Exploring the Gems of Kerala: Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Alleppey, and Kovalam
Welcome to the enchanting state of Kerala, also known as “God’s Own Country,” where nature’s beauty unfolds in all its glory. This 11-night and 12-day journey will take you through the vibrant city of Cochin, the picturesque hill station of Munnar, the wildlife haven of Thekkady, the serene backwaters of Kumarakom and Alleppey, and the sun-kissed beaches of Kovalam. Get ready for an unforgettable experience filled with cultural richness, natural wonders, and rejuvenation.
Day 1: Arrive in Cochin
Your adventure begins as you arrive at Cochin International Airport. Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a captivating city located on the southwest coast of the Indian peninsula. It has a rich history and is often referred to as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea.” Upon arrival, you will be warmly greeted by a Castle and King India executive, who will assist you with your transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Exploring Cochin’s Cultural Heritage
After a leisurely breakfast, embark on a sightseeing tour of Cochin. Start with a visit to the famous Synagogue, located in the charming area known as “Jew Town.” Immerse yourself in the history and culture of this vibrant city as you stroll through the narrow lanes filled with spice shops and antique stores. Next, visit the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, a magnificent palace built by the Portuguese and gifted to the Maharaja of Cochin in 1568. Marvel at the exquisite murals and artifacts that depict the history of the region.
Continue your exploration with a visit to St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. This historic church, built by the Portuguese in 1503, is renowned for its architectural beauty and serene ambiance. Afterward, head to Santa Cruz Cathedral and take a leisurely walk along the beach, where you can witness the fascinating Chinese fishing nets in action.
In the evening, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Kerala with a mesmerizing Kathakalli Dance Performance. Kathakalli is a traditional dance form that originated in Kerala and tells stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics. Admire the elaborate costumes, intricate makeup, and graceful movements of the dancers.
Day 3: Journey to Magical Munnar
After a delightful breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Munnar, a picturesque hill station situated at the confluence of three mountain streams. As you wind through the breathtaking landscapes, you’ll be captivated by the sprawling tea plantations, charming towns, and winding lanes that make Munnar a popular destination. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Take a stroll through the tea gardens, capturing the beauty of this idyllic paradise.
Day 4: Unveiling the Beauty of Munnar
Start your day with a hearty breakfast and get ready to explore the wonders of Munnar. Begin with a visit to Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Marvel at the lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic views of the surrounding hills. Next, visit Anaimudi Peak, the highest peak in South India, offering breathtaking vistas of the Western Ghats.
Continue your journey with a visit to the Tata Tea Museum, where you can learn about the rich history of tea cultivation in Munnar. Immerse yourself in the aroma of freshly brewed tea as you explore the museum’s exhibits. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Historical Church, International Blossom Park, and the Headworks Dam, which add to the charm of Munnar.
For those seeking adventure, opt for a thrilling bicycle tour and pedal through the scenic landscapes, capturing the beauty of the hills and tea estates. Immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility as you cycle through this picturesque region.
Day 5: From Munnar to the Wilderness of Thekkady
After a leisurely breakfast, depart from Munnar and embark on a scenic drive to Thekkady. Known for its well-preserved wildlife, Thekkady is home to the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Upon reaching Thekkady, check-in at Spice Village Thekkady and prepare to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.
Explore the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best-maintained wildlife sanctuaries in Southern India. Embark on a boat ride through the sanctuary, where you have the opportunity to spot elephants, leopards, tigers, and bison, among other fascinating species of flora and fauna. Enjoy the unique experience of cruising on the tranquil lake, surrounded by the beautiful wilderness. Take a jungle walk and feel the thrill of being in close proximity to the wild animals that call this sanctuary their home.
Day 6: Thekkady’s Wildlife Thrills and Kumarakom’s Tranquility
After a delicious breakfast, immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Thekkady. Enjoy a boat ride in the wildlife sanctuary, where you can witness the beauty of the surrounding flora and fauna. Feel the serenity of the place as you cruise along the pristine lake, surrounded by the lush greenery of the Western Ghats.
Afterward, bid farewell to Thekkady and embark on a journey to Kumarakom. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel and prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the backwaters. Kumarakom is a part of Kerala’s rice bowl, known as the Kuttanad region. Here, you can experience the magical backwater cruises that offer a glimpse into the rural countryside. Marvel at the vast paddy fields, expansive mangrove forests, and rows of palm trees lining the shores. This little village is a paradise untouched by time.
Indulge in a rejuvenating Ayurveda treatment to soothe your mind, body, and soul. Allow the healing properties of Ayurvedic herbs and oils to revitalize your senses and bring balance to your being.
Day 7: Relaxation and Rejuvenation in Kumarakom
After a nourishing breakfast, take the day to relax and unwind in Kumarakom. Enjoy the tranquil surroundings of your resort or indulge in additional Ayurvedic treatments, such as massages and spa therapies. Immerse yourself in the goodness of Ayurveda as expert therapists pamper you with their healing touch.
Day 8: Cruising the Backwaters of Alleppey on a Houseboat
After a scrumptious breakfast, embark on a memorable overnight houseboat journey through the famous backwaters of Alleppey. The backwaters of Kerala are a serene and enchanting world, consisting of a vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers, and canals. Experience the tranquility of this unique ecosystem as you cruise along the emerald waters.
Your houseboat journey begins in Pallathurathy and takes you to Kannjipadam, a picturesque land known for its coconut palm plantations, paddy fields, and scenic backwaters. Enjoy a delicious lunch on board as you soak in the beauty of the surroundings. Cruise via Thottapally towards Thakazhi, where you will anchor the houseboat. Take a village walk and explore the local culture and heritage. Return to the houseboat for a delightful dinner and a peaceful overnight stay.
Day 9: From the Backwaters to the Beaches of Kovalam
After a delightful breakfast on the houseboat, disembark and embark on a scenic drive to Kovalam. As you traverse the green coastal belt and cashew plantations, get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Kovalam’s sun-kissed beaches. Take a leisurely walk along the beach, feeling the soft sand beneath your feet and reveling in the embrace of the Arabian Sea. The shimmering silver sands, fringed by lush palm groves, offer a mesmerizing view of the eternal sea and stunning sunsets.
Day 10: Relax and Rejuvenate in Kovalam
After a refreshing breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure. Spend your time relaxing by the beach, soaking up the sun, or taking a dip in the azure waters. If you seek ultimate relaxation, indulge in the goodness of Ayurveda with a herbal oil massage or other rejuvenating treatments. Let the therapeutic touch of Ayurveda heal and revitalize your body and mind.
Day 11: Blissful Moments in Kovalam
After a leisurely breakfast, savor another day of relaxation in the serene surroundings of Kovalam. Whether you choose to unwind by the beach, take a refreshing swim, or enjoy the facilities of your hotel, let the tranquility of Kovalam rejuvenate your senses. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and serenity of this coastal paradise.
Day 12: Departure from Trivandrum
After a delicious breakfast, bid farewell to the beautiful land of Kerala. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure before being transferred to Trivandrum International Airport for your onward journey. Take with you sweet memories of your remarkable journey through the gems of Kerala, courtesy of Castle & King Team.
Note: Please allow a minimum of 2 ½ hours for flight check-in formalities at the airport.
Experience the Beauty of Kerala with Castle and King
Embark on a journey of a lifetime and discover the hidden treasures of Kerala with Castle and King. Our expert team will ensure that your trip is filled with unforgettable experiences, comfort, and personalized service. From the vibrant city of Cochin to the tranquil backwaters of Alleppey and the serene beaches of Kovalam, let us guide you through the wonders of “God’s Own Country.” Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation.