This classic Kerala itinerary is all about the mellow vibes, wonderful watery landscapes and high-up hill stations. Get to know the layered past of coastal Kochi (Cochin), head up to the Western Ghats for tea plantation visits and nature walks in Periyar before returning to the back waters for a tranquil cruise.
Suggested route & duration
7 nights from Kochi (Cochin)
• Kochi: 2 nights
• Munnar: 1 night
• Thekkady (Periyar): 1 night
• Alleppey (houseboat): 1 night
• Kumarakom: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this itinerary
• See the eclectic architecture in historic Fort Kochi
• Stay at CGH Earth’s eco-conscious hotels in Thekkady and Kumarakom
• Explore tea plantations in the hill station of Munnar
• Cruise along Kerala’s backwaters on a traditional houseboat
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: Kochi Start your Kerala journey in Kochi. Stay 2 nights at Fragrant Nature.
Day 4: Munnar Head to the hills for your stay in Munnar. Stay 1 night at Windermere Estate.
Day 5: Thekkady Continue on to Thekkady, gateway to Periyar National Park. Stay 1 night at Spice Village.
Day 6: Alappuzha (Alleppey) Return to sea level for an overnight backwaters cruise. Stay 1 night on a houseboat.
Day 7: Kumarakom Retreat to the edge of Vembanad Lake. Stay 2 nights at Coconut Lagoon.
Day 9: Kochi Return to Kochi.
Add on a cycling tour of Fort Kochi to see its diverse architecture and dip into side streets.
Spice garden stay
Have a mouthwatering stay at CGH Earth’s Spice Village high up in the Periyar highlands.
Soak up the tranquil atmosphere and see day-to-day life on the Keralan backwaters.
Slow the pace to almost a standstill at Coconut Lagoon, a backwaters heritage hotel.
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
Kerala’s CGH Earth’s hotels, including Spice Village and Coconut Lagoon, are some of our favourite in India. We love their responsible tourism practices that benefit local communities and the environment. Why not stay at Brunton Boatyard in Kochi for a CGH Earth triple bill?
Alongside the included sightseeing on this itinerary, which includes a tour of Kochi and a tea plantation visit in Munnar, we can add extra experiences to enhance your holiday. We love taking a sunset cruise on Vembanad Lake and exploring Fort Kochi and Mattancherry on two wheels.
We think 8 nights is the minimum time you’ll want to spend in Kerala and there’s plenty of room to extend your stay. To really get under the skin of Kochi, you can always spend another night and it’s easy to be convinced to stay a couple of extra days at Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom.
We recommend combining Enchanting Kerala with the Golden Triangle to create our Contrasts of India itinerary. And of course, there’s always the beach: the beautiful Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra in Kovalam is a great place to round off your Keralan holiday.
Good to know
When to go
• Kerala’s dry season – December to March – is also its busiest season so we recommend booking early; the humidity, temperature and rainfall rises in April and May but there are fewer visitors
• The monsoon arrives in June and the heaviest rains last until August. We suggest avoiding this time as flooding is common and your itinerary may be disrupted
• Just after the monsoon the landscapes are lush and green, especially up in the Western Ghats