(Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Kovalam)
Travel beyond the ordinary & treat your soul to an enlightening voyage through the spellbinding treasures of Kerala in tranquil southern India. Behold Cochin, Queen of the Arabian Seas. Leisurely explore the lush jungles & historic tea estates of Munnar. Go on elephant safaris & sample spices in Thekkady. Embark on a private cruise through the mangroves of Kumarakom stopping at local villages along the way. Conclude this dreamlike escape with a couple of days on the heavenly beaches of Kovalam. Featuring delectable meals, Kathakali dance performance & elegant hotels, this magical journey showcases a whole other side of India.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver and English-speaking assistant.
The Brunton Boatyard possesses a remarkable sense of scale, evident the moment you turn into the tiled forecourt. The lobby is a vault of sunlight and air, framed by arches and overhung with punkahs - enormous, old-fashioned fans of Indo-Portuguese origin. Most rooms have a balcony. The corner suites are large with a separate sitting / dining and a private pantry for the Butler. All bathrooms too enjoy a great view and there is no better way to enjoy a luxurious bath than to lie in the long tub and keep the window shutters open to watch a fascinating scene below. The hotel has its own private jetty, which doubles up as a ‘café’, overlooking the pool garden and the sea.
Private guided tour of Kochi (Cochin). The first stop is the Paradesi Synagogue, built in 1568, it is the oldest synagogue in Commonwealth of Nations. The synagogue is magnificently decorated with Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. The Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. A short boat ride to Bolghatty is the Dutch palace offering a fantastic view of the city. This palace is notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, particularly in the bed chambers. In that room one can see the entire story of Ramayana on the walls. The palace also contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites.
Enjoy a Kathakali dance performance. Dating back to the 17th century, it originated in the south Indian state of 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.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Munnar. (130 Kms/ 4.5 Hrs)
One of the best hotels in India, Windermere Estate in Munnar is the perfect accommodation option for business and leisure travelers. Ranking high among the hotels in Munnar in India, this hotel is buttressed with the finest possible amenities for the visitors. Perched atop the mountains 3 km from Munnar, the convenient location of Windermere Estate in Munnar helps the tourists to explore the land of Munnar with ease. The hotel, set on a cardamom plantation 1600 meters above sea level, is 95 km away from Cochin International Airport.
This beautiful hill station is popular for its cool climate and tea plantation. This quiet little town boasts of many colonial bungalows, tea factories, wildlife sanctuaries and many lakes. Tea estates and thick forests primarily occupy Munnar. Tea production, manufacturing and selling are therefore the main source of employment here. The Tata Group of companies owns the majority of these tea estates.
Private guided tour of a Kerala spice plantation, where you can see natural pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg. The spice plantations in Kerala are captivating farms to wander in, since different spices are cultivated in different sections of each plantation. While exploring the Kerala spice plantations, you can go for nature walks, bird watching treks, taste the various spices and breathe in the fragrant air.
The Land Where Pepper Grows. Spice Village is located in the Periyar wilderness, high in the western ghats 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 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. Pepper and cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg, mace and anise the Periyar hills became nature's taste factory in the 14th century, as Cochin became nature's harbour, the port of lading for a spice-hungry world. Today, it's the rainforests, the animals and the vast silences that attract the modern visitor.
Guided tour of Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve set high in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammal have been recorded in Periyar, including almost 1000 elephants and gaur, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose and leopards. Though it's titled a tiger reserve, there are hardly any tigers left in the sanctuary.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Kumarakom.
Alleppey is spread through canals, lakes & lagoons. Your private guided tour by boat includes sailing down a maze of canals where one sees different scenes from the villages, paddy fields, coconut palms, fishermen and local life.
Coconut Lagoon is a boutique hotel located in an abandoned coconut plantation on the shores of the Vemabanad Lake. An ideal getaway for romantic holidays and family gatherings, this hotel charms you with its serenity, country side charm and greenery. Kumarakom, where the hotel is situated, is a favourite among holiday makers who are longing for a respite from the bustling city life. Coconut Lagoon captures all the nuances of this quaint little island, and tops it off with supreme facilities. This resort is surrounded by backwaters and is accessible only by boat.
Enjoy a private tour of the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. Spread across 14 acres the 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 storks that live here. The best way to watch the birds is a boat trip round the islands.
Meet your driver and English seaking guide for a private transfer to Kovalam. (180 kms/ 4 Hrs)
A short drive from Trivandrum Airport unfolds The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Kerala. With 182 rooms and suites dotted over many verdant acres, Kerala’s largest beachside resort is cradled between two sweeping beaches. Perched on a rock-face, this 5 star deluxe resort offers the most panoramic views of the famed Kovalam shoreline. Along with spoiling you with a host of impeccable dining and entertainment options, The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Kerala also has Divya, an authentic Ayurveda Wellness Spa.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Meet your driver and English speaking guide for a private transfer to Cochin. (250 Kms/ 5 hrs)
India & Area
Jim & Gayle Stinson ,
April 21, 2014
"Our individualized, private trip to India was just fabulous! Sunita made the planning almost too easy, the staff who met with us at each arrival/departure ensured all was fine. Our guides, Sunil, Dhilip, Govind, and Vinney, were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating, but the person who made our trip the most enjoyable was our driver Vikram. It was so nice to have a constant on our trip anticipating our every need, even presenting me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers on my birthday! We will only return if Vikram will be with us. Thanks to all for a trip of a lifetime!"
India & Area
Sharleen Dickson ,
April 21, 2014
"The driver and guides were excellent!"
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