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Tea, Spices & Backwaters

TripCompanion / Tea, Spices & Backwaters

Tea, Spices & Backwaters

$2550

per person

Visit Kerala and discover its many hidden secrets on this 9-day tour. From coconut palm-lined coasts and rolling hills of tea to diverse wildlife, a trip to Kerala is as easy and rewarding as a glide through its famous backwaters.

Learn all about the wonderful culture of tea in Kerala which is one of the largest tea producers in the world. Visit a working tea plantation and factory for a close-up experience. Taste the different spices that has the food in this culture bursting with flavor and don’t forget to take in the atmosphere to feel the serenity that is most soothing.

Dubbed as one of the top ten paradises in the world by National Geographic Traveler, the wonders of Kerala await you.

9 Days 8 Nights: Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom & Alleppey

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOUR

Tea Pluckers

Kathakali dancer showcases an intricate and elaborate make up procedure that you should not miss this cultural performance.

Kathakali Dancer

Rice House Boat

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica

Afternoon Chai and Snack

Mohiniyattam Classical Dance

Periya National Park Ferries

Explore Periyar Jungle & Wildlife

Chinese Fishing Nets

Thick Flat Granite Slab for Web Spices

Where can you find a Malabar Giant Squirrel eating a jackfruit sitting on a tree? Join our Periyar National Park jungle safari.

Malabar Giant Squirrel Eating a Jackfruit

Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom


THE JOURNEY


 

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

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.

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   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 and boat ride. 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 at the hotel showing you how to cook Kerala cuisine. Don’t forget to visit the resort’s organic farms!

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 Lunch Cruise, Cultural program

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 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 at the hotel.

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) | Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

A morning nature walk in Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary 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.

The tour comes to an end 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

Hotel Information:

Destination Hotels Rating
Cochin Casino Hotel  ★★★
Munnar Abad Cooper Castle  ★★★★
Thekkady Spice Village  ★★★★★
Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon  ★★★★★
Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation.

Dates & Pricing 

Daily Departure
Tour Date 2 Persons * 3 Persons ** 4 Persons * 6 Persons *
Apr 1 to Sep 30, 2018 $2,550 $2,235 $2,290 $2,150
Oct 1 to Dec 19, 2018 $3,500 $3,205 $3,255 $3,125
Jan 11 to Mar 31, 2019 $3,825 $3,530 $3,580 $3,450
Apr 1 to Sep 30, 2019 $2,680 $2,345 $2,405 $2,260
Oct 1 to Dec 19, 2019 $3,675 $3,365 $3,420 $3,280
Jan 11 to Mar 31, 2020 $4,015 $3,705 $3,760 $3,625
Prices are in USD and are inclusive of all applicable taxes but do not include airfare.
* Price per person, based on double occupancy. 
** Price per person, based on triple occupancy.

Deposit

‣ $750

Booking Your Flight

We can find the best flights and airfares for your tour. Buying your own air tickets? No problem.

Inclusions

  • ‣ Hotel Accommodations
  • ‣ Airport Transfers
  • ‣ Daily Breakfast and Selected Meals (See tour plan for more details)
  • ‣ English-speaking Local Guide
  • ‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments
  • ‣ Tea & Spice Plantations
  • ‣ Backwaters Houseboat Lunch Cruise
  • ‣ Jungle Tour
  • ‣ Bird Sanctuary
  • ‣ Kathakali Dance Performance
  • ‣ Cultural Programs
  • ‣ Cooking Demonstration

Exclusions

  • ‣ International Air Fares To And From India
  • ‣ Travel Insurance
  • ‣ Medical Expenses
  • ‣ Visa Fee For India
  • ‣ Gratuities
  • ‣ Laundry Service
  • ‣ Personal Expenses and Telephone Calls
  • ‣ Professional camera/video camera fees at monuments
  • ‣ All other services which are not mentioned in the inclusions