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South India Adventure – Women’s Only Tour



Join Keri, founder of Finisterra Travel, on this South India Adventure through Kerala. Kerala, a state famous for its backwaters, elegant houseboats, Ayurvedic treatments and taste-bud-tingling cuisine. Kerala is also home to wild elephants, jaguars, and the odd tiger. This is a fascinating journey through India’s laid-back tropical south, to experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture, and most importantly…the people. Some of the friendliest folks in the world live in Kerala. Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills. Despite its relative riches, the majority of the population in Kerala life continue with agriculture, tea, coffee, and spice plantations and the coir industry, which still provides the basic economic structure of the region. Experience firsthand why they call it ‘God’s Own Country’. Sorry fellas, this trip is just for the gals.



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    • – Strolling the bustling colonial district of Fort Cochin
    • – Travelling on this women’s only tour with Keri, founder of Finisterra Travel
    • – Sampling delicious cuisine and learning how to cook traditional foods
    • – Exploring the beautiful tea plantations near Munnar
    • – Meeting local artisans and artists to chat with them about their trades
    • – Paddling along the Backwaters of Kerala
    • – Experiencing traditional dance and musical performances

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Day 01: Arrival to Cochin (Kochi)
Upon arrival at Cochin International airport, meet and assistance by our office representative, followed by a transfer to your hotel.

Later the day enjoy a cultural evening at Greenix Village Cultural Center, followed by a Khatakali (traditional dance) performance.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in the streets of this beautiful colonial township.

Overnight: Fort House (or similar)

Meals: -/-/D

Day 02: Cochin City Tour
After your breakfast, go for a walk with your guide to observe of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks, have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard…

Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and pass by the Santa cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India.

Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery, visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century. While you are here learn the art of Henna painting or mehendi. This ritual called Mehndi arts holds plenty of cultural significance in Indian traditions and is one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies in their marriages ( Duration : 1h00).

After some local shopping drive to Ernakulam to visit the  Vimalalayam center.  In 1961, Maria Paiva Couceiro, a Daughter of the Heart of Mary from Portugal decided to set up a house for the Daughters of the Heart of Mary in Cochin, this organisation work for the uplift of the poor and underprivileged people providing support economically, spiritually, psychologically and socially by this.

Overnight: Fort House (or similar)

Meals: B/-/-

Day 03: Cochin – Chendamangalam – Cochin (80 km / 3 hrs)

After your breakfast, proceed with your day with a Kudumbasree’s visit program in Chendamangalam village. The journey is conducted by Kudumbasree family, a women’s self-help group empowered to promoting, gender equity and communal harmony through self-sustainability. Started in 1998, their mission is to eradicate poverty in rural areas through teaching women skills like organic farming, weaving and handicrafts. You will be welcomed to the village with traditional Tharavadu (family house) hospitality,  jasmine garland and sandalwood Chutti (jewelry), and tender coconut water to drink. Artisans from the Kudumbasree unit of this village will perform for you folk dances of Kerala. Then you will have a cooking demonstration where you can participate if you choose before feasting on Sadya, a vegetarian meal served on banana leaves.

After lunch, watch handloom weaving by skilled villagers; weaving is a primary source of income for many of the families in the village. Explore the winding roads of the village and spend time interacting with the villagers. Return to your hotel for the rest of the day free.

Overnight: Fort House (or similar)

Meals: B/L/-

Day 04: Cochin – Munnar (140 km / 4 hrs)

Breakfast and check-out at the hotel, followed by transfer to Munnar, South India’s largest tea-growing region, passing through the rolling hills and sculpted tea gardens arrive at your next accommodation and check-in at your hotel .

This afternoon Visit Tea museum followed by a Tea plantation visit. : The museum diligently portrays the growth of Munnar tea estates, veritably conveyed through some of the displays like the rudimentary tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory and various stages of tea processing.

