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Cochin Private Tours

Kochi, formerly Cochin, is considered the Queen of the Arabian Sea as it was one of the first European settlements in India, due its ideal positioning for trading. Kochi has always been at the heart of the Indian spice trade.The Portuguese first colonised Kochi in the 16th century, before the city was conquered by the Dutch in the 17th century and the British in the 19th century. The city’s architecture has been shaped by its colonial rulers, yet today it remains a vibrant and busy commercial center with a multicultural atmosphere and a cosmopolitan heart. As well as showcasing Kerala’s traditional dance and martial art forms throughout the year, Cochin plays host to several annual celebrations, including the Cochin Carnival every December, and the colorful contemporary art festival, Kochi-Muziris Biennale.


  • Ayurveda
  • Heritage
  • Wine & Food


  • Fort Kochi Harbor
  • Matancherry & Pardesi Synagogue
  • St. Francis Church
  • Kochi-Muziris Biennale

When to Go

The best time to visit Cochin is in the winter months, between November to February, when you can enjoy pleasant temperatures throughout the day. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, inspired by the Venice Biennale, is also held during the winter months. Read more

Activities in Cochin

Highlights of Cochin

Cochin is an engaging city to explore, from the absorbing views of Fort Kochi harbor with its huge Chinese fishing nets, to ancient mosques, Portuguese architecture, and the crumbling remnants of the British Raj. Explore Mattancherry, where you can observe murals and antiquities at the Dutch Palace and Cemetery. Indulge your senses browsing traditional spice and antique markets. Encounter the fascinating 400 year old, fully-functioning Parsi Synagogue in the Jewish quarter. Visit the original grave of Vasco da Gama in St. Francis Church, used before his remains were returned to Portugal. Discover Hill Palace, the state’s largest archaeological museum, which is located in the regal and artistic suburbs of Tripunithura. (Half Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time)

New Year's Eve at the Cochin Carnival

Join the celebrations during the last week of December at Fort Kochi’s biggest gala, the Cochin Carnival. This is the ideal time of the year for participating in a fun filled affair with the pleasant evening breeze in your hair. The celebration is flagged off by The Ceremony of Peace at the War Memorial followed by the hoisting of the Carnival Flag at the Vasco da Gama Square. Enjoy the fiesta of street parades, music, folk dancing, colourful costumes and great food. Hundreds throng the streets to witness performances such as traditional Kathakali dance, Chinese lion dance or a fun tiger dance, while the sparkling city is draped in colorful Christmas lights. A rare treat is in store for you at the beach – the burning of a towering effigy modeled after an old man called Pappanji on New Year’s Eve. As the blazes on, bring in the new year with the friendly crowd. It’s a great way to start the year, especially as the warm-hearted people of Kerala are known to make enormous effort in making this event a grand success. (Best Time to Travel: 25th Dec – 1 Jan; Fixed time: 1800 to 2200 hrs; Shared Activity & No Transfer)

Dances of Kerala: A Cultural Evening

Discover the art and culture of Kerala. Spend an evening at the Greenix Village in Cochin where you can enjoy a special performance of some of Kerala’s most celebrated dance forms. Learn the complex rhythm and artistic skills of popular classical dance forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam, performed by trained dancers over a period of two hours. The most famous and popular of these is Kathakali – a harmonious blend of dance, drama, music, literature and painting. Observe the detailed make up, grand costumes and intricate gestures which characterize this art form. (Half Day, Evening Activity & Transfer; Duration: 2.5 hours, from 1700 hrs to 1930 hrs including observing performer’s makeup session)

Fort Kochi on Foot

Enjoy a stroll through Fort Kochi, on colonial streets lined with old buildings and rain trees, admiring contemporary street art on crumbling facades. Make your way to the Cheenavala – a row of Chinese fishing nets in use for over five centuries, overlooking the waters near Vasco da Gama square. Inextricably linked to Fort Kochi, the sight of the nets against the setting sun and the waters of the Arabian sea make for some unforgettable images. Observe the action at dusk or dawn as fishermen operate these fixed land installations made of bamboo and timber. Next up, visit St Francis Church, among the oldest European churches in India with architectural influences from the Portuguese. Step inside to view the wooden interiors and gabled timber roof, where famous explorer Vasco da Gama is buried. End your tour with a visit to Santa Cruz Basilica, with its two towering spires and white-washed exteriors, marveling at the Gothic style interiors, stained glass windows, and beautiful murals. (Half Day; Time: Mornings or Late afternoon; Duration: 3 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)

Cochin at Dawn Cycling Tour

Watch the city wake on this early morning cycle ride in Fort Kochi! Start your day by enjoying a steaming cup of tea with the locals. Go on to discover the history of this port city that, over the ages, has drawn traders from all around the world. Witness the influence of colonialism on local culture, and the impact that each colonial regime has left in its wake. Learn about the various communities that migrated to Fort Kochi over the years; home to over 15 different communities, Fort Kochi has provided a place for them to preserve their cultural identities while assimilating into the region by adopting local customs. Head to the local fish market to see one of the most important local trades firsthand. This is also your chance to learn about the lives of Kerala’s fishermen and how they support the veterans as a community. Last, but not least, get a firsthand glimpse into the nuances of the art of bargaining, one of the most prevalent customs in any Indian market! After a cycle ride that would have helped you work up an appetite, end your trip by polishing off a delicious local breakfast. (Half day, Time of Day: Morning, 0630 hrs, Duration: 3 hrs; Private Activity; Fitness Level: Moderate)

Kumbalanghi Village Visit

Discover a unique fisheries and tourism village near Kochi! The first of its kind, Kumbalanghi boasts a lush green landscape as well as its own unique culture and heritage. Set out from your hotel in the morning towards the village, which is just half an hour away from the city. At the village, your guide will take you to a coir yarn processing unit to witness how coconut fibre is separated from the husk and then used to create beautiful carpets. The village is home to several other cottage industries which include the making of fishing nets, clam meat processing and weaving together of coconut leaves. Once you’ve seen how the nets are made, discover how these are cast by the local fishermen. Watch the ladies of the village as they move in a line and catch fish from the backwaters. End your tour on a leisurely note with a ride in a wooden country boat, while you watch the fishermen at work. (Half Day, Private Activity & Transfer, Time of Activity: Morning is preferable, Travel time to activity: 30 mins, Duration: 5 hrs, Fitness level: Easy, Luch included. Please bring sturdy walking boots.)

