Kerala Backwaters Tour – 8 Days

Kerala Backwaters Tour – 8 Days

Kerala, aptly called as God’s Own Country, is famous for its backwaters. In this tour, travelers spend their time sightseeing in the green hills of Munnar, which are mostly carpeted by tea plantation. Then, they
Go on 8 day trip for
US $1,200 PP
  • Trip Code: ATH3453
  • Country: India
  • Duration: 8 Days
  • Trip Level:
    Easy
    Just about anyone can participate in one of these holidays. Minimum walking time is 2 hours and maximum walking time is approximately 5 hours a day. By the time you walk around a number of historical sites you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes. You do have the chance to take your time and there are plenty of places where you can rest if needed.
  • Activity: Sightseeing and Cultural TourGuided Sightseeing Tour
  • Starts at: Kochi
  • Ends at: Kochi
  • Trip Route:

    Kochi-Munnar-Kumarakom-Alappuzha-Kochi

  • Best Season: 
September to March

Trip Highlights

  • Sightseeing in Kochi (Chinese fishing nets, Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church, 400-year-old Paradesi Synagogue)
  • Scenic tea hills of Munnar
  • Visit to Eravikulam National Park which has an endangered species Nilgiri Tahr (Mountain Goats)
  • Visit to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
  • Houseboat ride in Vembanad Lake from Kumarakom to Alapuzzha
  • Alapuzzha, also known as the Venice of the East
  • Kayaking in narrow backwater canals of Alapuzzha

Trip Information

Kerala, aptly called as God’s Own Country, is famous for its backwaters. In this tour, travelers spend their time sightseeing in the green hills of Munnar, which are mostly carpeted by tea plantation. Then, they leisurely cruise in Vembanad Lake. A houseboat journey takes them from Kumarakom to Alappuzha, also knows as Venice of the East. Spend a day sightseeing which includes kayaking in the narrow backwater canals. Kerala Backwaters tour is one of the best ways to enjoy the backwaters and observe the life and culture of the people of Kerala.

Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive in Kochi. Overnight at Hotel.
  • Day 02: Guided Sightseeing in Kochi. Overnight at Hotel.
  • Day 03: Drive to Munnar (4 Hours). Overnight at Hotel.
  • Day 04: Guided Sightseeing in Munnar. Overnight at Hotel.
  • Day 05: Drive to Kumarakom (4.5 hrs). Overnight at Hotel.
  • Day 06: Backwater Houseboat Ride to Alappuzha (6 Hours). Overnight at Houseboat.
  • Day 07: Backwater Kayaking and Sightseeing in Alappuzha (7 Hours)
  • Day 08: Drive to Kochi (1.5 Hours) and Flight Departure
Day 1 – Arrive in Kochi

Our airport representative will receive you at Cochin International Airport, Kochi. S/he will be displaying an Ace the Himalaya signboard outside the airport terminal. You will be then transferred to the hotel in a tourist vehicle.

If you arrive before 4 pm, there will be pre-trip meeting in the hotel. You will be briefed about your trip. Ask questions if you have any. And if you arrive after 4 pm, the meeting will be held the next day.
Overnight at a hotel.(No meals included.)

Day 2 – Guided Sightseeing in Kochi

Have breakfast in your hotel. Then today’s sightseeing starts. You will have a tour guide with you.

The sightseeing tour covers fish market and Chinese fishing nets. These giant nets are believed to be brought by traders from China during the time of Kubla Khan. Visit the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. It was a gift to the Raja of Kochi by the Portugese and later renovated by the Dutch. St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, is also on the list of place you will visit. Then explore the Jew Town which has 400-year-old Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, and also explore spice market. And in the evening, enjoy traditional Kathakali dance performance.
Overnight at a hotel. (Breakfast Included)

Day 3 – Drive to Munnar (4 Hours)

Start your day with lovely breakfast. Leave Kochi and take a drive to Munnar. The scenic road journey to this picturesque hill station takes about 4 hours. Munnar is known for its green tea plantations carpeted on the rolling hills. There is no planned activity today. You are free to explore on your own.
Overnight at a hotel. (Breakfast included.)

Day 4 – Guided Sightseeing in Munnar

Enjoy your breakfast. Then your sightseeing begins. On the list of sites you will visit today includes: Eravikulam National Park. It is the first national park of Kerala. The park is home to the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr (mountain goats) who are considered endangered species. Other sites you will visit are: Mattupetty Dam, Tea Museum, Echo Point and Kundala Dam.
Overnight at a hotel. (Breakfast included.)

