Tea and Sea

Travel through the backwater of Kerala on a house boat, see the tea plantations and sample tea, visit 5 national parks for wildlife, visit palaces, temples, the Chinese fishing nets in Cochin, ride on the toy train and eat fantastic south Indian food and finish the trip in Bangalore

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Day 1 
Arrive at Trivandrum airport and transfer by private (air conditioned) car to a 5* hotel at Kovalam for 3 nights. Free afternoon to relax or to take a walk along the beach.

Day 2 & 3 
Local sightseeing to the fishing ports, beaches, temples, palace, Trivandrum city and the “Lands End” of India, Kanyakumari, where the 3 seas meet. Take a boat ride to the Vivekananda Memorial and watch the sunset.

Day 4 
Check out of the hotel and drive to Alleppey. Board a house boat for the night and cruise out on to the lake before going through the famous backwaters of Kerala to see village life and wildlife along the banks. Lunch and dinner on board the boat.

Day 5 
Breakfast on the house boat and disembark at Alleppey. Drive by road to Thekkady, passing through the first of many tea plantations. Have lunch in hotel before local sightseeing to the dam followed by watching Martial Art display and dance show in the evening at the Kerala Cultural centre. Return to the hotel. 

Day 6 
Morning visit a spice plantation and nature walk in Periyar National Park with a local guide. Afternoon visit to the lake and OPTIONAL boat ride (subject to availability).

Day 7 
Drive to Munnar, through woodland, tea plantations, see lake views and Powerhouse waterfall. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and try a masala dosa. Afternoon sight seeing in Munnar and check in to hotel for 2 nights.

Day 8 
All day sightseeing around Munnar – Drive to Eravikulum National Park and take a shuttle bus for 5km to the start of the walk. Walk 1.5km up stone track to look for the Nilgiri Tahr (like goats) before returning to car. Visit the tea museum, 2 lakes and dams and Top Station view point. Return to hotel in Munnar. 

Day 9 
Drive to Cochin via several big waterfalls and a view point. Arrive in Cochin, check in to hotel and relax. 

Day 10 
Sightseeing in Cochin. Visit Hill Palace, museums, the Jewish area, Naval Museum, St Francis Church, Dutch Cemetery and go to the Chinese fishing nets before watching the sunset.

Day 11 
Tour ends – transfer to airport – return home or onward travel. 

OR Day 11 
A long driving day to Ooty, through the local villages, seeing paddy fields, coconut groves and everyday life. Stop for lunch along the way at a local restaurant before checking in to hotel. 

Day 12 
All day sightseeing in and around Ooty with lunch in a local restaurant – Botanical gardens, Doddabetta (highest peak in South India), Centenary Rose Park, boat house and lake, Wax World museum, Dolphin’s Nose view point and take theToy Train from Coonoor to Ooty. Return to hotel.

Day 13 
Drive to Mysore with sightseeing on the way. Visit “Cinema Shooting Point,” walk to Pykkaria waterfalls, drive through both Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Bandipur National Park (keep a look out for elephants, gaur and other wildlife). Lunch at a local restaurant on route. Drive through agricultural landscape before checking in to hotel in Mysore for 3 nights. Subject to time – afternoon sightseeing and visit to Brindavan gardens and musical water fountains.

Day 14 
All day sightseeing in Mysore – Chamundi Hill and temple and 1000 steps down, inside Mysore Palace, Old Palace (art gallery), St Josephs Roman Catholic Cathedral and the fresh fruit, veg and flower market. Lunch at a local restaurant before driving round Mysore for a city tour. Take a walk in Karanji Lake Nature Park and drive to Brindavan Gardens (if not visited the day before). Return to hotel.

Day 15 
All day sightseeing North of Mysore – visit 3 Jain temples and walk up 650 steps to one of them and have a masala dosa for lunch at a local restaurant. Return to hotel early evening. 

Day 16 
Drive to Kabini River Lodge in R.Gandhi National Park. Have lunch at lodge before an afternoon game drive in the park where hopefully elephants and other wildlife can be seen. Return to lodge and relax before dinner by the river.

Day 17 
Early start to the day (530am) for morning game drive in the park before breakfast. Drive to the Kabini river dam on the way to Mysore. Sightseeing at the mosque, temple, Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon and Gumbaz before going to see Mysore Palace at night (lit up on a Sunday night 7-8pm) before arriving at Bandipur National Park. Check in to lodge and have dinner.

Day 18 
Early morning game drive in park at 630am before breakfast at the lodge. Visit hilltop temple and see views of Nilgiri hills and return to lodge for lunch and free time. Afternoon game drive in the park. Dinner at the lodge.

Day 19 
Early morning game drive before breakfast. Check out of lodge and drive to BR Hills National Park about 50km distance. Check in to the permanent tented camp, relax and have lunch. Afternoon game drive in the park before dinner.

Day 20 
Early morning game drive in the park before breakfast. Check out and drive to Bangalore. Check in to hotel and relax.

Day 21 
Sightseeing in Bangalore including Tipu Sultans Palace, mosque, government buildings, Botanical Gardens, Bull Temple and city market. Return to hotel and relax.

Day 22 
Tour ends – transfer to airport – return home or onward travel.

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