SOUTH INDIA KERALA ADVENTURE 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS Itinerary as of June 3, 2012
Visit us at www.wildland.com
The Itinerary Southern India is a magical experience for the traveler who enjoys wildlife, native culture and temples, and the spices and cooking of tropical climes. Our route takes us to the most beautiful palace in India at Mysore, through picturesque hill towns with shrines, temples and monasteries of great religious, cultural and historic importance where you stay in a tree house at a family spice plantation amongst virgin rainforests and mist-clad mountains, the homeland of indigenous tribal communities. Venture on a jeep and boat safari through Nagarhole National Park famous for protecting large herds of wild elephant and other denizens of the jungle and continue traveling south through Kerala towards the Arabian Sea and the lush backwaters of Malabar. Kick back in a private houseboat, enjoy Ayurvedic spa services, enjoy the traditional Kathkali dance and some of the most sumptuous selections of coastal cuisine in the world.
Orchid Metropole or Lalitha Mahal Palace
Orchid Metropole or Lalitha Mahal Palace
Serai Kabini or Orange County Resort
Drive to Nagarhole National Park. PM jungle safari
Serai Kabini or Orange County Resort
Early morning jeep safaris. PM relax and enjoy the environs
Early morning boat safari. Drive to Wayanad forests of Kerala
Spice and coffee tour, self-guided nature walks, Ayurvedic massage options
Vivanta Taj Malabar or CGH Brunton Boatyard
All day drive to Kochi (Cochin). Lunch at Kadavu Resort.
KOCHI (COCHIN) KOCHI (COCHIN)
Vivanta Taj Malabar or Brunton Boatyard
CGH Earth Houseboat or Kumarakom Lake Houseboat
Overnight houseboat cruise through backwaters.
CGH Coconut Lagoon or Kumarakom Lake Resort
AM cruise. PM disembark and leisure at waterfront resort and spa
MUMBAI OR DELHI
Day room hotel
Morning arrival into Bangalore, short city tour and drive to Mysore. Mysore Palace, Srirangapatna cultural sites and Ranganathittu bird sanctuary
Tour Kochi. PM dance performance.
Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai or Delhi, day room and late departure.
Itinerary in Detail DAY 1 BANGALORE - MYSORE Depending on morning arrival in the bustling city of Bangalore we may visit Tipu's Palace, Bull Temple, Lalbagh Garden & Vidhana Sabha. Lunch and afternoon drive to Mysore (140 kms/4 hrs). Mysore was the capital of the Wodeyar dynasty, feudatories of the Vijayanagar Empire, who declared their independence in the 16th century and ruled Mysore until independence barring three decades when Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan wrested power from them. Overnight at Orchid Metropole or Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel [BLD] *Note: Second accommodation represents upgrade option.
DAY 2 MYSORE
Today we visit Mysore Palace, one of the finest Royal Palaces in India. It is a sight not to be missed especially when it is illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. The interior of the palace is worth a visit for its spacious halls called Mantaps, paintings and architectural beauty. The palace is an impressive combination of Indo-Saracenic architecture: The domes and the outside construction are of Muslim architecture, but the interior is a fine example of Hindu architecture. After lunch at a local restaurant we visit Srirangapatna and Rangnathithu Bird Sanctuary. Located on an island in the Cauvery River, the town of Srirangapatna is of great religious, cultural and historic importance as it was once the fortress capital of the region controlled by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. Ranganathittu covers an area of less than 1 sq km, but the bird population density is very high including painted storks, spoon bills, white ibises, egrets, herons and partridges. Also, watch for crocodiles. Overnight in Mysore at Orchid Metropole or Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel [BLD]
DAY 3 NARGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast drive to Nagarhole National Park (3-4 hrs). The misty Brahmagiri Mountains form an impressive backdrop to the wildlands of Nagarhole rich in forests, meandering streams, undulating valleys and beautiful waterfalls. It’s a haven for many wild denizens and one of the last safe refuges for the Asian elephant. The park derives its name, ‘Naga’ signifying Snake and ‘Hole’ meaning River, from the snake-like river that winds through the forests. Nagarhole is an enchanting place due to its abundance of wildlife- four horned antelope, panther, warblers, hornbills spotted deer, mouse deer, pangolin, gaur, giant flying squirrel are some of them. After a hearty lunch proceed for jungle safari in Nagarhole National Park by boat or jeep. Overnight at Serai Kabini or Orange County Resort [BLD]
DAY 4 NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
