Sun, Spices & Yoga in Kerala
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
ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
Day 1: Cochin | COK Airport
Day 2: Cochin – Thekkady | Tea Plantation & Factory, Martial Arts Performance
Day 3: Thekkady | Yoga/Meditation, Spice Plantation, Head Massage, Cooking Demonstration
Day 4: Thekkady | Periyar Jungle Tour, Sunset Yoga/Meditation, Cultural Performance
Day 5: Thekkady – Kumarakom | Yoga/Meditation, Sunset Cruise
Day 6: Kumarakom | Alleppey Houseboat Lunch Cruise, Cultural Program
Day 7: Kumarakom – Marari | Yoga/Meditation, Nature Walk/Butterfly Garden Visit, Temple Trail, Sari & Cooking Demonstrations
Day 8: Marari | Butterfly Garden/Kitchen Garden Visit, Ayurveda Talk, Foot Massage, Sunset Yoga/Meditation,
Day 9: Marari – Cochin | Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Kathakali Dance Performance
Day 10: –Cochin | Yoga/Meditation, COK Airport
‣ 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
Meet Up at Cochin (COK)
Cochin – Thekkady | Tea Plantation & Factory, Martial Arts Performance
Thekkady | Yoga/Meditation, Spice Plantation, Head Massage, Cooking Demonstration
Thekkady | Periyar Jungle Tour, Sunset Yoga/Meditation, Cultural Performance
Thekkady – Kumarakom | Yoga/Meditation, Sunset Cruise
Kumarakom | Alleppey Houseboat Lunch Cruise, Cultural Program
Kumarakom – Marari | Yoga/Meditation, Nature Walk/Butterfly Garden Visit, Temple Trail, Sari & Cooking Demonstrations
Marari | Butterfly Garden/Kitchen Garden Visit, Ayurveda Talk, Foot Massage, Sunset Yoga/Meditation
Marari - Cochin | Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Kathakali Dance Performance
Cochin | Yoga/Meditation, COK Airport
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|DBL OCC||SGL OCC|
|Regular||$3,950||CALL FOR PRICE|
|Early Bird through May 31, 2018||$3,600||CALL FOR PRICE|
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.
- ‣ 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
|Marari||Marari Beach Resort||★★★★★|
|Cochin||Brunton Boatyard Hotel||★★★★★|
Do I need a tourist visa for India?Yes, American citizens and most non-USA Passport Holders require a valid Tourist Visa to travel to India for a sightseeing visit. The Tourist e-Visa is the most convenient way to obtain your tourist visa. See details at our homepage. The amount of the visa fee depends on nationality; for American passports the fee is $75 (at time of writing) plus a bank transaction fee of 2.5% of the visa fee. In addition, your passport should have at least 6 months validity beyond the end of the tour. Check that it has several blank pages for immigration stamps.
I would like to travel with my significant other but s/he does not practice yoga. Would this be worth the trip?All yoga and meditation classes are optional. We welcome yogis of all levels, from absolute beginners to advanced practitioners. For non-yogis, this would be a great opportunity to explore the foundation poses at their own pace. After all this is a vacation and all are free to sleep-in, stroll around the beautiful grounds in our resorts or start the breakfast buffet early! We suggest that non-yogis keep an open mind and participate in the sessions as little or as much as they like each day.
Do I really need to meditate?Meditation is optional. We pack lots of excitements into this tour, hence a meditation practice bringing self-awareness and calm to the mind is offered. No judgment
How many yoga classes are there during the tour?We have scheduled 6 yoga classes for this tour, details in the tour itinerary. Your teacher will announce any necessary changes to the locations or times during the tour.
Will I be too hungry during the morning yoga class?We recommend against a full meal before your yoga class. We will arrange with the hotel restaurant to offer coffee/tea/fruit juice/fruits before your morning yoga class, feel free to ask for them. After the yoga class, you will have time to enjoy a full buffet breakfast and time to tidy up before departing for the day’s activity.
What should I pack on my yoga tour? What yoga props do I need to bring?The resorts provide yoga mats. However, you are welcome to bring your own mat and props. Personally, we like to put our Manduka Eko Superlite travel mat (https://www.manduka.com/yoga-mats/eko-superlite.html) on top of the hotel yoga mat. Don’t forget to bring a hotel hand towel to each class. Don’t worry, we will email you a suggested packing list for the tour.
What is my luggage allowance?Every airline has their own luggage policy. The reservation agent for your flights will inform you about the luggage allowance. Ground Transportation Luggage Allowance: Each person is allowed 1 (one) piece of standard size luggage plus a backpack or handbag. The weight of your main luggage must not exceed 50 lbs/23 kgs. Each bag must not exceed 70cm (height) x 45cm (width) x 25cm (depth) or 28 in x 18 in x 10 in. Due to the vehicle capacity limits, guests whose luggage exceeds 50 lbs/23 kgs may be asked to offload the excess on the departure morning. We will not cover any costs that are incurred to store luggage.
How should I budget for my trip?Our tour price includes all meals (except Day 1) and gratuities so you can be totally relaxed about out-of-pocket expenses on the tour. See INCLUSIONS and EXCLUSIONS in the tour itinerary for details. You should budget additionally for your airfare, local shopping and any alcoholic drinks during the tour.
I am joining on my own. Do you offer single occupancy room? Or, who will I share a room with?A solo guest will share a room with another guest of the same gender. Each will have your own bed. We will confirm the rooming request during registration. Let us know if you prefer a single occupancy room. The availability and additional cost will be sent to you.
