Kerala is aptly called the God’s own country, as it is wedged between the Western Ghats on the East and the Arabian Sea on the west. Kerala was called Keralam historically and is bordered by Karnataka to the north, Tamil Nadu to the east and south and Lakshadweep Sea to the west. Kerala has established itself as a destination for thrill seekers all around the world. The timeless beauty of palm-fringed exotic beaches, serene backwaters, pristine silky lands and natural beauty, Kerala truly lives to the description of being God’s own country. Kerala was covered by the sea according to mythology and was reclaimed by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama.

From the majesty of Munnar and Vagamon, the serenity of Kovalam and Varkala beaches, the pristine backwaters of Kumarakom and Kuttanad, the wildlife-rich forests of Thekkady and the captivating sights of the sunset and sunrise, Kerala showcases fun and serenity in every step. Explore the beauty of Kochi, Munnar, Thekkady, Kanyakumari and Kovalam in the exquisite journey to God’s own country, Kerala.

Itinerary

  • Day Arrival in Kochi

    Arrival in the international airport of Kochi, followed by transfer to the hotel. Kochi is a major city situated on the south-west coast of India. The serenity of Kochi draws in traders, travelers, and explorers to its shores. The intriguing mix of giant fishing nets, mosques, houses, and the remains of the British empire makes Kochi a preferable destination for people all around the world. A destination for Kerala arts, Kochi is a perfect destination to witness what India is truly made of.

    The evening is utilized for sightseeing around the architecturally beautiful St. Francis Church, the Portuguese-influenced Indo-Portuguese Museum, Chinese Fishing Nets, Kathakali Dance Academy, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue and the wonderful activities of Evening Harbor Cruise.

    • Overnight at Kochi
    • Meals not included
  • Day Drive from Kochi to Munnar

    We will now drive to the confluence of three mountain streams at Munnar. Munnar is a hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala and the name means “three rivers”. In the evening, we will visit the NilgiriTahr, Tea Museum, and the exotic piece of land with flowers- Hydel Park here. We will also, explore views of the mist-clad hills from atop the Pothamedu hilltop. We will then embark on a leisurely visit to the sprawling Kundala Tea plantations and the Kundala Lake. Another interesting aspect to notice here is the echo phenomena of Echo Point and also the beautiful Shooting Point. We will finally end the day with boating in the ideal picnic spot on Matupatty Dam. Approximately 4 hours of drive.

    • Overnight at hotel in Munnar
    • Breakfast & dinner included
  • Day Sightseeing around Munnar

    The sleepy hill station of Munnar hosts a range of green natural beauty, well encapsulated in the preserved valley. Severe habitat fragmentation has resulted in the native flora and fauna to disappear, but the Kurinjimala Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Manjampatti Valley, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and other national parks situated in the region have managed to retain the species in their natural forms.

    There are a number of endemic species like the NilgiriThar, grizzled giant squirrel, gaur, elephant, sambar, langur, and neelakurinji. In the afternoon we will enjoy a jeep ride to Kulkmali tea Factory situated at over 7500 feet. The 50-year-old tea making factory is still intact. You will get a chance to mix in with the locals and pluck some tea leaves.

    • Overnight at hotel in Munnar
    • Breakfast & dinner included
  • Day Drive from Munnar to Periyar

    Enjoy a beautiful drive from Munnar to the spice plantation haven of Periyar. Periyar is a protected area near Thekkady and is notably known for being a tiger reserve and elephant reserve. The rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna that is found here, makes Periyar a haven for nature enthusiasts.

    In the evening we will visit the Spice Plantation in Periyar. The plantation is situated on a 1.5-hour drive from Periyar. The commerce of the plantation gives a clear picture of Kerala’s history. Spice trade is independently done from this region. Pepper is known to be the king of this plantation and over 12 varieties of spices like ginger, garlic, coffee; clove, vanilla, tea, cinnamon, pepper etc. are grown here. Periyar is known best for its organic food items. Enjoy a boat ride in Periyar Lake if you wish. The boat ride is served on a first come first ride basis and is another interesting activity to carry out while in Periyar.

    In the afternoon, we will take time to visit the Periyar Bazaar, in order to glance at organically produced spices on sale. Approximately 4 hours of drive.

    • Breakfast & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Periyar
  • Day Drive from Periyar to Kettuvallam

    Drive to Kettuvallam, where you spend the night in a houseboat. Kettuvalam is a houseboat used widely in Kerala and have a thatched roof covered with wooden hulls. “Kettu” means to tie and “vallam” means a boat, making the name “kettuvalam”. The ancient principles of boat making techniques using “Anjili” wood are used to make these large boats, used widely to promote tourism. Ropes of coir are used to keep the structure in place and tighten the wooden planks.