Day 5 – Drive to Kumarakom (4.5 Hours)

AHave breakfast and check out of the hotel. Today take a drive to Kumarakom. The road journey takes about four and a half hours. Kumarakom is located on the shores of Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Kerala and the longest in India. The lake is popular all over the world for its backwater houseboat experience. Once you reach the destination, check into a hotel. Then take a short trip to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, a favorite hang-out of migratory birds.
Overnight at a hotel. (Breakfast included.)

Day 6 – Backwater Houseboat Ride to Alappuzha (6 Hours)

Morning is free for you to explore or do anything you like. There is no planned activity. Then check out of the hotel and move into a houseboat. They usually leave Kumarakom at around 11 or 12. Spend about 6 hours riding on a comfortable houseboat as it moves through Vembanad Lake. Spend your time in boat reading, sunbathing, birdwatching, fishing or just doing nothing. By the time the clock hits 5 or 5:30 pm, the houseboat reaches Alappuzha. Onboard you will be served traditional Kerala food items.
Overnight at a houseboat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.)

Day 7 – Backwater Kayaking and Sightseeing in Alappuzha (7 Hours)

Breakfast will be provided in the houseboat. After breakfast, check out and transfer to a hotel in Alappuzha. Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is famous as Venice of the East. Today spend your day kayaking in narrow backwater canals that join larger lakes. It is one of the best ways to immerse in the beauty of Alleppey backwaters, interact with local villagers and experience their culture.

You won’t kayak all the time of sightseeing tour. There will be right number of rest stops. The kayaks are sit-on-top, not the ones used in fast-flowing rivers. Lunch will be provided.
Overnight at a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included.)

Day 8 – Drive to Kochi (1.5 Hours) and Flight Departure

The trip ends today. Our airport representative will drop you off at Cochin International Airport in Kochi for your flight departure to home.
(Breakfast included.)

  • We understand that some clients want their adventure trek/trip to be a private affair, so that it would enable them to spend some of their memorable moments with their near and dear ones at there own Schedule. Considering this, Ace the Himalaya organizes private journeys as well. Please choose your own departure date
    • 10 minus seven =
  • You can also use this tour as a base for a tailor-made itinerary. For example, we could add on more time exploring the Kathmandu Valley or relaxing in Pokhara, or add some wildlife safaris in Chitwan or Bardia National Parks. We can also adjust the trekking route and add some exciting white water rafting on the Seti, Trisuli or Bhote Koshi rivers. To discuss your ideas or to get some suggestions from one of our travel consultants, please fill in our tailor-made request form.
    • 7 − 3 =

Price Includes

  • Airport pick up and drop off on a tourist vehicle

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in three-star hotel for the duration of the tour including breakfast

  • All ground transportation by private tourist vehicle for sightseeing and transferring you between cities

  • Licensed English-speaking city guides in each place.

  • Licensed English-speaking tour guide/escort

  • Houseboat ride from Kumarakom to Alappuzha including lunch, dinner and breakfast and overnight stay in the houseboat

  • Full kayaking service in Alappuzha: kayaks, support boat, guide, lunch and others

  • All applicable hotel and transport taxes

Price Does not Include

  • International and domestic airfare and airport departure tax

  • Travel insurance (mandatory for the trip)

  • Lunch and dinner (USD 12 to 20 a day depending upon your spending habit)

  • Monument entrance fees during sightseeing

  • Expenses of personal nature related to laundry, telephone calls, etc

  • Alcoholic and cold drinks

  • Personal clothing and equipment(Click on equipment tab )

  • Tips for guides/escort and drivers (Tipping is expected.)

  • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section

All you need to bring for this tour is simply some comfortable clothes; there is no any requirement of special equipment on the tour. However for your ease, the following gives you the general idea about the personal items you need to manage for the trip. The personal items referred here are optional and depends upon your choice. The most important factor to be considered while choosing the equipments and your back pack is the time of the year you are travelling.

In a tour, the vehicle transfers all the heavy items and equipments. But the personal belongings of the clients which are required at any moment like money, water bottle, camera, suns cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. It is therefore advisable that you pack the personal belongings into your daypack.

List of Recommended Equipment for the Tour:

  • Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase
  • Daypack
  • Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears (only if you are travelling in the cold season i.e December, January and February)
  • Goggles or sunglasses for sunbeam, dust and wind.
  • A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it and is for cold season i.e December, January, February (optional)
  • 1 pair warm gloves (This is required if you are travelling in cold season i.e December, January, February)
  • T-shirts (2)
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric shell jacket (preferable if you are travelling in rainy season which lasts from July to September)
  • 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis), 1 pair shorts
  • 2 pairs lightweight long underwear/thermals (if you are traveling in winter i.e. DecemberJanuary and February)
  • 2 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene
  • 1 pair light shoes or sneakers
  • 1 pair sandals (Optional)

Medicines and First-Aid Kits

Before traveling to India, please consult your doctor regarding your health conditon and what kind of precautions you need to take.

