India – Paradise Found – 12 Day North and South Kerala Tour

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Duration

12 Days 11 Nights

Region

South India, Kerala

Tour Type

Cultural Tour, Beach Holiday, Wildlife Tour, Nature Tour

Travel Style

Private & Group

Group Size

01 Pax onwards

About this tour

National Geographic featured Kerala as one of the 50 greatest places of a lifetime under their paradise found section, with very good reason!

The Southern state of Kerala stretches along the tropical Malabar Coast – famed for its palm-fringed golden sand beaches, its network of backwaters and canals and the spice, tea and coffee plantations of the Western Ghats. It is a gorgeous place to visit and is also home to tantalising cuisine, abundant native wildlife, birdlife and many other treats. This is an ideal tour which takes you from central to north and then south Kerala for you to experience the Gods own country in a more detailed manner and experience its various regions and its beauty.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:-

  • Cochin –Explore old town of Fort Kochi , Jewish Synagogue. Enjoy traditonal Kathakali Dance Performance
  • Periyar and Wayanad – Experience the wildlife, nature, spice cultivations of Kerala
  • Palakkad & Munnar – Staying in a traditional Kerala home and experience the village life. Explore the Tea country and see the rare and endangered “Nilgiri Tahr”
  • Alleppey – Enjoy cruising in the labyrinthine waterways in the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional “Kettuvallam” (Houseboat) and experience local village life
  • Kovalam – Relax at one of the most famous beach of Kerala
  • Cuisine: This tour is foodies delight, experience the intricacies of Keralan cuisine with cooking demo.

NOTE:- This is a Private Tour with your own private vehicle and personal guides and drivers. We can also book it for couple family or group of friends as per your request. Please raise a request for the same to us and we will revert to you. 

Itinerary

Your journey begins in the port city of Kochi, also known as Cochin. On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight in Kochi

Meals included: Dinner

Enjoy a tour in the morning and discover what an interesting mix and blend of cultures Kochi is home to.

Chinese, Judaism, Portuguese, Dutch and of course the British have all left their mark on this tropical port off the Malabar coast. It makes for a wonderful city to explore.Some of the main sights covered will be the Chinese fishing nets, the Vaniar Dhobi unit, the Dutch Palace*, the Paradesi Synagogue* (the oldest in India, built in 1568) and the vibrant spice markets, still going strong after hundreds of years. The quaint Old Dutch houses around Jew Town are now home to boutiques and antique shops.

Spend the afternoon at your leisure. In the evening see a Kathakali dance performance, the ancient pantomime dance drama of Kerala. Arrive a little early to see the performers getting ready for the night’s performance - a fascinating experience.

*Optional extra: This evening, rather than having the usual dinner, you can choose to partake in a cooking demonstration followed by dinner with a local culinary expert where you will learn the intricacies of cooking Keralan cuisine. The cost of this is AUD $50 per person.

*Please note: The Dutch Palace is closed on Saturdays and the Paradesi Synagogue is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. We recommend starting this tour any day of the week except for Thursdays and Fridays.

Overnight in Kochi

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

This morning you will be taken to the train station for your train to Kozhikhode.

Travel on the Jan Shatabdi Express in Air-Conditioned Chair Car Class. The train departs at 9:35am and arrives at 12:55pm where you will be met by your driver and driven to Wayanad (approximately 2 hours).

Wayanad is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Kerala. Located in the Western Ghats and set along the higher slopes of the Nilgiri Biosphere. The lush green forests, valleys and winding roads make it a truly wonderful place to visit. Spend the evening at your leisure relaxing or perhaps take a wander around the area at your own pace.

Overnight in Wayanad

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Wayanad is famous for its spice plantations and after breakfast you will be taken to visit a plantation. Wander through plantations of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, ginger and vanilla.Learn about the plants and what’s involved in cultivating and processing these spices.

In the late afternoon join a tour of the nearby wildlife sanctuary to spot wildlife - Asiatic elephants, Indian bison, deer, monkeys and more.

Depending on the amount of visitors to the sanctuary you may have a driver and a spotter or you may simply have a driver who doubles as a guide. Their English may not be fluent but this does not hinder their wildlife spotting skills.

