Kerala Homestay

One of the best ways to experience this unique area is by staying with a welcoming local family. You will also visit Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and journey along the backwaters of Kerala on a kettuvallam.

Places Visited

Kanjirappally (1N) - Periyar (1N) - Kerala Backwaters (1N) - Cherthala (2N) - Kochi

Day 1: Kochi to Kanjirappally
Upon arrival at Kochi airport you will be transferred to Kanjirappally, a town nestled among rubber plantations, where your homestay accommodation is located. This afternoon visit rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Enjoy traditional Keralan cuisine for dinner this evening. (L,D)
Day 1: Kochi to Kanjirappally
Day 2: Kanjirappally to Thekkady
This morning drive to Thekkady. This is where Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and your next homestay accommodation are located. This afternoon, visit a local spice plantation. (B,L,D)
Day 2: Kanjirappally to Thekkady
Day 3: Thekkady to Alleppey
Take a boat ride on Lake Periyar before transferring to Alleppey to board your overnight houseboat. Cruise the backwaters enjoying authentic Keralan cuisine made from rich spices and coconuts while relaxing on board. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Thekkady to Alleppey
Day 4: Alleppey to Cherthala
Disembark your houseboat in Alleppey and travel to the small town of Cherthala, located 30km from Kochi. This afternoon take a canoe ride through the narrow canals of the backwaters of Kerala while watching the local fishermen cast their nets and tend to their farms. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Alleppey to Cherthala
Day 5: Cherthala
Tour the nearby villages by bicycle, including the many small temples and Catholic churches. Later you will witness the art of ‘toddy tapping’, where a ‘tapper’ climbs to the top of a coconut tree to collect the sap. This is then turned into coconut palm wine. The unfermented sap is called neera and is refrigerated, stored and then distributed locally once ready. You will be given an opportunity to sample the ‘toddy’ - only for the brave! Afterwards, return to your homestay accommodation. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Cherthala
Day 6: Cherthala to Kochi
After check-out this morning you will be transferred to Kochi airport where your arrangements end. (B)

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Visa fees are not included in your tour cost and it is your responsibility to arrange all necessary visas. Wendy Wu Tours can organise your visa's at an additional cost, please contact our Reservation Department for more details.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in India and you will find high quality coverage. India has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping for Short Stays and Independent itineraries is not compulsory however is appreciated and normal for guides & drivers to receive them from tourists. In your final documents, Wendy Wu Tours will advise a guideline for tipping to be given to your local guides & driver. Tipping is at the discretion of each individual.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

Breakfast is served in the hotels and includes a combination of western and local dishes.

If lunch or dinner is included in your short stay package we aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. We use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big.

Drinks will be at your own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.

Why Book This Tour?

This extension is suitable for those who wish to visit the Southern State of Kerala in India. You will spend some time on a traditional Kettuvalam houseboat. This is a private tour and all meals are included for your convenience.


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