Kerala Spice and Plantation Tour
A 11 days tour covering the best known destinations especially for Spices and greenery in Kerala. You will start your travel from Cochin or Kochi as its known today, to drive to Periyar through the Midland plantations like rubber, coffee etc. Periyar is known for its Spice plantations and wildlife and of course the flora and fauna.. This tour will take you to the exclusive backwaters of Kumarakom and serene beache of Marari.
The below itinerary is only a pilot programme to give you an idea on the destinations which could be covered within a certain period. It will be our pleasure to customise the programme to suite your interests, budget and duration. Please feel free to contact us for any such customisation and prices.
Day 01 – Cochin
On arrival at Cochin Airport, you will be met & transferred to your hotel. Day free to relax. Evening, enjoy Greenix Show which is a kaleidoscope of Indian classical art forms and martial arts. Overnight at Hotel .
Cochin the queen of the Arabian Sea is one of the most interesting cities of India and has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. A root-conscious people of Kerala have preserved their past not only in the form of history books but also in the form of monuments and palaces. Places, palaces and institutions of historic value are being preserved conscientiously.
Day 02 – Cochin
After breakfast,go for a village backwater cruise at Poothoota,an island village in the suburbs of Cochin. Lunch will be a part of your tour at a Farm House.Afternoon return to Cochin for a guided city tour of Cochin. Evening you may opt to spend time at the Chinese Fishing nets in Fort Cochin to watch the sunset.Return to your hotel for overnight stay.
Cochin Sightseeing - St Francis Church, built in 1510 by friars brought to India by Vasco da Gama, is the first European church built in India and is the site where Vasco da Gama was buried. The Jewish Synagogue was built in 1568, Chinese hand-painted tiles are one of the attraction. This, the only Synagogue in India has a nostalgic past of a Jewish Diaspora. The "Dutch Palace" was built in the 1550s; the palace contains excellent mythological murals and a rare example of traditional Keralite flooring - a subtle mix of burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg whites - which gives the effect of polished marble.
Village backwater Cruise – An unforgettable journey in a country boat into the pristine backwater villages of Kerala... goes through the zigzagging narrow canals and paddy fields fringed with coconut palms... watch rare birds... country boat making... a natural fish farm where you can go fishing… You will witness coir making, toddy tapping and enjoy a typical Kerala lunch at a farmhouse.
Day 03 – Cochin – Periyar ( 5 Hours drive)
Today, you will be transferred to Periyar ,the famous wildlife destination of Kerala. Enroute stop at a Cardamom Plantation to interact with the planter and see the cultivation.Evening visit a Spice Plantation and an elephant farm for a safari. Overnight at Hotel.
Indian agriculture began by 9000 BC as a result of early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture. Plants and animals—considered essential to their survival by the Indians—came to be worshiped and venerated.
Indian spices include a variety of spices and herbs grown across the Indian subcontinent (South Asia). With different climates in different parts of the country, India produces a variety of spices, many of which are native to the Subcontinent, while others were imported from similar climates and have since been cultivated locally for centuries.Spices are typically heated in a pan with ghee or cooking oil before being added to a dish. Lighter spices are added last, and spices with strong flavor should be added first. Curry is not a spice, but a term which refers to any side dish in Indian cuisine. It could be with a gravy base or a dry item. A curry typically contains several spices blended together.
Periyar - Conjures up images of elephants, chains of hill and spice scented plantations. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will see a lot of wildlife and observe the way of life of simple mountain people. Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.
Day 04 – Periyar
Full day explore the wildlife of Periyar. Go for a guided trekking in the Wildlife Park.Afternoon visit a nearby village viewpoint to have a view of Tamilnadu. Evening you may visit local shops for buying spices.Also if you are interested,you may opt to go for a boating in the Periyar Lake.As the advance reservations are with restrictions,this is strictly subject to availability. Overnight at the Hotel.
The Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wildlife. A cruise through the waters of Periyar Lake around which the wildlife sanctuary is situated, offers lots of photo opprtunities. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge. Tigers are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the river.
Day 05 – Periyar – Kumarakom
After breakfast, check out from the Hotel & proceed to Kumarakom (4 Hrs), which is famous for its backwater & scenic beauty, sprinkled with traditional houseboats, country crafts, rural lifestyles and Tranquility. Enroute you may visit a Tea Factory to see the tea making process.On arrival at Kumarakom check in at the Resort.
The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind with renewed inspiration for your vocation and life. And that is the pristine beauty of Kumarakom.Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake and a picturesque, clean village like most places in Kerala. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread across 14 acres, the bird sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
Day 06 : Kumarakom
Early morning ,you may visit Bird Sanctuary to have best possibility to watch birds.Full day to explore the beauty of the backwaters.Also you may opt to take a half day motor boat safari through various birding spots like Pathiramanal island etc. You may opt to go for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic Massage.Dinner and overnight at the Resort.
Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake and a picturesque, clean village like most places in Kerala. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread across 14 acres, the bird sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
The village of Kumarakom, a cluster of little islands on the eastern banks of Vembanad Lake, is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, spread across 14 acres, has an interesting variety of birdlife.If you are a bird enthusiast, visit the sanctuary between June and August, the breeding season of resident wetland birds such as Indian Darter, Little cormorant, different species of egrets and herons, white ibis, several species of kingfishers, etc. Between the months of November and May, the bushes and woods of the sanctuary play host to some rare migratory birds. The Vembanad lake body attracts waterfowl like pin-tailed duck, garganey teal, spot-billed duck, birds of prey like osprey, marsh harrier, steppe eagle, etc.Bird lovers can also take a boat trip to the nearby Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathiramanal, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal and Poothapandi Kayal to watch local birdlife and migrants which could easily be more than a hundred species.
Day 07 – Kumarakom
Full day at leisure to explore the backwaters.Overnight at the resort.
Day 08 – Houseboat
Enjoy your breakfast at the resort. By noon the Houseboat will pick you up from the resort jetty for a night’s stay.Your meals are cooked and served on board. Explore the amazing backwater life of Kerala! Overnight at the Houseboat.
What is truly magical about a houseboat is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers. The houseboats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen where are cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from the backwaters. Today, the tradition is still continued and the food from the local cuisine is served by the Kuttanad locals, on board. The name Backwaters brings you the very thought of Houseboats. Food and leisurely times spent on-board with the feeling and privacy of house as well as enjoying the natural beauty. A Cruise amidst marvelous mangrove forests, captivating coconut canopies, swaying palms, mangrove forests, pulsating paddy fields sprinkled with enchanting waterways and canals decked with white lilies, can be quite a rejuvenating experience for the weary traveler. Enjoying a cruise in these backwaters is not to be missed, as it leaves you feeling fully rejenuvated. The banks of these backwaters in Kerala are the most enchanting picnic spots. You get to experience the native way of living.
Day 09 – Alleppey - Marari
Morning after breakfast on board, checkout & proceed to Marari, a relatively quiet beach paradise of Kerala. You may opt to have a rejuvenating Ayurvedic Massage. Overnight at Resort.
Marari originates from "Mararikulam", one of the local fishing villages, where life still goes on much as it did a hundred years ago, with the men going out to sea each day to earn a living bringing in the daily catch. Completely new to the holiday maker. Marari offers endless miles of superb sand beaches backed by swaying palms, virgin territory where you can experience the local charm/and traditional Keralan Hospitality at it's best. Marari Beach is an endless vista of sand and surf, but it is more. An authentic experience of the world of Kerala's traditional fishing villages, and a recreation of an ancient, harmonious way of life. The village of Mararikulam lies on a forgotten shore, midway up the Malabar Coast, where the Indian Ocean finally decides that it has now become the Arabian Sea.
Day 10 – Marari
Full day at leisure on the beach.You may opt to take an Ayurvedic massage at the resort.Evening you may opt to visit the local Hindu temple to watch the evening crowd coming for the prayers.Overnight at Resort.
Day 11 – Marari
Full day at leisure on the beach.You may opt to take an Ayurvedic massage at the resort.Overnight at Resort.
Day 12– Cochin Departure
Like all good things, your tour in Kerala comes to an end but you will always carry with you memories of this unique and unforgettable holiday experience. Today, you will be assisted and transferred to Cochin International airport for your flight home!!
Package Cost Includes:
* 02 Nights stay at Cochin as mentioned above
* 02 Nights stay at Periyar as mentioned above
* 03 Nights stay at Kumarakom as mentioned above
* 01 Night stay at Deluxe A/c Houseboat with all meals
* 03 Nights stay at Marari Beach as mentioned above
* Daily Breakfast at all the hotels/ resorts
* All meals on Houseboat
* English speaking guide at Cochin
* Greenix Show at Cochin
* Village Backwater Cruise with lunch
* Elephant Safari & Spice Plantation Tour in Periyar
* All transfers and sightseeing as per attached itinerary by A/c Deluxe Vehicle.(We don�t use small car like Tata Indica for 02 Pax.Our Base car is Renault Logan or Tata Indigo)
* All Entrance fees as per program
* Driver allowance, parking, fuel, state entry fee
* All currently applicable taxes including Government Service Tax
Package Cost Excludes:
* Any meals other than those specified
* Any sightseeing unless otherwise specified
* Any train/ air/ Ship fare other than those specified.
* Camera fee, Ride, Guide fee etc which are not included above.
* All expenses of personal nature like soft/ hard drinks, Telephone/ Fax, Laundry, Tip etc.
* All other services not mentioned under package cost includes section.
* Confirmation of all services with full payment only.
* Above mentioned rates are valid at the moment are subject to change without any prior notice.
* Confirmation of all services is subject to availability at the time of booking.
* Above mentioned rates are applicable to Foreign Nationals only
* At houseboat A/c will be available from 09 PM to 06 AM only.
* Rates are Valid from 01 Oct 2011 till 31 March 2012 Except during the Peak Season which is from 15 Dec 2011 till 15 Jan 2012.