    Large scheduled and luxurious houseboats are perfect to phase out any issues and troubles embedded in minds. The houseboats are well equipped with a full-fledged kitchen, attached bathroom, and cooking utensils along with a dining area. Initially, these boats were used in order to transport a huge amount of cargo from one place to another, but have been modified over the years to include extensive designs that appeal to tourists all over the world. Laze on wicker chairs as you watch the world move past in its own journey. We will reach the city of Kottayam before the houseboat tour starts.  Approximately 4 hours of drive to Kottayam. Overnight in Houseboat.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at boathouse
  • Day Depart transfer

    View the panorama of sunrise from atop Kettuvallam. After tasting the lavish breakfast we will cruise towards Alleppey. Drive to Kochin and transfer to airport. The drive to Kochin gives a view of the rustic life of the countryside. After a satisfying and extremely leisurely experience in the God’s own country, Kerala, it is time to bid goodbye to India, only with a promise to come back for more. Approximately 2 hours of drive.

    • Breakfast included

Trip Info

  • Accommodation & meals

    • Pre tour accommodation at 3 star hotels in Kochi.        
    • Twin sharing basis at 3 star hotels & house boat during the trip. 
    • 5 Breakfasts, 1 lunch & 1 dinner included during the trip.
  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • All monument entrance fees as per the itinerary
    • One English speaking tour leader depending on the group size
    • English speaking local guide for sightseeing in each monument.
    • First Aid Kit
    • All Govt. taxes including service charges

    Exclusions

    • Emergency evacuation fee
    • International airfare
    • Personal Insurance
    • Personal expenses (Alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc)
    • Visa fee
    • Any services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transportation

    All transfers will be conducted on a private vehicle

  • Visa & documentation

    It is now possible to obtain an electronic visa to India. US citizens can obtain the e-visa which is emailed to you. If you have an e-visa or an i-visa, you should make sure that you stand in the correct queue for it. The total expenses for the electronic visa are under $100. These visas are quick to obtain (about 18 hours of time). You will receive the e-visa in the email in less than 72 hours or three working days.

  • Insurance Policy

    We personally don’t recommend or advertise any particular insurance organization but we can help you figure out what kind of insurance company you should make a deal with. We kindly advise our guests that travel insurance is mandatory before any other travel and trek agreements.

    Ways of triggering your insurance:

    • There are actually two ways that your insurance fund can be triggered and brought into action. The first type is where you will have to use your own money if any injuries occurs or any medical attention is needed. Then the insurance company will pay you later when you return home and show them the documentation of insurance as proof.
    • Another type is where if any medical attention is needed and your insurance needs to be triggered the insurance company will cover all the cost up front and you won’t have to spend a single penny that is not meant for such incident.

    Personally we recommend you to pick an insurance company who are willing to pay you while you need medical attention in Nepal during the time of evacuation and other medical emergencies and not after you return from Nepal.

     

    Main conditions to look for in an insurance policy:

    General insurance only offers medical evacuation up to 4000m but we will attain maximum height of more than this, so we advise our clients to search for a company that provides medical insurance and evacuation plans up to 6000m. If you are planning to climb any peak along with trekking please make sure your policy also pays for “Climbing” as an option.

    You will need to find a policy where your insurance is activated only for the days that you are trekking. If you suffer from altitude sickness and have to be evacuated in an instant you will have to trigger your insurance. These insurance can cost up to $5000. Although these kinds of evacuations are very rare we still need to be prepared for it. So to make any insurance claim you firstly need to get a medical report from a hospital of Nepal as proof before triggering your insurance claim. You will be charged about $150 as a medical fee by the hospital to get your medical reports and documentations before claiming your travel insurance. Some insurance also cover for minor interference and obstacles like flight cancellations to Lukla or even from Kathmandu to your home.

    As mentioned before, please look for an insurance policy that pays you during the time of emergency while trekking and not after you get back to your country.

    What you need to know:

    We inform you that any kind of medical fees that your insurance does not cover will be your responsibility. So we want you to have a very good and thorough look at the insurance policy before applying for it. We do not take any kind of responsibilities for insurance related payments and fiscal managements but we will help you get required documentations and reports for the insurance.

     

    Examples of insurance companies:

    Bigcattravelinsurance.com, WorldNomads, travelguard.com, Squaremouth.com

     

    Important highlights to remember:

    1. Makalu travels do not hold any kind of insurance related financial management work but we will help you acquire important documentations needed for processing your insurance policies.
    2. Choose an insurance policy where you don’t have to pay your own money while trekking in Nepal while in need of medical attention. In other words look for a policy where your insurance company will cover all the money related process if you need any kind of medical attention.
    3. Choose policy with evacuation plan up to 6000m and with an option “climbing” if you are climbing any peak as well as trekking.
    4. Some companies like WorldNomads have a policy where clients have to pay their own money while trekking if they need any kind of medical attention and you will be payed once you return home. So please make sure you have a very good understanding of what type of insurance policy you are agreeing to.

