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India - 7 Day Irresistible Kerala Private Tour - is currently on backorder. You may still purchase now though and we'll ship as soon as more become available.
ITINERARY

Kochi - Periyar - Alleppey – Marari - Kochi: 7 days

There is a reason why Kerala is referred to as "God's own country" and featured in National Geographic Traveler's 50 greatest places of a lifetime - it is gorgeous!

On our 7 day Private Tour, you get to experience the port city of Kochi, the wildlife sanctuary and spice plantations of Periyar, spend a night on a house boat in Alleppey and relax on a gorgeous palm fringed beach in Marari. 

Warning: if you read the itinerary of this tour you will want to book it.

This is a Private Tour meaning you get your own personal guide, driver and private car. Travelbay can cater for any size group but it will only be YOUR group and we will provide a suitably sized vehicle. You can select any date of your choice (subject to availability, with very few exclusions and please give us at least 30 days notice). We think these tours are very special and hope you will too.

We also offer Tailor Made Tours to India. 

* Price includes 6 nights' accommodation, air-conditioned vehicle, all entrance fees, guides, 11 meals and more. Price does not include international return flights to India.

We would be happy to provide you with a quote for international flights. Flights from Australia to Kochi are approximately $900 - $1200 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw! 

Download Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kochi

Your journey begins in the port city of Kochi, also known as Cochin. On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check in.

Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, settling in or you may choose to take the local ferry to the old market or enjoy a sunset cruise around the harbour (at your own expense). 

Overnight in Kochi: Casino Hotel / Fort Heritage or similar - Standard room (Standard); Old Light House Bristow or similar Heritage Hotel - Standard room (Deluxe); Brunton Boat Yard or Taj Malabar - Standard sea facing room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Discover Kochi and its blend of cultures

Enjoy a tour in the morning and discover what an interesting mix and blend of cultures Kochi is home to. Chinese, Judaism, Portuguese, Dutch and of course the British have all left their mark on this tropical port of the Malabar coast. It makes for a wonderful city to explore.  

Some of the main sights covered will be the Chinese fishing nets, the Vaniar Dhobi unit, the Dutch Palace, the Paradesi Synagogue, (the oldest in India, built in 1568), and the vibrant spice markets, still going strong after hundreds of years. The quaint Old Dutch houses around Jew Town are now home to boutiques and antique shops.

Spend your afternoon at leisure and in the evening you will be taken for a Kathakali dance performance, the ancient pantomime dance drama of Kerala. Arrive a little early to see the performers applying complex make-up a fascinating experience. 

Optional extra: This evening, rather than having the usual dinner, you can choose to partake in a cooking demonstration followed by dinner with a local culinary expert where you will learn the intricacies of cooking Keralan cuisine. The cost of this is AUD $30 per person. 

Overnight in Kochi: Casino Hotel / Fort Heritage or similar - Standard room (Standard); Old Light House Bristow or similar Heritage Hotel - Standard room (Deluxe); Brunton Boat Yard or Taj Malabar - Standard sea facing room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 3: Travel to Periyar and visit a spice plantation

Today you will be driven inland to Periyar (around 4 hours). In the afternoon enjoy a visit to a spice plantation. Learn about how spices are grown, enjoy the aromas of cinnamon, discover the beauty of the cardamom flowers and the pepper plant leaves - a lovely experience. 

Overnight in Periyar: Wildernest / Abad or similar - Standard room (Standard); Elephant Court or similar - Elegant room (Deluxe); Spice Village or similar - Standard Villa (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 4: A boat trip on Lake Periyar and overnight on a houseboat

This morning enjoy an early boat ride on Lake Periyar to observe the stillness and wildlife of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady the Sanctuary is a thick forest. There are many birds and sightings of elephants, sambar, Malabar giant squirrels and wild boars are common. The sanctuary is also home to tigers but sightings are very rare. 

Drive down the hills of the Western Ghats (mountain range) for around 4 hours to the backwaters of Alleppey. Set on Vembanad Lake, this is one of Kerala’s most beautiful spots and where you board your Houseboat.

