Day 1 -2: Cochin (The Beginning of Kerala Backwaters Tour)
Cochin, “Queen of the Arabian Sea”, the largest natural harbor in India. Cochin means an assembly of islands and cities. This is where the first “settlers” Europeans settled in India in 1500, led by Vasco da Gama and died there with the title of Vice – Portuguese King of the Indies. His tomb exists, but the remains were actually brought to Lisbon. Tradition holds that the Apostle Thomas preaches the gospel. It is also one of the largest commercial ports in Kerala.
Visit the Synagogue (closed on Fridays and Saturdays), 1568, which is the oldest in the Commonwealth. Visit Cochin: the Dutch Palace (closed on Friday), or Mattancherry Palace, you will find some of the finest sacred murals of South India. On the first floor, the hall coronation contains objects that belonged to the ruler of Cochin Raja Veera Kerala Varma (1537-1561).
Fort Cochin, the Church of Saint Francis Xavier, the oldest European church in the country. It was built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan monks who accompanied the expedition led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral. The original wooden church was rebuilt in stone by the middle of the sixteenth century. Vasco da Gama died in India in 1524 with the title of Viceroy of Portuguese India. His grave still exists, but his remains were brought back to Lisbon.
Do not hesitate, in the late afternoon to stroll along the waterfront, where you will see the huge Chinese nets in action, evoking the memory of the first sailors.
By early evening, transfer to the theater where you will witness the makeup artists, then a performance of Kathakali, featuring extraordinary characters with impressive masks that recreate in a dance theater / mime unique, sacred legends of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
Day 3: Alleppey, House Boat (100 Km 1:30)
Cruise on the “backwaters”. Boarding of Houseboats called Kettuvallam for navigation on the “backwaters”, which you wander peacefully through the tropical countryside inland along the shady banks of coconut palms and emerald paddy fields of irrigated labyrinth of canals and lagoons, where traditional boats glide.
Equipment “houseboat” rooms (air conditioned) with bathroom. A kitchen with a traditional cook, a navigator / guide and a platform for the view.
Day 4-5: Allepey – Periyar (180 Km 4:30)
Periyar: the heart of the mountains, is one of the best reserves of India. This park covers an area of 780 km in a part of the Western Ghats (high mountain). Periyar has a splendid artificial lake populated with waterfowl forests as the darter, heron, egrets and kingfishers. The habitat here is one of the best for Asian elephants. A tea plantation and a tea roasting factory (closed on Sunday and open from 9:00 to 17:00)
Safari boat on the lake to better see wild elephants, gaur, antelopes and monkeys, but be aware that animals tend to hide … The site has about a thousand elephants, which increases your chances of spotting a majestic pachyderm; Tigers themselves are less numerous, they number about fifty.
Look up and take the time to watch one of the 320 species of birds and observe the wealth of tropical vegetation such as orchids, succulents, palms, etc. Strolling on the spice market.
Day 6-7: Periyar Kovalam
Arrival and installation on the superb beach resort for two days.
Free day with full board on the beaches of the Arabian Sea. You can profit the leisure hotel and the sandy beach. With a supplement you can attend yoga classes or enjoy Ayurveda spa and massages.
End of the Kerala Backwaters Tour. Transfer to Cochin airport for departure.