22 DAYS ●
Immerse Yourself Tour
India’s most alluring state, Kerala’s totally tropical landscapes range from golden beaches and mellow backwaters to jungle-clad hills and lush paddies. Extend your stay with a journey through Sri Lanka’s extensive history, culture and nature, discovering ancient civilisations and spotting exotic wildlife.
Fly overnight to Kochi, a
cosmopolitan port city on the
Arabian Sea. Depending on your
time of arrival the rest of the day
is yours to start soaking up the
Enjoy a full day tour of Kochi.
Start at the Dutch Palace, once
home to the rajas of Kochi, and
the synagogue at the heart of the
Jewish Quarter, St Francis Church,
the first European church built
in India and Santa Cruz Basilica.
Drive along the coast to the
mouth of the harbour to view the
picturesque old Chinese fishing
nets, brought here by Chinese
traders in the 14th century. Finish
the day at Fort Kochi where you
can stroll amongst historical
Dutch and Portuguese buildings.
This evening find relaxation with a
traditional Ayurvedic massage at
Travel to Muhamma, a town
nestled amongst lush paddy fields
in the ‘rice bowl’ of Kerala. Enjoy
a cooking demonstration where
you’ll see local Keralan cuisine
being prepared. Tonight, you
will be staying in a traditional
homestay – you’ll get more
chances to witness the local
cooking culture first hand, and
enjoy normal family life here.
Transfer to the jetty at Alleppey
and board your kettuvallam, the
local name for the houseboats
that ply the backwaters. Sit back
and relax as your boat cruises the
beautiful jade water, meandering
through canals, rivers and lakes,
passing tiny villages, swaying
palms, lush paddy fields and
people going about their lives
on the riverbanks. Dine on food
cooked fresh onboard before
retiring to your cabin for a night
on the water.
Disembark and proceed to
Thekkady, one of Kerala’s most
nature rich areas. This evening,
enjoy an exuberant and colourful
Kathakali dance performance, one
of the oldest art forms in the area.
Ride a bamboo raft on a lake
at the heart of Periyar Tiger
Reserve. From the water, you’ll
get beautiful views of the forested
hills and may spot some wildlife,
such as elephant, gaur and
sambar on the bank of the lake.
The rest of the afternoon is
Journey into the Western Ghats
to the hill station of Munnar,
stopping en route at spice
plantations and organic spice
gardens to see what they grow,
how it’s grown and how it is used
in day to day life. Later, visit a tea plantation and museum
where you can get involved in
the processes of running the
plantation, such as plucking and
planting, and learn about the
history of tea in the area.
Travel just out of town to the
Letchmi hills, where your hike
will begin. Strike out into tea
plantations, climbing a hill
to follow a beautiful ridge
through grassland, passing
more plantations and forest and
absorbing spectacular views as
you go. After a picnic lunch,
wander through a Nature Zone,
spotting exotic plants and birds
that are endemic to the region.
Return to Munnar where the rest
of the day is at leisure.
Journey to the city of Palakkad.
Visit Kandath Tharavad,
a 200-year-old Keralan
architectural gem built from mud
and teak, before exploring the
city itself. Kerala as a whole has
long been a crossroads of trade
and therefore, diverse culture
and religion – this is reflected in
the sights you will visit today – a
Jain temple, the Shiva and Snake
Temple, Kalpathy Brahmin Village
and Hyder Ali’s Fort.
Start the day with an invigorating
yoga class, a walk through the
rice paddies and a tumbler of tea
with local villagers. Climb aboard
a bullock-drawn cart to travel
through winding country lanes to
visit some of the area’s cottage
industries. Meet the artisans of
a potter’s and basket weaver’s
colony and see the technique of
toddy tapping. This afternoon,
prepare for something mystical!
Learn about various methods of
fortune telling that are popular in
the Palakkad area, and have your
own fortune read.
Travel from Palakkad back to Kochi, stopping en route at the old port town of Kodungalloor. The town is considered the cradle of several world religions in India – Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus all settled here centuries ago, creating the perfect microcosm of Kerala’s, and India’s, diversity. Visits include the 52 AD Kottakavu Church, Cheraman Masjid, India’s first mosque and Chenamangalam Synagogue. Arrive in Kochi where there is an option to take a sunset cruise along the beautiful Malabar Coast (payable locally).
Fly from Kochi to Colombo. On
arrival, transfer to the beachside
town of Negombo. (D)
Transfer to the heart of Sri Lanka’s
‘Cultural Triangle', Sigiriya. (B,L)
Discover the UNESCO-listed
Rock Fortress, also known
as ‘Lion Rock’. Continue to
Polonnaruwa, a ruined city
full of magnificent stupas,
frescoes and statues. (B,L,D)
Look for elephants on safari
through Minneriya National
Park. Transfer to Kandy.
(B,L,D) The following day
visit the Temple of the Sacred
Tooth Relic. (B,L)
Board the train to Nuwara Eliya,
passing through mountain valleys
and lush tea plantations. (B,L,D)
The next day visit St Clair’s Falls
and enjoy High Tea. (B,L)
Drive to Colombo. (B,L,D)
Spend the following morning
exploring the city sights. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport for your
flight to the UK, arriving home
the same or following day. (B)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
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A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.
The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste. Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. We have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount is calculated for each tour. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044 then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625. Mobile Phones Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost.
Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Fort Cochin, the Casino Hotel combines relaxed Keralan style with modern comforts. There is an outdoor pool, gym, lounge and shop, whilst the restaurants serve Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine and specialise in fresh fish dishes. There is also free Wi-Fi and an Ayurveda massage service. Bedrooms are bright and spacious with typically Keralan aspects and offer air conditioning, safe, minibar, television and en suite bathroom....Read more
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and the UK's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you to Asia soon!
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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
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