Enjoy cruising in the labyrinthine waterways and seeing the local village life as it has been for years - fisherman casting their nets, children coming home from school by canoe, and ‘toddy tappers’ men who can scale the tallest coconut palms in order to extract the sap. Cruise past water lilies in a glorious blooms of colour as exotic birds dive in search of fresh fish.

A note on the houseboats or kettuvallam as they are called:

These are traditional boats made out of wood, bamboo, coconut fibre, jute, coir etc. and have air-conditioned rooms with an ensuite toilet and shower. There are 1 - 4 bedrooms depending on the size of your group and houseboat and each boat has a kitchen where the cook prepares the meals, plus a big open area with a dining table and sitting area with sofas and chairs.

After you board the boat there is usually a short cruise before the boat is moored at a place where lunch is served. After lunch the cruise again begins through the narrow canals and stops are made to show you the local life. The boat is again moored around sunset and this is where dinner is prepared and then served. The boats stay put for the night and there is no cruising during the night. In the morning after breakfast the boat again starts cruising before returning to the jetty.  

Overnight in Alleppey: AC Houseboat - Standard room (Standard); Deluxe AC Houseboat - Standard room (Deluxe); Premium AC Houseboat - Standard room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Enjoy the morning in Alleppey and travel to the palm fringed beach Marari

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast cruise through the narrow backwater canals towards your boat jetty. During your cruise, witness local life close-up, with villagers working in the rice fields, ferries plying their trade and local fisher folk fishing. Disembark your boat and drive to Marari (40 min drive), one of the lovely palm fringed beach of Kerala. 

Overnight in Marari: Abad Turtle on the Beach or similar - Beach cottage (Standard and Deluxe); Marari Beach Resort or similar - Garden Villa (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 6: A beach day

Spend the day at leisure enjoying the beach. A stroll or a bicycle ride (most of the hotels have these) through the village around the resort can be a lovely experience as you can watch the local fishermen at work and meander along the sleepy lanes. Or if you wish you can enjoy the interesting process of coir (coconut fibre) making in nearby villages.

Overnight in Marari: Abad Turtle on the Beach or similar - Beach cottage (Standard and Deluxe); Marari Beach Resort or similar - Garden Villa (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 7: Return to Kochi 

This morning you will be driven back to Kochi (2 hour journey) and taken to the airport in time for your flight home or to your next destination.

Meals included: Breakfast 

 

* All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.

INCLUSIONS
Inclusions:
  • 6 nights' accommodation 
  • 11 meals included: Daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 4 dinners.
  • All transportation throughout the tour in an air-conditioned vehicle.
  • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
  • Assistance at airports and all major cities. 
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary (in each location you will have a different guide).
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Bottled mineral water in the vehicle during journeys and transfers. 
Highlights:
  • Discover the wonders of Kochi, Kerala's major port city. 
  • Enjoy a morning boat ride on Lake Periyar and a spice plantation visit.
  • Spend the night on a houseboat in the backwaters of Alleppey - a very special experience. 
  • Relax on the white sand palm-fringed beach of Marari
MORE INFO

Travelbay India - 7 Day Irresistible Kerala Tour

How to get there:

This tour starts and ends in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala. 

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and is happy to provide you with a quote and organise your flights. We charge a $50 booking fee for this service. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange flights yourself you can find more information and suggestions here.

If you are wanting to know more about how far it is between destinations and how long your flight will take, you can visit www.travelmath.com and use their trip calculator.

    Timezones:
    To help you calculate the time difference we recommend World Time Buddy.

    Visa information:
    Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to India. The easiest way to apply for your visa is online (you can do so here).

    The form to fill out is quite detailed - please take your time to read all the instructions carefully. On arrival in India you will have a special queue for evisas. 

    You can also apply via VFS Global who works in conjunction with the Indian embassy. You will need to send your passport and application form by mail to VFS. See here for more information. 

    Please note: Every country has different visa requirements and charges. To support we attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

    Currency information:
    The currency used in India is the Indian Rupee.

    What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines available and you should let your bank know that you will be using your card over there to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

    Vaccination information:
    Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. 

    Electricity and Adaptors
    A useful resource to find out what plug or adaptor you might need for any country can be found by clicking here: https://whatplug.info/to/ and then selecting the country or countries you are visiting.

