Land Cost Per Person (double occupancy)
Available Anytime – $4336
Single supplement – $1346
This tour operates with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 travelers. Other rates available on request.
- 14 nights’ accommodation on twin/double sharing basis (for single room, please add single supplement)
- Assistance on arrival/departure by an experienced tour representative
- Buffet breakfast at hotel
- Meals as listed in the program
- Interactive cooking sessions in Kochi and Kuttanad
- Cooking demonstrations/classes in Periyar, Kollam, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, and Negombo
- Kathakali Dance show in Kochi
- Traditional martial arts performance in Periyar
- Spice plantation tour in Periyar
- Bathing and feeding elephants at Kollam
- Transportation using the services of an air-conditioned vehicle for all transfers, sightseeing, and excursions as per itinerary
- Qualified English-speaking guide at sightseeing spots
- Service of English-speaking tour escort (4 paying passengers onwards)
- Sightseeing as mentioned in the program
- Entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the itinerary
- Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes
- All current applicable taxes
Price Does Not Include:
- Special meals other than those specified in the itinerary
- Any “optional” activities mentioned in the program
- Alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks including mineral water/soft drinks
- Camera fees, porterage, tips, gratuities, etc.
- Things of a personal nature like laundry, telephone, spa, drinks, room service, etc.
- Any kind of insurance
- Domestic/international flight charges
- Other supplement or item which is not listed in above inclusions
- Welcome/farewell gift
Day 1: Arrival in Kochi
Arrive at Kochi International Airport. On arrival at your hotel, you will be extended a traditional Indian welcome.
Kochi, with its wealth of historical associations and its beautiful setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. Formerly known as Cochin, Kochi boasts of one of the finest natural harbors on the Arabian Sea coast and has been a port of call for foreign traders from very early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the many buildings and structures, which bear testimony to the different influences that the city has acquired from the world over. Kochi is a fascinating synthesis of old and new. At the entrance of Kochi Harbour, Chinese fishing nets add a wistful aura to the surroundings. These nets are the only remaining evidence of the Chinese contacts of ancient times. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Kochi
This morning, you will leave for a fascinating tour of Kochi. Visit St. Francis Church, the oldest church constructed by Europeans in India. Built by the Portuguese in 1510, it housed the remains of Vasco da Gama for 14 years before they were transferred to Lisbon; his tombstone can be seen inside the church. Visit the Mattancherry Palace, which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and presented to the Raja of Kochi as a gesture of goodwill. This was also known as the Dutch Palace, resulting from substantial renovation by the Dutch after 1663. The central hall was the Coronation Hall of the Rajas. Their dresses, turbans, palanquins, and murals from Hindu mythology are all beautiful and worth seeing. (Closed on Friday.)
Proceed to the famed spice market to shop for some of the exotic spices for which this region is renowned. Then proceed to the Jewish Synagogue, which was built in 1568. Scrolls of the Old Testament and a number of copper plates inscribed in Hebrew script are preserved here. The building was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch two years later. (Closed on Friday and Saturday.) Continue along the sea wall Promenade, driving past the Dutch Cemetery. Walk past the Bishop’s House, former residence of the Portuguese governor and later the Bishop of Kochi. The tour will end at the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets.
This afternoon, your first cooking session will be held at the famous expert cookery house, “At Home,” with Nimmy and Paul. Nimmy and Paul have been involved in “At Home” hospitality for more than twelve years. Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor for more than twenty years, and her stockbroker husband Paul, offer food and hospitality to foreign guests. Nimmy and Paul belong to a traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. In keeping with the tradition of their families, they enjoy having guests and serving good food.
In the evening, enjoy a Kathakali dance show at a local theatre. Kathakali is the classical dance drama of Kerala. Kathakali incorporates the three fine arts of acting, dancing, and singing. The impressive mudras, graceful and rhythmic movements with pleasing choreography, and delightful imagery make Kathakali one of the most intricate dance forms. Not a single dialogue is spoken, but with the eloquence of expression the epic is narrated and a dream world of sheer fantasy is brought to life. Themes are taken from Hindu mythology and often summed up with a lesson.
Overnight in Kochi. (B, L)
Day 3: Kochi – Periyar
This morning, drive to Periyar, covering a distance of 160km in approximately 4 hours. Enjoy the scenery as you pass beautiful small villages, tea estates, and rubber plantations. Arrive in Periyar in the afternoon and check in at your hotel.
Welcome to the heart of God’s own country! Periyar, or Thekkady, is located in the Idukki district. The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills, and spice-scented plantations. Here in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats, you will experience the most enchanting holiday. In the Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns which hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.
In the evening, enjoy a performance of Kalaripayatu, a local traditional martial arts form.
Overnight at hotel. (B)
Day 4: Periyar
Early in the morning, enjoy an escorted, three-hour jungle trek, which offers excellent opportunities to watch birds, butterflies, and other wildlife including elephants, bison, and deer. The trails often pass through evergreen and lush, deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
After lunch, you will visit a local house to see the preparation of homemade chocolate. Then visit a spice plantation to discover various species of spices and other aromatic plants/herbs. Your guide will explain about the usage of different spices in Indian cuisine. The spice plantation in Thekkady is a prime attraction of this beautiful land. Though sprawling tea estates cover much of the landscape of Thekkady, plantations of cardamom, rubber, vanilla, and coffee are also aplenty. Visit coffee factories and experience coffee tasting before returning to your hotel.
This evening, participate in a cookery demonstration at the hotel, where you can try your hand at making your own variations of Kerala dishes, followed by dinner. Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 5: Periyar – Allepey
This morning, drive to Allepey (150 km, approximately 4 hrs). On arrival at the Jetty, embark on a Kettuvallam (rice barge), the traditional trading vessel of this beautiful coastal region, and enjoy a cruise on the backwaters. These alluring waters represent a unique geological formation and are the basis of a distinct lifestyle. Traveling through the backwaters of Kerala is an experience of a lifetime, enjoying the simple, tranquil pleasures they offer.
The Kettuvalams of Kerala are giant country crafts that were used in the early days to transport goods from the isolated interior villages to bigger towns. Now converted to beautiful dwellings, each one is accommodated with fully-furnished bedrooms and attached bathrooms, a sundeck, open lounge, kitchenette, and a crew comprised of chef, guide, and oarsmen. Enjoy a traditional lunch that will be served piping hot on board. Float along the placid waters, passing palm-fringed canals, lakes, and villages as you unhurriedly explore the Kerala backwaters from the comforts of your houseboat. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Allepey – Kollam
This morning, disembark from your houseboat and drive to Kollam, stopping en route at a Kuttanad Region farm. The farm is set on an island, which you will reach by country boat, going through the backwaters and seeing village life along the way.
Once you reach the farm, your hosts will provide a tour to introduce you to the traditional way of farming in this region. The island on which the farm is located has been reclaimed from the lake and, like other farms typical to the Kuttanad region, sits 2 meters below the lake level. A retaining dyke around the perimeter of the island keeps the lake water from entering the farm, and all the rain water is pumped out, especially during the monsoon season, using an electric motor and pump. This is critical to the existence of the farm.
The farm is made up of ridges and canals: all the planting is done on the ridges, and the canals are used for natural fish culture. Karimeen (pearlspot) and fresh water jumbo prawns (scampi) can often be found here. The major crops on the farm are coconut, nutmeg, cocoa, banana, pepper, and many other fruits, vegetables, and spices. Toddy tapping is done here as well. The farm also has cows, geese, ducks, and hens.
At the farm, join your hosts in an interactive cooking session and lunch. The cuisine is predominantly Syrian Christian with a strong backwater influence. Most of the dishes served are centered around fish, farm vegetables or fruits, duck, chicken, and occasionally other meats, supplemented with rice and rice-based local breads such as appam or string hoppers. Some of the specialties here are karimeen (pearlspot fish) fry, fish molee, prawn and scampi preparations, duck roast and curry, and red hot Kerala fish curry. The adventurous can try drinking toddy, the fermented sap of the palm tree, a kind of country liquor. Desserts are usually puddings, fresh fruits, and some local treats.
After lunch, continue your drive to Kollam, checking into your resort upon arrival. Kollam (or Quilon) is an old seaport town on the Arabian coast which stands on the shore of Ashtamudi Lake. Formerly known as Desinganadu, Kollam has sustained its commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was one of the five ports visited by the 14th-century explorer, Ibn Batuta.
Kollam district is like a miniature Kerala, being gifted with representative features which include sea, lakes, plains, mountains, rivers, streams, backwaters, forest, vast green fields, and tropical crops of every variety. Hence, this region has often been called “The God’s Own Capital.”
Later in the afternoon, partake in some rustic village cooking which is sure to be a highlight of your stay. Get hands-on experience of local cuisines with the help of homemakers in the nearby coastal villages, visiting a local market to purchase the cooking ingredients. Delight in food which is prepared in true Kerala style, served on banana leaf.
Overnight at hotel. (B, L)
Day 7: Kollam
Start your day with a visit to Neendara Port, which is the major hub of fishing activities in Kerala on the shores of the Arabian Sea. India’s first coastal police station was started in Neendakara for monitoring activities on the sea.
Return to your hotel for breakfast, proceeding afterward to Anasanketam, a private camp which houses many elephants. Get close to these giants, take a bareback elephant ride, and join in their feeding and bathing.
