This 10-day hiking adventure is perfect for visitors who want to explore Kerala's beautiful natural scenery. Hike through the Western Ghats, trek through beautiful tea plantations, see the wildlife at Periyar National Park and cruise Kerala's backwaters on this active trip designed for hiking aficionados.

Highlights

  • Cruise on Kerala's backwaters
  • Hike through the Western Ghats and Rhodo Valley
  • Trek to the top of Meesapulimala
  • Explore the jungles of Periyar National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cochin Cochin
Day 2 Drive from Kochi to Munnar Munnar
Day 3 Trek from Silent Valley to Rhodo Valley Munnar
Day 4 Hike up Meesapulimala Munnar
Day 5 Hike to Top Station Pukkattupady
Day 6 Trek to Koviloor via Vattavada Village Thekkady
Day 7 Explore Periyar National Park Thekkady
Day 8 Cruise on the Backwaters of Kerala Thekkady
Day 9 Sightseeing in Cochin Cochin
Day 10 Departure Cochin

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cochin

Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi

Once you land in Cochin, your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. You'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax or explore the city. 

In the evening, you can go see an optional display of Kathakali, a classical dance form unique to Kerala. 

Day 2: Drive from Kochi to Munnar

Tea fields in Munnar
Tea fields in Munnar

In the morning, you'll leave Cochin behind and drive to Munnar, a hill station located in the Western Ghats, approximately 5,250 ft (1600 meters) above sea level, surrounded by tea plantations. Once you arrive, you can check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the town, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, and strolling through the markets. 

Day 3: Trek from Silent Valley to Rhodo Valley

Mountains around Munnar
Mountains around Munnar

After breakfast, your guide will drive you through tea plantations to Silent Valley, where you'll start your multi-day trek. 

The trek starts with a gradual walk on the plains of the tea plantations, at an altitude of approximately 5,250 ft (1,600 meters), followed by a gentle climb into the grasslands. You'll have beautiful views of the surrounding tea estates and rolling hills around you. 

After lunch, you'll continue on the second part of your trek, which gets steeper. You'll leave the tea plantations behind and reach your camp in Rhodo Valley—where you'll spend the next two nights—in the late afternoon. The hike takes approximately four to five hours. 

Day 4: Hike up Meesapulimala

Meesapulimala Peak
Meesapulimala Peak

After breakfast, you'll set out on a half-day trek up Meesapulimala Peak ( 8,630 ft / 2,630m), which is the highest point in the area and the second-highest in South India. From the camp, the trail ascends through rough shola grasslands until it reaches open ridges. From there, it winds across wide meadows and then gets steeper as you get closer to the summit. 

Once you reach the top, your efforts will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Kerala and neighboring Tamil Nadu. It will take about two to three hours to reach the top. After a short break, you'll descend back to the guest house for a late lunch and a free afternoon. In total, the hike takes about four to five hours. 

Day 5: Hike to Top Station

Gaur, or Indian bison
Gaur, or Indian bison

In the morning, you'll start your trek through the thick forest of Silent Valley, and then through pine forests and streams of the Rhodo Valley. After this, you'll walk through a shola forest, where you might spot giant squirrels, wild boar, and gaur (Indian bison). 

You'll stop for a packed lunch picnic and reach Yellapatty Village in the late afternoon. From there, you'll drive for approximately 45 minutes until you reach your campsite at Top Station (Oorkadu). 

The hike takes approximately five to six hours, and the Jeep transfer takes 45 minutes. 

Day 6: Trek to Koviloor via Vattavada Village

Thekkady
Thekkady

Today, you'll go on a fairly easy hike with slight includes to the beautiful village of Koviloor. Along the way, you'll pash through the lush farming region of Pazhathottam, where you'll see vegetable plantations of beans, carrots, beetroots, cabbage, and more. 

Then, you'll continue on toward the old village of Vattavada and stop there for lunch. In Vattavada, you'll have the chance to meet farmers and learn more about their culture. You may also spot some rare butterfly species fluttering around. 

After lunch, your trek will take you across a small shallow canal, and finally end your trek in Koviloor. The entire hike takes around five to six hours. 

Once you arrive there, your guide will drive you to Thekkady, where you'll have the evening free to relax.

Day 7: Explore Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park
Periyar National Park

Today, you'll explore Periyar National Park, Thekkady. In the early morning, you'll go on a jungle walk through the park to see its abundant birdlife, including kingfishers, storks, and hornbills. Then, you'll return to the hotel for breakfast.

Later in the afternoon, your guide will take you on a spice plantation tour, where you'll learn about the history, growth, and development of spices like cardamom and pepper. Other crops you'll see on the tour include tea, coffee, and vanilla.  Seeing these spices in nature is a refreshing experience for many people who have only ever seen them packaged on supermarket shelves. 
 
In the evening, you'll go on a boat trip on Periyar Lake. This is a great way to get close to the park's animals and see elephants, otters, wild pigs, and buffaloes. You'll also have the option to arrange an Ayurvedic massage at a nearby center. 

Day 8: Cruise on the Backwaters of Kerala

Alleppey backwaters
Alleppey backwaters

After breakfast, you'll drive to Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha. The drive takes approximately three to four hours. 

This town is the starting point for backwater cruises in Kerala. You'll board a houseboat and cruise through narrow canals and enchanting lagoons. The houseboats are decorated and have been fitted to be comfortable cruising vessels. 

The cruise will take you down waterways flanked by lush tropical vegetation, where you can catch glimpses of dazzling tropical birds and small quiet villages. You'll spend the night on the boat on the Vembanad Lake.

Day 9: Sightseeing in Cochin

Street in Fort Cochin
Street in Fort Cochin

After breakfast, you'll drive back to Cochin. Once you arrive, you can check into your hotel and relax for a few hours. The drive to Cochin takes approximately one to two hours. 

Later in the afternoon, you'll go on a half-day sightseeing tour of Cochin. The tour will take you to Fort Kochi, which was founded by the Portuguese in 1503 and is believed to be the earliest European settlement in  India. Here, you'll see brightly-colored warehouses filled with tea and spices, rickety old bikes and hand-painted trucks piled high with goods, as well as food stalls on every corner. 

You'll take a tour of  Mattancherry Palace, which was built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Kochi. You'll also visit the 16-century synagogue and the St. Francis Church—the resting place of the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama. You'll also see the markets and the old harbor area, with its Chinese fishing nets. 

Day 10: Departure

Farewell Kochi
Farewell Kochi

In the morning, you'll check out of your hotel and your guide will take you to Cochin Airport for your flight home. 

Map

Map of Kerala Hiking Adventure: Cochin, Munnar, and Thekkady - 10 Days
Map of Kerala Hiking Adventure: Cochin, Munnar, and Thekkady - 10 Days