Top
 

Tea, Spices & Backwaters

TripCompanion / Tea, Spices & Backwaters

Tea, Spices & Backwaters

$2950

per person

Discover the natural wonders and fascinating cultures of Kerala, a south Indian state on the tropical Malabar Coast. Find serenity in peaceful Cochin, as you gaze out over the warm tropical waters of the Arabian Sea. Travel inland to tea plantations and nature reserves in the lush the Western Ghats Mountains. Relax on a houseboat cruise through a maze of green waterways, coconut groves and rice paddies.

Kerala is a little piece of paradise!

Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom & Allepy

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Cochin

Day 2: Cochin | Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Kathakali Dance Performance, Sunset Cruise

Day 3: Cochin – Munnar | Tea Plantation, Tea Museum

Day 4: Munnar | Tea Plantation, Nature Tour

Day 5: Munnar – Thekkady | Spice Plantation

Day 6: Thekkady | Periyar Jungle Tour, Cooking Demo

Day 7: Thekkady – Kumarakom

Day 8: Kumarakom | Alleppey Houseboat Cruise, Cultural program

Day 9: Kumarakom – Cochin | | Nature Walk

 

HOTELS

Destination Hotels Rating
Cochin Burton Boat Yard Hotel  ★★★★★
Munnar Windermere  ★★★★★
Thekkady Spice Village  ★★★★★
Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon  ★★★★★

 Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation. Hotel check-in time is 2 pm and check out at 12 noon.

 

INCLUSIONS

‣ Kathakali Dance Performance

‣ Sunset Cruise (weather permitting)

‣ Backwaters Houseboat Cruise

‣ Cooking Demonstration

‣ Jungle Tour

‣ Cultural programs

‣ Airport Transfers

‣ Traditional Garlanding Welcome with Welcome Kit

‣ Hotel Accommodations

‣ Daily Breakfast and All Meals (See tour plan for more details)

‣ English-speaking Local Guide

‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments

 

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 city on your own.

Find serenity in peaceful Cochin, as you gaze out over the warm tropical waters of the Arabian Sea.
2

Cochin | Paradesi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Kathakali Dance Performance, Sunset Cruise

Over its long history, many 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.

Enjoy a Sunset Cruise in the harbor (weather permitting).

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. Usually performed only by men, 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
3

Cochin – Munnar | Tea Plantation, Tea Museum

After breakfast, we take a scenic drive to the beautiful hill station of Munnar.  The region is filled with lush green surroundings, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and spice and tea plantations (tea gardens).  Munnar is also the home of Eravikullam national park.

We will visit the Munnar Tea Museum to learn about the production of black tea and the history of how Munnar was transformed into a major tea plantation center. The tea museum outlines the development of Munnar's tea estates, which is veritably conveyed through the displays that include the elementary tea roller as well as the modern fully automated tea factory. See the machines in various stages of tea processing. A sundial placed on a granite block sitting in the tranquil compound welcomes every guest. This artifact was crafted by the Art Industrial School at Nazareth, Tamil Nadu, in the year 1913. It symbolizes the growth and prosperity, which the Munnar tea estates experienced.

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

Munnar | Tea Plantation, Nature Tour

After breakfast, we explore the vicinity and enjoy panoramic views of Anamudi, the highest peak south of the Himalayas (2695 m or nearly 9000 ft).  We proceed with more wildlife watching at Eravikulam sanctuary (depending on the season) or Rajamalai Hills lying adjacent to the park and stop by at Madupetty Dam.

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

Munnar – Thekkady | Spice Plantation

Today we travel to the Land Where Pepper Grows!

Spice Village is located in the Periyar wilderness, high in the western ghats (mountains) of Kerala. For centuries, the area attracted voyagers 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 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, it's the rainforests and unique animals still attract the modern visitor.

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 are cultivated in different sections of each 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.

Reminder: Schedule your authentic Ayurveda massage (optional add-on) in advance!

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

Thekkady | Periyar Jungle Tour, Cooking Demo

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.