Later in the afternoon, participate in an exclusive cooking session with a senior chef at the resort. Your cooking session will take place at the organic farm, where you will be divided into 5-member teams. Every team will be equipped with induction cookers and sufficient gear for their cooking needs.
Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 8: Kollam – Trivandrum – Colombo – Anuradhapura
You will be transferred early in the morning to Trivandrum airport for your flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. You will be greeted as you exit the plane, where your escort will make arrangements to whiz you through immigration and assist with your luggage.
Proceed on a guided visit of Colombo. A blend of past and present bedecks this bustling, surprisingly cosmopolitan city. Colombo is believed to have derived its named from the Sinhalese “Kola-amba-thota,” or “harbor with leafy mango trees.” Strategically placed on the Indian Ocean, this port has been a wide-open door to visitors for centuries. With each wave of new influences from afar – from the early Arab traders to 21st-century Western fashion manufacturers – Colombo re-invents herself, rising like a victorious phoenix from the ashes of colonization. This chameleon city has a way of absorbing new influences while still retaining its own unique Sri Lankan character; like the gems this island is known for, each chip off the original only seems to enhance the stone’s reflectivity and innate beauty. Your tour will include the Old Parliament Building in the Fort District, a Hindu and a Buddhist temple, residential areas of the affluent, and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
Later, continue overland to Anuradhapura (approx. 3 hrs). Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 9: Anuradhapura
This morning, you will start your authentic Sri Lankan culinary experience. Ulagalla Resort boasts an organic vegetable garden where most vegetables are hand-picked for the delicious dishes prepared for hotel guests. Take a tour around this organic garden accompanied by the chef, picking vegetables and herbs for your one-of-a-kind Sri Lankan cooking class. You will prepare your own lunch of typical Sri Lankan cuisine with the juicy and fresh vegetables you have picked. You may take home a few authentic, nutritious recipes as well as an apron from the hotel as a souvenir.
Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka from the 5th century BC to the end of the 10th century AD. The city is an archaeologist’s delight and contains several monuments of historical importance. It is also considered very sacred by the Buddhists and is home to the largest dagobas in Sri Lanka. Now a UNESCO heritage site, these can be visited at your own expense if you so desire.
Spend the evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 10: Anuradhapura
Today you will learn how to cook some traditional sweet meats. You will be trained by a lady from a Sri Lankan rural village, and the chef will accompany you. These Sri Lankan sweet meats are usually prepared for traditional festivals or occasions in Sri Lankan homes. You are sure to enjoy the taste of these authentic delicacies. Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 11: Anuradhapura – Nuwara Eliya
This morning, you will be taken to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s tea country (approx. 5 hrs), pausing en route to visit the heritage city of Kandy.
Nuwara Eliya is known as the “Little England” of Sri Lanka. Set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and tea plantations, this is known to be one of the coolest places in the island, often just like an English spring day, with cooler temperatures at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, with housing styles ranging from country cottages to Queen Ann-style mansions.
Spend the evening at leisure enjoying the hotel facilities. Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 12: Nuwara Eliya
This morning, you will be taken through the tea plantations to a tea factory, where you will witness the age-old process of tea making.
Upon return to the hotel, you will have a cooking class. Here you will learn how to make delicacies which incorporate tea freshly plucked from the Nuwara Eliya tea estate, including the specialty Tea Tiramisu. Take home some tea-inspired recipes and learn how to add the special flavor of tea into your poultry dishes.
Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 13: Nuwara Eliya – Negombo
Today you will be heading to the western beaches of Sri Lanka (approx. 5-hour drive). Spend the afternoon at leisure to relax after the drive or, if you wish, do some sightseeing in the area.
Being a coastal town, Negombo has earned itself a strong reputation for providing scrumptious seafood in Sri Lanka. This status should come as no surprise considering the town’s strong fishing history and tradition that are still alive and well today. The waters of this coastal town are home to a plethora of marine life, many of which make their way into delicious dishes to satisfy the palettes of seafood lovers.
Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 14: Negombo
Today you will be taken to the lellama, Negombo’s famous fish market, with the Executive Chef of Jetwing Beach. Here you will witness fish auctions on the beach and purchases at the market. Once you return to the hotel, your cooking class will commence. Naturally, today’s lesson will be preparing seafood in Sri Lankan style.
Overnight at hotel. (B, D)
Day 15: Negombo – Colombo
Today you will be transferred to the airport (approx. 20 min.) to connect with your homeward flight. (B)
If you have any questions or you’d like to book this trip, please contact us.
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Kutrubes Travel also offers a variety of other tours throughout this region. Contact us for detailed itineraries and descriptions.