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Travel Dates: October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022
Book this vacation by March 31, 2021, and save up to 20% of your trip price.

Discover the diversity of South India’s lush green landscapes, backwaters, and beaches on this custom Kerala vacation. Not just heritage cities such as Cochin and Madurai with its famous Meenakshi Temple, also visit the rolling hills and tea plantations of Munnar and Thekkady, nestled in the verdant Western Ghats. With tranquil stays planned on a houseboat in Kerala’s Backwaters and at pristine Mararikulam beach, there’s plenty of time for rest and relaxation too!

You can customize this vacation to include more hidden gems and experiences. Just get in touch with us and start planning your custom vacation.

This offer is not valid for travel between December 20, 2021, and January 5, 2022. 


Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 3CochinFort Kochi Harbor, Matancherry & Pardesi Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Kochi-Muziris BiennaleXandari Harbour, Malabar House
3 - 5MunnarMatupetty Dam, Tea Plantations, Soft Trekking, Kannan Devan Tea MuseumThe Leaf Munnar, The Windermere Estate
5 - 7MaduraiMeenakshi Temple, Gandhi Museum, Vandiyur Kanmoy Tourist ComplexGRT Regency, Heritage Madurai
7 - 9ThekkadyAmazing Biodiversity, Spice Plantations, Kalaripayattu, Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryCardamom County, Hills & Hues
9 - 10Backwaters of KeralaLagoons & Lake, Houseboat Cruise, Village Life & Local CultureEvergreen Houseboat, Xandari Riverscapes
10 - 14MararikulamPristine Beach, Village LifeMarari Sands Beach Resort, Xandari Pearl
14 - 14CochinFort Kochi Harbor, Matancherry & Pardesi Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Ideal For

  • Beaches
  • Heritage
  • Landscape
  • Wine & Food

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Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 3

International arrival

We will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel


2 Nights

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.

Included Activities

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 that 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)

Highlights of Cochin (Half Day)
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. (Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Please note that the Dutch Palace is closed on Fridays, the Jewish Synagogue is closed on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, and the Hill Palace Museum is closed on Mondays).

Hotel Options
Xandari Harbour – Opt 1
RoomSpice Room
MealsFull Board
Malabar House – Opt 2
Day 3 - 5

Your chauffeur will drive you from Cochin to Munnar in a private vehicle (Duration: 4.5 hrs)


2 Nights

Munnar offers a haven of peace and tranquility within the verdant hills of Kerala.

Included Activities

Highlights of Munnar
Explore this beautiful panoramic town with its sprawling tea plantations! Begin with a drive to Mattupetty Dam where, at Top Station and Echo Point, views of lush mountainsides await and your voice will echo back. Head onwards to Kundala Dam, where you can go boating. The following day, after a dinner in the town and a good night’s sleep, enjoy a drive through winding lanes as you witness the exotic forest and grassland flora. Enjoy a 20 minute trek on a paved path before returning to the city.

Tea Delights of Lockhart
Explore the Lockhart Tea Museum situated at Devikulam, a scenic hill station and national park on the outskirts of Munnar in southern India. Drive along meandering country roads flanked by lush tea plantations and wooded hills. In a while you will reach the expansive Lockhart Estate established in the late 1800s as one of High Range’s earliest tea plantations. Accompanied by an in-house expert, tour the working tea factory, following the staff in action at every stage. Learn about orthodox tea, and its entire production process from tea leaf picking to your teacup. Understand the various health benefits of tea and its many uses. Visit the tea museum to know more about the history of tea in the region. Discover a collection of vintage equipment related to tea manufacture, and browse old photographs that trace the evolution of the town itself. Visit the adjoining nursery and garden where you can observe life behind the scenes. Finally, enjoy a tea tasting session while appreciating the fantastic scenery around! (Half Day; Duration: 1 hr; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)

Hotel Options
The Leaf Munnar – Opt 1
RoomGolden Leaf
RoomGarden Room
Day 5 - 7

Your chauffeur will drive you from Munnar to Madurai in a private vehicle (Duration: 6 hrs)


2 Nights

Madurai, the city of incense and chiming cymbals, is one of the oldest in India! Dubbed the “Athens of the East’, the historical city was reputedly visited by learned men from Rome and Greece, including Megasthenes in the 3rd century BC! Cozily nestled amidst the towering mountains, this is an energetic city of contrasts where Hindu Gods and a growing IT industry go hand in hand.

Included Activities

Evening Ceremony at Sri Meenakshi Amman
Experience the fascinating ‘resting’ ceremony at the ornate and colorful Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai. Accompanied by your local guide, traverse the lively town to enter the grand temple complex. Under the sunset glow, marvel at the twelve brilliantly decorated towering structures, each featuring an assortment of figurines – deities, demons, and mythical animals. Visit the magnificent hall of a thousand pillars, and soak in the splendid architecture around. As night falls, witness the centuries-old ritual that is religiously performed every single night – but only for the deities! Following a final worship session for the day, watch as the head priests and a train of devotees carry an image of Shiva (aka Sundareshwara) in a silver palanquin to his consort, Parvati’s (aka Meenakshi) shrine, to be kept together until the morning. Join the chorus of voices, while chants, music, dance, and purifying smoke fill the air. The divine beings are believed to rest together for the night, a tradition that is expected to maintain balance in the world. (Half Day; Time: 2100 hrs, Fridays at 2130 hrs; Duration: 2.5 hours; Shared Activity & Private Transfer; Notes: Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple’s main sanctum, but can witness the ceremony from a gallery outside, Photography not allowed)

