Backwater & Spice
Duration: 06 Nights / 07 Days
Routing: Cochin – Munnar – Periyar – Kumarakom – Alleppey – Cochin Departure
|Cochin||Jew Town, synagogue, Spice market, Chinese fishing nets, Kathakali dance performance|
|Munnar||world's highest tea estates, Eravikulam National Park, NilgiriTahr|
|Periyar||Periyar Wildlife Reserve, Elephant Ride , Spice Plantation|
|Kumarakom||Huge Vembanad Lake & famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.|
Day 01: Arrive Cochin
Arrive by International flight, after traditional Indian style ‘Swagat’ (Welcome) by Exceptional Escapes representative, he would assist you at the airport & transfer to hotel for check in.
Cochin always had a very popular & historical sea trade connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe & Dutch. It has one of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian coastline. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings & structures representing different regions of the world.
Post lunch guided visit of:
Jew Town, synagogue; built in the year 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles & Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here.
Spice market; where the air is filled with the pungent smell of spices & history that brought the world to its doorstep.
Chinese fishing nets; (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.
Evening, we take you to view a Kathakali dance performance (time for photography of a lifetime) Enjoy and observe the elaborate pre dance make up ritual.
Overnight Hotel – Cochin
Day 02: Cochin – Munnar ( Drive 150 kms - 04 hrs)
Post breakfast drive to Munnar, most popular hill stations in South India, situated at the confluence of three mountain streams Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni&Kundala. It was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British officers in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book town, winding lanes, trekking & holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience.
Rest of the day at leisure for relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Munnar.
Overnight Hotel – Munnar (B)
Day 03: Munnar
Post breakfast private guided sightseeing of Munnar
The world's highest tea estates spread like a green carpet over a large area.
Eravikulam National Park (Closed - January & February), the best place to see the rare NilgiriTahr (mountain goat). This sanctuary was set up for the preservation of the endangered NilgiriTahr.
Overnight Hotel – Munnar (B)
Day 04: Munnar – Periyar ( Drive 160 Kms / 5 Hrs)
Post breakfast driven to Periyar Wildlife Reserve; Set on an attractive lakeside, it is South India's most popular Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a place to cruise on the lake & gives an opportunity to see wildlife. It is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, bison, antelopes, Sambhar, wild boar, monkey, a wide variety of birds.
Next we explore the sanctuary to experience the beauty & ecological pattern, followed byvisit to the spice garden where you can see how spices like pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg are grown.
Overnight Hotel – Periyar (B)
Day 05: Periyar– Kumarakom (Drive 160 Kms / 5 Hrs)
Start your day with an elephant ride (subject to availability) which is the best and safest way to explore the remotest and densest areas of the forests. If you are more keen in combing denser areas of the forests and search for some fierce creatures. Riding an elephant takes you back to the royal era, when only the Kings use to ride on these majestic creatures.
Post lunch drive to Kumarakom, known for backwaters, huge Vembanad Lake & famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary; there are two seasons for birds: between October & February there are cormorants, teals, & other ducks & from February to July there are darters (snake birds), night herons, egrets, & Siberian storks. It also has golden backed woodpecker, crow pheasant, white-breasted water hen, tree pie etc.
Overnight Hotel – Kumarakom (B)
Day 06: Kumarakom – Alleppey (A/C Houseboat) (Drive 160 Kms / 5 Hrs)
Post breakfast drive to Alleppey, Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a town in Kerala. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters & lagoons, it was described as the Venice of the East. It has a wonderful past, it owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams & canals with lush green coconut palms, was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece & Rome in BC & in the middle Ages. Alleppey now is the hub for backwaters tourism in Kerala.
On arrival we board the houseboat, locally called Kettuvallam, cruise around backwaters of Kumarakom – Alleppey to observe & experience the daily life of the villagers along the backwaters.
Enjoy a private romantic farewell dinner on the board.
Overnight Houseboat (B, L, D)
Day 07: Alleppey – Cochin (Drive 52 Kms – 1 Hrs)
Disembark from the houseboat and transfer to Cochin airport to board the flight for home country taking back wonderful memory of Kerala God’s won Country.
Tour Concludes: Exceptional Escapes Manager will assist you with your transfer to the airport for boarding onward flight.
A private cooking class (approx 90 Minutes) to explore both vegetarian & non vegetarian south Indian cuisine This cooking session will acquaint you with the typical culinary delights of Southern India. The authentic delicacies cooked with traditional exotic spices will definitely give you a gastronomical bliss.
On arrival, relax with an ayurvedic treatment Shirodhara, (Gradual pouring of warm herbal oil on the forehead) followed by full body Abhyanga (massage) by a gay friendly male therapist. (Approx 90 minutes)
In the evening, we take you for a private candlelight kerala Costal cuisine dinner (Fixed Menu) on the lake front.
Later in a day proceed for a traditional way of fishing tour through the backwaters. Laze under the cool shade of some trees with a fishing rod and bait targeted to trap unsuspecting fishes.
A village backwater cruise at Vaikom. Enjoy the life-style of the villagers and village backwater cruise through narrow canals, river, lakes & lagoon for 02-03 hours with a local guide. En route visit coconut farms, Coir villages, spices and herbal farms, bird watching and other village activities. Followed by a traditional Kerala lunch on banana leaf.
Start your day with a personal introduction to yoga / meditation class (Maximum 90 minutes) which will rejuvenate you “India is known for its ancient knowledge of yoga all over the world since time immemorial”.
What Travelers Say?
The arrangement of our trip was so perfectly done, that i could not find even a single fault or drawback for which i could provide a suggestion. We are so much impressed and touched by the hospitality and services provided. To be frank, we have already started to plan for our next holiday, may be sometime in the end of the year. We will get back to you soon :-) Thanks again Exceptional Escapes.....you guys are truly EXCEPTIONAL!!!! - read more...
The trip in general has been exceptional
The driver was a sweetheart. Always bringing me something to eat or drink and also always carrying a beautiful smile - read more...
Airport Representative was very Good Tour & Guide Services was very Good Ground Services was excellent Hotel Services was excellent - read more...
Generally all are good except that in shimla. Silverine hotel is not a suitable hotel for elderly people as they need to walk up and downhill to the hotel….though the place is ideal for shoppers - read more...
Thank you so very much for going above and beyond to ensure that we had a wonderful trip. I have been telling everyone about your hospitality. I truly had a great time and I especially am thankful for all your organizing and to take time to show us your family and invite us to your home. You have a beautiful family and I think Choti (your little sister) is so adorable - read more...
Hi Gaurav, thanks for following up and for all your efforts in making all the necessary arrangements for my trip. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. A few suggestions on how you might improve your services for future bookings - read more...
Many thanks for putting together a wonderful and memorable vacation for us. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We did not find anything lacking from your side. It was our first visit to India and it seems like we are already planning to be back. The pace was hectic so we did not find much time to visit the local markets which we will have to make up next time - read more...
We reached home safely on Sunday morning (USA time) and slept most of the day. I cannot thank you enough for all your help and efforts in making our trip such a wonderful success. I will never forget the experiences we had and fun time we enjoyed all throughout the trip. I will send you pictures soon.....'not to worry!!!' - read more...
We waited almost two years to meet again and it was well worth it. Everybody had a fantastic time and loved every moment of it. Your friend speaks very good English now and we all wish her well in the future. It seems that shopping with your friend was the highlight of the trip, the ladies would not stop talking about it - read more...