Early morning jungle safari. In the afternoon cruise through the serene backwaters of the Kabini River on a motor boat viewing crocodiles, elephants and other mammals coming to the river to drink, and abundant bird populations. In the evening enjoy a presentation on wildlife and the national park. Nagarhole is also home to indigenous tribes who've been sheltered from modern life, living in harmony with nature and the wildlife in the region. Originally hunter gatherers, Kurubas collect minor forest
products, weave baskets and work as small farmers around the forests. Overnight at Serai Kabini or Orange County Resort [BLD]
DAY 5 NAGARHOLE – TRANQUIL RESORT
After an early morning safari and drive to the region of Wayanad (5 -6 hrs) through beautiful hills, plantations and native villages. Upon arrival, check into Tranquil Resort a 400 acre private coffee and spice plantation nestled in the lush forests of Wayanad, an exotic location in Kerala. This small family-run private estate offers a familial home stay experience within an environment of exquisite ecological beauty and relaxation. The suites and tree villas stand elegantly in the canopy with a panoramic overview of the plantations offering you a private nature sanctuary amongst the treetops. Besides relaxing you can also enjoy many activities including walks, cave explorations and bird watching in and around the plantation. The main harvest season for coffee and areca nut is between mid-January – mid-March during which time the plantation buzzes with activity. Guided plantation visits are offered between December and March. Overnight at Tranquil Resort in Tree House (rooms subject to availability) [BLD]
DAY 6 TRANQUIL RESORT This is your day to choose among a variety of activities on the plantation, in the surrounding countryside, or relax by the pool after Ayurvedic massages (optional). You can choose from 12 different walks and hiking routes ranging in distance and difficulty. Guests are provided with maps and the self-guided routes are well marked. Enjoy a spice tour in the late afternoon. The original idea of offering spice tours on this working plantation was conceived as an alternative source of income for small scale farmers and planters in Wayanad. Spice tours introduce you to local farmers and the planters’ life style in this region of Kerala. Overnight at Tranquil Resort in Tree House [BLD]
DAY 7 KOCHI (COCHIN) After breakfast begin the all day drive to Kochi (8 hrs) stopping to enjoy the scenic countryside and local villages en route. Lunch at Kadavu Resort in Kozhikode. Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by its location on the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala, one of the most prosperous, politically progressive and culturally rich states of India. Overnight at Kochi at Vivanta Taj Malabar (Superior Sea View) or CGH Earth Brunton Boatyard (Standard Sea Facing).
DAY 8 KOCHI
A local resident guide leads a morning half-day sightseeing excursion of Cochin city visiting Bolghatty Palace, St Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace (Mattencherry) and any other sights or activities of interest to you. In the evening visit the Kathakali Dance theatre studio for a live performance of the famous Kathkali, a
traditional dance form of Kerala with impressive facial expressions, hand gestures and dance moves that leave one spellbound. Overnight in Kochi at Vivanta Taj Malabar (Superior Sea View) or CGH Earth Brunton Boatyard (Standard Sea Facing) [BLD]
DAY 9 KUMARAKOM BACKWATER HOUSEBOAT
Drive to Kumarakom / Allepey the embarkation point for your private overnight houseboat (2-4 persons). Cruising the backwaters is one of the highlights of a visit to Kerala. Fringing the coast and winding far inland is a vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) and extending virtually the entire length of Central Kerala. These backwaters represent a unique geographical formation and are the basis of a distinct life style to be explored by water. Overnight on CGH Earth Spice Houseboat or Kumarakom Houseboat. [BLD]
DAY 10 BACKWATERS CRUISE – KUMARAKOM
Breakfast on board and cruise through lush green spice plantations and local villages. Disembark at Kumarakom, one of the most enchanting villages of Kerala, situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. This beautiful hamlet is a pleasant world set in the heart of soothing backwaters, thick mangrove forests, green paddy fields and ripe coconut groves enveloped in a quaint charm all its own. Afternoon is free to relax and enjoy Ayurvedic massage at resort (optional). In the evening explore beautiful Kumarakom and appreciate the beauty on a sunset cruise on Lake Wembnad. Overnight in Kumarakom at CGH Earth Coconut Lagoon (Heritage Bungalow) or Kumarakom Lake Resort (Meandering Pool Villa) [BLD]
DAY 11 KUMARAKOM – KOCHI – MUMBAI OR DELHI
Morning is at leisure and drive to Cochin airport for flight to Mumbai (2 hrs) or Delhi (3 hrs). Meeting assistance on arrival, transfer to day room at convenient hotel for wash and change. Farewell dinner and evening transfer to airport for international departure. [BLD]
END OF SERVICES Actual routes and activities may vary. Local trip coordinators reserve the right to change accommodations to similar quality alternatives.
