Beaches and Backwaters
Kochi - Backwaters - MararikulamDetails
Namaste! Welcome to your unique experience of India.
You will be greeted by your personal tour director at the Cochin International Airport. A chauffeured vehicle will escort you to your hotel as soon as you have gathered your belongings. Please make sure to relax, and take this opportunity to soak in your first sights, sounds and smells of India. Your tour director will be happy to answer any questions and points of interest along the way.
Once at the hotel, we encourage you to take a comfortable seat, or to explore the lobby while your tour director checks you in. He will then provide the details of your customized itinerary. This is a good time to agree on your next meeting time, confirm your itinerary for the following day, discuss your preferences, and address any other questions or concerns you may have!
Morning: Begin your adventure in India with a guided tour of Kochi.
Kochi holds a very special place in India’s history. Here, you will be able to see how Kochi’s ports changed the nation’s destiny. The ports in Kerala have been a part of the spice trade from as early as 2000 B.C.E. You will be able to see firsthand how the influx of culture and religion from various parts of the world got woven into the history, culture and everyday life in Kochi.
Kochi rose to prominence in the 14th century, just decades before Vasco Da Gama –the first European explorer to reach India by sea – set off on his first voyage to India. Da Gama’s journey marks the first step in the chain of events that sparked the European colonization of India!
Kochi is also home to India’s earliest Jewish settlement. Aptly, today you will have the opportunity to visit the oldest synagogue in India. As you walk in, the chandeliers will grab your attention, but don’t forget to look at the floor. It is said that each tile laid in the main hall is unique in design. When you leave, venture into the antique shops outside the synagogue, and you may find a souvenir with a story of its own.
The next stop on your city tour is the St. Francis Church in Fort Kochi. Fort Kochi was the very firs European colony in India. Listen closely to your guide as he explains the history of the church, including how the struggle for dominance among the European powers took place thousands of miles away, in Kochi.
Next, you will witness yet another instance of how international trade influenced life in Kochi. Every morning and every evening, fishermen lower Chinese nets to try and catch fresh fish. This technology was brought to India by a Chinese trader in the 14th century, and it has been used by local fishermen ever since! You will have the opportunity to see these fishing nets in action, which makes for a surprisingly captivating experience. At sunset, it is especially breathtaking. Puzzling, right? But the truth is that it is so picturesque, those very fishing nets have come to represent the city of Kochi. Make sure you have your camera ready!
Evening: This evening, you will watch a stunning Kathakali performance, a traditional Keralan dance. It is unlike any other dance form in existence, and any effort to describe it would simply not do it justice.
Ever wanted to make that delicious curry you sampled at the local Indian restaurant? Well, we’ve planned an experience for you to learn just that! We have arranged a private cooking lesson with a local chef, where you will observe how different spices interact with one another to make the delicious food for which this part of India is famous.
Food and spices are vital to India, its culture and its people, and we hope that this experience will make the perfect conclusion to your time in Kochi.
In the evening, you and your tour director will discuss your tour plans for the following day.
After an early breakfast, you will be assisted with your checkout from the resort. Next, you will proceed to your drive to Alleppey, which is approximately 30 minutes away. Upon your arrival, you will be assisted with boarding your luxury houseboat.
Picture this: a lake, lush scenery and palm trees as far as the eye can see. Now, imagine yourself on a hammock, in the water, in your very own luxury houseboat!
As you settle into your private floating villa, your personal chef will cook up delectable meals just for you! And if you love what you’re eating, you can have a private cooking lesson from your chef.
If you think that luxury is all you’ll get from this experience, then you’re in for another sensory surprise! In India, Kerala is known as “God’s own country,” and you’ll find that description quite apt.
The abundant greenery around you is home to a very diverse population of birds. Early in the morning, we encourage you to sit outside and enjoy some casual birdwatching. See if you can spot the bright and colorful kingfishers.
This morning, disembark from your houseboat at Alleppey and proceed to the next destination on your itinerary. Following your short drive, you will be assisted with your check-in at your lakefront resort.
You will have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy the facilities of your luxury resort.
Tucked away in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, life passes at a leisurely pace here;you will have no choice but to slow down. That said, there are still plenty of things you can do here.
Fancy an invigorating Ayurvedic massage?
Kerala is famous for its Ayurvedic spas. You will find yourself in the hands of trained staff that is very knowledgeable and experienced in Ayurveda, will make your treatments nothing short of memorable.
Enjoy a dreamy boat ride through the backwaters of Kerala. The early hours are a great time to go bird watching and explore the labyrinth of waterways surrounded by lush greenery. The serenity at dawn is enchanting.
Are you the early bird who likes to get going as soon as you’re up? Try an early morning yoga class with an experienced trainer. Or, if you prefer the introspective side of yoga, you can enjoy the meditation sessions instead.
Finally, we have a thrilling experience in store for you. Have you ever felt that you’re in the middle of an action movie? You may feel that way when you watch the oldest Indian martial art – Kalarippayattu. The intense, fast-paced nature of the sport is thrilling, and it will undoubtedly leave your heart pumping.
Morning: You can either sleep in or enjoy the facilities at your hotel.
Late Morning/Afternoon: You will be assisted with your checkout from the hotel and driven to Kochi.
Option 1: Upon arrival at the airport in Kochi, you will be assisted with boarding your international flight.
Option 2: Upon arrival at Cochin airport, you will be assisted with boarding the late afternoon flight to mumbai. Upon your arrival at the mumbai domestic airport, you will be assisted with a transfer to the international airport to board your flight home. If you have an earlymorning flight, you have the option to book a room at the international airport for an additional fee.
We hope you enjoyed your stay in India, and we wish you a safe flight home!
We only use hotels that adhere to our standard of service. What does that mean? We only use top rated accommodations. Hotels and resorts have to be rated a minimum of 4 stars. Palace hotels, heritage properties, boutique accommodations and home stays also have to meet our high standards on hygiene, cleanliness and service. We only use accommodations that have been experienced by us first hand.
We are very selective in choosing our Tour Guides. Not only do they have to have good language skills, and great in-depth knowledge of history and culture but they must be able to adjust to the preferences of each guest and make them feel comfortable. After all, our guests spend days touring India with their accompanying tour guide/director.
To enhance the experience of your trip, all our tours include 1 Accompanying Tour Guide/Director for the entire trip. Why?
Our vehicles are comfortable, spacious and always top notch. What does that mean? We only use SUVs less than 2 years old. Your comfort comes 1st.
We hand-pick the experiences that we offer to our guests. You only get a sampling of the best that India has to offer.
The reason why we're able to offer this degree of flexibility to our guests is because we're not handing you off to another company in India. We have our own offices in India and we attend to every detail of your itinerary ourselves.