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KERALA WITH A DIFFERENCE

Kerala is today one of the leading destinations in India. While much has been written about its natural attractions and socio- economic history, there is much that remains unexplored. In this tour we take you to some hitherto unexplored parts of the region while retaining many mainstream sights, albeit with a difference! Be enchanted by the natural parks, waterfalls and birdlife, the backwaters and the delicious cuisine; staying in some delightful family homes and estate bungalows the tour offers you a taste of Kerala like no other.

Days 1 & 2 Alleppey
Arrive into Kochi and transfer to Olavipe, an old family home in Alleppey set in the midst of paddy fields, coconut groves and the backwaters. Explore rural life with your host family.

Day 3 Rice Boat
Cruise along the backwaters in your private rice boat, enjoying freshly cooked food made from local produce. Stay on the boat for the night.

Days 4 & 5 Periyar
Disembark and drive up the Western Ghats to Periyar, through plantations on the hillside growing rubber, pineapple, pepper, nutmegs and cardamom. Stay at the Shalimar Spice Garden, a delightful boutique hotel. Take a walk in the jungle and a boatride on Lake Periyar to see wild elephants, the gaur and the rare lion-tailed macaque. There is abundant birdlife all around.

Days 6 & 7 Munnar
Drive on a hilly road to Munnar, the tea country and home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Stay at the Spice Tree or Windamere; enjoy a full day's walk, also visiting the Tea Museum. A visit to a tea factory can be arranged.

Day 8 Athirapally
Drive on to Athirapally for a night at the Rainforest, a boutique hotel overlooking the spectacular waterfalls; at leisure.

Days 9 & 10 Thalassery (Tellicherry)
Drive north to Thalassery, you could visit Kalamandalam, the dance school and the elephant stables in Thrissur; stay at Ayisa Mansil with Moosa and Faisa. Faisa is known for her culinary skills, and will indulge you with Mopilah specialities during your stay here. Moosa will take you to local homes, and to the Parassinikadavu Temple to see the amazing theyyam dancing.

Days 11 to 12 Kochi (Cochin)
Take a train from Thalassery to Kochi, as your baggage travels by car. Stay on arrival at the Malabar House, a luxury boutique hotel. Visit the Jew Town, see the Dutch Palace, take an auto-rickshaw tour of the spice markets, see a Kathakali performance, arriving early to see the elaborate make-up being put on, see the sunset on the harbour from a boat as you cruise along to see Chinese Fishing nets, visit a nearby coastal village for a specially arranged local meal. Days 13 & 14 Marari
Transfer to the Marari Beach Resort for some relaxation, with the option of Ayurveda.

Day 15
Transfer to the airport or railway station for your return journey.

Price indication: $1900 to $2200 per person for a private tour for two.

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