PRICING: GROUP SIZE
*Groups of 2 are led by local guides in each location, groups of 4 or more include a guide accompanying the group throughout the itinerary. Prices valid through 30 April, 2013. Additional charges may apply for holiday departures between December 20, 2012 and January 5, 2013. Airfare is estimated and subject to change until purchased. SCHEDULED DEPARTURE DATES:*
October 13-23 November 10-20 December 1-11 April 13-23
January 5-15 February 23-March 5 March 23-April 5
*Also available as private, custom trip on request based on availability.
Accommodations on twin share bed and breakfast basis as listed English speaking driver and A/C Tata Indigo (2-3), Toyota Innova (4-6) or van/minibus for group Local on site guides in cities/resorts and resident naturalists in Nargarhole National Park Local guided tours and excursions including entrance fees Transportation as described including airport-hotel transfers, land, boat, and jeep Complimentary water during all transfers, drives and sightseeing Wildland Adventures’ travel consultation and pre-departure services
NOT INCLUDED SERVICES
Domestic airfare (listed separately) India Visa (US citizens must obtain an India visa in advance) Airport taxes Tips and gratuities Drinks, alcoholic beverages, and meals other than listed above Personal expenses for extra services, optional activities, or changes beyond our control Travel insurance for trip cancellation, medical services, or evacuation Camera or video fees Any other items not mentioned above
ACCOMMODATIONS DELUXE: LALITHA MAHAL PALACE, MYSORE Located at the foot of the Chamundi Hill on a ridge commanding a panoramic view of the valley, the white and beautiful LMPH is one of India’s truly classic Maharaja’s palaces. Built in 1931 by the Maharaja of Mysore to host the Viceroy of India, architecturally constructed in the Italianate palazzo style of double-columns and domes, the palace has a genuine splendor and all the ambiance, charm, elegance, and history one might expect. Hotel facilities include restaurants, bars, a swimming pool, health club, billiards, library, doctor on call, money exchange, safe deposit, etc. 60 rooms from deluxe to suites with family style, all rooms are equipped with A/C, telephone, multi channel TV, en suite private bathrooms, some with private terrace. SUPERIOR: ORCHID METROPOLE, MYSORE A four star grand heritage hotel, Royal Orchid Metropole is steeped in the history and culture of Mysore. It was originally built by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1920 to entertain his distinguished guests and today retains much of that character. Imperial arches, imposing pillars, and ornate corridors capture the old world charm, while modern amenities include wi-fi, inroom safes and a coffee maker. Enjoy a dip in the pool, a drink in the Scandel bar, or dine at Shikari, the outdoor barbeque restaurant.
DELUXE: ORANGE COUNTY RESORT , NAGARHOLE Featuring all the facilities of a world class luxury resort and inspired in design by the Hadis (tribal villages), this picturesque resort of sweeping panoramic vistas is bordered on two sides by the Kabini River and surrounded by the vast contiguous protected forests of Nagarhole National Park. Private guest rooms and suites, some with jacuzzi and plunge pool, combine traditional craft and modern luxury, the exterior in colors and textures of nature, while the sumptuous interior feature tribal patterned furnishings and drapery with modern luxury fittings, creating a comfortable harmonious whole. Activities include boat and vehicle safaris with expert resident naturalists, nature walks, village visits with the local Kadu Kuruba tribe, evening programs, and an opportunity get up close with Meenakshi, the resident elephant one can bathe, feed and ride learning about the Asian elephant. Between safaris relax in the scenic reading lounge, a traditional Ayurvedic Spa, the infinity pool, board room and lounge.