Later we enjoy a cooking demonstration with a local chef showing you how to cook Kerala cuisine and then experience the ‘50 mile diet’.  Don’t worry, you do not have to walk 50 miles to your dinner.  It simply refers that all the ingredients are sourced with 50-miles.  Most of the vegetables are grown at the resort’s organic farms and fish comes in fresh from the local river.

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

Thekkady – Kumarakom

After breakfast, we depart for Kumarakom.

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, it is the wonderful Kumarakom bird sanctuary spreads across 14 acres, which is a favored haunt of migratory birds.

Kumarakom is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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

Kumarakom | Alleppey Houseboat Cruise, Cultural program

For the greatest pleasure in Kerala, let’s travel to Alleppey for our houseboat cruise in the Backwaters.  A never-to-miss experience to cruise slowly through the shimmering backwaters, where you’ll see kingfishers delivering or prey, 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 through canals, lakes and lagoons.  Our cruise will lead us through a maze of canals to observe different scenes from the villages, paddy fields, coconut palms, fishermen and local life.

In the evening we attend a Cultural program.

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

Kumarakom - Cochin (COK) | Nature Walk

A morning nature walk in Kumarakom further refresh your spirit in Kerala’s wilderness.  This is an excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife.  After the nature walk, we return to the hotel to check-out and then enjoy our lunch.

The tour comes to an end after lunch and transfer to Cochin airport.

To provide an ample buffer, you are advised to schedule your international flight home to depart at 7pm  (or later) from Cochin.

Bon voyage!

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

Departures and Prices Guaranteed

TripCompanion Departure Guarantee Every small-group (up to 16 passengers) departure is guaranteed to operate, needing a minimum of only two passengers. Guaranteed departures will operate except only in cases of force majeure, which could include any major world event adversely affecting international travel patterns or other circumstances beyond TripCompanion’s control.

TripCompanion Price Assurance TripCompanion Price Assurance ensures that you always pay the lowest published price for your small group tour - if the price of your tour is reduced after booking, TripCompanion will refund you the difference - guaranteed. Our Price Assurance applies to all group tours (with the exception of yoga tours) available through TripCompanion USA, excluding international and domestic air fares and extra services. The TripCompanion Price Assurance applies only to 2017-2018 advertised rates on TripCompanion.com for the same program, travel date and accommodation classification. TripCompanion reserves the right to modify or cancel the Price Assurance for future bookings without prior notice.

DBL OCC SGL OCC AVAILABLE
Weekly Departures, Monday Oct 9 to Dec 15, 2017 $2,950 $3,655 Yes
Weekly Departures, Monday Jan 15 to Mar 31, 2018 $2,950 $3,655 Yes

Special Departure Dates on Request*

DBL OCC: Price per person with double occupancy sharing a room in US Dollars

SGL OCC: Price per person with single occupancy room in US Dollars

Internal (domestic India) Airfare: Lowest Internal air fare subject to current price and seat availability

Total price = relevant per person price, plus domestic airfare, plus selected add-ons.

Private tours and single-person tours are available with nominal supplement price, call for details.

Discount is available for a group of 10 or more, call for details.

Prices include all currently applicable taxes.

OPTIONAL ADD – ONS

  • ‣ Ayurveda Massage                                                 CALL FOR PRICE
  • ‣ Pre-trip or post-trip hotel accommodations     CALL FOR PRICE

EXCLUSIONS

  • ‣ Any Travel Insurance
  • ‣ Medical Expenses
  • ‣ Domestic/International Air Fares and Airport Departure Taxes
  • ‣ Gratuities
  • ‣ Laundry Service
  • ‣ Telephone Calls
  • ‣ Professional camera/video camera fees at monuments
  • ‣ All the other services which are not mentioned in the inclusions

Deposit

A non-refundable deposit is required to hold reservations made 60 days or more before departure.  The deposit consists of the items below.
  • ‣ $500.00
  • ‣ Selected add-ons