    Climate:
    Kerala is in the South of India and is only 10° North of the equator. The climate is tropical and the coastal regions are warmer than the highlands.

    Winter: From October to March. Temperatures are cooler at this time of year but as it is a tropical region it is still warm. Temperatures range from 24°C to 32°C and rainfall is minimal.

    Summer: April to September. Towards the end of February temperatures start to climb. In April the temperature can reach 36°C and the lows are around 32°C. The Westerns Ghats (mountain range) prevent the dry Northern Winds that much of India experiences. A cool breeze from the Arabian Sea help keep the temperatures more moderate when compared with other parts of India. There can be erratic rainfall during the months of April and May. 

    Monsoon season: Late May/Early June – October. During these months there can be periods of torrential rain. Temperatures range from 19°C to 36°C and the average rainfall during this season is 2500mm – 3000mm.

    Peak season: The end of December and into February is peak season for travel in India.

    October to April is a popular time for visitors’ due to the milder and cool climate. There are some tours to the North of India that we do not run in the summer time due to the sizzling weather in the dry areas such as Rajasthan.

    Diwali and Holi are festivals in India and during this time places are more likely to be crowded and accommodation fills up quickly. Diwali falls in October and is the festival of lights. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colours and is celebrated in March. Whilst crowded, it can be a great time to enjoy the festivities with the locals. 

    Travelbay tip: Ask the local guides about the best places to dine.

    Vehicle description:

    For information on vehicles used in India, please click here: India Tours - Vehicle Information

    Tipping tips:

    Tipping is entirely at your discretion. 

    In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

    It is usual to tip the waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bills for hotels, transport companies or any other suppliers. At hotels and restaurants, about 10% of the bill is usually acceptable. Tipping is not necessary for taxis or for cheaper restaurants. It is a good idea to check if service charges are included in your restaurant bill. If not, a tip of 10% of the total bill is normal. 

    Although we give below a few general guidelines, it is to be remembered that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore please view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received. 

    Please note the below amounts are per person for individual travellers. 

    Guides, Escorts and Transport:

    • Guide (Full Day) Rs 500 – Rs 800 per day 
    • Guide (Half Day) Rs 400 – Rs 600 per day 
    • Tour Escort Rs 500 – Rs 1000 per day 
    • Driver for the tour Rs 300 – Rs 500 per day 
    • Driver for local duties Rs - 500 per day 

    Hotels/ Restaurants:

    • Bell Boy Rs 30 – Rs 50 per member of staff 
    • Room Service & Restaurants About 10% of the bill total (Unless service charge is mentioned as included) 

    Population: 1.3 billion

    Language: There is no national language in India. Hindi and English are both official languages. India has over 1,000 spoken languages. The languages with the most number of speakers are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil. 

    Predominant religion: Hinduism followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikh, Buddhism and Jainism

    Some interesting facts:

    The backwaters of Kerala with its interconnected network of canals, lakes and inlets is estimated to be around 900 kms of maze like waterways. 

    India, Pakistan and Bangladesh used to be one country. After British rule ended in 1947 these countries eventually became independent. 

    Delhi is the capital of India but Mumbai is the most populated with a population of over 20 million. 

    India prides itself on being the world's largest democracy. In the 2009 election there were over 417 million voters. 

    Related blogs & articles:

    Travelbay Blog - Lessons on souvenir buying in India Travelbay Blog - Long Weekend Getaway to Kerala

    Travelbay Tip:

    Extend your time in Kerala or visit the North of India as well. 

    Travelbay  India - Paradise Found - 12 Day Kerala Private Tour Travelbay  India - 12 Days from Golden North to Irresistible South

    More Travelbay India Tours:

    Travelbay  India - 15 Day Colourful Rajasthan Tour Travelbay  India - 7 Day Golden Triangle Tour 

    Travelbay  India - Treasures & Tigers - 15 Day Private Tour Travelbay India - 9 Day Golden Triangle plus Tigers of Ranthambhore 

    TERMS
    Terms & Conditions

    Booking Process:

    Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

    As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 24 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

    We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport.

    Very Important:

    It is important to note your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received a booking confirmation from us. In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment.  

