museum and Kerala’s first ever Heritage Museum are the main attractions (closed on Mondays).
Chinese Fishing Nets, this unique style of huge cantilevered fishing nets were erected between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the Court of Kubla Khan, a Chinese King.
Santa Cruz Basilica, this historic church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Church a Basilica in 1984.
The Jewish Synagogue, constructed in 1568, this is the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth (closed on Saturdays & Jewish Holidays).
The area around the Synagogue, called Jew Town, is the centre for Spice & Handicraft shops.
Mattanchery Palace (Dutch Palace), built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Regent of Kochi (closed on Fridays).
Evening Witness Kathakali the famous dance drama of kerala. This dance is characterised by some great story telling, amazing costumes and extensive make-up. Start early to see the artist preparing themselves for the show (5 PM ). Watch in detail the ritual worth seeing hour long process of make-up as part of our daily KATHAKALI performance. After the Performance, you will have a unique opportunity to take photographs along with the artists in colorful costumes as a souvenir. Entire performance will be supported with commentary in English. Night stay in Cochin.
Day 09 / Cochin - Departure
Transfer to Cochin airport to board the onward flight.
Options / Choices / Additions
“Waterways” - One Night on a Houseboat:
The nights stay of ‘Day Two’ of the Tour can be spent on a Houseboat; we board at Alleppey – the “Venice of the East”.
Alleppey is a fascinating part of Kerala; land of Canals and Inland Lakes. The classic Kerala Houseboat or “Kettuvallam”, (as it would be locally known), is the giant traditional craft of the waterways. Measuring up to 80 feet in length, they were used to carry tonnes of rice & spices. A standard Kettuvallam can hold up to 30 tonnes. Today these Houseboats have been transformed into an innovative holiday idea, including all the creature comforts of a well-furnished Bedroom, an en-suite Bathroom, cosy Living Room, Kitchen and even a Balcony for Angling. The Houseboat will cruise at a leisurely pace along palm-fringed waterways, giving a panoramic view of Kerala Village Life. On-board catering will provide the best of Kerala Cuisine to suit your tastes.
At night the Boat will be Anchored on Lake Vembanad. “Super Saver”
Day Three & Four at Alleppey:
A day trip to Kumarakam to visit the Bird Sanctuary. [Note: This option will save cost on the Deluxe Tour].
Take a Break – [Additional Charges Apply]
Two nights in any one of the Beach Resorts –
(a) Taj - Garden Retreat, Varkala.
(b) Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam.
(c) Kadapuram Beach Resort, Nattika.
2.Lakes & Lagoons:
Two nights in any one of the Backwater Resorts –
(a) Poovar Island Resort, Poovar, near Kovalam.
(b) Aqua Serene, Paravoor.