Strewn with rivers, lagoons and meandering backwaters, covered in coconut groves and flanked by sunny, palm fringed beaches, Kerala truly is a small slice of paradise. Exploring fishing villages where colourful boats stand in the harbour against a backdrop of Chinese fishing nets, unwind aboard your private traditional kettuvallam houseboat (a converted rice barge) as you sail through the uniquely quiet backwaters, and discover a world of exotic spices.
Day 1 - Kochi
Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Kochi (or Cochin) is set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas and has one of the best natural harbours in the world. It is one of the most unique and fascinating towns in India.
Day 2 - Kochi
Morning tour of Fort Cochin and a cruise through the harbour. In the evening you can watch a performance of Kathakali Dancing.
Day 3 - Thekkady
Transfer to Thekkady in the scenic foothills of the Western Ghats. Coffee and tea plantations spread across the hills and there are acres of rubber plantations. Thekkady is the ideal place to stay for a visit to Periyar Wildlife Reserve.
Day 4 - Thekkady
The Periyar Wildlife Reserve is one of the largest in India with elephant, sambhar, wild pig, flying squirrel and over 260 species of bird life. Today you will take a guided walk into the park in search of the wildlife.
Day 5 - Allapuzha
A short transfer takes you to the starting point of your houseboat cruise through Kerala's waterways and lagoons. This is the most romantic way of seeing one of the most beautiful areas of Kerala and you can relax and watch the world go by, sipping from a tender coconut and enjoying the sheer peace of the palm-fringed waterways. You spend the night on board the houseboat.
Day 6 - Allapuzha
Your next stop is a wonderful old heritage home on Kerala's backwaters with a very hospitable young host who believes passionately in preserving his family's traditions. Time can be spent watching the toddy tappers climbing the tall trees, walking among the paddy fields or along the river banks, or rowing through the narrow canals in a country boat.
Day 7 - Mararikulam
Transfer to Mararikulam, a village just south of Kochi with a beautiful white stretch of beach.
Day 8 - Mararikulam
The beach is still quiet and it is still possible to watch the fishermen bringing in the night's catch if you visit the beach in the early morning. Marari is an excellent place to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea.
Day 9 - Kochi
Tour ends. Transfer to Kochi airport for your onward flight.