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Kerala and the Cardamom Hills

Starts: Kochi, India
Finishes: Thiruvananthapuram, India

Visit: Kochi, Munnar, Suryanelli, Chinnamanūr, Bodinayakkanur, Madurai, Thekkady, Alappuzha, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram

Tour Type: Small Group

Accommodation: Moderate

Activity: Trekking

Overview

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At the southern tip of India, the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu offer a range of experiences unlike anything else on the Subcontinent. After a day's exploration in the picturesque old Portuguese port of Kochi, we drive up to former British Raj hill-station of Munnar in the Western Ghats. Here, 5 days of trekking through the Cardamom Hills takes us through rich forest and plantations of tea, coffee and spices, with a high point at the summit of Meesapulimala (2600m), Kerala's second highest peak. We then visit the unmissable Sri Meenakshi temple complex at Madurai, one of the most colourful examples of Indian religious architecture. At the Periyar Wildlife Reserve, home to wild elephant, deer, giant squirrel and the elusive tiger, we have a day-hike with a forest ranger, before recrossing the Western Ghats range to Alleppey, where we meet our houseboat for an unforgettable sunset cruise and overnight stay on the Keralan backwaters. A free day at Kovalam, beside the Indian Ocean, is a relaxing way to end this memorable holiday. Combining a great travel experience and 5 days of trekking, this is a deservedly popular South Indian adventure holiday.

Highlights

    • Enjoy four days of trekking in the lush Cardamom Hills
    • Take a houseboat cruise on the Kerala `Backwaters`
    • Fantastic wildlife viewing at Periyar Nature Reserve
    • Chill out on the beaches of the Indian Ocean at Kovalam

Trip Details

The Trip

Product Code: 149780
Tour Type: Small Group
Accommodation: Moderate
Transport: Private & Local (Public)##Private & Local (Public)
Guide Language: Engligh

Starts: Kochi, India
Finishes: Thiruvananthapuram, India
Duration: 13 days
Physical rating: Basic

Includes

  • An experienced English-speaking Indian tour leader
  • Airport transfers on group arrival and departure days
  • All overland transport and guided sightseeing tours using air-conditioned vehicles
  • All accommodation as detailed in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • Entrance and hiking fees for the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Entrance fees to monuments and other sites detailed in the dossier
  • Full trekking service including and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

Excludes

Price

Price person (sharing double) $2,115 ($163/day)

Deposit:

$300 per person for bookings made 56 days or more prior to departure

Full Amount for bookings made less than 56 days prior to departure

Cancellation: Strict

Trip Notes

Price does not include airfare (to the Trip start & from the end location)

Trip Price generally includes accommodation, transport/transfer, activities, services of a professional guide & more. (Please refer to the include/excludes section for details)

Tour packages spare you the hassles of trip planning, a la carte booking, organizing and managing the logistics at a foreign location.

Itinerary

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India Kochi, Munnar, Suryanelli, Tamil Nadu, Kolukumalai, Meesapulimala, Rhododendron Valley, Ellapatti Village, Top Station, Kerala, Periyar Reserve, Thekkady, Alleppey, Kovalam
Do
Trekking

Availability

Reviews

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Bev & Steve M 

The whole trip was interesting, cultural and varied. The houseboat cruise was excellent!

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Mimi W 

It was an amazing experience!! I enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and the ever present caring of our leader. I also enjoyed the house boat trip and meeting local people as arranged by the leader. The Indian staff were all OUTSTANDING and caring at all times. Special mention to Senthil Kummar who never ceased to surprise us with his innovatiove ideas and sense of humour. He never stopped working. Also the guide was ever present to help us up and down slopes when necessary. Also the camp cook was EXCELLENT. The local guides who were brought in when we visited towns were so enthusiastic!! In most aspects the trip outdid my expectations! However, it was harder than I had anticipated, some of the ascents and descents are very steep and there was a huge variation of temperatures which was unexpected. If there was more emphasis on the cold night temperatures I would have taken warmer gear.

