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On Foot In Kerala

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days 11 US$ 1,320 US$ 1,254
SavingUS$ 66
highlights
  • Western Ghats - Trek amongst the plantations and jungle of this biodiversity 'hot spot'
  • Meesapulimala Peak - Enjoy the views from one of South India's highest peaks (2635m)
  • Backwaters cruise - Observe daily life in the tranquil Backwaters aboard a converted rice barge
  • Village walks - Meet the sociable Keralan people on rambles through the Backwaters
The On Foot In Kerala trip starts in Kochi and ends in Near to Kochi Airport. It is a wildlife trip that takes 11 days taking you through Kochi, Meesapulimala Peak, Munnar and 5 other destinations in India. On Foot In Kerala is a guided small group trip that includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

A walking holiday taking in the diversity of tropical Kerala in India's far south. Trek among the forests and grasslands of the mountainous Western Ghats, walk in search of wildlife in the Periyar National Park and meet the locals rambling through tranquil Backwaters\ villages. Exploring on foot is the best way to discover the culture and landscapes of God's Own Country. Meesapulimala Peak - Enjoy the views from one of South India's highest peaks (2635m) Backwaters cruise - Observe daily life in the tranquil Backwaters and spend the night aboard a converted rice barge Kochi - Explore colonial architecture and city sights on a walking tour
customer reviews about Explore
4.9 - Excellent Based on 74 reviews
Lynne's review for another Explore tour
5 - Excellent
“The trip was well organised, it was easy to contact Explore by phone before the trip, and our guide Mariana added greatly to the understanding and enjoyment of the trip.”
Paul's review for another Explore tour
5 - Excellent
“The trip was great our first time in India and made so much better having Raj show us around. Paul & Jo ”
Linda's review for another Explore tour
5 - Excellent
“In March it is cool and can be wet. Be prepared!!”
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Our Kerala adventure starts in the harbour city of Kochi, a gathering place for merchants and traders since antiquity. Beginning with the arrival of Jewish and Arab spice traders in the first century AD, its prosperity and importance increased with the arrival of the Portuguese, who were later followed by the Dutch and the English. This eclectic heritage has invested the city with a fascinating mix of styles and influences.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we drive to Fort Kochi and take a walking tour of India's oldest European settlement. We take in the architectural charms of the Church of St Francis and some of the other notable colonial buildings - the site of the city's 16th century Jewish synagogue (closed on Fridays), the oldest in the Commonwealth and the exterior of the Mattancherry Palace, originally built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Cochin in 1555, but later extensively renovated by the Dutch. In the afternoon we then drive inland to Munnar and the stunning vistas of the Western Ghats. The 140 kilometre drive takes us into the heart of tea country, where fresh mountain air and tropical forests share the landscapes with spice plantations and tea estates.

Our walking tour today is graded easy and we expect it to take approximately two hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our first day's hiking in the Ghats begins from the small village of Nagarmudi (1500 m), just a short drive from old Munnar. Beginning with a gradual climb, we ascend through the tea plantations up into the Seven Malai Hills, passing crops of coffee and cardamom as we make our way to the summit (1700 m). The walk today will take us around four to five hours, but the views more than compensate for the hard climb, as we are presented with some spectacular panoramas across the Chittrapuram Dam and out towards the Anamudi Peak, Munnar and the local villages. Descending to our vehicle, we then drive back to Munnar for our second night.

Our 11 kilometre walk today is moderately-graded and we expect it to take approximately four to five hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
It's an hours jeep ride via the forest office this morning to the start of our three day point to point hike. The walk proceeds through a landscape blanketed with tea plantations, sholas of eucalyptus and plantations of plane. The beautiful views and array of tea estates laid out before us give a real flavour of the area. Stopping to enjoy a picnic lunch in shade of a tea garden, we then continue climbing towards our camp at Silent Valley, situated in a meadow close to a small stream.