SUPERIOR: SERAI KABINI RESORT , NAGARHOLE Very peaceful and romantic, Serai Kabini Resort is located in the village of Karapura strategically located on the banks of the magnificent Kabini River great for viewing wildlife. Each of the 19 cottages overlook the river and there is one villa/family suite with private jacuzzi. Enjoy international and Indian cuisine al fressco or in the restaurant, a well-stocked bar, gym, swimming pool, and gift shop. Relax at the pool/hammocks along the Kabini River in between jeep and boat safaris, nature walks, kayaking, bicycling, and en evening bonfire. TRANQUIL PLANTATION HOMESTAY Tranquil is operated as a well run mountian resort but with the intimacy of a home stay. Here you will be staying as house guests of Victor, Ranjini, Ajay and Nisha and their family who offer a personalized experience of living on coffee and spice plantation. Much of the experience at Tranquil is to enjoy the serene surroundings and the warm atmosphere dining together as part of the extended family, including continental fare, regional Indian favorites, traditional Kerala cuisine and “Grandmother’s” secret recipies. Finish your meals with a steaming cup of hand-picked Arabica/Robusta coffee beans or garden fresh tea. Spacious Deluxe Rooms we use are airy with wooden floors, ceiling and paneling and two-sink bath, Satellite TV, DVD, mini fridge, safe and a Tea/Coffee maker. If available we highly recommend upgrading to the Tree House nestled in three trees 35 feet above ground with verandah and panoramic view of the estate. The main harvest season is between mid January – mid March, during which time, the plantation buzzes with activity. Conducted plantation visits can be enjoyed between December and March. Enjoy the swimming pool, up to 12 different self-guided walks, bird watching, Ayurveda spa and massage, visit the Eddakal Caves, Muthanga Game Sanctuary, a Jain temple, waterfalls and small peaks. SUPERIOR: VIVANTA TAJ COCHIN, MALABAR Situated on Willingdon Island with a magnificent view of Cochin harbor, Vivanta Taj - Malabar is a fine balance between yesterday and tomorrow. The lobby is a unique mix of chic and classic and sets the tone for guestrooms and dining facilities that deliver cosmopolitain comfort and relaxation, and restaurants offering local and world cuisine. The heritage wing, built in 1935, has graceful Victorian interiors that aptly reflect the inherent beauty of Cochin. And the tower wing houses newly renovated guestroom suites, each a mix of the classic with the contemporary. Rooms have all the entertainment and connectivity options today's traveller requires.
DELUXE: BRUNTON BOATYARD COCHIN, MALABAR The Brunton Boatyard Hotel brings colonial Cochin alive for the contemporary traveler. For what is essentially a small and intimate city resort hotel, The Brunton Boatyard posses a remarkable sense of scale. The lobby is a vaulted ceiling of sunlight and air, framed by arches and overhung with punkahs - enormous, old-fashioned fans of Indo-Portuguese origin. A rich, and colorful history marks the corridor, once the century old boatyard of Geo. Brunton and Sons. They have recreated the splendor of the city's illustrious past, using the materials of fin de sieclé Cochin - lime, terracotta, wood and tile. All of the Brunton Boatyard Hotel's 22 rooms overlook the sea, and so do the en-suite bathrooms. Enjoy a soak in your tub watching the dolphins amongst the trading ships. Enjoy the pool and exceptional cuisine with recipes originating from natural ingredients and spices of the region.
SUPERIOR: COCONUT LAGOON RESORT, KUMARAKAM Set on a private island on Vembanad Lake only accessible by local ferry, Coconut Lagoon is a lovely and exotic resort recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as a world’s best getaway. Ethnic Kerala Tharavads (homes) were painstakingly transplanted from the nearby village of Vaikom in 1993 and reassembled in a delightfully artistic manner to give guests an authentic insight into Kuttanad life. Accommodations at Coconut lagoon are Heritage Bungalows (compact independent cottages set in lush lawns along the canals), Heritage Mansions (larger, with an upper story that resemble the design of a boat), and Pool Villas (privately located on the lake front with plunge pool, distinctive interiors and private porch with hammock). Bathrooms are open-air above and bring nature to the room in the tradition of Kerala. Enjoy delicious Kerala cuisine with a variety of shellfish, ocean and river fish, as well as continental and Chinese dishes. Be pampered with herbal oils by Ayurveda masseurs and check out the butterfly garden.