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Richard B 

The trip on the rice boat was so relaxing and the day in the wildlife sanctuary was made by being able to track a herd of wild elephants. The camping was good only marred by the monsoon coming earlier than usual; no ones fault. Our cooks excelled themselves and except for one night at a hotel where it was a set menu the food was superb. The scenery was spectacular and much more tropical than expected. Some of the climbs were hard work but gave a sense of achievement. This is our sixth trip with you need I say more?

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Susan S  

I have really enjoyed this holiday. It was over forty years ago when I did anything like this and I wondered if I would be up to the challenge. I was and I am ready for the next one. Thank you KE. I enjoyed the trekking in the Periyar National Park and seeing the elephants in the wild. The guides were very informed on the local birds and wildlife. The trip on the backwaters was just perfect to relax after a long delayed flight. Again the boys on the boat were excellent and served very good food. They even supplied me with binoculars and a bird book. Anouja our trip leader was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and informative. Super holiday can't thank you enough. I may come into the office and bore you all to death with my enthusiasm!

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Sally B 

The rice boats were exceptional - such a great way to start the holiday - I completely lost track of time. The walking was fabulous - very remote - and the most stunning views! Why isn't Kerala better known? Once again KE. Thank you for organising another great holiday (this is our 6th KE Adventure). It is very reassuring that we can book our holidays with you with confidence. We have always found that everything is better than with other firms - the rice boat was the best company - trekking group was excellent - guide was fantastic - and if we see other groups (which isn't often) we are always glad that we booked with you!

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Patricia M 

The local trekking guides and staff were all really welcoming, friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they made that part of the trip really pleasant.Food hygiene was of a very high standard and the food was varied and plentiful.The holiday provided a wide and varied experience of Kerala. The standard of hotel accommodation was generally excellent, the transport arrangements always ran smoothly and our coach driver was particularly note-worthy - easily inspiring confidence in his excellent driving on what were often busy town or tortuous mountain roads. For us, the holiday "ticked all the boxes" as it delivered exactly what was described in the trip notes/itinerary. It was our first trip to India and it provided us with many happy memories.It exceeded my expectations, though having been with K E for the "Arctic Wilderness Experience" to Finland a few years ago which was also excellent, I was expecting a similar high standard and was not disappointed. I would happily travel with KE again and would recommend the company unreservedly.

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Pat T 

I enjoyed the holiday very much. The trekking group were also excellent and always very eager to please. Surprisingly I enjoyed the drives between the different places as it gave a feel of the country. The programme was interesting and varied. I enjoyed time on the house boat and the first hotel was delightful.

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Rosie C 

Jam packed holiday which made the most of our time. Before our trip I had all the information I needed to know. Clear information, friendly office staff. I cannot speak highly enough of all the guides for their knowledge, enthusiasm, flexibility, care and efficiency. Their relationships with us and local people were respectful and friendly. They were one of us as well as highly organised and competent leaders. Nothing was too much trouble. Senthil was full of ideas for things we could do to get the most out of our stay. I most enjoyed the trekking, houseboat and wildlife reserve. Everything we did was terrific though - so varied giving us real insight into the country. Tissa's hotel in Cochin was the best of the hotels. The hotel in the beach resort was a little tired but great pool and characterful which is preferable to ultra-modern. Food in hotels mostly v. good and on trek amazing.

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Sally P 

First time I have been on an adventure holiday, and it was brilliant. My most enjoyed moment was seeing the elephants! The rangers allowed us to follow them through the woods because they heard noises(which we obviously didn't) and there they were - allbeit the back end of them! Also the views from the higher peaks on our trekking were awe-inspiring. Our guide Senthil could not have been more caring and thoughtful, especially as I had a chest infection the whole time. Great sense of humour too!

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Dan B 

Best holiday ever. I most enjoyed the variety. All activities interesting and order excellent. Trek guide brilliant - is a star. Innovative added activities which made standard itinerary even better. Delightful personality. Saree event on backwaters was amazing not least because of meeting local people.

Tour Operator

KE Adventure Travel

KE is your number one choice for classic treks such as Everest Basecamp in Nepal, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Toubkal in Morocco or the Tour du Mont Blanc in the European Alps. Our record is also second-to-none on climbing expeditions to peaks as diverse as Mera Peak in Nepal, Mount Khuiten in Mongolia and Monte Rosa in Switzerland

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http://www.keadventure.com

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