    Booking Information:

    • Quoted prices are per person.
    • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
    • Please book at least 30 days prior to your desired date of travel. 
    • Bookings are subject to availability.
    • Child prices: Children under 5 are free. Please contact us for prices of children 5 and over as it will vary depending on the age of the child and group size. 
      • Minimum group size is 2. 
      • The listed "Price per person ~ single room" relates to having your own room for the tour. If you are a single traveller please note the minimum group size is 2, so you need to contact us prior to booking to ensure others have already booked on your preferred travel date. If you would like to travel alone, please contact us and we can arrange a custom quote. 
      • Maximum group size is 10. Please contact us if your group is larger than 10. 
      • For groups of 10 or more people you will have an accompanying tour escort.
      • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you.
      • If you have any other special requests including having a quote for a private or custom tour please let us know as we can make arrangements.
      • Please note: The luggage limit for checked in baggage for many domestic flights in India is 15kg. For carry on it is 7kg. Some flights allow more but you cannot depend on this. If your luggage exceeds the allowed rate then you are responsible for paying any excess charges. Again these vary, but start at around AUD5 per kg and are sometimes more for longer flights.
      • Prior to completion of your booking we take great care to go through all the details together with you until we get everything exactly as you would like it. At that point we confirm your booking and the details and you pay for it. If after payment, you decide to make further changes we will do what we can to accommodate them and will also need to charge an additional $50 administration fee.

        Inclusions:

        • 6 nights' accommodation
          • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before 12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out are subject to room availability and may generate additional full day room rate.
        • Daily breakfast, 1 lunches and 4 dinners included (total of 11 meals). 
        • All transportation throughout the tour in an air-conditioned vehicle. The vehicle used will depend on the size of the tour and will range from an air-conditioned car for groups of 2, a Toyota Innova for groups of 3, a minivan for groups of 4-10 people and for groups over 10 a coach will be used. The vehicle will be used accordingly to the number of people booked on each date. 
        • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
        • Please note: There is one airport transfer on arrival and one airport transfer on departure for the group booked. If within your group you will be arriving separately, please contact us for a quote.
        • Assistance at airports and all major cities.
        • English speaking guide for sightseeing as per the tour program (in each location you will have a different guide).
        • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as mentioned in the itinerary.
        • Bottled mineral water in the vehicle during journeys and transfers. 

          Exclusions:

          • International airfares to and from India (we can provide you with a quote for these).
          • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
          • Drinks for all meals.
          • Optional cooking demonstration on Day 2. AUD $30 per person.
          • Camera fee wherever levied. 
          • Any visa fee.
          • Travel insurance.
          • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector in future will be payable by the guest.
          • Any sudden increase in the entrance fee. The price is based on the presently applicable fee. 
          • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
          • Tips and gratuities.
          • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
          • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

            General Terms & Conditions:

