South India Highlights with Kerala Backwaters 9 Days


Kochi, Munnar, Thekkady, Kovalam, Changanssery & Kumarakom

Tour Highlights:

  • Tour Kochi and take in the local and colonial heritage of this ancient city
  • Watch the intriguing Kathakali cultural dance performance unique to South India
  • Sail through the serene backwaters of Kerala in a houseboat, and observe the daily activities of the locals
  • Escape to the lush, rolling hills of Munnar, well-known as one of South India’s largest tea and spice growing regions
  • Explore Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and discover a wealth of fauna and flora on display
  • Relax on the palm-fringed beaches of Kovalam

From the towering Himalayas, through the deserts of Rajasthan to the jungles and beaches of the south, the Indian sub-continent has long held an almost overwhelming attraction and mystery for travellers from East and West. Home to Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, Hindus and other faiths, India is both the world's largest modern democracy and the cradle some of humanity's most profound ancient philosophies, and their heritage of art, architecture, dress and food.

This tour takes you through some of the most beautiful regions of Kerala province in India's south. You will experience Kerala's colonial heritage, houseboat cruises, local lifestyles, diverse wildlife, and spices and tea as you have never had them before.

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2018 Price Per Person Single Supplement
14 Jan** 22 Apr** 28 Oct From $2,299
Land Only from $1,799
per person twin share
04 Mar 23 Sep 11 Nov
01 Apr 07 Oct** 25 Nov
* = Peak Season Surcharge: $300
** = School Holiday Surcharge: $500


  • Singapore Airlines economy class long haul international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Day cruise on backwaters of Kerala
  • Special lunch on board backwater cruise
  • Transportation & transfers
  • Admissions to scenic attractions
  • Locally based English-speaking guides


  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $135
  • India visa (mandatory)
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Hotel Accommodation Optional Extension

Location Accommodation Local Rating
Kochi Crowne Plaza Kochi or similar
Munnar Blackberry Hills Retreat & Spa or similar
Thekkady The Elephant Court or similar
Kovalam Uday Samudra or similar
Changanssery Contour Backwaters or similar
Kumarakom Abad Whispering Palms or similar

Board your flights to Kochi via a connecting city. Depending on the city of departure, you may be required to depart one day earlier on an overnight flight.

Please note: Depending on the city of departure chosen, some flights may depart the night before on Day 0. Flights to Kochi will be via connecting cities and may involve more than one transit.

Kerala man fishing
This morning visit the Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace) and museum, where large elaborate murals depicting scenes from great Indian epics and an impressive collection of items formerly owned and worn by the royal family are on display. Stop by St. Francis Church, well-known for its magnificent Portuguese-influenced architecture and dating back to the 15th century. Also visit the Jewish Synagogue, adorned with several objects of antiquity, such as elaborate Belgian glass chandeliers, giant scrolls from the Old Testament and hundreds of Chinese 18th century hand-painted porcelain tiles. Enjoy sunset by the seashore and see the enormous Chinese fishing nets. These giant nets are unique to the area and it has been said they were brought to India by traders from the Yuan Dynasty court of Kublai Khan in the 14th century. Behold a special Kathakali performance this evening. Kathakali is a traditional folk dance specific to the Kerala region and features actor-dancers dressed up in extravagant colourful make-up, costumes, face masks and vivid face paint.
After breakfast travel to Munnar for an invigorating change of scenery, driving past lush greenery and rolling hills. Munnar is the best place to see the rare Ibis Goat. Check in to the hotel on arrival and enjoy the day at your own leisure.
India tea plantation
After breakfast drive to Thekkady (also known as Periyar). Check into your hotel before you visit the spice gardens the region is known for. The cool climate and high elevation of this region make it best place for cultivating spice including cardamom, pepper, vanilla, garlic, clove, cinnamon, coffee, pepper, ginger, nutmeg and more. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure.
Visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary where in addition to the sight of elephants bathing in the lake, there is a wealth of fauna and flora. With both tropical evergreens and deciduous forests, the sanctuary is also known for its tiger population, as well as monkeys, squirrels, and many bird species. After lunch drive to Kovalam, a stunning beach side town beside the Arabian Sea. Check in to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Royal Bengal Tiger
Full day at leisure in Kovalam (at your own expense). You may choose to participate in some water sports or walk along the palm-fringed sandy beaches.
Kerala beach
Proceed north to the famous backwaters of Kerala. On arrival at Alleppey, alight for a cruise through the serene backwaters of Kerala in a houseboat. Enjoy a special lunch onboard and soak in the charming village life along the banks as you cruise along in style. Afterwards drive on to Changanssery, check in to your hotel with an evening free at your own leisure. Ayurvedic massage is a highlight of this area and a perfect way to round off the day (at your own expense).
Drive to Kumarakom where the unique habitat makes it the perfect destination for bird watchers. After checking in at the hotel, take a boat ride and visit the Bird Sanctuary of Kumarakom, where many migratory birds from Siberia and Europe flock. Spot the Water Hyacinths along the way.
Bird Sanctuary
Return to Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala. Enjoy the day at leisure with last minute shopping for souvenirs and Kerala specialties. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight or journey home via connecting cities.
Arrive home today.