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Kerala and Backwaters

11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,399

FIRST-CLASS | SPECIALITY GROUP: Kerala, meaning the land of coconuts, is a gem of a destination in India. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, tea plantations, and palm fringed and meandering backwaters along with some incredible architecture. Our Groups Only specialists will be thrilled to design your very own customized group to this magical part of the world. Note: This is a sample itinerary, which is private and fully customizable for group travelers.

This is a sample itinerary, which offers a taste of what is possible on a group vacation with Goway Groups Only. All of our group vacations are private and fully customizable for any group of 10-or-more travelers.

Kerala is one of India’s most appealing regions, with its picturesque waterways and delicious cuisine. This 11-day group tour invites you to share the experience from Cochin to Marraikulam, stopping at many of South India’s best sights along the way.

Explore the laneways of Cochin on a walking tour that takes you to Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, then take in a cooking demonstration to learn about the cuisine of this region. A Kathakali dance performance introduces you to a uniquely South Indian art form before heading to Munnar, in the middle of India’s tea country. Visit the Tea Museum after lunch, and several tea gardens for a memorable immersion in the world’s favourite relaxing cup! Join a trek in the Ltchmi Hills to see Anaimudi, South India’s highest mountain, and keep your eyes peeled for bird life before taking the rest of the day to relax.

Go on to Madurai, home to the jaw-dropping Meenakshi Amman Temple. A city within a city, you’ll explore this incredible complex with a guide, then return after dark for the evening Aarti ceremony. Go on to Periyar for an evening visit to Thekkady town. See a Kalarippayattu tribal art performance in the evening, then get ready for a trip into the wilderness in Periyar National Park, Agricultural Fields, and Forests. See the delicate balance between architecture and nature, take a boat rode on Periyar Lake, and keep your eyes peeled for elephants, sambar deer, wild boar, bison, and many more species.

Drive on to Alleppey and board your houseboat for a journey on the backwaters of Kerala. These waterways of the spice coast offer endless discoveries, with a rich trade history and friendly people. Visit a local family home, and enjoy an authentic Kerala lunch made from local produce. Oh, did we mention beaches? Time to relax after all that adventure! Enjoy two nights at Marari Beach, trying an Ayurvedic massage, or set out on your own to explore the quiet streets and local shops before you return to Cochin for your onward flight.


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11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,399

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Cochin

Arrival in Cochin where you will meet your Goway Guide on arrival and who
will be there with you throughout the trip.

Assisted Transfer and Check in to the hotel.

The rest of the day at leisure.

Accommodation: The Casino or Trident Hotel

Duration2 Nights
Day 2


Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning proceed on an interesting walking tour of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. The narrow lanes of Mattancherry and the fruit and vegetable markets all make this an interesting area.

Drive to Local home for cooking Demonstration followed by a delicious lunch.

Get ready for a very interesting Anglo-Indian culinary experience; you can even participate in the preparations, while all the while learning many things about the history, culture and culinary heritage of the community.

Return to hotel for some time to freshen up and relax.

In the evening enjoy a performance of Kathakali, Kerala’s unique dance drama. Originally performed only by men, this art form with its intricate hand gestures, facial expressions and choreographed movements evolved from an ancient martial art form.

Return to hotel and relax after such a fun day.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Cochin to Munnar

Enjoy Breakfast at your hotel.

Around 08:30 hrs drive to Munnar (5-hour drive approx.) and check into your hotel. Look out for some wonderful waterfalls on your way up to the tea country.

On arrival, check into the hotel.

After lunch visit the Tea Museum in Munnar, which is a miniature working tea factory as well as a museum which showcases the old machinery that was used to manufacture tea during the British Raj in India. The factory uses a CTC method of manufacturing.

Later on in the afternoon you will visit the Tea Plantation which are are situated mostly on the inner slopes of an elevated basin-like plateau. It would be worthwhile to visit some of these tea gardens to witness the plucking of leaves by women who carry conical bamboo baskets on their back and strapped to their forehead by a cloth band. The work on the field is all done by hand and is a fascinating sight.

Accommodation: The Tall Trees or Fragrant Nature Hotel

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 4


Breakfast at hotel.

Letchmi Hills Trek (3 Hours) With Jeep;
This trek will start with a walk through the tea plantations for about 30 to 40 minutes. On a clear day, we can see Anaimudi “The highest peak in South India”. We will also pass through a private coffee and cardamom plantation in the Shola Forest where there is a high chance to spot few of our endemic birds. We will have refreshments/picnic lunch at a suitable place during the trek. Similar to the start, the trek will finish with a walk through a tea plantation.

