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Kerala in Southern India is renowned for its beautiful palm-fringed beaches and rich tropical landscape.
Our trek takes in the lush forests, green hills and pretty tea plantations of the Western Ghats. From the beautiful colonial hill station of Munnar, we trek over forested hills and open ridges, passing plantations of coffee and mango as well as the famous tea.
En route we take in Meesapulimala Peak, the second highest summit in South India, where the views over this area are breath-taking. The cool mountain air is perfect for hiking these hills; afterwards we head down to the tropical coastline, known for its fascinating fishing villages, sandy white beaches and backwater houseboats.
Day 1: Depart London for Kochi
Day 2: Arrive Kochi
We are free to explore this lovely old city; India’s earliest European settlement. The brightly-painted buildings, narrow streets and bazaars are fascinating. In the evening there is an optional visit to see a Kathakali display, a dance unique to Kerala.
Day 3: Kochi – Munnar
We drive up into the hills to Munnar; a beautiful hill station on the Western Ghats. It is surrounded by tea plantations and still retains its colonial charm. Spend the afternoon exploring the town and its markets, while enjoying the views over the sprawling hills and valleys.
Day 4: Munnar Acclimatisation Walk (Trek approx 4-5 hours )
We drive to the tiny village of Nagarmundi to start our trek. Our trail climbs up into the Seven Malai hills, where the hill-slopes are covered in verdant plantations, forests and sparkling waterfalls, with tiny villages set among the rolling valleys. We pass through cardamom and coffee plantations before reaching the hilltop, where we can soak up the wonderful views.
Day 5: Munnar – Meesapulimala Peak – Camp Malai (Trek approx 7–9 hours)
We drive past tea estates to the Silent Valley plateau and start our trek, ascending steadily through forest into natural, grassy wilderness with wonderful views down over the tea estates. Meesapulimala Peak is the second-highest peak in South India, where the breath-taking view reach across Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Day 6: Camp Malai – Top Station (Trek approx 6-8 hours)
We pass a stunning waterfall as we walk through hills thick with red rhododendron and many endemic plants; our morning takes us gently uphill, though it’s predominantly downhill in the afternoon. We walk through friendly traditional villages where we can see the local way of life.
Day 7: Top Station – Mundhan – Thekkedy (Trek approx 6-7 hours)
We descend from Top Station through plantations of coffee and cotton, to the village of Kotakuddi, where the landscape gives way to stretches of paddy fields and more tropical vegetation. Our vehicles take us on a beautiful winding drive to the bustling village of Thekkedy.
Day 8: Thekkedy – Alleppey Houseboats
We say farewell to the beautiful Western Ghats and head to Alleppey, where we can relax on our houseboat as we cruise the serene waters, lined with coconut palms and dazzling green rice paddies.
Day 9: Alleppey
We leave our houseboat and the tranquillity of the backwaters and transfer to our hotel in Aleppey; here we gather for an evening to celebrate our big achievements.
Day 10: Fly Kochi – London
Transfer to the airport in time for our flight home.