Signature Kerala

9 Days / 8 Nights

Signature Kerala
Signature Kerala

Explore the tropical state of Kerala, at the Malabar Coast. Referred as the “Spice Garden of India”, Kerala is a state with a beautiful variety of landscapes such as palm-lined beaches, thick jungles, plantation-covered hills and enthralling rivers and lakes. The National Geographic Traveler has quoted Kerala as India’s most verdant state with one of the world’s 50 “must see” destinations. “The god who made Kerala had a green thumb”, true to the popular Malayali saying, Kerala’s rich resources have long attracted visitors from across the oceans.

Saturday arrivals in Cochin, India - Year-round

Journey by private car featuring Cochin,  tea plantations of Munnar, Periyar Wildlife Santuary in Thekkady and the Kerala backwater canal system.

Itinerary

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  • Saturday - Day 1

    Arrive in Cochin, Gateway to Kerala

    Arrive at Cochin International Airport. Once you clear immigrations, collect your baggage and exit the customs area, you will be met by a Liberty India representative who will transfer you to hotel & will assist on check in.

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    Welcome to Cochin! Arrive at Cochin International Airport. Once you clear immigrations, collect your baggage and exit the customs area, you will be met by a Liberty India representative who will transfer you to the hotel and will assist on check in. Kochi (colonial name Cochin) - is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as God's Own Country; its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. This evening, we suggest you walk around the Fort Cochin area at sunset. This is when office goers will be making short stops to pick up fresh fish to take home for dinner and locals will enjoy the breeze off the harbor. Occasionally music and other cultural programs take place along River Road. There are many charming cafe's to enjoy.

  • Sunday - Day 2

    Discover Cochin

    In the morning, enjoy a tour of the city, visiting the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and St. Francis Church. Enjoy lunch at the charming “Cochin Fort” restaurant. In the evening, enjoy the Kathakali Dance Performance at a local theatre (b)

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    This morning, enjoy a tour of the city - Visit the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and renovated by the Dutch in 1663. Visit a Jewish Synagogue in Jew Town and Fort Cochin Area - Legend dates Jewish trade with Kerala from the times of King Solomon. Visit St. Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India. It has several antiquities including a wealth of records. These include a palm-leaf title deed the local Raja gave the Portuguese in 1503. See the Chinese Fishing Nets, along the tip of Fort Cochin unique to this part of Kerala and living symbols of a centuries-old Chinese influence on this coast. In the evening, enjoy the Kathakali Dance Performance at a local theater. Facial and hand gestures tell innumerable stories, so it is a good idea to watch the artists put on their make up for a show – an elaborate process as the colors are made from natural minerals and stone. (b)

  • Monday - Day 3

    Cochin / Munnar, the capital of Tea

    Today you will drive to Munnar and have spectacular views of the planted slopes – green carpet of tea. In the afternoon you will there is a tour of Munnar. Visit the Tea Plantation, Tea Museum and walk through the tea gardens while sampling the teas. (b)

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    Today we drive Munnar along winding roads which run through the dense forest and scenic hills. Till we come across the first stunning glimpses of the ribbed emerald - green carpet of tea planted slopes. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. Munnar (at 6,000 ft) is a green destination in the forested High Ranges of Kerala. The locals are dedicated to growing, harvesting, curing and selling the drink that cheers but does not inebriate. The vistas in and around it are breathtaking with the heady aromas of tea, coffee and cardamom wafting from the nearby plantations. In the afternoon enjoy the sightseeing tour of Munnar. You will take a visit to a Tea Plantation followed by the Tea Museum, showcasing various antiquities, historical photographs and machinery which are displayed and depict the milestones achieved by the tea estates of the region. Afterwards enjoy a short walk through a tea garden. Touch, feel and smell the tea bushes in its natural environment. (b)

  • Tuesday - Day 4

    Munnar / Thekkady

    Today you will visit Athulya, a handmade paper workshop which assists the physically and mentally challenged. Their philosophy is simple – Wealth from Waste. Afterward drive towards Thekkady for a Spice Plantation tour. in the evening enjoy a martial art show (b)

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    This morning we visit Athulya, a handmade paper workshop where a group of young, physically and mentally challenged adults works together. Created in 1999, the project was built on a simple premise – Wealth from Waste. They decided to recycle waste paper, cut boards and other stationery waste from all their estate offices. Living up to their motto of “we can and we will” these enthusiastic youngsters have proved that with hard work anything is possible. We then drive to Thekkady, the gateway to one of India’s largest wildlife sanctuaries. Later in the afternoon experience the Spice Plantation tour. This trip covers spice plantations such as cardamom, pepper, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more. Tonight we enjoy a show of the Kalaripayattu, a unique martial art of Kerala. (b)

  • Wednesday - Day 5

    Adventure in the Periyar Tiger Reserve (Thekkady)

    Enjoy a half day Bamboo Rafting and hiking tour at Periyar Tiger reserve. Afternoon at leisure. (b)

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    This morning enjoy a half day Bamboo Rafting tour at Periyar Tiger reserve. This is a unique program available in Thekkady. This eco-friendly program takes you to the thick forests on a trek and then to the catchments area of the Periyar Tiger Reserve on a bamboo raft. During this program you will have a panoramic view of the lake and forests, and are also provided with a rare opportunity of encountering wild animals and birds.(b)

  • Thursday - Day 6

    Thekkady / Kumarakom (Kerala Backwater System)

    Today you drive to Kumarakom. En route you will visit a Rubber Plantation on the way and enjoy a typical meal at the plantation hosted by the owners of the estate. Once in Kumarakom, spend the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the hotel amenities and the outstanding water views. (b)

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    Late morning you will drive towards Kumarakom. En route you stop to visit a local Rubber Plantation where you will have a simple typical Kerala meal at the plantation home, hosted by the owners of the estate. Then you continue on to Kumarakom, rated as one of the top 15 beautiful spots in the world by the National Geographic magazine. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on Vembanad Lake. The bird sanctuary here (14 acres) is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. The flocks of egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live here are fascinations for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is from a boat around the islands. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilities or to explore the back waters. (b)

  • Friday - Day 7

    Kumarakom

    Enjoy the day at leisure to choose from a variety of activities, such as hotel amenities, massage or visit the bird sanctuary. (b)

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    Today is a full day to spend at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilities, explore the backwaters or take in an Ayurvedic "Full Body Oil Massage". Early morning you may choose to take a visit to the Bird Sanctuary (Optional) on the eastern shore of Vembanad Lake which is accessed only by small boats. (b)

  • Saturday - Day 8

    Kumarakom / Houseboat cruise in the Backwaters

    Board your private Kettuvalyam (houseboat) for the next 24 hours to cruise the backwater of Kerala. Your meals are prepared for you onboard (b, l, d)

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    After breakfast check out and transfer to a jetty to board the Kettuvalyam (Houseboat) for the next 24 hrs. enjoy cruising on the backwater of Kerala with lunch and dinner on board. Cruise along the narrow canals stopping to visit farmers in their homes or perhaps visiting a bazaar or maybe have someone break a coconut for its sweet water for you en-route. This is a wonderful opportunity to view the local, simple people who live along the backwaters of Kerala.(b,l,d)

  • Sunday - Day 9

    Disembark your houseboat / Cochin / depart Kerala

    After breakfast, disembark from Kettuvalayam at Alleppey and transfer to Cochin airport to take your onward destination flight. (b)

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    After a delicious breakfast aboard your houseboat, disembark at Alleppey and meet your driver for your transfer to the airport in Cochin, where you board your homebound flight or continue to your next adventure in India. (b)

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