Highlights of Madurai
Discover the the magic of Madurai! Begin your full day tour at the heart of the ancient yet bustling city, where the awe-inspiring thousand pillared Meenakshi Amman Temple stands tall. Continue onwards to the grand Koodal Alagar Temple – a stellar example of 17th century architecture dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Located nearby is the Thirumalai Nayak Mahal that once served as the royal residence of the famous Nayaka dynasty. Madurai’s busy flower and vegetable markets provide rich insight into everyday life of Tamilians. Afterwards, direct your steps towards the Gandhi Museum, which was established after famous leader of Indian Independence, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated. (Full Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy)

Hotel Options
GRT Regency – Opt 1
RoomSuperior Room
Heritage Madurai – Opt 2
RoomDeluxe Club
Day 7 - 9

Your chauffeur will drive you from Madurai to Thekkady in a private vehicle (Duration: 4 hrs)


2 Nights

Thekkady is a thrilling delight for nature lovers.

Included Activities

Evening Tour of Thekkady
Discover natural beauty and cultural delights of Thekkady at dusk! Soak in the sights and sounds of the magical woods in Thekkady during your three hour afternoon trek. With a trained guide from a local tribal community, each trail takes you through varied habitats, past evergreen deciduous forests and grasslands filled with rare birds, butterflies and wildlife. In the evening, enjoy a demonstration of Kalaripayattu, a vibrant and ancient martial art which dates back to the 3,000 year old Dravidian era. Learn more about the different styles of Kalaripayattu, which roughly translates as mind gym training, practiced throughout Kerala.You can meet professional martial art masters before you return to your hotel. (Kindly note that children below 12 years are not permitted to do Nature walk .)

Plantations and Periyar Lake Excursion
Discover the ‘spice capital’! Enjoy a half day tour of Thekkady to learn more about the spices that dominate life in Kerala. Wander through charming plantations and see how various plants are cultivated. Experience relaxing boat rides on the scenic Periyar lake within the lush Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Accompanied by a trained naturalist, your boat ride allows exciting glimpses of elephants frolicking, gaurs and bisons bathing in the lake and busy River Otters, from a safe distance. Don’t forget to take your camera along!

Hotel Options
Cardamom County – Opt 1
RoomAC Periyar Cottage
Hills & Hues – Opt 2
Day 9 - 10

Your chauffeur will drive you from Thekkady to Alleppey/Kumarakom Backwaters in a private vehicle (Duration: 4 hrs)

Backwaters of Kerala

1 Night

Kerala’s famous backwaters are a labyrinthine network of tree-fringed lagoons, idyllic lakes, and river systems, running parallel to the Arabian Sea along the Malabar coast.

Included Activities

Overnight Houseboat Experience
Cruise Kerala’s backwaters and stay overnight in a traditional kettuvallom, a boat made from coconut rope and wooden planks. This unique and exotic barge experience provides all the comforts of a hotel, with furnished bedrooms, a modern shower and toilet room, a living area and a shaded balcony for relaxing on as you enjoy uninterrupted views of rural Kerala. There is also a kitchen where the boat’s crew will rustle you up deliciously fresh meals and snacks, served traditionally on banana leaves. The skipper (captain), might moor up and take you to visit a backwater village, where you can meet local people and observe ancestral homes and places of worship. After a relaxing day, drop anchor and rest your head to the gentle sounds of the swishing lake waters.​

Hotel Options
RoomOne Bed Room
RoomXandari Riverscapes-One Bedroom
MealsFull Board
Day 10 - 14

Your chauffeur will drive you from Alleppey/Kumarakom Backwaters to Mararikulam, Alleppey in a private vehicle (Duration: 30 mins)


4 Nights

Mararikulam located a short drive from the town of Alleppey, epitomizes the tropical dream with its pristine white sands and crystal clear waters.

Hotel Options
RoomPalm View Room
StyleBeach Resort
Xandari Pearl – Opt 2
RoomGreen Pearl
StyleBeach Resort
Day 14 - 14

You will be transferred from Mararikulam to Cochin Airport in a private vehicle (75 km, 2 hrs)


0 Nights

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.

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 3,190 $ 2,590 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 4,490 $ 3,790 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in one double room for 14 days / 13 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • All activities as listed :
    • Cochin: Dances of Kerala: A Cultural Evening
    • Cochin: Highlights of Cochin (Half Day)
    • Munnar: Highlights of Munnar
    • Munnar: Tea Delights of Lockhart
    • Madurai: Evening Ceremony at Sri Meenakshi Amman
    • Madurai: Highlights of Madurai
    • Thekkady: Evening Tour of Thekkady
    • Thekkady: Plantations and Periyar Lake Excursion
    • Backwaters, Alleppey/Kumarakom: Overnight Houseboat Experience
  • All activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, accompanied by your tour guide
  • A high-quality air-conditioned vehicle with chauffeur for the activities specified in the itinerary
  • All airport and hotel transfers as indicated above
  • All transfers as indicated above
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • Fees and taxes

Not Included

  • Tips, additional meals, and personal expenses
  • Camera fees
  • Visa fees
  • Travel, health, and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return), unless specified under the trip inclusions above

Book this vacation by March 31, 2021, and save up to 20% of your trip price.

Inquire Now
Kerala: Temples, Tea Plantations and Backwaters

14 days $ 3,190 $ 2,590 / person

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