The tour is designed to present the world famous serene destinations of Kerala also known as the God’s Own Country”. They are the places that anyone first time in India must visit as it gives an introduction at a very soothing place with one of the most tourist friendly states of India. It is bereft of the most of the hustle associated with tourist destinations of North India. It includes Cochin, the commercial Capital of Kerala, Thekkady which is home to spectacular natural wildlife of India and Kovalam- the beach retreat of India.
Major Attractions: Relaxed, Harmonious Itinerary: This tour is a perfect combination of the best of Kerala with the Cultural highpoints of the Kathakali the very rich and expressive art form, St. Francis Church, the oldest European built Church in India.
Sylvan Thekkady: It offers the opportunity to explore the sylvan serene environs of the Thekkady with a safari on Elephant back, a Spice Plantation tour.
Cruise on Backwaters: It includes an overnight Cruise along the famous backwaters of Kerala.
Beaches: Wind up the tour on relaxing Beaches of Kovalam.
Tour Style: Leisure – Cultural –Wildlife
What to Expect?
This tour is designed for those on their first interactions with India. This is not a demanding tour; it is a relaxing itinerary with lots to see. Driving time is kept to minimum and the roads are generally pretty good, but local traffic and/or road damage can sometimes slow you down. These times then are for wonderful discoveries. It gives time to walk down the beautiful beaches during free time and stepping out in the cities for a good walk and some urban exploration on your own.
It is a brief introduction with mid range comfortable accommodation, personal vehicle and modest prices.
Welcome to India: Welcome aboard! You are welcomed & picked up by our executive from the main exit of the Cochin airport and transferred to the hotel in your private car (Our executive will be waiting outside the exit gate with a placard of your name). We will have a welcome briefing covering the various aspects of the tour (ensuring that you have the best of the Indian holiday) and you will be handed over the India travel kit containing all relevant documents of your trip (air/rail tickets, hotel vouchers, transport, guide, sightseeing vouchers, writing pads with other travel related documents).
Cochin, the 'Queen of Arabian Sea' has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The ancient churches, palaces and synagogue in this city are sought after by archaeologists and historians. Evening, go for motorboat cruise to watch the sunset and the Chinese fishing nets. Stay overnight at Cochin.
Stay overnight at Hotel. [B] Note:The normal check in - check out time of the hotels are 1200 hours and if your arrival time does not suit this we can arrange activities for you on the first day or pre-book the hotel from the previous night on additional charge and as per your request.
After breakfast, go for half-day sightseeing tour of Cochin covering the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and was presented to the Raja of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill. The Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) was originally constructed in 1568, but was destroyed by Portuguese in 1662. This was rebuilt two years later when the Dutch took over Cochin. The St. Francis Church, said to be India's oldest European-built church was constructed in 1503. Having died in Cochin in 1524, Vasco da Gama was buried here for 14 years before his remains were taken to Lisbon. The afternoon is at leisure.
Evening: Drive to the Cultural Centre where you can enjoy the Kathakali dance show.
After breakfast, drive to Thekkady, the land of unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. It has the famous wildlife sanctuary in South India, which is also a Tiger Reserve. On arrival, check into the hotel for 02 nights stay. Afternoon, visit the spice plantations and Kumily town.
Morning, visit the spice plantations on an Elephant back. Evening, you can enjoy boating through Lake Periyar to watch the wildlife. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can view wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat.
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom where you will check into a backwater resort. Rest of the day at leisure for own activities. You can opt for an Ayurvedic Full Body Massage at the resort. Stay overnight at Kumarakom. [B]
Morning, you can opt to visit the nearby Bird Sanctuary. Check out from the hotel and drive to Alleppey. Around 1230 hrs, check into a Houseboat for an overnight cruise. Alleppey has large networks of canals and is the centre for backwater cruises in the state. During the cruise, you can stop for a short walk through the nearby villages and enjoy local life. Meals will be served on board.
Arrive at Alleppey around 0930 hrs after a relaxing breakfast on board and proceed to Kovalam. En route, visit the attractions in Trivandrum city. Trivandrum is built over seven hills and is known as the 'City of the Sacred Serpent'. The Padmanabha Swamy Temple is the landmark of the city. The main other attractions of this city are the Puthen Maliga Museum (Horse Palace), Napier Museum, and Sree Chitra Art Gallery (All monuments closed on Mondays). Later, proceed to Kovalam and check into a beach hotelfor0l night.
Morning at leisure. Later, transfer to Trivandrum Airport for your flight back home. [B]
Accommodation* on Twin occupancy including breakfast at the following Hotels or SIMILAR ENVISAGED :
01 / 03
03 / 05
Abad Green Forest
Jungle Lodge Rooms
05 / 06
Abad Whispering Palms
06 / 07
07 / 08
*Subject to availability at the time of booking
Abad Atrium Hotel is a DELUXE HOTEL located in downtown Cochin area close to the Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town Railway Station (2 Kms.) and on direct road to the Airport (30 Kms.) The elegantly appointed guest rooms surround a central atrium with capsule lift giving the ambience of a garden hotel.
AbadGreenForest is located at Kumily (Thekkady), Green Forest is a 4 Hours drive from Kochi. Located close to the wild life reserve.