Return back to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Overnight: Blackberry Hills (or similar)

Meals: Meals: B/-/-

Day 05: Munnar 

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a half-day Jeep safari – Drive though the mind blowing scenery uphill to Kulukamalai Estate, the highest located tea factory in the world which still practices the Manual processing of Tea. Reach Kulukkumalai and join hands with the plantation workers to understand the art of Tea Pluckin (subject to the working days). At the Tea factory you see the processing of tea, followed by a tea tasting session.

Later on drive to the Eravikulam National Park (subject to opening) – A sanctuary for the mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr. The Park stands out for the beauty of its rolling grasslands spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan Devan hills. Continue your visit with the Mattupetty dam with its still water reflecting the tea gardens around (if time permits). Return back to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Overnight: Blackberry Hills (or similar)

Meals: Meals: B/-/-

Day 06: Munnar – Pala – Kumarakom (165 km / 5 hrs)

After breakfast we check-out and drive to Kumarakom. This city slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks, weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The bird sanctuary here is an ornithologist’s paradise and a favorite haunt of migratory birds. On route make a stop at Kuruvinakunnel Tharavadu near Pala to experience a typical Syrian Christian Lunch followed by a visit to your host plantation. This ancestral home was built around 400 years back and is located in the midst of a rubber plantation estate.

Continue your journey to your next stop Kumarakom.

Overnight: Philipskutty’s Farm (or similar)

Meals: B/L/D

Day 07: Kumarakom 

This hotel features spacious, independent villas facing the peaceful backwaters. Get to know the owners, an authentic Kuttanadan (backwater) family. They will gladly take you around the farm and therefore give you the undiluted real Kerala experience by tasting some of the delicious local cuisine and the region’s rich cultural heritage in a beautiful setting with all the modern facilities.

Early morning take a cruise through the narrow, winding canals on a Vallam or rowing boat and catch glimpse of the unique backwater villages and way of life. Rest of the day free to enjoy some of the activities offered: birdwatching in the backwaters to catch kingfishers, woodpeckers, egrets, cormorants, herons, snakebirds. Try fishing with an authentic Chinese-style fishing nets, an ancient and traditional method in this area (depending on water flow, weather and time of year). Or learn the art of Sari – how to wear it like a beautiful Kerala woman.

Overnight: Philipskutty’s Farm (or similar)

Meals: B/L/D

Day 08:  Kumarakom – Alleppey – Kollam (120 km / 3.5 hrs)

This morning after your breakfast, say farewell to your host and proceed to Allepey to join The Preserve Alleppey Society’s  who conducts visits of this town. This Project was started by the Lion Ladies Club of Alleppey in 2000 to preserve the character of this town. Your tour will be part driving, part walking though the Gujarati quarter, the canal banks and an old wholesale market. It will end with a walk through Mullackel street with Tea & snacks.

Later on drive to Kollam, and check-in your hotel Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort & Ayurveda Spa. On route make a stop with your guide at Mannarsala Temple and lean about its beliefs and rituals. This is one rare temple where the puja (ceremony worship) pattern is headed by a Brahmin (Priest) lady. Legends say that when the Muthassan (Senior priest) had given certain rights and instructions to his mother. He instructed that ‘Mother herself must offer me worship.

If times permit on route also you will be experiencing a visit at Amritapuri Ashram, which was opened by Amma (Spiritual guide) whose full name is Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, the woman who built Amritapuri, on a small island. Her name Amma means ”mother of immortal bliss”.

Overnight: Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort & Ayurveda Spa (or similar)

Meals: B/-/-

Day 09: Kollam 

Breakfast at the hotel. One of the leading trade capitals of the Old World, Kollam is the centre of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala.

Today enjoy some free time to get familiarized with your hotel resort. You might attend a yoga class or treat yourself with an in-house Ayurvedic massage in the SPA ( Payable locally). Your hotel can also organise a backwater trip Monroe Island or a trip to see Varkala beach (Payable locally).

