Fascinating Kerala

Kochi/Cochin - Munnar - Kovalam

6-Days / 5-Nights

Any Saturday from now to 31 March 2021

Incredible India is more than a country – it’s a multicultural subcontinent with dozens of languages and religions. And nowhere is this diversity more evident than in the exotic south. With the Arabian Sea to the west, the Western Ghats towering in the east and networked by 44 rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features and an equable climate. With tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife, Kerala is a destination that will capture your heart.

Kochi: Visits to the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, the synagogue, St Francis’s Church and Santa Cruz Basilica as well as the famous Chinese fishing nets Kochi: Hire a bike and go for a ride in Fort Kochi area just before sunset – the place is abuzz and the colours are incredible

Munnar: Visit a tea museum and plantations in this picturesque hill station in the heart of Kerala's tea country Enjoy an evening walk in the local bazaar and try some locally produced homemade chocolates

Backwaters Cruise: Sail on a traditional houseboat and see a side to India that visitors long to experience on this optional excursion

With an Accompanying English Speaking Guide

Tour start on Saturdays. Custom tours can be arranged. Guides in all major common languages available. Other destinations can be added.


ITINERARY
Map of Area (https://goo.gl/maps/QkhmL6PkLvqGntoC9)
shows where we will be going. All routes shown are by road. Longer distances will be by air. Zoom in and out for change of details.

SATURDAY, DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN KOCHI
Spiritual Journeys representative will meet and greet you as you arrive at Kochi International Airport, followed by an escorted transfer to your hotel. Kochi, which was formerly known as Cochin, is one of the most culturally diverse cities in India, with ancient Christian and Jewish communities as well as more traditional Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist ones. Its colonial past has also bequeathed a heritage that features Portuguese, Dutch and British culture and architecture.
In the afternoon, walk through the historic districts of the town. Our walking tour will take us to Jew Town; Mattancherry Palace, known locally as the Dutch Palace (Closed on Fridays); Fort Kochi, reminiscent of European streets and houses; Chinese Fishing Nets on the northern shore of Fort Kochi; and St Francis Church, near a typical English village green. Enjoy some time observing the fishermen working the nets as the sun sets. In the evening, you will be taken for one-hour Kathakali dance show - the ancient and intriguing dance form of Kerala. Overnight: Kochi.


SUNDAY, DAY 2 | KOCHI – MUNNAR (BY ROAD)
After a quick visit to Jew Town to see the Pardesi Synagogue (which is closed on Fridays and Saturdays), we drive inland to Munnar (5 ½ hrs), which is 1,600 metres above sea level in the Western Ghats Mountains. Pass lush and verdant landscapes, which become progressively more beautiful the higher you climb. On the way, stop at Athirapally Waterfalls, one of the most impressive waterfalls in India. These magnificent falls on the River Chalakudy are located at the entrance to Sholayar hill range. This waterfall drops from a height of 25 m (80 ft) and is the biggest waterfall in Kerala. In monsoon season, the water rises gaining power, and the streams join together to lend the falls the nickname of ‘The Niagara of India’. Admire spectacular views of the Sholayar hills and a unique view of the waterfalls from the viewpoint.
Continue to Munnar, with the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore the small market of this quaint little hill station. Also worth a visit are the street food kiosks, very popular among the locals. Overnight: Munnar.


MONDAY, DAY 3 | IN MUNNAR
Spend the day on a sightseeing tour of Munnar. Nowadays, Munnar is all about the tea industry but its development dates from its days as the cool summer retreat of British administrators in Kerala, and English country cottages are dotted around Munnar town and its hinterlands. The surrounding area features rolling hills of virgin forests, scenic valleys, mountain streams, splashy waterfalls and sprawling tea plantations, which seem to go on forever into the horizon. Visit the informative Tea Museum in the Nallathanni Estate to learn more about the process of tea making. The museum has exhibits such as old machinery used for tea production as well as intriguing photographs relating the history of the local industry. A documentary screening also informs about Munnar’s tea heritage and how it went from being a rainforest as recently as the 1880s to one of the world’s prime tea producing areas.
Visit the CSI Church of Christ. Built by the British in 1910, the church boasts unique architecture. Built on a rocky outcrop, it displays some lovely stained glass and commemorative brass plaques. The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax at the resort or stroll through the quiet pathways crisscrossing the endless tea plantations. Overnight: Munnar.


