Kerala Houseboat Tour
Duration : 08 Days / 07 Nights
Arrive Cochin and transfer to the hotel, relax for a day, overnight at hotel. Cochin set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, the port city of Cochin (Kochi) (Queen of Arabia) reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. With a rich past and a bustling present, it has been the business hub of the region from the very early days after Alleppey (Alappuzha). Cochin consists of mainland Ernakulam, the islands of Willington, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbour, Fort Cochin and Mattancherry on the southern peninsula, and Vypeen Island north of Fort Cochin, all was linked by ferry but now some islands have bridges. The influence of Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans is evident in Cochin and its people. The oldest church in India, 500-year-old Portugese houses, old tiled houses built in the Chinese pagoda style, the famous Chinese fishing nets, a Jewish community whose roots go back to the Diaspora, synagogues and mosques all tell the fascinating story of this harbour town. The harbour is still at the heart of the city and pepper, sea food, rubber and coir mats and matting are exported from here. Despite this, Cochin is an attractive city with serene creak & lagoons overhung with feathery coconut palms and picturesque islands. The older parts of Fort Cochin and Mattanchery are an unlikely blend of medieval Portugal, Holland and an English country village grafted onto the troppical Malabar coast. Cochin is one of India's largest ports and a major naval base.
Morning after lunch at the hotel drive to Periyar and on check into hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Periyar: One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat.
The forest here, slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted here.
There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season to visit the park is between October and June. Spread over 777 sq.km of the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137 km from Madurai.
Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water.
Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc. There are over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.
Early morning boatcruise on the Lake of the famous Periyar wildlife sanctuary to see wild life. Return to hotel for breakfast After breakfast a guided walk around the Spice Village to see the various spices grown in the resort garden. Thereafter drive through the winding "Ghats" lined with prosperous tea plantations & then arrive the fascinating countryside of low-lying palms and paddy fields to Kumarakom (190 kms) enroute visit the tea estates. Overnight at hotel. Kumarakom slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets. The entire state of Kerala is blessed with plenty of rivers and the resources of many are still untapped. The waterways of Kerala which play a main role in the economy of the state links remote villages and islands with the main land. The water ways provide a cheap and economical mode of transport. The water ways of Kuttanad is now a big attraction for tourist. It is incredibly different experience to cruise in the backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty of Kerala villages. The scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of breath-taking greens and deep blues. Boat rides are available for tourist and others at nominal rates.
Morning at leisure at Coconut Lagoon, taking a cruise on the backwaters in traditional country canoes called "vanjis" to see the agricultural activities of the local people living on the back waters. Visit also the beautiful bird sanctuary. Overnight on board.
Marari: Breakfast on board. Sail to Alleppey & disembark at Puthenagady Jetty. On arrival proceed directly to Mararikulam (30 kms) Mararikulam - is one of the picturesque fishing villages that dot the lovely coast line of Kerala. Rest of the day at leisure for own activities and enjoy the facilities of the Resort. Overnight at hotel.
Full day at leisure for own activities and enjoy the facilities of the Resort. Overnight at hotel. Marari Beach Resort is located at 60 kms from Kochi (Kerala, India), set in 25 acres of coconut palm groves leading down to the long expanse of beach. The Resort is constructed with a strong local flavour. It has 48 cottages and 3 cottages with private swimming pools. The restaurant serves excellent food, both Indian and Continental, there is a large swimming pool also on location.
COCHIN - Visit the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, the Church of St. Francis, the Bolghatty Palace & the famous Chinese fishing nets. Afternoon, Harbour cruise - Cochin has one of the finest natural harbours. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Transfer to the International airport for onward flight.