Based in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, this perfectly curated week-long family trip ticks off the region's highlights while transporting you and the kids to the heart of local life. Discover village traditions and learn how to cook Keralan cuisine in Kumbalani. Get up close and personal with the elephants on Periyar Lake, and cruise the atmospheric backwaters of Alappuzha before spending the night on an enchanting houseboat. You'll finish by relaxing on the sweeping sands of Kovalam Beach.


  • Learn how to cook traditional Keralan cuisine 
  • Watch a breathtaking martial arts demonstration
  • See elephants in the wild with a boat trip around Lake Periyar
  • Relax on the golden sands of Kovalam Beach 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kochi, Transfer to Cochin, Sunset Boat Cruise Cochin
Day 2 Guided Village Walk, Cooking Class with a Local Family Cochin
Day 3 Transfer to Periyar, Spice Plantation Walk, Martial Arts Show  Periyar
Day 4 Lake Periyar Boat Trip, Transfer to Alappuzha, Cruise Kerala's Backwaters Alappuzha
Day 5 Transfer to Kovalam, Beach Day Kovalam
Day 6 Kovalam Beach Leisure Day Kovalam
Day 7 Transfer to Trivandrum, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kochi, Transfer to Cochin, Sunset Boat Cruise

Chinese Fishing Nets at twilight
Take a sunset cruise around Cochin and see the famous giant fishing nets

Welcome to southern India! Upon arrival at Kochi airport, transfer to your hotel in Cochin. Lying on Kerala's southwest coast, Cochin's history stretches back to the time of King Solomon. Known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea," this port city attracted Arab, Chinese, and European merchants enticed by Cochin's trade in spices, silks, and sandalwood. The settlement of Fort Kochi retains these influences with its tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship, giving the town a serene, laidback, and intriguing feel—perfect for families. 

Settle in at your hotel and enjoy a relaxed afternoon with the kids as you get your bearings in this delightful town before exploring Cochin's enchanting backwaters with a two-hour sunset cruise. Glide along the calm waters as you and your family settle into your India experience and see landmarks, including Fort Kochi, the giant Chinese Fishing Nets, the islands of Bolgatty and Willingdon, and the Cochin Shipyard. It's a sight to behold as the sun sinks beneath the horizon and the sky's myriad colors are reflected across the water. 

Day 2: Guided Village Walk, Cooking Class with a Local Family

Immerse yourselves in local village life
Spend the morning experiencing local family life 

Spend the morning immersing yourselves in local life as you and your family meet your guide and drive to the island village of Kumbalangi. You'll receive the warmest of welcomes as you and the kids stroll the area, engage with the locals, watch the artisans at work, and observe Keralan life. There's plenty to entertain the children with a buzz of local activity, including coir making, toddy tapping, and watching the local fishermen. If the kids are keen to get out on the water, enjoy a short canoe ride around the island as you look out across the serene backwaters of Lake Vembanad.

Feast on delicately spiced local fare as you enjoy a mouthwatering selection of traditional Keralan dishes, then hop back in the car and head for a sightseeing tour of Cochin. Visit Fort Kochi in the heart of the Old Town, resplendent with its compelling Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial architecture. Then it's on to the 16th century Mattanchery Palace—a gift to the former King of Kochi from the Portuguese— with its beautiful central courtyard and tranquil temples. Stop at the historic Dhobi Khana laundry station before a visit to the glorious spice market.

Kids of all ages will enjoy this evening's fun activity as your guide accompanies you to an Indian cooking class with a local Keralan family. Savor the experience of great family food cooked from scratch as you learn all the essentials of Indian cuisine and spices. This is a beautiful opportunity for the whole family to enjoy an enriching cultural experience you will never forget. 

Day 3: Transfer to Periyar, Spice Plantation Walk, Martial Arts Show 

Transfer into the unspoiled nature of Periyar National Park

Pack snacks for the kids and get ready for the next leg of your family adventure as you take a private transfer to the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. It's a stunning drive as the route winds through the towering Western Ghats mountain range. There'll be plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs as you stop at various local markets along the way.

The area is famous for its many spice plantations, and after settling in at your accommodation and a break for lunch, you and the kids will take a guided walk in a fragrant spice garden. It's an excellent opportunity for kids to encounter cardamom, vanilla, turmeric, and various other spices in their natural state. Afterward, you'll have free time to wander the local town and purchase some locally grown spices to take home.

Plan your trip to India
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
This evening is set to be one of the highlights of your trip. Kalarippayattu is known as the mother of all martial arts and originated in ancient Kerala. Tonight you and your family will watch a live demonstration as local experts showcase their breathtaking skills. Kids will be amazed to see the warriors perform sequences that draw inspiration from some of the world's most majestic creatures, including lions and tigers, and capture elements of dance and yoga. 

Day 4: Lake Periyar Boat Trip, Transfer to Alappuzha, Cruise Kerala's Backwaters

Spend the night on a traditional Keralan houseboat

No visit to Periyar National Park would be complete without a boat ride on its famous lake, and this morning you'll do just that as you and the kids prepare to get up close and personal with the park's wildlife. Capture the kids' faces as they see herds of elephants wander into the lake to quench their thirst while the resident otters and wild boars enjoy their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant waterbirds that make their homes on the lake's partially submerged tree trunks, and if you're lucky, you may even spot a tiger or two roaming the banks. 

Afterward, it's time to hit the road as you venture west to the backwaters of Alappuzha, known as the "Venetian Capital" of Kerala, thanks to its important network of canals. You'll get to explore the astonishing scenery the traditional way as you and the kids board a comfortable cruise boat and meander the backwaters as you watch local life unfold in the tiny fishing villages dotted around Vembanad Lake. Take in the tropical greenery, swaying palms, and endless paddy fields as your crew prepare a delicious lunch.

If the kids are enthralled by life on the water, there's a treat in store this evening, as you'll spend the night on a fully-furnished houseboat. Watch the sunset over the lake as the boat staff takes care of dinner, leaving you and your family to relax and enjoy the unique charms of life on the water.

Day 5: Transfer to Kovalam, Beach Day

Spend the day at the beach in Kovalam
The golden sands and calm waters at Kerala's famous Kovalam Beach 
Wake to the serene sounds of the lake this morning as you enjoy a freshly-prepared breakfast on your houseboat. Then, it's time to journey south to Kovalam, a small resort town famous for its golden sands lined with lush coconut palms. Check in to your hotel and settle in before hitting the beach with the kids and taking a refreshing dip in the beautiful bay of calm water created by Kovalam's vast rocky promontory.

Day 6: Kovalam Beach Leisure Day

Kids having fun on the beach
Relax with the kids on Kovalam Beach

Today is yours to spend as you wish, enjoying plenty of family quality time and relaxation. Active kids will be in their element with various watersports available, while little ones can play in the shallows. Later, explore Kovalam's three distinct beaches, take a yoga lesson, or browse the town's markets for some last-minute souvenirs. For those keen to do a spot more sightseeing, a trip to Kanyakumari, home to the Padmanabhapuram Palace and its extraordinary woodcarvings, is well worth a visit.

Spend the evening dining out in style at one of the beautiful local seafood restaurants and recount the highlights of the trip as the sun sets on your India adventure. 

Day 7:  Transfer to Trivandrum, Depart

Goodbye Kerala
Until the next time, India

Sadly your family trip to India has come to an end. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and one last walk along Kovalam's golden sands before a private transfer to Trivandrum to catch your flight home. Safe travels! 

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