Arrival at the airport and transfer to Munnar. Check into the hotel. Munnar is a magnificent hill station in the Western Ghats at about 5000 feet above sea level. This is one of the best hill stations in Kerala and is the major centre of Kerala's tea industry. Munnar means three rivers and the town is located at the confluence of 3 mountain streams - Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. These 3 stream confluence at the heart of the town and meet all the water requirements of the settlers and visitors.
Munnar has lakes, forests and several tea estates. Anaimudi, the highest peak in South India (2695 m/8883 ft.) is nearby. Munnar was the British Government's Summer Resort in the South and it has been the favourite summer resort of the European sellers for centuries. Major sightseeing attractions are the Kundale tea plantation, Eravikulam National Park, The High Range Club, Top Station, Mattuppetty, Devikulam, Rajamalai, Chithirapuram, Marayoor, Pallivasal/Pothamedu, etc.
Proceed to Thekkady and check into the hotel. Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. The main attraction in Thekkady is boating on the lake and the Mullai Periyar Dam. Boating will take approximate 2 hours and you can also get rare glimpses of wild animals. Don't forget to take photos. Bring a digital camera with Optical zoom to take the closer shots of the animals. Thekkady has immense possibilities for Adventure Tourism.
The Forest Department offers many programs including Periyar Tiger Trail, Nature walk, Bamboo Rafting, etc. There are private organizations as well as government agencies (e.g.KTDC), who promote adventure tourism in Thekkady. Plantation tourism also is promoted by these agencies, so that the tourists can see and learn the cultivation of various spices of Kerala.
After breakfast check out from Hotel and drive to Alleppey (40 km – 1-hour drive). This is a quaint town flanked by the Arabian Sea in the west and has a vast network of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers crisscrossing it. Alleppey is an important backwater destination attracting several thousand foreign tourists every year and is also famous for its boat races, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Check into the houseboat on arrival (check-in time 1.00 pm). Enjoy the day with a backwater cruise on the Vembanad Lake. Overnight stay is on the houseboat.
Proceed to Kumarakom and check into the hotel. Kumarakom, the queen of Vembanad, is a ‘resort’ destination. This tiny village on the edge of Vembanad Lake was practically unknown until one Henry Baker purchased land from the erstwhile King of Travancore to build himself a grand home. Kumarakom, today is a maze of modern resorts and heritage-homes-cum-hotels spilling over the island’s bank. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a must-visit with its numerous beautiful rivulets and waterways. The scenic Vembanad Lake surrounded by mangrove forests and paddy fields is one of the best places for bird viewing inside the sanctuary.
A large population of feathered species along with a pleasant climate make it a great picnic spot. As Kumarakom is a popular backwater destination in Kerala, a houseboat cruise is a must-do activity for visitors. A boat cruise on the beautiful Vembanad lake is one of the best ways to enjoy birdwatching in the park. One can also enjoy wildlife photography at Pathiramanal - a small island on the lake. A little ahead of Kumarakom, you can visit the backwater town of Kottayam – packed with rubber plantations and majestic old churches.
Departure from Cochin airport.
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