Houseboat Cruise in Alleppey

Enjoy a unique experience with a half-day houseboat cruise on the famous backwaters of Kerala. Take in the tranquility of the greenery surrounding you, and see the life of the locals as it is on the backwaters as you gently cruise by.

Dhobi Khana Discovered

An intrinsic part of life at Fort Kochi in the 1970s, the ‘dhobi khana’ is now near extinction, presenting a shadow of its former self. Yet, nestled in a corner of Veli maidan in Fort Kochi, a group of washer-folk continue to practice this traditional way of washing clothes in concrete water tubs lined in rows – pressing them and then delivering them home. This washing community was formed during the British rule, where nomadic washer-men were brought in from various Tamil Nadu villages to do their laundry. The same work was passed down generations and thus the ‘Dhobi Khana/Ghat’ came about. Armed with a local expert, spend time exploring the pleasant surrounds, interacting with locals and discovering a nearly lost way of life. Also visit a ‘Halwa Center’, where sweet treats like Kerala’s famous banana chips and jackfruit, yam, tapioca chips, are made.

Culinary Traditions of Cochin

Discover Cochin through its culinary traditions. Your experience begins with a visit a local village, set in the picturesque backwaters by boat. Learn about the extensive network of backwaters which played an important role in the age old spice trade and form the lifeline of the region. Buy local fish from the daily catch, sourced from the nearby estuaries and understand what makes them taste so distinctive. Cook traditional seafood dishes along with a local family, as you understand the age old cooking traditions and the importance of spices in their cuisine. End your culinary journey as you share your meal with your host. (Half Day; Time: Morning; Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity; Meal included: Lunch; Fitness level: Easy)

Brunton Harbor Cruise

Discover the beauty of Cochin’s serene waterways while watching the sunset from your boat. Punted by two boatmen equipped with long bamboo poles, your boat glides silently across the water as flocks of teals and other migratory and other resident birds return to their lakeside roots in such thick formations they cloud the evening sky. (Please note that this activity is only available for guests staying at Brunton Boatyard.)

Places to Stay

Enchanting Travels - India Tours - Brunton Boatyard - Exterior view
Brunton Boatyard

Style: Boutique

The magical appeal of the Brunton Boatyard lies in its unparalleled dominance of the waterfront at Fort Kochi.

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Casino Hotel

Style: International

Casino Hotel, on the historic Willingdon island of Kochi, is conveniently located near popular landmarks such as Fort Kochi and only a ten minute drive from the city center.

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Pool, Courtyard by Marriott, Cochin, Kerala, India, Asia
Courtyard by Marriott

Style: International

Courtyard By Marriott Kochi Airport, is conveniently located within a 5-min drive from Kochi Intl Airport, close to the CIAL Golf Course Ernakulam and just 21kms from the city center and its attractions.

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Enchanting Travels - South India Tours - Cochin -Eighth Bastion - dining
Eighth Bastion

Style: Boutique

Legendary tales claim there were 7 bastions in Fort Kochi built by the Portuguese and strengthened by the Dutch.

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Outside view of Hotel Forte Kochi, Cochin, Kerala, India, Asia
Hotel Forte Kochi

Style: Boutique

Forte Kochi, set in the city of Kochi, is boutique property that takes you back in time. Situated on Princess Street – an hour from the airport – it was built by the Portuguese but also flaunts French and British influences.

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Enchanting Travels South India Tours - Cochin - Malabar House - exterior
Malabar House

Style: Boutique

The Malabar House is a slice of heaven with its old temple carvings, turquoise and white walls, 'Eden' like courtyard, vanilla creepers and a petal-sprinkled plunge pool.

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Pool, Old Harbour, Cochin, Kerala, South India, Asia
Old Harbour

Style: Boutique

Old Harbour Hotel is a colonial property near Mahatma Gandhi Beach in Cochin. Designed by restoration specialist Karl Damschen, the…

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Enchanting Travels India Tours Cochin Hotels Taj Malabar Resort & Spa _Poolside by Evening
Taj Malabar Resort & Spa

Style: International

Taj Malabar Resort & Spa is an elegant waterfront property, a 15-minute drive from the heart of the city, located…

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Room at Tea Bungalow in Cochin, South India, India
Tea Bungalow

Style: Boutique

Tea Bungalow is a boutique heritage hotel located near Cochin’s famous Fort Kochi. Stay in one of ten unique en…

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Hall, The Francis Residence, Cochin, Kerala, South India, Asia
The Francis Residence

Style: Guest house

The Francis Residence Fort Cochin is nestled amid historic architecture and flanked by the azure Arabian Sea, in the heritage…

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Exterior view of The Poovath Heritage in Cochin, South India
The Poovath Heritage

Style: Boutique

Poovath Heritage is a boutique hotel located in Fort Kochi, also known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. The…

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Pool at hotel Xandari Harbour in Cochin, South India
Xandari Harbour

Style: Boutique

Xandari Harbour Fort Kochi is a beautifully restored property on the waterfront of Fort Kochi’s vibrant spice trading district of…

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