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South India: Explore Kerala

7 days, Kochi to Kochi

Local fisherman in South India

Discover the tropical luxuriance and eclectic culture of India’s Kerala province, which lies along the rich Malabar Coast. Stroll along picturesque, golden-sand shores; glide through jungle-lined backwaters on a traditional wooden houseboat; and savour one of the most enticing cuisines the country has to offer. Steer off the beaten path on this refreshing journey, exploring rural villages, spending time with local fishermen and farmers, and experiencing the serene charm of southern India.

7 days - Kochi to Kochi

Sold Out

There are no departure dates currently available for the rest of this season. Some tours only run during parts of the year.

Trip Code: AHSNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to Kochi from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Discover the tropical luxuriance and eclectic culture of India’s Kerala province, which lies along the rich Malabar Coast. Stroll along picturesque, golden-sand shores; glide through jungle-lined backwaters on a traditional wooden houseboat; and savour one of the most enticing cuisines the country has to offer. Steer off the beaten path on this refreshing journey, exploring rural villages, spending time with local fishermen and farmers, and experiencing the serene charm of southern India.

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 10.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Visa Requirements

7 days - Kochi to Kochi

Sold Out

There are no departure dates currently available for the rest of this season. Some tours only run during parts of the year.

Trip Code: AHSNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Search for the perfect flight at time of booking.

Round-trip to Kochi from

Looking for another airport? Search when you book. (details)

Creating ripples that change lives

The Ripple Score is an honest evaluation of how often we use local businesses and services to create each tour. With this score you can see the percentage of our local expenses that stay in the communities you visit. Learn more

Ripple Score

100

Kerala’s famous spices and abundant coconuts give the region a reputation for one of India’s most exciting cuisines, especially vegetarian food and spicy curries…”— Four Seasons of Travel, National Geographic Society, 2013

Map of the route for South India: Explore Kerala

Places visited

Itinerary

Day 1Kochi

Arrive at any time; your arrival transfer is included.

Day 2Kochi/Thekkady

Set out to explore Kochi, an enchanting port city on the Malabar Coast and the site of the first European settlement in India. Visit Mattancherry Palace—built in the mid-16th century by Portuguese colonists and expanded later on by the Dutch—and venture to the colourful streets of the Jewish Quarter, where antique shops and cafés abound. Then travel to Thekkady, the spice capital of India, and tour a spice and tea plantation with a local expert to understand the medicinal value of the region’s signature spices—from cardamom and nutmeg to vanilla and turmeric—as well as the process of producing black tea, India’s favorite drink.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Spice Experience

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 3Thekkady

Thekkady is also home to Periyar National Park, one of India’s most celebrated elephant reserves. This morning, enjoy a boat ride on the stunning Periyar Lake, looking out for elephants, deer, monkeys, and a variety of rare birds. Afterward, visit the home of a local family for a cooking demonstration and a delicious, spice-filled lunch. Relax this afternoon, or opt to take a nature walk before heading to a local theatre for a performance of a kalaripayattu, an ancient Kerala martial art.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Family Cooking Demonstration

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 4Thekkady/Kumarakom

Continue to the lush village of Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Explore the rural, palm-lined backwaters of this renowned bird sanctuary and hop on a boat to Manjira village, where we’ll meet local villagers and learn about coconut farming and rural customs. Witness a fascinating toddy tapping demonstration and enjoy a refreshing swig of coconut water, straight from the tree.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 5Kumarakom

This morning, meet with a representative of the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program to learn about the ongoing work by local communities to conserve the lake and surrounding wetlands. This project was created by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), an organization that National Geographic has collaborated with in the past. Continue by boat to a fish sanctuary established by local fishermen with support from the program, and see firsthand how their traditional ways of collecting and processing clams have become models for the sustainable management of the lake’s resources. Then venture on a private houseboat to enchanting Alleppey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons, and canals. Relax on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life unfold along the water.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 6Kumarakom/Kochi

Drive back to Kochi and take a walk in Fort Kochi, a delightful seaside district with vestiges of Portugese, Dutch, and British colonial architecture. Visit a local fish market and explore a maze of stalls selling fresh seafood. This evening, attend a performance of kathakali, the classical dance-drama of Kerala which combines storytelling with acting, dance, and martial arts.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your G for Good Moment Lunch at Theuvoram Women Empowerment Project

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 7Kochi

Depart at any time.

Meals included:

Breakfast
View full itinerary

What's Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Spice Experience, Thekkady
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Family Cooking Demonstration, Thekkady
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Program, Kumarakom
  • Your G for Good Moment: Lunch at Theuvoram Women Empowerment Project, Alleppey
  • Arrival transfer
  • Walking tour of old Kochi
  • Visit a tea factory
  • Wildlife viewing on Periyar Lake
  • Kalaripayatt performance
  • Walking and boat tour of rural villages
  • Houseboat trip on the Kerala backwaters
  • Kathakali cultural performance
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels/resorts (6 nts).

Meals

6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
Allow USD135-175 for meals not included.

Transportation

Minibus, houseboat, taxi, walking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides

Departures

There are no departure dates currently available for the rest of this season. Some tours only run during parts of the year.

Please Contact Us to inquire about dates for next season, or to discuss other tour options.

South India: Explore Kerala

| 7 days - Kochi to Kochi - Sold Out
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