“Unique because of its home from home feel with two weeks staying in southern Keralite homestays, with two nights in each, so that you don’t feel like anonymous hotel guests.”
HighlightsWestern Ghat Mountains | Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary | Houseboat on Kerala backwaters | Cochin | Olanad
Description of Kerala homestay tour, IndiaThis two week holiday is a tailor made trip that takes you around Kerala’s unique landscapes (coastal areas, watersides and mountains) while also immersing you completely in local culture and contemporary life. You will be accommodated at some of Kerala’s finest homestays along the way staying two nights in each, so you can start to really get a sense of life in this stunning southern state of India. For this reason, we have not included any day trips or sightseeing on the itinerary, leaving you the freedom to plan your days around your journeys between each homestay. And with spots like the Western Ghat Mountains, the hill towns, the harbour city of Cochin and the popular Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, you will not be short of things to do.
One of the finest features of this Kerala homestay tour is not only the innate sense of welcome that you will get from Keralites, but also the superb cuisine prepared by your hosts. Each homestay varies. Some host you within their own homes and others have a separate building within the grounds for their guests. One of the things every visitor should experience in Kerala is staying on a houseboat that takes you through the famous maze of backwaters, and so your itinerary also includes two nights on the water.
We are happy to chat through all options in order to make this tailor made trip work perfectly for you. Regarding the weather, our guests find that the best time to visit Kerala is during the dry season, which falls between October and April. The rains come between May and July, with August and September being green and lush, and with fewer tourists than during the European winter months.
Responsible tourism: Kerala homestay tour, India
By using homestays and small guesthouses on this tour, you are supporting the host families, their staff and the local community. With small numbers of individuals staying in small properties the impact on the environment is reduced, as waste, lighting etc will be minimal. This tour includes a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a protected area, is committed to conserving the numbers of tigers and elephants within the reserve and practices community based ecotourism.
The Bungalow is the heritage home of Neema and her family. They have two guest rooms on the first floor. Neema is a great cook and prepares traditional Kerala fare. This homestay is situated on Vypin which is on the north side of Cochin’s harbour mouth (Fort Cochin is to the south). The most direct route to Fort Cochin is across the harbour by ferry. Vypin has an 'undeveloped' beach at Cherai . Staying at Vypin offers an opportunity to be close to the sightseeing areas of Fort Cochin and the shops of Ernakulam but away from the busy streets. A perfect compromise – and many people find the adventure of taking the ferry adds to the fun.
Royal Mist this friendly and popular guesthouse is situated just outside the town of Munnar and walking in the area is a popular activity. There are three guest rooms with great views on the top floor of this family home.
Periyar Villa - delightful homestay in central location and very spacious guest rooms.
Vanilla County - organic farm with hosts who have been welcoming guests to their farm house for many years. They are very happy to show interested guests around the farm.
Nelpura - delightful riverside home more than 150 years old. The guest rooms are in the adjacent granary.
The houseboat is locally made using traditional methods and natural materials and owned by a local company. All our houseboats adhere to stringent environmental rules and regulations that are in force on the Kerala backwaters.
Teak House - this homestay is the home of Mr and Mrs Sunil Elias and their adult daughter. The house is set on a sizable plot of land adjacent to the Periyar River and is good for bird watching. Mr Elias is a keen bird watcher and photographer and is happy to share his knowledge with guests. There are two guest rooms and a swimming pool.
The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work). Tailor-made holidays cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals.
All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks. We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).
|Day 1:||Arrive Cochin Airport and transfer to Vypin Island just north of Fort Cochin. Overnight at The Bungalow Heritage Homestay.|
|Day 2:||Full day at this homestay. It is easy to visit Fort Cochin if required. Overnight at The Bungalow.|
|Day 3:||Transfer by car to the hill station of Munnar. Overnight Royal Mist.|
|Day 4:||Day free to relax and explore the area. Overnight Royal Mist.|
|Day 5:||Transfer by car to Thekkady (Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary) and stay in a homestay just outside the main town. Overnight Periyar Villa.|
|Day 6:||At leisure. Option to visit the wildlife sanctuary or walk in the local area. Overnight Periyar Villa.|
|Day 7:||Transfer to Vagamon an attractive area in the foothills of the Western Ghats. Overnight at Vanilla County.|
|Day 8:||Full day in the area. Your delightful hosts will show you around the farm. Overnight Vanilla County.|
|Day 9:||Transfer to the Kerala backwaters. This unique area of Kerala is low lying and criss-crossed by waterways. Overnight Nelpura Homestay.|
|Day 10:||Full day in the backwaters. There are small villages that may be visited on foot from this homestay. Overnight Nelpura.|
|Day 11:||Transfer to your exclusive houseboat. Board in time for lunch. Spend the rest day relaxing, eating and being looked after by the attentive staff. Overnight on Houseboat (with AC in bedroom at night).|
|Day 12:||Full day cruising the backwaters. The boat will stop at places of interest along the way where you can get off and explore. Overnight on Houseboat.|
|Day 13:||Transfer to Olanad. Overnight at Teak House.|
|Day 14:||A full day at Olanad - relaxing. Overnight Teak House.|
|Day 15:||Transfer the short distance to Cochin airport for your return flight.|
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel