This relaxing seven-day itinerary is the perfect way to explore Kerala at an easy pace. Spend the night on a houseboat in the backwaters, enjoy beautiful Marari beach, trek through the tea plantations around Munnar, and tour Cochin on this weeklong tour that covers all the region's essentials.

Highlights

  • Explore colorful Fort Cochin
  • Trek through the tea plantations around Munnar
  • Explore the enchanting canals of the Kerala backwaters
  • Treat yourself to an Ayurvedic massage at Marari Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cochin Cochin
Day 2 Free Day in Munnar Munnar
Day 3 Trek Through the Coffee Plantations Munnar
Day 4 Drive from Munnar to Alleppey and Board a Houseboat Kerala backwaters
Day 5 Beach Day at Marari Beach Alappuzha
Day 6 Beach Day at Marari Beach Alappuzha
Day 7 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cochin

Chinese fishing nets in Kerala
The Chinese fishing nets near Cochin

When you land in Cochin in the morning, your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel to help you check-in and give you all of the information you need for your trip. 

In the afternoon, you'll go on a city that begins with a visit to the Fort Kochi area, where you'll see bright green, yellow and blue warehouses filled with teas and spices; rickety old bikes and hand-painted trucks piled high with goods; and food stalls at every street corner. 

You'll also visit Cochin's coast to see the local fishermen and the Chinese fishing nets. Then, you'll see St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India, built in 1503. 

Then, you'll take a tuk-tuk to the Dhobi Khana (laundry station). Afterward, continue through the narrow streets of Mattancherry to see Mattancherry Palace—built as a gift by the Portuguese for the king of Kochi—as well as the synagogue and the spice market. 

In the evening, you'll take a cooking class with a local family. 

Day 2: Free Day in Munnar

Tea plantations near Munnar
Tea plantations near Munnar

In the morning you'll drive to Munnar, a hill station located in the Western Ghats, approximately 5,250 ft (1,600 meters) above sea level. Spend the rest of the day exploring Munnar and enjoying the hill station's famous serenity.

Day 3: Trek Through the Coffee Plantations

The hills around Munnar
Walk through the plantations around Munnar Hill Station

After breakfast, you'll go to a tiny nearby village, where you'll begin your trek with a local guide. The trail will take you on a gradual ascent through tea plantations and into the Seven Malai Hills. You'll walk through cardamom and coffee plantations on your way to the top, where you'll be rewarded with fantastic views of surrounding peaks, lakes, and villages.  

After the trek, return to the hotel to rest for a bit. Later in the afternoon, you'll have the option to visit the Tea Museum

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Day 4: Drive from Munnar to Alleppey and Board a Houseboat

An old ocean fishing boat in the Kerala backwaters
An old ocean fishing boat in the Kerala backwaters

Today, you'll be heading to Alleppey. Once you arrive, you'll board a kettuvallam, a type of houseboat with furniture, running water, bathrooms, bedrooms, and a living room. These flat-bottomed barges traditionally known as rice boats were used to transport tons of materials, with a small bamboo and coir-covered area that served as a kitchen and rest area for the crew. Coir, or coconut fibre, is produced in the area. 

Aboard the kettuvallam, you'll discover Kerala's amazing backwaters, a network of canals and lagoons dotted with small fishing and farming villages, as well as rubber and spice plantations. 

Day 5: Beach Day at Marari Beach

Marari Beach
Marari Beach near Cochin

After breakfast, leave the houseboat behind and drive to Marari Beach, about one hour away. Once you arrive, you'll check-in at your hotel and have the rest of the day to relax by the beach. Make sure to catch the sunset on the coast.

Day 6: Beach Day at Marari Beach

Relax at Marari Beach
Relax at Marari Beach

Today, you'll have a free day to enjoy Marari Beach. You can relax, go for a swim, or get an Ayurvedic massage. Other options include a bicycle tour to the many nearby villages where people make handspun coir, visiting arts and crafts markets, or tasting some of the fresh spicy fish that Marari is famous for at one of the area's many beachside eateries. 

Day 7: Departure

Santa Cruz Basilica Cathedral, Fort Kochi
Santa Cruz Basilica Cathedral, Fort Kochi

Today, you'll check out of your hotel and your guide will take you to Cochin Airport (COK) for your flight home.