A rice boat in Kerala | India
FROM: USD $1,145 pp
Captivating Kerala - 8 days map

Uncover the delights of tropical Kerala in India's deep south on this 8-day group tour. From Kochi visit the picturesque hill station of Munnar with its verdant tea plantations as well as Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend a night aboard a houseboat, gliding along the tranquil, palm fringed backwaters.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Reviews

Trip Highlights

Kochi – Enjoy free time to explore the coastal city and perhaps enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance show
Kumarakom – Relax on the shores of Lake Vembanad and opt to visit the local bird sanctuary
Munnar – Stroll through a tea plantation on a guided walk and visit a local market
Kerala Backwaters – Cruise along the famous backwaters on a deluxe rice boat, past lush forests and local villages
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary - Spot herds of elephants from an included boat ride on Lake Periyar

Included

Breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Boat ride on Lake Periyar
Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide (for groups of 4 or more)
Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 8
6 nights 3-4 star and heritage hotels and 1 night deluxe houseboat
Houseboat cruise along the Keralan backwaters
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: USD$15-25pp, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$4-7 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$35-45pp, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Kochi

Saturday. Welcome to India! You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Kochi

Day 2

Munnar Tea Plantations

Kochi - Munnar. Today we travel to the picturesque former hill station of Munnar, surrounded by sprawling tea plantations. We take a guided stroll through a local tea plantation and visit a local market, before the rest of the day is free to relax as you please. You may wish to visit nearby Blossom Park and enjoy cycling or boating in your stunning surroundings. This evening we meet others joining our group who have been travelling on our longer South India Explorer itinerary.
Overnight: Munnar  |  Breakfast

Days 3-4

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Munnar – Periyar. A drive south to Periyar, South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, birds and even the odd tiger! Kumily, close to the sanctuary and where we'll stay, is a pretty little town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops. There is plenty to do in and around Periyar, so we leave the choice to you for the remainder of the day.

On day 4 we will enjoy an included boat ride on Lake Periyar to spot herds of wild elephants, spending the remainder of the day at leisure to explore on own. You can opt for an optional visit to explore the spice plantation or enjoy a kalaripayattu dance performance Periyar.
Overnight: Kumily  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 5

Kumarakom

Periyar - Kumarakom. Today, we leave Periyar and take a drive to Kumarakom - a village spread over a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad. The day is free to relax or explore Kumarakom at your leisure. Perhaps take a boat ride on the lake or visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to many rare bird species and is an important stopover for migratory birds in the winter (Nov-May).
Overnight: Kumarakom  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Kerala backwaters

Kumarakom - Alleppey - Keralan Backwaters. On day 6, we will take a scenic drive to Alleppey. Here we board our private rice boat for a voyage through the famous Kerala backwaters. Our rice-boat takes us sedately along the enchanting palm-fringed backwaters, covering a distance of some 20 kms, during which time the boat glides past local villages and fascinating scenes of everyday rural life. Watch a beautiful sunset over the backwaters and enjoy tasty meals (starting with lunch) prepared by the on-board chef using fresh local produce.
Overnight: Deluxe rice boat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Kochi

Keralan Backwaters – Kochi. This morning, we disembark our rice boat and head for Kochi. Formerly a princely state, Kochi is also fondly referred to as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. The rest of the day is at leisure exploring Kochi on its own. This evening you can opt for an optional tour to watch an entertaining and traditional Kathakali dance show. Kathakali performers are known for their elaborate costumes and makeup, and they always put on a fantastic show.
Overnight: Kochi  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Kochi

Saturday. Our South India adventure comes to an end today with an included departure transfer to Kochi airport.
Breakfast

PREFER A PRIVATE TOUR OR TO EXTEND YOUR STAY?

• This tour can be arranged exclusively for you and your family or friends on a private basis, by paying the private tour supplement. Details are noted at the bottom of the prices & dates tab.

• Extend your stay in this vibrant country, view our selection of add-ons and short stays.

• For more information about visas, top travel tips, best time to travel and much much more, browse our dedicated travel guide.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All departure dates are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas Departure
New Year's departure, book early!
New Year's Departure
Guaranteed Departure
2024
Twin Share
Single Room
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
USD $1,145
USD $1,795
21 Dec - 28 Dec Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas departure - book early!
USD $1,235
USD $1,885
28 Dec - 04 Jan New Year's departure, book early!
New Year's departure, book early!
G
USD $1,235
USD $1,885
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
USD $1,235
USD $1,885
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,295
USD $2,105
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,395
USD $2,265
USD $1,675
USD $2,735
USD $1,675
USD $2,735
2026
Twin Share
Single Room
USD $1,675
USD $2,735

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre-Tour Accommodation - Kochi
USD $105
USD $175
Post-Tour Accommodation - Kochi
USD $105
USD $175

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Trident Hotel Kochi, Kochi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Nestled serenely on Willingdon Island, Trident boasts an array of indulgent amenities, including an Ayurvedic spa, an inviting outdoor pool, and a modern fitness center. From the comfort of its air-conditioned guestrooms and suites, adorned with picturesque garden or pool views, guests revel in modern comforts like satellite TV and minibars, with suites offering the added luxury of separate living spaces. Dining at its four restaurants promises a culinary voyage, from the flavours of Indian and Continental cuisine at Travancore to the seasonal seafood delights of The Seafood Grill.