DELUXE: KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT, KUMARAKOM Kumarakom Lake Resort offers a relaxing and romantic stay in the Kerala backwaters, with a massage center, infinity pool, fitness suite, rich cuisine, varied nightly entertainment. Spread among 10 acres of flower-filled gardens and palm-lined canals, the 50 wood-walled, red-tiled cottages have been assembled using materials reclaimed from old Illam homesteads. There are several choices of accommodations (Heritage Villa, Heritage Lake View Villa or Presidential Suite), but our selection is the Meandering Pool Villas set around a large shared pool with direct access from private porches. The main restaurant has a wide variety of dishes, typically served as a buffet. Activities include birdwatching, speedboat across the lake for shopping and sightseeing in Cochin, Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, meditation. SUPERIOR: CGH EARTH HOUSEBOAT Originally inspired by the spacious open design of a rice barge, the CGH Earth spice coast kettuvallom is fitted for comfort and privacy with tilled bathrooms and shower. Solar cells on the roof power lights and fans. The fore deck is spacious for lounging in the shade on wicker armchairs or sunning on deck. Enjoy the open air ambiance and wide views of the surrounding backwaters dining al fresco on delightful meals prepared by your cook. A typical evening's fare may start with 'kootu', lentils and gourd, stirred with cracked pepper and tangy mustard seeds, then garnished with fresh roasted coconut shreds, followed by fresh-caught grilled karimeen fish marinated in red chilies served with enormous local prawns.
DELUXE: KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT HOUSEBOAT Distinguished as one of the most luxurious houseboats in the backwaters, the Kumarakom Lake Resort vessel has an air conditioned dining hall with full glass facade facilitating a 360 degree view of the backwaters helping to beat the midday heat. Cabin interior is spacious and well appointed with windows that open to the outside and private bath with shower. Your personal chef serves the best Keralan cuisine. (Sleeps 2-4)
Booking your Wildland Adventure HOW TO RESERVE A TRIP You can book online using our Reserve a Trip form or by calling 1-800-345-4453. Your space on a trip is confirmed once we receive your reservation form and initial trip deposit. All travelers must sign and submit a Release of Liability. Deposit requirements are as follows:* $500 per person for all trips in Central America. $700 per person for all trips in South America, the Middle East, Asia and the Far East, the Mediterranean and North America. 20% of land cost for all trips in Africa. This deposit is generally non-refundable. *Some trips require additional non-refundable deposits, especially when yachts have been chartered, or if permits
to visit archaeological or wildlife sites have been purchased in advance.
CUSTOM TRAVEL This trip isn’t exactly what you’re looking for? We are happy to design a private custom itinerary to accommodate your travel dates, interests and style of accommodations. Call us at 1-800-345-4453, send an email to [email protected]
, or use the Ask The Program Director button on the trip itinerary page on our website.
PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
Full payment of the trip balance is due 90 days prior to departure. If you must cancel before departure, money will be returned less the cancellation fees charged by WA Inc. plus any additional non-refundable cancellation fees and payments already advanced to airlines, hotels and local operators: Days Prior to Departure: Fee per person 91 or more: $300 61-90 days: Initial deposit amount 31-60 days: 50% of land cost 30 or less: 100% of land cost
PRE-DEPARTURE SERVICES Upon receipt of your deposit and completed reservation form, we will send you a comprehensive Predeparture Dossier. This contains important information to help you prepare including immunizations, visas, trip insurance, packing checklist, reading list, maps, cross-cultural information, optional trip extensions and more. You will receive a final trip packet including Final Reminders and local contact information in your destination 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
REFERENCES AND QUESTIONS Have any questions or concerns? Call us a 1-800-345-4453 or email [email protected]
We’re here to help and are happy to provide you with references from previous Wildland travelers. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Wildland Adventures, Inc. has arranged your trip utilizing the travel services of local incountry ground operators who are independent contractors. These local outfitters, lodges, hotels and other suppliers of your travel services will make every effort to conduct this trip as described in the itinerary. It is however possible that due to transportation schedule changes, weather, delays and unforeseeable acts of God, humans or nature, this itinerary may vary from what is described. Participants must assume all risks whether identified in
advance or unforeseen. All optional activities are at your own risk. Extra costs due to unexpected changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control are not included. We highly recommend purchasing traveler’s insurance for trip delay, trip cancellation, baggage, accident or sickness. Representatives are available for assistance at any time during your trip. If preferred hotels are not available, every attempt will be made to reserve alternative accommodations of similar quality. (If upgrade is necessary, higher rates may apply.) All information and services provided are subject to our Terms and Conditions