Overnight in Wayanad

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel for the drive to Palakkad (around 5 hours). Enjoy the Keralan scenery along the way. On arrival in Palakkad you will be taken to Kandath Tharavad, your accommodation for the evening.

Kandath Tharavad is a traditionally built 200 year old house in a village on the outskirts of Palakkad. During your stay at this typical Keralan house, your host, Mr Bhagwaldas or Bugs will be there to welcome you and show you around. Enjoy walks around the village, see basket weaving, pottery, toddy tapping (making local coconut liquor - seasonal) and if time permits visit a local Kalari Martial Arts School.

For those feeling a little more adventurous there are bikes available at the homestay for you to use. Other activities for you to enjoy include Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation and dance classes. All these activities can be booked at your own expense with the homestay directly.

In the evening there is a cooking demonstration where you can learn about the intricacies of cooking Tharavad dishes - a Keralan cuisine native to this region.

Overnight in Palakkad

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

After a leisurely breakfast, you will be driven to the tea country of Munnar (approximately a 5 hour drive).

A hill station at a height of 1525 metres, Munnar offers incredible views of the surrounding hills covered in tea plantations.Surrounding the rolling hills are rich tropical forests filled with exotic flora & fauna.The quiet atmosphere and pleasant climate of Munnar make for a very welcoming stay.

Overnight in Munnar

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch or dinner

This morning visit a Tea Plantation and Tea Museum. Remember to have your camera ready as the views all around are quite something to behold!

Later in the afternoon visit Eravikulam National Park.

The park is home to the rare and endangered Nilgiri thar (a mountain goat), birds, butterflies and more.With great views of Anamudi Peak (the highest in South India) and the surrounding mountains and hills, visiting the park is a delight.

*Please note: The National Park is closed for around 30-40 days during the breeding period. This is usually between January and February but can extend into early March. For tours during this time of year, a visit to the local spice markets will be arranged.

Overnight in Munnar

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch or dinner

Drive down the hills of the Western Ghats (mountain range) for around 4 hours to the backwaters of Alleppey. Set on Vembanad Lake, this is one of Kerala’s most beautiful spots and where you board your Houseboat.

Enjoy cruising in the labyrinthine waterways and see local village life as it has been for years -fisherman casting their nets, children coming home from school by canoe, and ‘toddy tappers’ men who can scale the tallest coconut palms in order to extract the sap. A note on the houseboats or kettuvallam as they are called: These are traditional boats made out of wood, bamboo, coconut fibre, jute, coir etc. and have air-conditioned rooms with an ensuite toilet and shower.They are 1 - 4 bedrooms depending on the size of your group. Each boat has a kitchen where the cook prepares the meals, plus an open area with a dining table and sitting area with sofas and chairs.After you board the boat there is usually a short cruise before the boat is moored and lunch is served. After lunch continue cruising through the narrow canals. Around sunset the boat is moored again and dinner is prepared and then served. Overnight the boats stay moored in the same place to give you a restful night’s sleep.

In the morning after breakfast cruise back to where your car and driver will be waiting for you.

Overnight in Alleppey

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After a leisurely breakfast, cruise through the narrow backwater canals towards your boat jetty. Along the way, relax and watch the local villagers working in the rice fields, ferries plying their trade and local fisher folk fishing as you pass by.

Disembark your boat and drive for 5 hours to Kovalam, one of the most popular palm fringed beaches of Kerala.

Overnight in Kovalam

Meals included: Breakfast

Spend your day at leisure in Kovalam. You may like to enjoy some local Ayurvedic treatments, a stroll on the beach, a bicycle ride through the surrounding area or you may prefer to simply relax and delight in the pleasures of a day at the beach.

Overnight in Kovalam

Meals included: Breakfast

Spend the day as you wish enjoying the resort, the beach and the surrounds of Kovalam.