     

  • Cancellation & Changes

    There are two ways to deal with modification in travel plans. First is you can cancel the trip completely and second is you can postpone the date. But for any of these change to take effect we need to be informed 6 weeks before your booked trip date before cancelling or postponing the trip.

    Important note: In case of natural disasters and national political issues our hands are tied so we cannot undertake any kind of activities which we will take full responsibility of and make sure our clients get the flexibility of making decisions to either postpone or cancel the trip they initially advocated for. There will be no extra fees or cost for rescheduling but if you decide to cancel the trip volunterily our cancellation fees apply which is listed and described below.

     

    Cancellation fees rules:

    These are our specific rules for trip cancellations and refund fees involved:

    1. If we are informed by our clients at least 43 days before the travel date then the full deposit amount will be refunded after deducting 4% bank surcharge on total deposit amount.
    2. If we are informed by our clients 6 weeks before the travel date then we can refund complete deposit by just deducting $195 per person.
    3. If cancellation is done between 4 and 6 weeks of travel date then we can refund your deposit after deducting $395 per person. This is because we will have to pay to the hotels, guides and other personals involved to make this trip possible to recover their financial plans.
    4. If we are not informed between 4 and 6 weeks of travel date there will be no refund as there are many other workers and organizations that needs to be paid by us for planning your trip. Losing you as a customer means losing their employment opportunity which will harm involved worker’s financial status.

    So, we request our respectful guests to inform us about any kind of modification plans (postpone or cancellations) at least before 43 days of travel date. This will help us to refund your designated deposit and also maintain financial status of every worker and organization involved.

  • Payments & Deposits

    Makalu Travels offers easy & reliable online payment through credit/debit card, & Paypal. All online payments are processed through the our highly secured online payment partner Authorize.net Please kinldy be informed that all online payments are subject to additional 4% bank surcharge & processing fee. 

    If you would like to avoid the 4% transaction fee then you also have an option to deposit the money into Makalu Travels' bank account in Wells Fargo Bank, USA. The bank details will be provided on request. You will receive a notice from us after a successful deposit or any kind of financial transaction. We will make sure that your transfer amount has arrived to us before sending you any type of confirmation invoice or notification.

  • Hotel & Room Bookings

    The hotel we will accommodate you to is Hotel Le Himalaya pre and post trek in Kathmandu. We will book the hotel rooms for you as per your request with a good pricing than that of online booking. We will transfer all your luggage while being transferred from one accommodation center to another. In Kathmandu we will have a very standard hotel but while trekking we won’t have such luxury so we will have to spend our nights in tea houses. These tea houses are fairly of good standard, you can’t be too picky in the Himalayas! You can contact us if there is any specific query you have about the accommodation structure.

     

    In Kathmandu

    Rooms are very spacious and have private bathrooms and toilets. You will not have to compromise even a bit while your stay at Kathmandu. Hotel Le HImalaya is where you will be before and after the trek as we will have pre booked everything for our respected guests. In case of extending your vacation in Nepal we can help you book rooms for extra nights but we will need to be pre informed. If it is a peak season it will be difficult to manage room in same hotel but we will make an utmost effort to accommodate you in the hotel of same caliber.

    Note: Our guests will not have to pay for the nights that they don’t spend in a hotel room in Kathmandu. We can always come to an agreement if there are certain flight delays or cancellations. During these kind of situations we will accommodate our guests fitting best to their requirements.

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The Advantages of Booking with Makalu Travels

Access to Local Expertize

We take pride in our carefully selected well-trained, experienced tour guides and leaders who have an insider access that is certain to enhance your experience.Their knowledge of meticulous details of all the local places without exaggeration is what will make a world of difference to your travel experience.

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Each of our trips are monitored and regulated by our office in USA because we want to maintain the highest standards of service at all times. At our destination, you will always be hosted with seamless service, the best of hospitality with clean hygienic rooms and tasty and healthy variety of foods.

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It goes without saying that your safety is our topmost priority. The difference in climate, altitudes and geography can cause a certain level of distress for some, which is why our tour guides and leaders are trained and well-equipped for first aid services throughout the trip. Our super tour guides and leaders will ensure your safety at all times.

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Makalu Travels maintains a strong ethics of business. We therefore assure you there are no hidden charges applied in our packages. Unless you opt for additional activities other than those mentioned in the pre-booked itinerary, even in cases of unforeseen circumstances, the extra costs would be ours to bear.

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Partnerships & Clientele

  • IATA
  • ASTA
  • NTB
  • TripAdvisor
  • TourConnect
  • Viator
  • Safari Deal
  • BrainModes
  • Charite
  • ANMA