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Welcome to Kochi, and the start of your exclusive South Indian Adventure! When you arrive into Kochi Airport, you will see our friendly local team waiting for you in arrivals to drive you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax after your flight, we would certainly recommend a walk along the waterfront this evening where you can see the traditional Chinese Fishing nets.
Formerly a princely state, Kochi is also fondly referred to as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. This morning we explore this first hand with our expert starting off in town to see the beautiful Parsi Synagogue built in 1568, the Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese in 1555 and St Francis’ Church. After that a walking tour of Fort Cochin takes you through streets still graced with traces of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. The remainder of today is then at your leisure to explore.
After breakfast we drive east to to Munnar - a quaint hill station nestled on the verdant slopes of tea plantations, that exudes a rare old world charm and reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. At a height of 1525 metres, Munnar offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Arriving here, spend time taking in the relaxed ambience and cooler climbs.
Continuing our journey through Kerala we head off south to Periyar, South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, birds and even the odd tiger! Kumli, close to the sanctuary and where you’ll stay, is a pretty little town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops. Arriving here, check into your rooms and head out for a walk in the grounds to feel first hand your natural surroundings.
There is plenty to do in and around Periyar, so we leave the choice to you the hotel offers a range of excursions that you can book and pay for locally. We have however included for you a boat ride on Lake Periyar to spot herds of wild elephants, of that didn't take your fancy you can opt to visit a Tea plantation instead.
Taking to the road once again, we venture to Kumarakom - Perched sleepily on the eastern banks of the mighty Lake Vembanad in the heartland of Kerala’s famed backwaters, Kumarakom has changed little since the Middle Ages but for it’s string of exotic resorts, making it the perfect point to explore the backwaters. Although right in the thick of a tangle of lush tropical waterways, Kumarakom is technically an island on Lake Vembanad. This is an ideal place to chill-out for a few days.
Today is at your leisure to relax and enjoy the tranquil backwater surroundings. If you did feel like getting out for a bit then there is a wonderful bird sanctuary nearby, which is winter home to many migratory birds which is worth a visit.
This morning you board a simply furnished private rice-boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Alleppey. Crewed by a poler to push the rice boat through the water, a distance of some 20 kms will be covered, during which time the boat will glide past colourful local villages. As for dining, the on-board cook will prepare meals using fresh local produce.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, disembarking at Alleppey this morning after a tasty breakfast, you'll be driven the short distance back to Kochi airport in time for your flight home.
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