Overnight: Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort & Ayurveda Spa (or similar)

Meals: B/-/-

Day 10: Kollam – Kovalam (80 km / 2 hrs)

After your breakfast at the hotel, check-out and drive to Kovalam. Kovalam is three crescent shaped beaches, separated by rocky outcroppings. Backed by the palm covered steep headlands, the beaches are lined with a host of shops. On arrival check in your hotel Travancore Heritage located close to the beach.

Rest of the day free to watch golden sunsets; wait for fishing boats to empty out the day’s catch or some Ayurvedic massage in the traditional in-house SPA (Payable locally)

Overnight: Travancore Heritage (or similar)

Meals: B/-/-

Day 11: Kovalam – Free Day

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day at leisure for sun, sand and surf. Enjoy the glorious water and golden sands or some in-house Ayurvedic massage in the traditional SPA (Payable locally).

Overnight: Travancore Heritage (or similar)

Meals: B/-/D

Day 12: Departure Kovalam – Trivandrum international Airport

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Trivandrum international Airport on time to connect your flight back home or continue to other parts of India! We are happy to help you make the most of your trip.

Meals: B/-/-

…Tour Ends…

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Important Info” tab_id=”1449289392103-be095264-cb20″][vc_column_text]PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever changing nature of India, activities, hotels, and visits are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.

FLIGHTS: Please do not purchase your flights until this tour is confirmed.

PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months upon return date to your home country. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveller.

VISAS: Most visitors require a VISA when visiting India. It is the TRAVELLER’S responsibility to check on entrance requirements. Please visit

INDIA: How can you possibly prepare yourself for Travel?
To take advantage of your trip, we suggest prepare yourself a little. Here are some Travel tips which we hope will be useful, ensuring comfort, while travelling in Southern India.
In order to enter India you will need:
A signed, valid passport and a tourist visa. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. It is also imperative that your passport has at least 2 blank visa pages available for entry and exit stamps. The government of India offers two options for tourist visas. Your entry requirements may vary depending on your nationality. Please consult the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries you will be visiting. One option is a multiple entry visa which can be obtained through the traditional application process. This type of visa has a 1 year validity and allows multiple visits and a stay of up to 90 days. You need to apply for a traditional Indian visa if you are exiting and re-entering India during the course of your tour.
The other option is the Electronic Tourist Visa (eTV). This type of visa allows a single entry for a stay of up to 30 days in India.
More information regarding the eTV system can be found here Please read and follow all instructions carefully to avoid any possible complications on arrival in India. Do not apply an eTV any earlier than 34 days and no later than four days before your scheduled date of arrival.

India’s unit of currency is the Indian Rupee.
Exchange currency only at authorized outlets such as exchange kiosks, banks and hotels. Keep receipts of Transactions which
may be required when exit the country, and also if you intend to reconvert local currency.
We suggest travelling with some U.S. dollars or Euros, or Sterling Pound to be exchanged for local currency and at least two major credit cards. Hotels and some stores in large cities accept all major credit cards, but in small towns cash may be required. Notify your credit card company of your travel plans prior to your departure to avoid any fraud concerns. ATM access is available in any cities. Cash is the best (generally, the only) option in street markets.
We do not recommend traveller’s cheques as they are not as widely accepted as in previous years. Lodges outside of major cities do not accept traveler’s cheques.

Required Vaccination
A yellow fever vaccination is required to enter India only if you are arriving from or have transited through a yellow fever endemic area in South America or Africa. If vaccination for yellow fever is necessary, you must carry an International Certificate of Vaccination provided by your physician; If you are advised against receiving the vaccination because of your personal medical history, a certificate from your Physician to this effect is required.
India is a huge country and its weather conditions are affected by diverse regions which include mountains, deserts, highlands and coastal plains. In general, India’s climate is warm and tropical although parts of northern and western India can be very cold from December through January.
The months of November to February bring the most pleasant weather throughout the country. Average temperatures in Delhi during this cool season range from daily highs of 60 -80 F to lows between 40 -50 F. Summer begins in mid-March and lasts through mid-June with April and May being the hottest months. The heaviest rains of the monsoon season begin in July and last through mid-October, with the amount of rainfall varying by region. The northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim in the northeastern hills, have a cooler, more continental influenced climate.