  • Ibuprofen for general aches and pains
  • Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea
  • 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc

Miscellaneous, but Important!

  • Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies)
  • Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at the office in New Delhi just in case if you need to change the date of your)
  • Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport
  • Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletry kit. Be sure to include hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer

This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipment can be easily found in stores in Delhi for cheaper prices.

Here's a few answers to most common Questions asked by the customers.

This tour is for anyone. No previous experience is needed.

Yes, there will be our airport representative waiting for you with Ace the Himalaya signboard.

We will provide you accommodation in three-star hotels during the duration of the trip. The hotels offer clean and safe rooms with attached bathroom, Internet (Wi-Fi) service, laundry facility, etc.

Houseboat accommodaion  ……

Breakfast is included in the tour package. It will be provided to you in the hotel where you stay. And for lunch and dinner, you can either in the same hotel or go outside to eat in the restaurants which serve a variety of cusines from local to American to Chinese.

We use comfortable tourist vehicles for airport pick up and drop off and to transport you to sites and cities. We will use air-conditioned cars, minibuses, buses depending upon the size of the group.

This tour can be taken at any time of the year. Kerala has temperate weather all over the year. The temperature always stays between 35 and 20 degree celcius. Monroon rains can disrupt the tour. If you can, avoid this tour from June to August.

Kerala lies in the tropical zone near the equator, so it has pleasant climate throughout the year. The temperature fluctuates between 28 and 32 degree celcius. And in the highlands during winter, it drops to 10 degree celcius.
Kerala has four seasons:
1. Winter: It starts in December and lasts till February. Maximum temperature is 28 degree celcius and minimum is 18.
2. Summer: It lasts from March to May. Maximum temperature is 36 degree celcius and minimum is 32.
3. South West Monsoon: The first of two monsoons in Kerala. It starts in June and ends in September. Maximum temperature is 30 degree celcius and minimum is 19.
4. North East Monsoon: It lasts for 2 months: October and November. Maximum temperature is 35 degree celcius and minimum is 29.

Internet and telecommunication are easily available in Kerala. There are internet cafes where you can surf the web. Hotels and restaurants have Wi-Fi. Cell phones and telephones can be found almost everywhere. Even remote villages have phone booths from where you can make local, trunk and international calls.

Almost all the hotels and restaurants accept credit and debit cards. But in villages or small shops, only cash works. Their acceptance rate is lower than in US/Europe. So, we recommend you to always carry little bit of cash along with your credit and debit cards.

Yes, we don’t book international flights.

It depends on your spending habits. We estimate USD 12 to 20 a day will be enough to buy lunch, dinner, chocolates and a few drinks.

Bottled water is safe to drink. It is readily available everywhere. But for tap water, bring purifying tablets or gadgets.

Yes, they are licensed by the concerned authorities of India.

The minimum number for one tour group is 1 and the maximum number is 20.

Yes. Tip is a sign of gratitude to guides and drivers who serve you during the trip. We recommend you to spend USD 5/6 a day for tipping them. You can tip them at the end of the trip.

You must have Indian Visa approval before arrival in India along with original passport. You can see more details about Indian visa at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/

The only vaccine required by international regulations is that for yellow fever. The proof of vaccination will only be required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone within the six days prior to entering India. If you are traveling to India from Africa or South America, you should check to see if you require proof of vaccination.

We also recommend:

· A dental check-up prior to travelling
· That you know your blood group in case of emergency

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.

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    The above information is a guide and standard template of what we provide. Our trip can be customized at your request to accommodate your specific requirements.

    NOTE: During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

    What makes this trip different ?

    Ace the Himalaya works closely with and is one of the main supporters of local NGO Sambhav Nepal. We support them in a number of ways.

    Donation
    Ace the Himalaya donates up to 10% of its annual revenue to Sambhav Nepal’s projects which cover regular maintenance of school buildings, constructing toilets, rebuilding earthquake-affected houses and schools, and so on.

    Sponsorship
    One of the major activities of Sambhav Nepal is the children sponsorship program, which is conducted with full collaboration with Ace the Himalaya and its sister organizations, Ace Holidays and Ace Xpeditions.

    Partnership (Volunteering Program)
    The Volunteering Program, devised by Ace the Himalaya and Sambhav Nepal, aims to mobilize teams of experts and interested individuals as an effective and economic measure in providing the human capital for education, health and community development in the villages of northern Gorkha district, western Nepal.

    After the Earthquake of April 25, 2015, the Volunteering Program’s focus has been mobilizing the volunteers in various school and house rebuilding projects in the hard-hit Gorkha district.

    For more details, visit Sambhav Nepal’s website www.sambhavnepal.org