Visiting Kerala has been the most awaited journey for us for last two years. But different commitments of life had put us in a back seat. Finally when we narrowed down the time to visit Kerala (last week of December 2015) the prices of the kerala tour had skyrocketed.
Every quotes from different vendors was just pushing our dream vacation further. It as this time the quote from one vendor surprised us. On one side we were happy but on the other side we were skeptical about what experience we will get at such less price in kerala (we were biased since renowned vendors were charging high for good experience).
But after talking to the team, we were assured that our dream vacation will definitely happen. In reality our actual experience was very nice and cordial. It was good vacation time spent with the support of good team. The team tried to accommodate our schedule changes and were very cordial with us.
The only barrier that we faced during the entire journey was language but the good nature of the team did not give us that feeling.
Day 1: We were picked up from the Ernakulum bus station at morning and taken to a hotel for an authentic Kerala meals. After meals we explored Cochin city and then started in the evening to Munnar. On the way to Munnar we stopped at some sightseeing stops (waterfalls)
Day 2 : This was fill day tour of Munnar. Sprawling Tea Plantations, Enchanting rolling hills, countless Cardamom estates, Reservoirs for hydel projects, Tea Museum & Factory, rose garden, waterfalls etc. The visit to Eravikulam National Park could not be completed since the tickets were full. We also enjoyed the kerala martial art in the evening.
Day 3: We started the drive to Thekkady, through Cardamom hills covering 115 Kms . We visited Spice plantation where we got first hand experience of cardamom, coffee; pepper and other spices. In the evening we went to Periyar Tiger reserve but could not get ferry tickets (book this ticket online before you enter the park). We strolled in the markets of Thekkady and booked a 3 hour Jeep safary trip of tiger reserve (no tiger. But only vegetation and landscapes)
Day 4: We started our journey at 5am to Thekkady reserve. Post 4 hours interesting ride through the reserve , we started the 3.5 journey towards Alleppey House Boat Journey after Breakfast. At 1.30pm (boarding starts at 12pm on most boats) we checked into a Kerala Style Traditional House Boat to discover the Natural beauty of Kerala backwaters. The whole night was spent on the boat.
Day 5: After breakfast on the boat, we started our 4 hour journey to Kovalam. The evening was well spent exploring light house, candle night dinner on the beach and exploring Prominent Beaches(Samudra, Hawah). Kerala traditional cuisines are available on the beach but are very costly. You definitely can enjoy fresh sea food cooked in banana leaves.
Day 6: The last day of the trip had started. Our morning started with 3 hours boat ride in Poovar backwaters. Post the visit to backwaters, we explored Trivandrum city (shopping, Trivandrum zoo and museum)
Our Kerala tour ended with sweet memories.
If you need the contact details of the hotel and tour operator, drop a comment here with your details.
Here are some of the interesting videos recorded during our travel
Poovar Back Waters
Enjoyed Peacock dance on kovalam beach
Beautiful backwaters of Alleppey
Visit of Tea Museum at Munnar