Plantations & Hill Stations - 9 days

FROM USD $2,699

Explore the beautiful south of India, taking in the lush tea plantations of lofty Munnar and Ooty in the magical Nilgiri Hills, riding the toy train to Coonoor and going wild in Muthanga Wildlife Reserve!

Day 1: Kochi
Monday. Welcome to the tropical south! Arrive at Kochi International Airport in Kerala by 10am, included transfer to hotel. In the afternoon embark on a short sightseeing tour of historic Fort Kochi, highlights include the Chinese Fishing Nets, the ancient Jewish Synagogue which was built in 1567, the Dutch Palace, with its 17th Century murals of the Ramayana and St. Francis’ Church. and in the evening we watch a Kathkali Dance show, the most popular and sacred dance-drama of Kerala, which has evolved over the last 400 years. Overnight - Kochi
A group of travellers in one of Munnars many verdant tea plantation.
Days 2 - 3: Tea Estates of Munnar
Kochi - Munnar. On day 2 we travel to lofty Munnar. At an altitude of 6000 feet, the tea plantations of Munnar are beautifully spread like green carpet over hundreds of kilometers and surrounded by lush green hills.

The tea plantations of Munnar offer a striking scope of the Western Ghats, Munnar is essentially a tea town which becomes obvious upon approach to Munnar as tea gardens cover the hillsides for miles. The Assam variety of tea is grown in Munnar and the tea plants are kept to a manageable height of 1 to 1.5 metres, if left to grow in the wild tea plants can reach as high as 25 metres and cuttings are used from these strong healthy plants to ensure the bushes are of fine quality rather than raising the bushes from a seedling.

This afternoon we visit Raja Malai - the highest peak of Munnar, where you might be lucky to see Neel Thar or mountain goats. Then we explore Munnar’s tea estates and the tea museum.

After breakfast on day 3 we travel to Club Mahindra for an adventurous jeep safari in the Kolukumalai Hills to visit a tea factory and learn more about the industry. Overnight - Munnar (B:2)
Plantations & Hill Stations - 9 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Days 4 - 5: Coimbatore – Coonoor
Munnar - Coimbatore - Coonoor. The morning of day 4 is spent at Eravikulum National Park and Mattupetty Dam. Please note that Eravikulum National Park is closed from 1st February - 30th March. So departures within this period will have a day of leisure on the morning of day 4. Later on we drive north to Coimbatore in the state of Tamil Nadu, arriving late afternoon the remains of the day are spent at leisure. Continuing our journey the following morning we travel on to Coonoor. One of the most popular hill stations of Tamil Nadu, Coonoor is beautifully located in the Nilgiri Hills or the Blue Mountains. Blessed by nature, Coonoor has a scenic charm that attracts large number of tourists every year.

Surrounded by tea plantations Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris region, situated at an altitude around 6000 feet it has a cooler, mild climate and is popular as a weekend getaway. Essentially a small tea garden town the weather is consistent throughout the year, walking the plantations on cool mornings can be a surreal experience as heavy mists sit on the hills and give the sensation of walking through clouds. In the afternoon visit the picturesque Botanical Gardens and Dodabetta Peak, the highest known peak in the region. Overnight - (1) Coimbatore and (1) Coonoor (B:2)
The train to colonial Shimla
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing today! We visit the beautiful tea and coffee plantations of Ooty and the Rose Gardens. The tea gardens are surrounded by lush green hills covered in pine and eucalyptus forests and spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometers.

Possibly the highlight of the day is a wonderful joy ride on the charming Toy Train from Ooty to Coonoor. Negotiating the Blue Mountain Railway line the blue and cream steam livery chugs from Mettupalayam to Otty via Coonoor, negotiating 16 tunnels, 31 major bridges and climbing to 2193 metres.

Ooty typically has pleasant and perfect weather all year round and was initially established around 1820 as a place for the British to escape the extreme heat of the plains eventually developing into one of the most popular resort towns. The scent of Eucalyptus trees, pine trees, coffee and tea plantations fill the air with a spicy fragrance. While tea is the main produce of the region essential oils of Eucalyptus, clove, geranium, lemon grass and camphor extracted from local plants of high quality are also produced in Ooty.

Situated in the Nilgiris or Blue Mountains, are a mountain range made up of at least 24 mountain peaks bordering Karnataka and Kerala and running through Tamil Nadu. At 7,500 feet the charming hill station of Ooty, which is actually short for Ootacamund and is now officially named Udhagamandalam is found lying between four mountain peaks –Club Hill, Snowdon, Doddabetta and Elk Hill offering spectacular landscapes. Overnight - Coonoor (B)
Days 7 - 8: Wayanad & Muthanga
Coonoor - Wayanad. After an early start we head to our next stop on our journey, the hill district of Waynard. This is one of the most beautiful regions of Ooty, situated 70km east of Kozhikode, with its tracts of forest covering the western flanks of the Nilgiris. Wayanad is renowned for its plantations of tea, coffee and cocoa, verdant jungle and the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Tours of the tea and coffee plantations can be arranged upon request. Wayanad is also famous for other crops grown in the region from black pepper, ginger and turmeric to rubber and vanilla. The black pepper grown in Wayanard is famous throughout India and the world due to a unique quality and aroma. Wayanad covers an area of around 2100 sq kilometres and retains its pristine nature nestled between the mountains of the Western Ghats. Later on today we visit the fascinating pre-historic Edakkal Caves.

On the morning of day 8 we go in search of animals in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary on a 3 hour jeep ride. Muthanga is famous for it's herds of wild elephant, spotted deer and bison. You can also catch sight of a while host of colourful birdlife and Malabar squirrels. Overnight - Wayanad (B:2, L:2, D:2)
The hills and tea plantations of Nilgiri
Day 9: Calicut
Tuesday. Wayanad - Calicut. After breakfast we drive to Karipur and transfer to Calicut International Airport in Kerala. Please Note: Flights departing Calicut should be booked after 12 noon. Additional accommodation can be arranged if you require. (B)
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Kochi / Ends in: Calicut
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:8, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star hotels & heritage properties
  • Tour Guide: Yes for locally included sites. Fully escorted for groups of 6 or more
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