South India: Explore Kerala

National Geographic Journeys, Kochi to Vypīn Island

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Get a taste of the Indian tropics on a compact seven-day trip to India’s southwestern coast. Stroll Kerala’s beaches, paddle a canoe through its backwaters along quiet canals, explore southern palaces, and savour some of the country’s most incredible flavours. Venture into a part of India that’s truly off the beaten path amid the cool, luxuriant greens of this tropical paradise.

What’s included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Meet with a Local Spice Expert, Kochi Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Family Home Meal Experience, Alleppey Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program, Kumarakom
  • Arrival transfer
  • Walking tour of old Kochi
  • Kathakali cultural performance
  • Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace
  • Kumarakom canoe ride
  • Walking tour of the paddy fields and Chempu village
  • Houseboat day trip along the Kerala backwaters
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Learn the true meaning of relaxation on a houseboat cruising kerala's backwaters
  • Discover how fishermen's nets can be an attraction in their own right
  • Learn about spices with a local expert
  • Drool over delicious south indian cuisine with a cooking demonstration

Itinerary

Day 1 Kochi Arrive at any time and transfer to hotel. There are no planned activities, so check in and enjoy the city. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Kochi (1B) After breakfast, explore the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Visit the Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century, the St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and Santa Cruz Basilica, built by Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk through the fish market and the famous Chinese fishing net, believed to have been brought by traders from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the evening, attend the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala called "Kathakali," which combines literature, music, painting, acting, and dance. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Meet with a Local Spice Expert Kathakali Dance
Day 3 Kochi/Kumarakom (1B, 1D) Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace then continue to Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Enjoy a canoe paddle along the narrow canals and take a walking tour through the paddy fields and Chempu village. Included Activities: Tripunithura Hill Palace Visit Canoeing Walking Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 4 Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters (1B, 1L, 1D) This morning we travel to Allepey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals, where we board our private houseboat. You can sunbathe on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life take place along the water. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of water birds, palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants. Included Activities: Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Excursion Family Home Meal Experience Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Day 5 Kerala Backwaters/Vypīn Island (1B) This morning, meet with a representative of the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program to learn about the ongoing work by local communities to conserve the lake and surrounding wetlands. This project was created by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), an organization that the National Geographic has collaborated with on many conservation projects across India over the past decade. Continue by boat to a fish sanctuary established by traditional fishermen through the program. Meet with some of the fishermen and see firsthand how their traditional ways of collecting and processing clams are models for the management of lake resources. After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore. Included Activities: Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 6 Vypīn Island (1B) Free time on Vypīn Island.
Day 7 Vypīn Island (1B) Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist. Included Activities: Departure Day
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