Abad Whispering Palms is located at Kumarakom the most exotic resort destination in Kerala right on the bank of the Vembanadu Lake in natural back water surroundings. Situated amidst natural backwater setting, it is a place where you can relax and bask in the luxury of tranquility. Well- designed accommodation including Bamboo Pool Villa/Cottage with private pool, Lagoon/ Garden Facing Cottages, and ,Suite Room in tranquil, serene landscaped setting to guarantee rejuvenation. The hotel is 70 kms from Cochin International Airport and 16 kms from Kottayam, just an hours speed boat drive or 90 minutes by road from Cochin.
Deluxe A/c Houseboat: Venice of the East, Alleppey with its rich heritage is the nerve centre of backwater tourism and the place of luxury boats. These Houseboats or Kettuvalloms are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from the isolated interior villages to the towns. With the advent of roads, bridges and ferry services, gradually the Kettuvalloms went off the scene. Now these kettuvalloms are back again as a major tourist attraction. A ride on a Kettuvallom is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.
A kerala houseboats is about 67 to 100 feet in length and has a width of around 13 to 18 feet in the middle. The materials that go into the making are all local and Eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjili". The house boats have fully furnished single, double and triple bed rooms with sundeck, comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet with Air conditionning. In addition there is also separate rest room for the crew. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The crew includes a chef and two oarsmen. The cuisine is traditional Kerala flavor with the local specialties; delicious fish and prawns. There are single bedroom houseboats for two people and two bedroom houseboats for four people and three bedroom houseboats for 6 people.
Abad Harmonia, located at Chowara, 6-km south of Vizhinjam , Kovalam Offers tastefully designed cottages and rooms which exudes warmth of its own. Here the simple slice of nature extends to form a harmonic whole. With its exotic tropical beauty and tranquil hospitality, this getaway is the perfect place to enjoy relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul. Abad Harmonia Beach Resort has 23 well maintained superior rooms and 11 cottages, with fabulous private balcony.This resort is also an ideal venue for conferences also. The resort is 25 kms from Trivandrum International Airport, Railway station and Central Bus Station.
CochinCochin is a beautiful town of tiled bungalows and antique warehouses. The city, founded in 1341 A.D. is divided into three distinct districts: the modern Ernakulam, the atmospheric Fort Cochin, and Mattancherry. The old-fashioned cobble stone streets of Fort Cochin lead to spice bazaars, ancient mansions, and charming Chinese fishing nets. The public walk way, near the jetty is dotted with eateries and shops selling antiques.
Thekkady is an ideal place to watch wildlife at close quarters. The picturesque Periyar wildlife sanctuary consists of lush forests, aromatic spice plantations, and rolling coffee slopes. The landscape is peppered with hills and offers beautiful routes for treks. Tigers, Deer, Asiatic wild Elephants, and the distinctive Nilgiri Langur are found here.
Alappuzha is also known for its spectacular snake - boat races held on the second Saturday of August, every year. This competition - the Nehru boat race takes its name from India&39s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated in 1952. It is excitement all around as snake - boats, each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind.
The boat cruise along the backwaters of Alappuzha give one first hand experience of the life style; toddy tapping, fishing for small fry, Coir-making, prawn farming etc., which remains more or less unchanged over the years. The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 kms, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alappuzha which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride.
A glide in a "Kettuvallam" (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alappuzha is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either sides of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this unique land. The sparkling water and the caressing cool wind is a temptation too strong to resist. Country boats of various types crisscross the path.
Kovalam Unspoilt and miraculously unexplored, Kovalam & Poovar are enveloped by serene backwaters and alleyways leading to coconut groves. Besides a plethora of eating options, you can shop for beautiful silver jewellery, fabrics, and Indian handicrafts. Sunbathe on the beach, laze around, and row to a neighboring fishing village. Opt for a relaxing Ayurvedic massage and revitalize your senses.
Price and Inclusions
Tour Cost for the above Programme Per person tour cost on twin sharing basis
Per Person cost (Valid from 01st April 2011 to 30th September 2011 only)Note: Above cost includes all taxes
Per Person Cost Single Room Supplement 02 Persons travelling together (Using AC Indigo) USD 862 USD 400
02 Persons travelling together (Using AC Innova) USD 886 USD 400
03 Persons travelling together (Using AC Innova) USD 795 USD 400
03 Persons travelling together (Using AC Tempo Traveler) USD 779 USD 400
04-06 Personal travelling together (Using AC Tempo Traveler) USD 705 USD 400
Rates include following specific services
Rate does not include
Accommodation on Twin Occupancy basis along with the breakfast, inclusive of all presently applicable taxes that are subject to change. Check-in / checkout time is 1200 noon. Three Meals included in the Houseboat.
Transport using all transfers / sight seeing is envisaged using air-conditioned Car along with transfer of baggage in same vehicle. The rate would include the toll taxes, parking, and night charges.
Representative assistance at I airport for arrival and Departure.
Guide: English – speaking local guides at all the places of interest to visit sights as mentioned in the itinerary.
Kathakali Dance Show in Cochin.
Spice Plantation Visit at Thekkady.
Elephant Safari of 30 Minutes in Thekkady.
Entrances fees to the monuments as shown in the itinerary.
Domestic & International Air or Train Fare.
Airport tax payable on final departure, which is mostly included in the International tickets.
Personal expenses such as room service/ laundry/ phone calls / mini bar & porter charges. These are to be settled directly by the occupant of the room at the time of check-out. Also does not include table drinks, tips etc.
Room for immediate occupancy on the day of Arrival or late checkout on day of departure.