Amber Dale Munnar, Munnar

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Experience a stay of comfort and convenience at Amber Dale Munnar, where complimentary WiFi and an inviting restaurant await. The property offers a children's playground and fitness center, ensuring entertainment for all. Rooms are well-appointed, each with a private bathroom, free toiletries and a hairdryer. All include amenities like a kettle and flat-screen TV. A 24-hour front desk is ready to assist, while the hotel also offers a serene garden and a games room, creating a well-rounded retreat for guests seeking relaxation or entertainment.

The Elephant Court, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Located on 4 acres of land, the Elephant Court is a grand hotel decked out in cooling teak wood. Guest rooms are beautifully appointed with earthy hues of brown and pale green set off by crisp cotton sheets. Dining options include local specialities and international cuisine, all served in the restaurant with beautiful views of the swimming pool and surrounding area. A trip to the beautiful rooftop curio shop to pick up some souvenirs is a must. The accommodation is well located close to the Thekaddy forests.

Eastend Lakesong, Kumarakom

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Nestled among the serene backwaters of Kumarakom, Eastend Lakesong comprises of 8 acres of facility packed leisure land. Guests sleep in villas and cottages, which are all well furnished with colourful interiors and comfortable beds. The onsite restaurants offer an excellent selection of local and international cuisine. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing massage at the Ayurveda on site Spa? It is the perfect way to unwind after a long day of exploring in the fierce Indian heat.

Deluxe Houseboat, Alleppey

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Deluxe House Boat

There are few things as serene and tranquil as floating along the Keralan backwaters in the comfort of a luxurious houseboat. Deluxe houseboats are elegantly furnished, with up to four bedrooms, equipped with modern en suites, an open lounge, dining area and a deck to relax and admire the beautiful views of the lush green palms and rice paddies. Air conditioning operates in the bedrooms between 9pm to 6am only. The cruises are full board, with tasty meals freshly prepared by the onboard chef.

Reviews

Travellers have rated this tour as 5 out of 5 based on 4 recent reviews

A marvellous trip that we enjoyed very much , we were incredibly lucky to have Kannanan as our driver for 5 days of our trip, as well as being a very safe driver he was a marvellous guide , from the food, that we had no knowledge of but with his help found the dishes that we really enjoyed, to the countryside we were going through, this along with his wonderful care and consideration for us oldies made our trip so easy and memorable. We would happily recommend this trip to our friends and would suggest that they request Kannan as their driver /guide .

• Submitted 05 Jan 2024
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Very good , in all aspects, suitable for experienced travellers. Good that we could get on well together as a group of 4. Very enjoyable - especiallly the relaxing houseboat trip after long car journeys.

• Submitted 17 Apr 2018
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Alex is a professional guide, with good language skills, knowledge of the area, and always on time. His suggestions on other activities were welcomed, well received and appreciated.

All listed activities were done. Alex is a valuable member of the On The Go team

• Submitted 28 Oct 2016
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I really enjoyed the tour! It exceeded all my expectations. The hotels were clean, modern and very nice. The houseboat was also much more comfortable than I had expected. The tour was just the right mix of activities and relaxation. The things were visited were interesting, and our guide was very knowledgeable. The On The Go staff really went the extra mile, arranging a separate car to take me to the airport because i had a late flight, and then having someone meet me at the airport to help me with mu luggage and to navigate the check in. My arrival flight was eight hours late, but they still had a driver waiting for me when i arrived. I would definitely use the company again!

• Submitted 18 Mar 2015
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Sarah, we are back home and had a wonderful time.

I'd like to give you some feedback, if that's okay with you.

Arrival at cochin airport was seamless, with your representative eagerly looking for us with his sign. he put us right into a cab and we got to the hotel easily.

Travancore Court Hotel is in a good part of town, has a nice lobby, gift shop, and restaurant. The staff was lovely, however, upgrading to another hotel is Cochin would be my suggestion. The bus that took us around (and the drivers) were top-notch.The Kathakali performance was fun, especially since we got to watch them put on their makeup.

Munnar was great and the Eastend Hotel was perfectly fine. Probably one of the best to be found in Munnar. Nice garden, rooms comfortable and cheerful, good restaurant. Tea plantations were interesting,and our guide Alex took us to see a spice garden, and the local market, all of which were interesting.

Next day, on the way to Karakom, he pointed out lots of things of interest all the way. The houseboat overnight was great fun. The boat was comfortable and the food was good. The bathroom was a bit yucky, but it is, after all, a houseboat. We were comfortable and the scenery was fabulous. We slept well.

Lakesong was fabulous. Very beautiful. we arranged yoga classes and a cooking class with the chef and sous chef while we were there. also took advantage of the ayurvedic spa services. Rooms, landscape, food, etc. was all wonderful.

The best part of the whole trip, and the thing that really made it a great success was our guide, Alex. It would not have been the same without him. He was very knowledgeable, kept things moving along, was very protective of us, and made sure EVERYTHING was taken care of for us. I can't compliment him enough.

I thank you enormously for all your help with putting this trip together.

Mrs Barbara Stultz • Submitted 15 Apr 2013

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Kochi
Ends
Kochi
Departs
Saturdays
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star and heritage properties
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 1
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
Yes
Rolling hills and tea gardens of Munnar
Boat along the water at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Boat sailing along the river, fringed with thick jungle, in Alleppey

A marvellous trip that we enjoyed very much , we were incredibly lucky to have Kannanan as our driver for 5 days of our trip, as well as being a very safe driver he was a marvellous guide , from the food, that we had no knowledge of but with his help found the dishes that we really enjoyed, to the countryside we were going through, this along with his wonderful care and consideration for us oldies made our trip so easy and memorable. We would happily recommend this trip to our friends and would suggest that they request Kannan as their driver /guide .

Michael & Lynne Lodewyk & Dawson
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