Use a website such as to find average temperatures and rainfall during your travel times.

India – 220 volts and 50 hertz

Packing Suggestions:

Smart Casual clothing such as lightweight pants, loose shorts, trousers and at the least, short-sleeved shirts are recommended.
It is suggested that Women pack a scarf large enough to cover bare neck and shoulders. Other items, worthwhile to carry are;
Comfortable, walking shoes with low or no heels
Sweater or lightweight jacket
Lightweight raincoat or poncho
Swimming suit
Sunglasses, sun block and a sunhat
Mosquito repellent
Lightweight binoculars (optional)
Simple first-aid kit, Prescriptions and medications
Charging cables for electronics. Voltage converter and adapter plugs

In India, the National language is Hindi. Each state, however, has its own regional official language as well – 14 in all. English is widely spoken all over the country. After Hindi it is the most widely spoken tongue in India and probably the most widely written and read.

Do not use tap water for drinking or brushing teeth. It is always preferable and safer to use only bottled or canned water. Regardless of precautions, changes in water and diet can result in mild abdominal upsets and nausea. To prevent serious illness, avoid suspect foods such as uncooked vegetables, peeled fruit, un-pasteurized milk and milk products. Be selective when you try any food or drink sold by street vendors.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Hotels” tab_id=”1449289392103-be095264-cb21″][vc_column_text]SAMPLE HOTELS (Subject to change)

Cochin (Kochi) – Fort House

Munnar – Blackberry Hills

Kumarakum – Philipkutty’s Farm

Kollam – Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort & Spa

Kovalam – Travancore Heritage Hotel
Please note ALL ACCOMMODATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Hotels will be confirmed 30 days prior to departure.

Pre and Post Tour Accommodation: If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you as well as additional Tours to Taj Mahal, Varanasi, etc.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Inclusion & Exclusion” tab_id=”1449208780765-5fd2d40a-5e8d”][vc_column_text]TOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES:
• 11 nights accommodation on double / twin sharing basis at all hotels mentioned hotels (or similar).

• Breakfast at all Places and Meals as mentioned in itinerary

• Transportation as per itinerary by chauffeur driven air conditioned Vehicle.

• Local English Speaking Guides for the sightseeing of Cochin, Munnar.

• A Traditional welcome greet by Chendamelam (Kerala Percussion by women)

• Ticket for the Kathakali Dance show in Cochin

• Henna painting session in Fort Kochi

• Kudumbasree’s organisation guided visit Muziris tour

• Cooking demo class with a dinner in Cochin

• Guided visit to Eravikulam National Park in Munnar

• A Tea factory guided visit in Munnar

• Jeep safari and Visit to Kulukkumalai estate in Munnar ( subject to road condition)

• A guided visit at Alleppey conducted by The Preserve Alleppey Society’s

• Entrance charges at the monuments as mentioned in the Itinerary

• Assistance on arrival and departure

• All currently applicable taxes

• Tips for servers, local guides, drivers, etc.

• International flights to/from India – (arriving to Cochin/departing from Trivandrum) Contact [email protected] for a
quote. Please DO NOT book flights until the tour is confirmed.
• Camera fees & activity charges other than those listed in the itinerary inclusions
• Meals & drinks not included in itinerary
• Mandatory travel medical insurance (available through [email protected])
• Expenses of personal nature such as porterage, laundry, telephones, tipping etc.
• International/Domestic flight charges and Visa/Insurance charges, if any
• Any other items not covered under inclusions

– Though we will do our best to follow this itinerary as closely as possible, it is subject to change due to factors beyond our control

– Do not book flights until this tour is confirmed.

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Date: Jan 5 to 16th, 2020

Single Supplement $775USD

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