Ascending to a height of 2000 m, today's walk will cover around 12 kilometres, taking us between four and five hours to reach the camp.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple camping
Leaving camp after breakfast this morning, we begin the ascent of Meesapulimala Peak, the second highest in South India. The trail towards the summit takes us from rough grassland and up onto the ridge line, where we continue climbing through patches of open grassland towards the peak. The journey to the top will take us around three to four hours and from its lofty heights, the views look down across Kerala and Tamil Nadu (if the summit isn't shrouded in mist). You might even pass the odd herd of Nilgiri Thar (a type of wild goat) on the way. After a chance to rest and enjoy the scenery, we then descend towards Rhodo Valley (2300 m), stopping off for a picnic lunch en route. As the camping area at Rhodo Valley is currently closed, we return by jeep for a second night at our Silent Valley camp.

Our walk today is moderately-graded and we expect it to take approximately six to seven hours to cover eight kilometres.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple camping
Today provides us with our longest day's walking, as we meander our way through a stunning backdrop of verdant plantations and vivid red rhododendron forests. This part of the Western Ghats is home to a staggering array of life, with wild boar and Atlas moths sharing the stage with a dazzling mix of local flora. As we climb, the views out across the local countryside take in villages and lakes, before we begin a gradual winding descent towards Ellapetty village where we enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by vegetable gardens planted by the local tea workers. From here it's a 30 minutes transfer by jeep to our final camp at Top Station/Oorkad (1900 m).

Our walk today is moderately-graded and we expect it to take approximately seven hours to cover 16 kilometres.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple camping
Breaking camp for the last time today we drive back towards Munnar and on to Thekkady, gateway to the Periyar National Park. Taking up much of the morning, the 160 kilometre drive weaves across the Western Ghats before reaching Thekkady later this morning. This part of India has long been renowned for its abundant spices. Indeed, it was to the spice rich shores of the Malabar Coast that Christopher Columbus was heading when he bumped into America by mistake. After lunch we take a short walk around a spice garden, enjoying an aromatic wander through crops of black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. There should also be time to explore the local bazaar before dinner.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we enjoy a walk in observation of the flora and fauna in the Periyar National Park. Set around the picturesque shores of Lake Periyar and one of the largest parks in South India, it is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife including elephant, tiger (although we don't expect to see one!), sambar, wild pigs, bison, monkeys and langurs. It also boasts some 112 species of butterflies and 246 species of birds including cormorants, darters, ospreys, kingfishers, hornbills and kites. The walk will take between two to three hours, after which there may be an opportunity this afternoon to enjoy an optional boat trip on the lake. Please be aware, tickets for the cruise are only available locally and are on a first come, first served basis.

Our walk today is graded easy, mostly flat and at a leisurely pace as we take in the flora and fauna of the park. We expect it to take approximately two to three hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Driving to the coastal town of Alleppey this morning we head for the myriad canals and channels that make up the Kerala Backwaters, boarding a traditional houseboat for an overnight cruise through the region. A time-honoured form of transport, these wonderfully characterful boats are made of anjili wood and bamboo and come with en-suite twin bedrooms and an on-board chef, providing the perfect way to enjoy the scenic and cultural beauty of this remarkable setting. Along theses narrow channels, the industrious villagers survive on narrow spits of land, keeping cows, pigs, chickens and even cultivating vegetable gardens. Nothing goes to waste: the shells from the fresh water mussels are burnt to make building lime and coir is used for just about everything. This evening we'll moor up along the banks of Vembanad Lake.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple boat
After a relaxing breakfast on board, we then drive on to the village of West Chennamkary in the heart of the Backwaters for a short walk around some of the local villages, soaking up the atmosphere of a region that provided Arundhati Roy with the inspiration for her book, 'The God of Small Things'. We'll enjoy a traditional Keralan lunch with a local family before driving back to Kochi later in the afternoon. As most international flights depart Kochi early morning, we spend our final night at a hotel not far from the city's airport.

Our walk today is graded easy and we expect it to take up to two-and-a-half hours at a very leisurely pace.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our trip ends today at our hotel.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 10 Breakfast, 5 Lunch, 4 Dinner
Accommodation
  • 6 nights standard hotel
  • 3 nights simple camping
  • 1 night simple boat
Transport
  • Bus, Boat
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader, Boat Crew, Driver(s), Ranger(s), Trek Crew
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Kochi and from Near to Kochi Airport are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this On Foot in Kerala tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for On Foot in Kerala
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Payment

A deposit of 125 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 22 October 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The On Foot in Kerala tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this On Foot in Kerala tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this On Foot in Kerala tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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