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Sun, Spices & Yoga in Kerala

TripCompanion / Sun, Spices & Yoga in Kerala

Sun, Spices & Yoga in Kerala

$3950 $3600

per person

September 18 – Sept 27, 2018

Discover all the wonders Kerala has to offer on this 10-day journey of yoga, relaxation and rejuvenation with Courtney Krishnamurthy. We begin in Cochin and drive up to the tea and spice plantations in Thekkady. We will explore the Periyar wildness on a jungle tour. As we continue our travels through this beautiful part of South India, we will see the amazing backwaters of Kumarakom on a houseboat day cruise. Our trip wouldn’t be complete without enjoying the golden sands by the Arabian Sea. Relax and unwind at Marari Beach Resort. Enjoying days filled with yoga, meditation, massage and epic sunsets.

Throughout the tour, excite your taste buds with authentic local cuisine prepared with fresh seafood, fruits and spices. Relax with meditation, head and foot massage, and an introduction to Ayurveda. Be intrigued by the unique Kathakali dance and martial arts. Most of all, feel revived and rejuvenated from diving into all Kerala has to offer.

Courtney is an experienced yoga instructor who has been practicing yoga for more than 20 years. She has completed over 1,000 hours of yoga training and study. Her specialty is pulling from her knowledge of a wide variety of yoga styles and techniques to help you discover an engaging & challenging yet relaxing practice that helps deepen your awareness and quiet your mind. She provides daily inspiration through her website, Om Fairy®, so anyone can find a way to incorporate yoga into their daily life. Courtney is currently in the process of completing her training to become a certified Ayurvedic lifestyle coach & health counselor.

Allow your yoga and meditation practice with Courtney to strengthen your mind and body during our journey into this most beautiful part of South India dubbed God’s Own Country.

10 Days, 9 Nights: Cochin, Thekkady, Kumarakom & Marari

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ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Cochin | COK Airport

Day 2: Cochin – Thekkady | Tea Plantation & Factory, Martial Arts Performance

Day 3: Thekkady | Spice Plantation, Head Massage, Cooking Demonstration

Day 4: Thekkady | Periyar Jungle Tour, Cultural Performance

Day 5: Thekkady – Kumarakom | Sunset Cruise

Day 6: Kumarakom | Alleppey Houseboat Lunch Cruise, Cultural Program

Day 7: Kumarakom – Marari | Nature Walk/Butterfly Garden Visit, Temple Trail, Sari & Cooking Demonstrations

Day 8: Marari | Butterfly Garden/Kitchen Garden Visit, Ayurveda Talk, Foot Massage

Day 9: Marari – Cochin | Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Kathakali Dance Performance

Day 10: –Cochin | COK Airport

 

INCLUSIONS

‣ 5-star Hotel Accommodations

‣ Airport Transfers, Meet & Greet

‣ Gratuities for your tour guide and driver

‣ Daily Breakfast and All Meals

‣ English-speaking Local Guide

‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments

‣ Yoga & Meditation Classes

‣ 1 Head Massage and 1 Foot Massage

‣ Tea & Spice Plantation Tours

‣ Backwaters Houseboat Lunch Cruise

‣ Jungle Tour

‣ Kathakali Dance Performance

‣ Martial Arts Performance

‣ Traditional Dance Performances

‣ Cooking Demonstrations

 

 

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1

Meet Up at Cochin (COK)

Upon arrival into Cochin, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax and enjoy the hotel for the remainder of the day or explore this bustling state capital on your own.
Find serenity in peaceful Cochin as you gaze out over the warm tropical waters of the Arabian Sea.
2

Cochin – Thekkady | Tea Plantation & Factory, Martial Arts Performance

After breakfast, we take a scenic drive up to the hill station to visit the tea estate.  The region is filled with lush green surroundings, streams, lakes, waterfalls, rubber trees, spice and tea plantations.
We will walk among the tea bushes (Camellia sinensis), learn about how tea growing was introduced to India and this area was transformed into a major tea production center. The factory tour shows us the tea making process: Crush, Tear and Curl. You end the tour with a tea tasting.
Our team always brings home fresh tea from the estate. Add some ground masala, you get a nice cup of chai in 5 minutes!
This evening enjoy the exciting Kalaripayattu martial arts performance. The practitioners are trained in jumping, running, somersaults and various traditional weapons. In between the breathtaking demonstrations, be ready to volunteer to jump into the pit and participate - an opportunity that should not be missed!
This evening we stay at Spice Village Resort.
Spice Village is located in the Periyar wilderness, high in the western ghats (mountains) of Kerala. For centuries, the area has attracted explorers and adventurers, mercenaries and empire builders, kings and merchant princes. Men and women drawn not only by the lure of spices, but also by the romance and wild beauty of the land. The Portuguese and the Jews of Cochin visited as traders, turning the natural bounties of the area into wealth. With abundant pepper and cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg, mace and anise the Periyar hills became nature's taste factory. In the 14th century Cochin was the port of lading for a spice-hungry world. Today, its rainforests and unique animals still attract the modern visitors.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

3

Thekkady | Spice Plantation, Head Massage, Cooking Demonstration

After breakfast, take a private tour of a Kerala spice plantation, where you can see how pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg are grown. The spice plantations in Kerala are captivating farms to wander in with the various spices cultivated in different sections of the plantation. In these spice plantations, you can go for nature walks, bird watching treks, as well as taste the various spices and inhale the fragrant air.
Relax at the resort with an Ayurveda head massage and cooking demonstration.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
4

Thekkady | Periyar Jungle Tour, Cultural Performance

After an early breakfast, explore Periyar on a jungle safari. Visit the botanical garden, hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grass lands, sholas, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantation.  This reserve is home to many endangered species like the lion tailed macaque; nilgiri tahrs and more.
Enjoy a classical dance performance before your dinner.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
5

Thekkady – Kumarakom | Sunset Cruise

After breakfast, we descend from the hill station to Kumarakom at the backwaters.
Perched sleepily amongst a tangle of lush tropical waterways known as the Keralan backwaters, Kumarakom is technically a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad - one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes. Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is the wonderful Kumarakom bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres, which is a favored haunt of migratory birds.
Kumarakom is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The resort offers a morning nature walk to further refresh your spirit in Kerala’s wilderness.  Don’t miss the opportunities to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The daily schedule of activities is posted at the welcome center.
Enjoy your sunset cruise to get acquainted with the backwaters!

