Trails of Kerala Tamil Nadu

Starting From

$1,699/person

Number of days

9

Start Location

India

Group Size

4-16

Operated by

World Expeditions

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Enjoy all South India has to offer on foot.

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Join Kochi (Cochin)

Upon arrival you will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the group hotel. The rest of the afternoon is spent at your leisure with a group arrival briefing held at 5pm that evening. Overnight: Killians Hotel or similar Transport: Airport Transfer (1.5 hours)

Sightseeing in Kochi

Kochi's historic links can be seen in the colonial bungalows, an old synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, the oldest European church in India and a medieval Portuguese palace. The city was founded in 1341 following a flood which created a natural and safe harbour and quickly became the chief port on the Malabar Coast. From the 1400’s it attracted Jewish, Arab and Christian settlers from the Middle East as a result of the royal family’s move to the city from Muziris, 50 kms north. The Europeans began settling from 1500’s as the Portuguese, Dutch and English competed to control the port and the lucrative spice trade. The city has three distinctive regions – Ernakulam, the modern region to the east, and the older districts of Mattancherry and Fort Kochi located on a peninsula in the west. We are staying in the heart of the historic Fort Kochi, India’s Oldest Indo – European town. We will discover a little more off the rich cultural history of this place during our visits to museums and temples that dot the city and surrounding areas. In the evening we can enjoy traditional Keralan dances like kathakali and mohiniattam. Overnight: Killians Hotel or similar Activity: Guided Fort Kochi walk

Transfer to Munnar, tea plantation visit

Today, you will be heading towards the hill town of Munnar, set amidst lush green mountains, and some of the world’s highest tea plantations. En-route you see the spectacular tea plantations this area is known for. This is also the land of Neelakurinji, a flower that blooms in these hills once in twelve years. The next event is expected in the post monsoon season of 2018. This area is also home to the endangered Neelaghiri Thar, a breed of Ibex endemic to these parts. In the afternoon we visit a tea museum to learn some interesting facts about tea plantations and tea production in Munnar. Before settling in for a restful sleep prior to the start of our first days hiking. Overnight: Eastend Munnar or similar. Transport: 4 hours drive Activity: Tea plantation visit and bazaar walk

Hike the Meesapulimala Trail (14kms)

Today requires and early start to accommodate the days activities. Our rain forest trek at Munnar see us ascend to a height of 2640 metres, where the peak of Meesapulimala is located. Meesapulimala is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats and today's hike involves navigating the cloud forests and grasslands to reach this peak. After a brief stop to feast your eyes on a brilliant view of forests and tea estates down in the valleys below, you will trek down to the tiny hamlet of Suryanelli. Overnight: Camping Activity: 14km hike Transfers: Approx. 1 hour to and from trail head

Hike to the "Phantom's Head" then tribal village visit

Our camps location in the cloud forest provides the chance that you will awaken to the melodious strains of the Malabar Whistling Thrush singing from the forest adjacent to your camp. We will start the day with an early morning climb of a nearby peak known locally as the "Phantom’s Head". This is a memorable walk atop the tallest feature in the surrounding environment meaning you can take in the spectacular view of Papathy Shola or Butterfly Forest (so named for the mass migration of butterflies in October November). Today you also have a chance to visit the tribal village of the Muduvans – a tribe who have for centuries colonized the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. Their peculiar habit of carrying their children on their backs has earned them their name as Muduvans or the ‘back people’. Overnight: Camping Activity: 11km hike and tribal village visit

Hike in Mathikettan Shola National Park Cardamom Hills

Today's trek is through the Mathikettan Shola National Park. A treasure trove of biodiversity, this national park is home to endemic flora and fauna and to wildlife like the Asiatic Elephants and Nilgiri Langurs. Your destination is Santhanpara, set amidst luxuriant vegetation and cardamom spice plantations that give the surrounding area the name 'Cardamom Hills'. This is the capital of the spice cultivating areas that have made Kerala famous through the ages and attracted multitudes of traders from all parts of the world. Overnight: Camping Activity: 14.5km hike

Hike to Chaturangapara

You will be trekking from Santhanpara to Chaturangapara, the final part of your rainforest trek at Munnar. This route follows a major ridge along the eastern flank of the Western Ghats. Your efforts today are rewarded with views extending out across the plains of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. Your camp will be set up within the confines of the forest, allowing you to spend the night amidst the wilderness and experience a sense of peace that comes with the sounds of the wild. Overnight: Camping Activity: 14km hike

Return to Fort Kochi by road

You will depart to Fort Kochi after breakfast, taking with you the memories of the challenge and the sheer natural beauty of your rainforest trek at Munnar. Once back in Fort Kochi you will have the afternoon to relax in your comfortable accommodation or perhaps venture out for one last stroll in this iconic colonial city. Overnight: Killians Hotel or similar Transport: 5.5 hour drive

Transfer to Airport, trip concludes

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Additional Information

Southern India delivers no end of pleasant surprises on this wonderful trip. Our carefully crafted itinerary offers the highlights of the magnificent hill country of the Western Ghats along with time to relax in the historic coastal town of Kochi. Our hike in the Western Ghats takes us along the Mathikettan Shola rainforest track, an exciting and challenging trekking route that begins in Munnar and traces its path to Meesapulimala, the second highest peak in the Western Ghats, before passing through the cardamom forests of Santhanpara and Chaturangapara. If you want to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and venture on a unique trek, this rainforest trek is just what you are looking for.

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