Day 1: Kochi
Arrive in Kochi. You will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague
and escorted to your hotel.
Day 2: Kochi
This morning, the expedition leaders will meet you and brief you about the trip.
Afterwards you will set out to explore the city’s prominent sights and attractions. Begin your tour with a visit to the Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace (remains closed on Fridays and Saturdays)
, which was commissioned by the Portuguese for the Raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights.
You will visit the Jewish Synagogue (remains closed on Fridays and Saturdays).
One of the oldest in India, it is set in the Jewish Quarter, commonly known as “Jew Town”. The area is famous for its aromatic spice market and its antique shops.
Also on the tour, you will visit two of the prominent Christian churches – St Francis’ Church and Santa Cruz Cathedral
You will then return to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure.
In the evening, you will attend a private Kathakali dance performance
at a theater. An Indian dance-drama, Kathakali is usually performed in front of a Kalivilakku (“kali”= dance; “vilakku”= lamp). A distinguishing characteristic of this art form is that the actors never speak, but instead use hand gestures, expressions and rhythmic dancing instead of dialogue.
Day 3: Kochi – Munnar
After breakfast, you will drive to Kodhamangalam
(approximately 2 hours, excluding stops). From here, you will cycle along the Periyar River to the world famous tea plantations of Munnar
. You will cycle through misty mountains, thick forests, hills covered in tea and cardamom plantations, deep valleys, sparkling streams and waterfalls.
On arrival, you will check-in to your hotel.
Day 4: Munnar – Top Station
This morning, you will cycle to Top Station
(approximately 1.5 hours, excluding stops), the highest point in Munnar. Top Station offers a panoramic view of the majestic Western Ghats.
You will return to your hotel for lunch. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 5: Munnar – Thekkady
Today, you will cycle through thick forests, coffee, tea and cardamom plantations to Thekkady
(approximately 3.5 hours, excluding stops), renowned for its spices and proximity to Periyar Tiger Reserve
, the best-known wildlife sanctuary in South India.
On arrival, check-in to your hotel.
Day 6: Thekkady – Paradisa
After breakfast this morning, you will head out on your cycles to Paradisa
. You will pass through hills covered in a quilt of tea plantations.
Visit a local church atop a hill. Don’t miss the breathtaking view of the countryside below!
Continue on your ride to Paradisa
(approximately 1.5 hours, excluding stops). On arrival, check-in to your hotel.
The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 7: Paradisa – Kumarakom – Houseboat
Today’s cycling route takes you through the grasslands of Vagamon to the state highway. From here, you will drive to Kumarakom (approximately 4 hours, excluding stops).
On arrival at the Kumarakom jetty
, you will board your traditionally-styled private Houseboat
and journey along Kerala’s backwaters.
You will gently sail past Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples
and coconut groves
. There is a different Kerala that lives along these waterways.
Lunch & Dinner
will be served on board.
Day 8: Backwaters – Kochi – Onward Destination
After an early breakfast, you will disembark from your houseboat and drive to Kochi airport
in time to board your flight to your Onward Destination