Remainder of the day is free to enjoy the hotel and its surroundings.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Munnar to Madurai

Post breakfast drive to Madurai (05 hours) and check-in at the hotel. 

Drive to Meenakshi Amman Temple. 

Then proceed for a sightseeing of Madurai's main attraction which is the famous Meenakshi temples in the heart of the old town.  The temple complex is a city within a city and one can spend days exploring its labyrinthine corridors and halls. 

Return to your hotel for dinner and then prepare to drive to Temple to witness a ceremony – this truly is a remarkable experience. You will witness the evening Aarti ceremony accompanied by musicians, temple singers and priests to the temple of his consort Parvati to spend the night.

Accommodation: The Courtyard by Mariott or The Gateway Pasumalai

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 6

Madurai to Thekkady

Post breakfast drive to Periyar, take in all the sights and sounds on this 4 hour drive.

Check-in at the hotel and relax

Drive to Kalari Centre
In the evening, a visit to Thekkady town awaits. Here, you will have the chance to experience a tribal art performance called "Kalarippayattu." The show is part of a community-based eco-tourism program.

Return to your hotel.

Accommodation: Cardamom County by Xandari or Spice Village 

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 7


The day is dedicated for Periyar, so after breakfast start your activities.

Your tour starts with a short Jeep ride to get a bird’s eye view of Kumily town, the Periyar National Park, Agricultural Fields, and Forests. The tour gives you a chance to enjoy cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and many other varieties of spices and medicinal plants.

We will venture out onto Periyar Lake by shared boat. As a permanent source of water for the local wildlife, you may even see an elephant drinking from the water’s edge. Enjoy the serenity and the view, lap in the stillness of lush green grasslands and forests. Here to get a view of large variety of wildlife species like Wild Elephants, Sambar Deer, Nilgiri Langur, Wild Bison, Wild Boar and also some unique birds; then take a Wildlife cruise.

Later, get back to the hotel for a comfortable night stay.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Thekkady to Alleppey

Today drive to Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey (5hrs drive approx) is one of the most visited backwaters destinations in Kerala and check-in at your houseboat.

Later today embark your houseboat from Alleppey boat jetty which will sail down gently on the backwaters of Kerala.

Lunch, dinner and overnight stay on houseboat.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 9

Alleppey to Mararikulam

After breakfast on board you will disembark from the houseboat and drive to Alleppey Town.

Alleppey by Foot (Sunday closed)
The tour involves both a drive and a walk through the Gujarati quarter, the canal banks, and an old wholesale market with a private guide. You will have the opportunity to visit a family home and enjoy an authentic Kerala meal featuring local tropical produce.
Later transfer with your private driver to the picturesque Marari Beach to spend your final two nights.

Take a stroll along the beach or relax under a palm tree with a book.

Remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Xandari Pearl Beach Resort or Marari Beach Resort

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 10


Full day at leisure.

You might like to try an Ayurvedic massage or hire a bicycle to explore the surrounding quiet lanes.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Mararikulam to Cochin and Departure

Your driver will take you back to Cochin for your onward flight. The drive takes around 60 minutes so will be arranged depending on your flight time. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information




  • First Class Accommodation for 10 Nights
  • Private arrival and departure airport transfers for the group
  • Transportation by private, air-conditioned coach
  • Services of an English speaking guide on tour
  • Sightseeing, admissions as per itinerary
  • Daily Breakfast will be served at all the hotels whereas stay at houseboat will be on full board basis
  • Cooking demo followed by lunch in Cochin
  • Top Valley Trek with Tea Tasting (4-5 Hours) With Jeep
  • Morning shared boat ride in Periyar national park
  • Authentic Kerala lunch in Alleppey
  • One-time entry at the monuments as per the itinerary
  • All applicable Government/Local Taxes at existing rates.


  • International airfare and taxes
  • Meals unless listed
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal items
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Changes in government/local taxes
  • Any future fuel surcharges on land arrangements or additional costs due to external factors
  • Visa/Passport handling fees
  • Transfers if arriving and/or departing on different flights to the group


Prices are from per person based on twin/double share accommodation, subject to availability and current exchange rates, based on a minimum of 10 passengers, pricing reflects departure date of 1 September 2023.  Seasonal surcharges and black-out dates may apply.  Please enquire about airfare, single supplements, extensions/changes to itinerary or upgrades 

1 Sep 2023
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