TUESDAY, DAY 4 | MUNNAR – KUMARAKOM (BY ROAD)
After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Kumarakom (4 ½ hrs) on the eastern shore of Lake Vembanad, with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along banks that weave an intricate and beautiful web. Kumarakom is a stunningly beautiful cluster of backwater fishing villages set against the backdrop of Lake Vembanad. Also, spread across 14 acres, the local bird sanctuary here is a birder’s paradise. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom is truly one of the gems of Kerala, offering exotic sights of flora and fauna, boat cruises, and fishing experiences. Overnight: Kumarakom.

Optional spice plantation tour (not included). A fascinating and informative visit to spice plantations and the smaller spice gardens. The owners pride themselves on their adaptation of organic farming methods. The visit enables you to get a deeper understanding on how the spices, used in everyday cooking throughout the world, are grown, harvested and processed before finally finding their way to the local supermarket. A must for foodies.


WEDNESDAY, DAY 5 | KUMARAKOM
Head to Alleppey to board a houseboat for a scenic and leisurely cruise through the famed backwaters. The houseboats are adaptations of kettuvallams boats, used for generations to transport rice and spices. Only natural materials are used and not a single nail should have to hold the boat together. Sail through the intricate labyrinth of backwaters, canals and brooks, which crisscross paddy fields, marshlands and lagoons. The serene natural beauty and simple charm of the backwaters surprises at every turn. This is the Kerala countryside at its best. As your boat journey comes to an end, disembark at Alleppey and transfer back to your hotel in Kumarakom. Enjoy rest of day at leisure to enjoy facilities at the hotel. Overnight: Kumarakom.

THURSDAY, DAY 6 | KUMARAKOM – DEPARTURE KOCHI (BY ROAD)
Depart Kumarakom after breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the Kochi Airport (1 ½ hrs) allowing you to catch your onward flight.

~ ~ End of services offered by Spiritual Journeys, Inc. ~ ~

 

HOTELS ENVISAGED, OR EQUIVALENT:

City
Day
Standard Hotel Superior Hotel
Kochi/Cochin
1
Starlit Suites Crowne Plaza Hotel
Munnar
2-3
Silver Tips Hotel Fragrant Nature Resort
Kumarakom
4-5
Lakesong Resort Vasundhara Sarovar Portico

 

COSTS: US $ per person with MINIMUM two people, all arriving, traveling and departing together.

Departue Period
Hotel Category
Twin/Double
Single
Now till 30 Sep 2020
Standard
420.00
620.00
Superior
575.00
940.00
1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021
Standard
505.00
760.00
Superior
675.00
1,130.00

 

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
• Accommodation as per above itinerary in twin share/double rooms with daily breakfast
• Tours and transfers as specified including entry fees, on a private basis in an air-conditioned vehicle
• The services of an accompanying English speaking guide
• Current applicable VAT Government tax and services charge
• Meeting and assistance upon arrival/ departure by Spiritual Journeys English speaking representative
• All transfers between airport and hotel and all sightseeing in a private air conditioned vehicle
• Visits, excursions and transfers as per the program
• Entrance to the site as per the itinerary (subject to change without prior notice)

TOUR PRICES EXCLUDES:
• International airfares and taxes, unless otherwise specified
• Visa expenses, processing and issuance fees
• Meals other than specified as included
• Travel Insurance or expenses of a personal nature (mini-bar, phone call, laundry, etc.),
• Tips or gratuities to guides/drivers/porters / hotel, restaurant or boat staff, etc.
• Drinks or personal expenses or entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities
• Hotel early check- in and late check-out
• Optional tour

Registration:  Please use our Registration Form to register, and pay either the deposit or your payment by going to our secure system at Pay Now.

Additional Information: Please e-mail Deepak Singh or telephone Deepak Singh at +1-508-358-4267.