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

6

Kumarakom | Alleppey Houseboat Lunch Cruise, Cultural Program

We kick off the day with an optional Kerala Martial Art (Kalaripayattu) Practice followed by breakfast.
For the greatest pleasure in Kerala, let’s travel to Alleppey for our houseboat lunch cruise in the Backwaters.  A never-to-miss experience to cruise slowly through the shimmering backwaters, where you’ll see kingfishers diving for fish, boats delivering their goods, boys splashing in the water, and women preparing meals in the shade of coconut palms.
The city of Alleppey is spread throughout its canals, lakes and lagoons.  Our cruise will lead us through a maze of canals to observe scenes of daily local life amont the villages, paddy fields and coconut palms.  Kerala is also known as God's Own Country, let it sink in!
Enjoy a classical dance performance before your dinner.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

7

Kumarakom – Marari | Nature Walk/Butterfly Garden Visit, Temple Trail, Sari & Cooking Demonstrations

Enjoy the early morning nature walk with the naturist or visit the butterfly garden.
After breakfast and checkout, we will leave behind the backwaters and take a guided trip to the major temples.
This afternoon, we reach the golden sands on the Arabian Sea coast at Marari Beach. The serenity and tranquility of this beach and local fishing village takes beach lovers backwards in time. The indolent pace of local life makes vacationing here a reviving experience.
You will be staying at a resort that reflects the simplicity and elegant charm of traditional fishing villages in the local area.  At the nearby fishing village, you can get to see the fishermen bring back their catch of the day to be auctioned every morning.  You can also enjoy the experience of picking vegetables or fruits fresh from the organic garden in the resort.
Enjoy the Sari and Dhoti Demonstration, and Cooking Demonstration before dinner.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

8

Marari | Butterfly Garden/Kitchen Garden Visit, Ayurveda Talk, Foot Massage

Be a beach bum today.  Or visit the butterfly garden and kitchen garden, listen to Ayurveda Talk by a doctor, enjoy your foot massage and relax with the view of (*not under*) coconut palm trees.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

9

Marari - Cochin | Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Kathakali Dance Performance

After breakfast we checkout and return to Cochin for the city tour.
Over its long history, foreigners have left their mark on Cochin, from St Thomas the Apostle (A.D. 50) to Jews, Syrian Christians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Dutch and the British.  The seaport has been a busy hub for trade for centuries and is still an important center for the tea and spice trade.  Explore the historic Fort Cochin and Mattancherry district, and stroll down the harbor to see little fishing boats and the famous Chinese fishing nets.
Paradesi Synagogue, built in 1568, it is the oldest synagogue in the former British Commonwealth.  The synagogue is magnificently decorated with Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here.
The Dutch Palace offers a fantastic view of the city. It is also notable for some of the best murals of Indian mythology, particularly in the bed chambers. In that room one can see the entire story of the Ramayana on the walls. The palace also contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which look like polished black marble but are actually a mixture of burnt coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites.
This evening, enjoy a Kathakali dance performance.  This highly sophisticated and dramatic dance-drama originated in 17th century Kerala. The word Kathakali literally means "Story-Play". It is known for its large, elaborate makeup and costumes. All the roles are usually performed by men, and the actors rely heavily on hand gestures to convey their story.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

10

Cochin | COK Airport

Relax and enjoy your brunch before checking out of the hotel.  The tour comes to an end.  Please inform us of your international or India domestic flight details in order to schedule your airport transfer.
Bon voyage from God’s Country!

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast

Tour Location

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Price

DBL OCC SGL OCC
Regular $3,950 CALL FOR PRICE
Early Bird through May 31, 2018 $3,600 CALL FOR PRICE
* $750 non-refundable deposit at the time of reservation * Estimated airfare between $900-$1100 * Full payment is due on May 31 (Early Bird Price) or July 9 (Regular Price) * Prices in US Dollars and include all currently applicable taxes.  Price per person with double occupancy sharing a room
 Tour Confirmation Date:
  • ‣ This tour is operated with a minimum of 9 and maximum of 15 student guests
  • ‣ Minimum of 9 student guests required by July 9 to operate this trip
Booking Your Flight
  • ‣ We recommend to book your flights when the tour departure has been confirmed.
  • ‣ We can find the best flights and airfares for your tour.
  • ‣ Buying your own air tickets? No problem.
Exclusions
  • ‣ International Air Fares and Airport Departure Taxes (to/from India)
  • ‣ Visa Fee
  • ‣ Travel Insurance
  • ‣ Medical Expenses
  • ‣ Laundry Service
  • ‣ Telephone Calls
  • ‣ Professional Camera/Video Camera Fees At Monuments
  • ‣ All The Other Services Which Are Not Mentioned In The Inclusions
   
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Hotels
 
Destination Hotels Rating
Cochin Eight Bastion ★★★★★
Thekkady Spice Village  ★★★★★
Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon  ★★★★★
Marari Marari Beach Resort  ★★★★★
Cochin Brunton Boatyard Hotel  ★★★★★