            • Your contract with Travelbay commences upon us providing you with a booking confirmation (not upon payment).
            • By purchasing this tour you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to these terms and conditions.
            • All prices we list are in AUD unless otherwise stated and include GST where payable.
            • This package, including any unused portion, cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.
            • Some accommodation providers may require that you present a credit card or cash deposit upon check-in to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred during your stay, for example mini-bar. You are responsible for the payment of any such additional expenses.
            • Please check baggage allowance prior to travel. The allowance may vary according to the destination, airline, cruise or coach operator. You are responsible for any excess baggage fees.
            • Travelbay recommends travel insurance. We would be pleased to provide you with a quote and support you in your insurance needs. Please click here or contact us on 1800 020 020.
            • It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid visa, if required. Please click here for more information on visa requirements.
            • Passport and visa regulations can change and it is your responsibility to ensure that you possess the relevant travel documents before you travel. Delays can be experienced in obtaining a passport or visa, so you are advised to apply in plenty of time. We accept no responsibility in any regard in relation to customers who are denied entry to a country because they do not possess the correct travel documents.
            • It is also your responsibility to ensure that you hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. If you hold multiple passports, you may be required to present your passport of residence on departing that country. If you hold a passport for a country to which you are travelling, you may be obliged to produce that passport on entering the country. Accordingly, you could be obliged to carry more than one passport when travelling overseas. You should make your own enquiries in relation to your specific circumstances and requirements.
            • It is your responsibility to ensure that all your details are recorded correctly. Any request for a name change after documents have been issued may incur amendment fees or result in the original booking being cancelled and in the case of airlines, the loss of a seat.
            • When purchasing flights, cruises and other carriage and travel services, the name on the passport must match the name on the ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If, after purchasing products or services but before traveling, any member of your party changes their name you must notify the relevant carrier, or us, immediately so that the necessary changes can be made to your documentation. You may incur a fee.
            • Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. For those of you who have any medical conditions please also ensure you are fit to travel and have all the medication you need with you. Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your doctor for current recommendations before you depart. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip.
            • Many but not all suppliers have facilities for people who require assistance. If you have any disabilities or require special assistance, please let us know at the time of booking so we can check if suitable services are available.
            • It is your responsibility to review travel prohibitions, warnings, announcements and advisories issued by the relevant government agencies prior to booking travel or departing to international destinations. For Australian travellers, information on conditions in various countries and the level of risk associated with travel to particular international destinations can be found on the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service website currently located at http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au. For travellers from other countries we recommend you check the travel recommendations of your country.
            • By offering reservations for travel-related products or services in relation to particular international destinations, Travelbay does not represent or warrant that travel to such points is advisable or without risk, and Travelbay is not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations.
            • Travelbay sells tours on behalf of other Suppliers/Tour Operators. We rely on the relevant third party suppliers. Travelbay and the airlines, hotels and other Suppliers providing Services made available on or through this Website are independent parties and are not related parties. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Travelbay is not liable for the acts, errors, omissions, representations, warranties, breaches or negligence of any such Suppliers or for any personal injuries, death, property damage, or other damages or expenses resulting therefrom.
            • Whilst we take great care to provide clear and accurate information, there may be occasions where there are inaccuracies or errors. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of, and disclaims liability for, any errors or other inaccuracies relating to the information, descriptions and activities displayed on this website and in our promotional material.
            • All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.
            • Hotel ratings displayed on this Website and in our promotional material are intended only as general guidelines, and Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of the ratings. Hotel room images are representative only and the actual room occupied may vary in inclusions and décor.
            • In some circumstances, some specific products or services as contained on this website and promotional material may not be available due to circumstance beyond our control. In that situation, we will do our best to provide replacement products and / or services of a comparable nature and quality. Travelbay and our respective Suppliers make no guarantees about the availability of specific products and services.
            • Subject to relevant laws, if Travelbay merges, sells or otherwise changes control of our business or this Website, we reserve the right, without giving notice or seeking consent, to transfer or assign your Personal Information, content and rights that we have collected from you and any agreements we have made with you.
            • Travelbay reserves all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyright in material and/or services provided by us.

            If you have any questions please email us 24/7 or call us Monday to Friday on 1800 020 020 to speak with one of our friendly team.

            25 August 2019

            1 September 2019

            8 September 2019

            15 September 2019

            22 September 2019

            29 September 2019

            6 October 2019

            13 October 2019

            20 October 2019

            27 October 2019

            3 November 2019*

            10 November 2019*

            17 November 2019*

            24 November 2019*

            1 December 2019

            8 December 2019

            15 December 2019*

            22 December 2019*

            29 December 2019*

            5 January 2020*

            12 January 2020

            19 January 2020

            26 January 2020

            2 February 2020*

            9 February 2020*

            16 February 2020*

            23 February 2020*

            1 March 2020

            8 March 2020

            15 March 2020

            22 March 2020

            29 March 2020

            5 April 2020

            12 April 2020

            19 April 2020

            26 April 2020

            More dates available, please contact us

            * High season surcharge of $50, $140 or $155 applies, please contact us

            Customer Reviews

            Based on 1 review
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            D
            D.G.
            We had a great trip

            Hello, we had a great trip. A great hotel was Brunton Boathouse in Cochin, where we did Yoga each morning to start the day. Special mention to your team who looked after us. When we needed help, Abhi was on hand and our two drivers, Serrat and Subhash were professional and likeable guys who made travelling a pleasure. The guides we had were great.