Kerala Backpacking Trip

Kerala Backpacking Trip


 

It is compulsory for guests visiting Kerala to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine before two weeks *OR* to have an RT-PCR negative certificate taken 72 hours before arrival in Kerala. 

Things to do in Kerala:

Places to visit in Munnar
  • Sunrise hike to the hilltop
  • Stay in plantation houses
  • Spices shopping
  • Chocolate shopping
Places to visit in Thekkady
  • Elephant ride
  • Bamboo rafting
  • Trekking in Periyar national park
  • Spice garden visit
  • Jungle view stay
Places to visit in Alleppey
  • Stay in Boathouse
  • Boating
  • Alleppey backwaters
Things to do in Varkala
  • Play in beach
  • Sunset
Things to do in Kovalam
  • Beach view stay
  • Clearwater on the beach
  • Watersports
Things to do in Poovar Island
  • Mangrove ride
  • Poovar beach
  • Poovar backwaters
     
  • On the way
    • Cheyyappara waterfalls
    • Chellarcoil viewpoint
    • Vellathooval bridge
    • Ponmudi dam

Munnar Sightseeing (Day 1)

  • Arrival in Cochin international airport/railway station
  • Head to Munnar
  • Have breakfast on the way
  • Jeep Safari & local sightseeing
  • Sunset hike (Round way time taken: 2-3 Hr)
  • Campfire
  • Stay: Munnar (Plantation view)
  1. Today we move away from the coastal region of Kerala & enter Western ghats towards the Eastern part of the state. You will notice the roads which go through the hustle of the towns in beginning - change into - hilly roads surrounded by mountains on both sides. There's no need to mention that greenery continues throughout! The route encompasses a couple of viewpoints where we might get down to breathe in the fresh air for a couple of minutes.
  2. The main town area of Munnar will give the vibes of hustle-bustle, tourists crowding restaurants, public vehicles. As you move a little away, you can see that this is a hilly region & luckily if you get clear weather you can behold tea plantations on both sides of the hilly curves. Else, clouds & dense fog shall accompany you as you move by the curves. Either way, it's a pleasant experience that kind of welcomes you on your day 1 of the trip.
  3. As soon as we enter Munnar, we shall head towards the starting point of Jeep Safari. This safari will include off-roading & will give you a panoramic view of the plantations & the forest area.
  4. Then we shall head for a small sunset hike to Pettimudi Hill. The ascend takes around one & a half hours to reach the top. It's a simple hike that any beginner can go for. Just make sure that you wear good shoes (avoid fancy ones) with good socks & full pants on this day. During monsoons, the grass is quite dense along the way & there are chances of finding leeches. The descend will take somewhere between one to one & a half hours.
  5. We shall go to the stay place next. If weather permits, we will also have a campfire. The dinner will be provided at the stay place mostly.

Thekkady Sightseeing (Day 2)

  • Wake up early and travel to Thekkady
  • We will have breakfast in the stay place or on the way (based on time)
  • Travel from Munnar to Thekkady
  • Hike for 5 km in Periyar Tiger reserve along with forest gunman and guides.
  • We will be carrying a packed lunch bag with us.
  • Reach the lake and have breakfast. Meanwhile, our team will set up bamboo rafts.
  • We will be doing rafting for 90 min around.
  • After completing rafting, We will be hiking back to stay in Thekkady.
  • Elephant ride in the evening
  • Sightseeing on the way
  • Visit spice plantation tour
  • Stay: Thekkady (Periyar Tiger reserve view)
  • NOTE 1: Wearing full pants (avoid ¾th or ankle-length pants as well) & full sleeves shirt or jacket is a must for today. In today's hike in the Periyar reserve forest, we shall be coming across leeches especially if it's monsoon. Wear these clothes before you leave the stay place in the morning itself; you can change them once we check-in into the new stay place after the hike is done.
  • NOTE 2: Wearing sport/hiking shoes (avoid fancy ones) for the hike is mandatory. Strictly avoid chappals/sandals/flip-flops or any other sort which doesn't cover your feet properly.
  • NOTE 3: We will be given sufficient meal items for the hike, hence there is not much need to carry snacks separately. 
  • NOTE 4: Carrying rain cover for yourself & mobile will be handy if it's raining.
  1. Today is going to be a full-packed day. This day shall begin early in the morning & we shall head to Thekkady without wasting much time. It takes around 3 & a half hr to reach the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady.
  2. As soon as we are done with the registration process, the Reserve authority distributes the meal packs & knee-length anklet-type socks. This anklet is supposed to be worn like regular socks before wearing shoes.
  3. As soon as we all are done wearing these thingies, a team of 3 people - gunman police, a guide & a boatman shall lead our path. And let us tell you this is really an easy hike and even then, it gives you direct exposure to a wild forest! Prepare yourself to experience a different world - birds chirping & signaling other species about our presence, brooks flowing rhythmically, green leaves rustling with wind, & behold some wild species like flying ants hive, tiger beehive, Malabar giant squirrel, bison, tiger paw prints (If you're very lucky - tiger too!), hornbill and so on. All this only if you maintain silence & keep your eyes wide open observing the surroundings once you enter the forest. Not to mention - people who cannot sustain without loudspeakers & the ones who are habitual of casual littering should not sign up for this experience!
  4. This hike is around 5 km one way & it's all flat walk. Any beginner can do it provided she/he is adhering to the instructions given in the notes above. It will take roughly one & a half hours to reach the Periyar lake. We'll have the meal as soon as we reach & post that we shall go bamboo rafting! This rafting experience is more distinctive than the regular white water rafting that we do - in a sense that - this raft is purely made of big fat bamboos - just like the literal textbook meaning of ‘raft’. This rafting is a slow - serene experience in the secluded Periyar lake. The silence is so beautiful that even water ripples are audible to your ears. Occasionally you will spot hornbills flying and giving a sound signal to the rest of the flock fraternity & species. We'll spend around one to one & a half hours rafting. Hiking back will not take more than one hour & few minutes.
  5. These forest vibes are so full of energy that they are sure to replenish your senses! Even though the body gets tired by a new task of walking but your mind gets lighthearted. 
  6. Post the hike we head to the stay place & take some time to freshen up. Before the sun sets we will go for an elephant ride & spice plantation tour.
  7. In the night you'll be free to explore different restaurants for the dinner; we might as well have few recommendations too :)
     