Overnight in Kovalam

Meals included: Breakfast

This morning you will be driven to Trivandrum (45 minute journey) and taken to the airport in time for your flight home or onto your next destination.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel Information

Included/Excluded

  • 11 nights' accommodation
  • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before 12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out FOC are subject to room availability at the discretion of hotel. Guaranteed early check-in and late check-out may generate additional charges .
  • 20 meals as per itinerary - 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 dinners.
  • All airport transfers - by private vehicle.
  • Assistance by rep/driver at the airport during International arrival and departure
  • All transportation throughout the tour in a private air-conditioned vehicle. The vehicle used will depend on the size of your group and will range from an air-conditioned car for groups of 2, a Toyota Innova for groups of 3, a minivan for groups of 4-10 people and for groups over 10 a coach will be used.
  • English speaking guides. Private or small group tour you will have a local guide in each location but for large group of 8 pax or more will have an accompanying guide/escort for the trip .
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
  • Free wi-fi available at the hotel lobby or room (as per availability in hotels).
  • Mineral water on tour days with our compliments.
  • Taxes and service fees.

  • International airfares to and from India.
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
  • Drinks for all meals.
  • Travel insurance. (Note: We strongly recommend that you carry Travel insurance from your country).
  • Indian visa.
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
  • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector before or during travel will be payable by the guest.
  • Any sudden increase in the entrance fee. The price is based on the presently applicable fee.
  • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
  • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

Booking Process & Information

Upon raising request for quote of your tour online, Travelbay will go through your request and will contact you with details regarding price, availability or any other details that you have requested. Our response is typically with-in 24 hrs . Once you give us a go ahead, we will request you to send us a booking advance and start holding accommodation and transportation for your tour.

As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation. 

We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as  dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport and the arrival and departure details.

India Facts

Capital City: New Delhi

Population: 1.366 billion

Languages: There is no national language in India. Hindi and English are both official languages. India has over 1,000 spoken languages. The languages with the most number of speakers are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil.

Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)

Time Zone: (GMT+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi

Dialling code: +91

Religion: Hinduism is the predominant followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikh, Buddhism and Jainism

India weather

The best time to visit India is from October through to March. At this time, the weather across India is mostly warm and dry.

India is a large country with a huge range of varying climates. Most of the country is sub tropical with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Below is a very general overview to give you some idea of what to expect.

North India

  • Winter (October to March): The weather in the winter time in North India makes it a pleasant time to travel. It is not too hot nor is it too cold – although in some of the more alpine places it can get chilly – take some warm layers.
  • Summer (April to July): Summers can be hot in North India, particularly in May, June and July. The highs can reach 40°C and the lows drop to around 27°C.
  • Monsoon (July to September): This is when the North sees the most rain.

South India:

  • Winter (October to February): The temperatures are cooler at this time of year on the coastal regions (23°C to 32°C). The areas in the hills can be much cooler (15°C to 21°C).
  • Summer (March to May): Summers can be hot and humid in the South but sea breezes bring down the temperature and it’s a great time to visit the hill stations and tea plantation areas.
  • Monsoon (June to September): The rains start in June and bring the temperatures down. The areas in the hills become misty and lush. The beaches in the South can get choppy.

How to get there

This tour starts and ends in Delhi.

Flights from Australia to India are approximately $900 – $1,200 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw!

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and we would be happy to provide you with a free quote.

If you choose to book your flights with Travelbay, we charge a $50 booking fee for this service.

Interesting facts on India

  • India, Pakistan and Bangladesh used to be one country. After British rule ended in 1947 these countries eventually became independent.
  • Delhi is the capital of India but Mumbai is the most populated with a population of over 20 million.
  • India prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy. In the 2009 election there were over 417 million voters.

Visa information

Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to India. You need to apply for and receive your visa before you depart.

You can apply for an e-visa online or you can apply for your visa via VSF Global who works in conjunction with the Indian embassy. For more information you can visit our visa information page.

To find out the visa requirements for India, you can also check here with Visalink.

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

Durations

Multi Day

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Private Tour Packages

Simple
Package:
USD 925 / person on Twin share
Standard
Package:
USD 995 / person on twin share
Superior
Package:
USD 1219 / person on twin share
Deluxe
Package:
USD 1539 / person on twin share
* Prices may vary depending on dates of travel
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Information Contact

Email

travelbay@gmail.com

Website

https://www.travelbay.com/

Phone

+919871383583

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