South India Journey

tours / Adventure

South India Journey information and booking

from
$1260
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    2-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Discovery & Cruising
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 8 day trip
  • 6 nights hotel
  • 1 night house boat
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking shoes and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Backwaters cruise
  • Overnight on a houseboat
  • Nature walks through the forest in Periyar National Park
  • Historic Cochin
  • Relax on the beach at Kovalam

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

No visit to India is complete without a sojourn in the south. Kerala is famous for its superior spices and fascinating trading port - Fort Kochi, its white sandy beaches lined with coconut palms, its giant fishing nets dotted along the beach at sunset, and of course the backwaters - an enchanting landscape of canals and rivers fed by the Western Ghat mountain range. We spend time wandering the bazaars of Fort Kochi with its many interesting antique stores, take day walks in the Periyar National Park, and observe traditional river life on a relaxing overnight backwaters cruise. To complete our journey we travel south to Kovalam beach where we enjoy the local seafood and a night by the beach.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in comfortable hotels on a twinshare basis
  • Backwaters cruise
  • All internal transport by private vehicle
  • Airport arrival transfers (day 1 only)
  • Expert billingual guide
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing listed in itinerary
  • Emergency medical kit

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Cochin
On arrival in Cochin you will be met and transferred to your charming hotel located within historic Fort Cochin for a two night stay. The rest of the afternoon is spent at your leisure.
Day 2 Cochin
Half day city tour of Cochin. The city was founded in 1341 following a flood which created a natural and safe harbour and quickly became the chief port on the Malabar Coast. From the 1400’s it attracted Jewish, Arab and Christian settlers from the Middle East as a result of the Royal Family’s move to the city from Muziris, 50 kms north. The Europeans began settling from 1500’s as the Portuguese, Dutch and English competed to control the port and the lucrative spice trade. The city has three distinctive regions – Ernakulam, the modern region to the East, and the older districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin located on a peninsula in the west. We are staying in the heart of the historic Fort Cochin, India’s Oldest Indo – European town.
Day 3 Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
This morning we drive to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in the Cardamom Hills region of the Western Ghats, the temperatures are cooler owing to the higher altitude of between 900-1800 meters. The sanctuary surrounds a vast artificial lake which was created by the British in 1895 to provide a water supply to the plains below.
Day 4 In Periyar
Early this morning we venture into the National Park - trekking across dense forest canopy to gain vantage points to locate wildlife as it comes to bask in sunlight along the shoreline of the Lake. Visitors can expect to see elephants, wild pig, gaur, stripe-necked mongoose and more than 200 species of birds including the Nilgiri wood pigeon. On rare occasions Tigers have been spotted. This afternoon we plan to take a Spice Garden tour followed by dinner at a Spice Garden.
Day 5 Backwaters cruise
After breakfast we head to Alleppey where we join our backwaters cruise boats. Backwaters or Kuttanad is a district in Kerala – an enchanting landscape of dyaks, canals, rivers and deltas fed by 3 major rivers that flow down from the Western Ghat mountain chain. The entire system depends on water and boat as the main means of transportation. The backwaters extend far into the countryside as deep or shallow canals or channels, and are navigated by ketuvallam or boats, ranging in size from one person ketuvallam to large open goods transporters. Like most waterways in India, life encroaches and daily activities such as washing are centered by such waterways. Coconut oil extraction is one of the main industries on the backwater. There will opportunities during the cruise to stop at village tea shops to sample the refreshing green coconut juice, or tea, and visit churches, sacred groves and market places. Overnight on houseboat.
Day 6 Transfer to Kovalam
After enjoying sunrise over the backwaters we continue cruising before disembarking at Boat Jetty. We transfer south to Trivandrum to reach Kovalam - Kerala’s premier beach where we can enjoy a seafood lunch and an afternoon swim.
Day 7 Kovalam
Day at leisure to explore or just relax at the beach.
Day 8 Transfer to Trivandrum or Cochin Airport
In Kovalam, trip concludes with a transfer to Cochin or Trivandrum for onward arrangements. Please note the drive from Kovalam to Cochin takes approximately 5 hours, so please bear this in mind when considering your return flight time.