Is it safe to drink the water? Is the food safe?The hotels provide bottled water during your stay. Bottled water is also provided in our vehicle during travels. We have evaluated the restaurants for quality, food safety and tasty meals. As usual during any travels, always be mindful about your own food and drink.
What type of food can I expect? Do you cater for dietary requests?If you have any special dietary requirements, allergies or food intolerances, please let us know when making the reservation. In addition, at meal times let your server know about any allergies. We provide all meals (except Day 1, since guests may have different flight schedules). Buffet breakfast provides both indian and western style food and fruits. Lunch and dinner varies eg. a picnic lunch, set meal or buffet at restaurants with a choice of vegan, vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes. Some of our resorts use fresh ingredients from their own organic gardens which you can visit.
Does the tour have minimum size?Yes, this yoga tour requires at least 9 student guests for departure.
What if less than 9 student guests register?If we have less than 9 student guests by July 9, we will cancel the tour. Your deposit or payment will be fully refunded. We recommend you purchase air tickets only after the tour has a confirmed departure.
How many guests are there on the tour?Our maximum is 15 guests and 1 yoga teacher. At the destination, a dedicated tour guide and a driver will join the tour.
What is the registration process?To register: Provide your personal details and $750 non-refundable deposit Early Bird Price: Full payment by May 31 Regular Price: Full payment by July 9 Air Tickets: You should purchase your air tickets after the tour has been confirmed (normally July 16) You can pay for the tour by check or credit card.
When is the last day I can book the tour?You can book your tour up to July 16 (Monday). The tour may be sold out earlier due to limited hotel rooms due to a major convention or other availability. Our early bird special offers the best price.
What is your cancellation policy?Tour deposits are non-refundable. Exception: You will receive a refund if the tour is canceled. If you have paid the full tour payment and you cancel before July 9, then your refund will exclude:
- ‣ the amount of the tour deposit
- ‣ any non-refundable reservations made for you
- ‣ a cancellation administration fee
Can a booking be transferred to a new guest to save on the cancelation penalty?We do not recommend any guest to transfer reservations because reservations have already been made with their name and passport information. We only allow guests to transfer their reservation to a new guest under very specific circumstances and will incur a rebooking fee. If you need to transfer your reservation, please submit a request to us immediately. We'll work diligently to make the transfer if it is possible.
When Is Payment Due?A deposit is required when making the reservation. The remaining amount due will be charged to your credit card by July 9. Payment in full is required when booking after July 9. If you do not pay in full by the due date, your reservation will be canceled and your tour deposit will be forfeited. Please contact us if you have any issues with your payment.
Can you help me book my flights?Certainly! Let us know the major airports near you and we will assist with your air tickets.
How do I know which airport to fly into? What flights are available?You have a choice of many airlines with an estimated airfare $900-$1100. The following Air India flights have the best schedule for this tour. San Francisco, SFO – Cochin, COK
- ‣ SFO - DEL (AI 174) Sept 17 11:30am – Sept 18 3:55pm
- ‣ DEL - COK (AI 48) Sept 18 5:55pm – 9:10pm
- ‣ COK – DEL (AI 47) Sept 27 8:15pm – 11:20pm
- ‣ DEL – SFO (AI 173) Sept 28 3:30am – 7:00am
What's the earliest date I can fly in?You are recommended to arrive between 5pm – 10pm on Sept 18 at Cochin airport (COK). After the tour, you are recommended to depart on Sept 27 from Cochin airport (COK). If you make your own flight reservations, let us know your flight information so we can reserve your arrival and departure airport transfers at Cochin airport (COK).
Why do I need to submit my flight details?Our tour includes arrival and departure airport transfers for you. Our airport greeter needs the information to monitor your flight status. You don’t need an airport transfer? Not a problem, just let us know.
Do I need travel insurance?Yes, it is recommended that all tour guests purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance is an important way to protect your investment in a Yoga Tour. Depending upon the plan you purchase, the travel insurance can cover trip cancellation, travel and medical emergencies, and the loss or theft of your personal gear.
What happens if I’m delayed or miss my flight?If you are delayed or miss your flight, your first step is to contact your airline or the travel agent you originally booked with as they can best help you reschedule your flight. We also email important contact information for the tour to our guests. If your travel plans are altered on the day of travel, we highly recommend that you inform these important contacts about your changed travel plans.
What happens if I have an emergency while I'm abroad?For non-emergency issues, please contact your yoga teacher (who is also your tour leader). Otherwise use the contact information provided by us. If you are experiencing a life-threatening situation, please contact the local emergency services immediately. It's a good idea to program the local emergency number into your cell phone for the country you'll be visiting (if your cell phone operates locally). JIO is an Indian mobile network operator, you can purchased their SIM card in Kerala. Also contact your travel insurance company if applicable. In case of a travel emergency (missed flight, canceled flight, etc.), please work directly with your airline to fix your travel issue. Also, please keep us informed about your situation and let us know how we can help.
Wow, it seems to be overwhelming!Don’t worry! We are here to make this an enjoyable vacation. We will walk you through step by step.
- ‣ We will provide you a checklist during registration
- ‣ A booking confirmation is sent after you register
- ‣ Pre-tour checklist to help you plan
- ‣ A trip reminder with Tour At A Glance – to remind you of the tour activities & our India contact phone number
- ‣ Airport pick up at Cochin airport
- ‣ During the trip, Courtney and your tour guide will take care of you
- ‣ At the end of the trip, drop off at Cochin airport
- ‣ Post tour survey – please give us feedback to improve the tour for future guests