This tour is a walker’s tour through the most beautiful areas of Kerala. The walks start at the lowland forests of Thattekkad bird sanctuary, continuing with tea walks at Munnar and rain forest walks at Periyar. There is also a culturally rich walk through the backwater villages and the historic Fort Kochi.
Day 1, 2: Lowland Forests at Thattekkad
Arrival at Kochi. Meet & assist at the airport and transfer to Hornbill Camp near the lowland forests at Thattekkad. We will walk the trails in the forest, walk through the villages that dot the area and also go on kayaking trips on the river Periyar.
Day 3, 4, 5: Hiking in Munnar
We will leave the plains and head for the hills. Munnar is Kerala’s premier hill station, built around the tea industry. The altitude above 1600 m means an agreeable climate throughout the year. The tea estates here have meant that a ‘tea culture’ spawned by the British still is in place, with most of the land under the control of the tea companies. The Sholas or high altitude montane evergreen forests are typical to the Western Ghats and considered biologically extremely fragile. Our treks will pass through countless Sholas, tea estates and rolling grasslands, climbing to over 2600m during the course of our walk.
Day 6, 7, 8: Rain Forest treks at Periyar
We will transfer to Periyar Tiger Reserve. Located within the confines of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. The picturesque lake in the heart of the sanctuary was originally 26 sq km but now spans an area of 55 sq km. This perennial source of water, which initially led to the submersion of large tracts of forestland, slowly attracted wild animals. It eventually resulted in the adjoining forests being granted protection. Post-1975 Periyar finds itself in the enviable position of being a protected tiger reserve. The terrain ranges from hilly to flat grassland areas at the edges of the lakes. The vegetation is of moist deciduous type. We will stay at a family owned resort and go on day treks & jeep safaris from there into the forest in the company of the local trackers.
Day 9: The Backwaters
We will drive towards Kumarakom and embark the houseboat. No trip to Kerala will be complete without a cruise through the backwaters. We will disembark during the cruise and walk along the ‘bunds’ which protect this entire area which is below sea level, from being inundated. The small hamlets, farms and village roads are a treat to take leisurely walks.
Day 10: Kochi
We will travel to Kochi to take in the history & culture of Fort Kochi – St Francis Church, the Basilica, the Dutch Museum and the heritage walk at Fort Kochi.You will stay overnight at a heritage hotel in the heart of Fort Kochi.
Day 11: Depart Kochi
The Walker's Tour of Kerala ends.
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Accommodation with most meals, all transfers including airport transfers, all activities and guided walks as shown.
Visitors to India must obtain a Visa before departure. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the nearest Indian Embassy/ High Commission/ Consular Office for the same.
Airport or departure taxes are not applicable if you depart from Kochi.
It’s advisable to take personal travel insurance policy to cover against sickness, accident, loss of baggage, unexpected alterations to travel arrangements and travel disruption, cancellations, etc.
Internet Access: There is no possibility of accessing internet on this itinerary. There is mobile telephony coverage from the second day of the trek.
The South Indian subcontinent is tropical - warm, humid and often wet. During the main monsoon, (July to September) there is heavy rain. Best time to visit Kerala is from October-March. At the Rodo valley camp, temperatures can go down below freezing during winters.
Food is a very important part of these journeys and we have ensured that the Kerala Cuisine is a part of this adventure besides both North Indian & South Indian food - vegetarian and non vegetarian. All meals and bottled mineral water are provided on all days. Any special food requirements could be met if sufficient notice is given.
Our guides have been adequately trained & qualified in first aid and always carry a comprehensive first-aid kit. In case of any medical emergency we have facilities to transfer you to the nearest hospital immediately, followed by evacuation to the tertiary-care hospital at Kochi (if required).
What to bring
• Warm sets of clothes (Fleece, Jacket, hat and gloves) are required for trips going through Munnar and other high altitude areas.
• Hiking shorts
• Hiking pants/track pants
• Waterproof jacket.
• Casual Shirts/T-shirts
• Binocs & Camera (optional)
• Water proof bags for docs & Electronics
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Insect repellent
• Sunglasses, cap
• Sun screen
• Day pack