Alleppey Boathouse (Day 3)

  • Travel from Thekkady to Alleppey
  • Visit Tea plantation on the way
  • Get into the Alleppey boathouse.
  • Stay: Boathouse (Alleppey backwaters)
     

Varkala Beach & Sightseeing (Day 4)

  • Complete the final stretch of boating.
  • Alleppey to Varkala
  • Varkala cliff and sunset on the beach
  • Stay: Varkala
     

Poovar Islands & Kovalam Beach (Day 5)

  • Wake up and head to Poovar island
  • Boating in backwaters of Poovar
  • We will drop you at the Thiruvananthapuram airport/railway station

 


Note 1: Things to be carried in your Kerala trip change a bit as per the season during which you plan your trip. In the following list, we have mentioned seasonal things separately. Do check with your trek leader about the weather forecast before packing.
Note 2: You need not carry anything extra apart from the things mentioned in the list. It is curated in such a way that it perfectly suits the requirements of this backpacking trip & ensures your safety concerning rains & cold.
Head and Skin Protection & Accessories:
  • Cap / Sun hat/ Balaclava
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 and above)
  • Lip balm, Moisturizer & other skincare products if req.
  • Head Torch/ Hand-held Torch
  • Seasonal:
    • Woolen Cap (In winters - from November to February)
Clothing & Accessories:
  • Comfortable clothes (Full sleeves shirts & full pants, 2 to 3 pairs.)
  • Dry-fit cloths (Min 2 pair)
  • Windcheater
  • Innerwear (4 to 6 pairs)
  • Sport Shoes/ Trek Shoes
  • Sandals or Flip-flops
  • Socks (4 to 5 pairs)
  • Rucksack (40 - 50 Ltr should suffice. Avoid trolley bags.)
  • Small backpack (10L to 20L) (Mandatory)
  • Water bottle
Seasonal:
  • Raincoat/ Poncho (In Rainy season - from May to September)
  • Fleece/ Sweater (In winters - from November to February)
Documents & Electronics + Accessories
  • Original ID proof
  • Camera & Kit (Optional)
  • Mobile chargers
  • Power bank
  • Waterproof pouches for Mobile & liquid cash (Mandatory in Rainy season)
Miscellaneous:
  • Liquid cash
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal medicines (If any)
  • Dry snacks, ORS, dry fruits, chocolates, Nutri bars, etc.

Tip: While packing, you can use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes. Maintain separate bag for used tissues & napkins & then dispose of it properly.

Note 1: We need not carry backpacks during the hikes with us. You can keep them inside the hotel or vehicle.
Note 2: Littering any kind of rappers, tissues, napkins, bottles or anything else will strictly not be entertained. So doers shall be on their own thereafter.


  • Transporation from Cochin to Thiruvananthapuram in AC coach.
  • Activities:
    • Jeep safari in Munnar
    • Bamboo rafting in Thekkady
    • Mangrove ride in Poovar Island backwaters
    • Elephant ride in Thekkady
    • Boathouse in Alleppey backwaters
    • Hiking in Munnar and Periyar Tiger Reserve
    • Spice plantation tour in Thekkady
    • Tea garden visit
  • Entry fee of all above activities
  • Stay: (AC)
    • Munnar (Plantation view)
    • Thekkady (Periyar forest view)
    • Alleppey (Boathouse in backwaters)
    • Varkala (Beach view)
  • Food:
    • Day 1: Dinner (Veg + Non-veg)
    • Day 2: Breakfast, Packed lunch (Plenty of fruits, Mostly local paratha + local sabzi, water bottle) (You'll also get a sack for this hike to carry this)
    • Day 3: Breakfast, Welcome drink, Lunch (Non-veg + Veg), Evening Snacks, Dinner (Non-veg + Veg)
    • Day 4: Breakfast
    • Day 5: Breakfast
  • Tour captain
  • First aid
  • Local guides
  • Gunman in the forest hike
  • Vehicle:
    • AC
    • Driver
    • Tolls
    • Parking

  • GST
  • Food
    • Day 1: Breakfast, lunch
    • Day 2: Dinner
    • Day 3: None
    • Day 4: Lunch, Dinner
    • Day 5: Lunch, Dinner
  • Activities that are not part of Inclusions
  • Anything which is not mentioned under Inclusions.
  • Any kind of personal expenses, optional tours, insurance, laundry.
  • Costs incidental to any changes in the itinerary due to bad weather or natural calamities which are beyond our control.

Q1: Which meals are included? And what kind of food should I expect?

Ans: At some places like Varkala, we want to give the freedom to you to be able to explore the variety of cuisines provided by different restaurants there instead of fixing one menu and leaving you with no other option. At Alleppy boathouse, we will take care of your complete meals including welcome drink, lunch, evening snacks, dinner & next day's breakfast. Please check the inclusions & exclusions to get more clarity about this day-wise plan. 
All breakfasts will be vegetarian. Rest meals that are provided are specifically mentioned in the inclusions, please have a check.

Q2: Is swimming allowed?

Ans: It depends on the guidelines of Kerala tourism which are dynamic. 

Q3: What is the best time to visit Kerala?

Ans: October to February is the best time to visit Kerala. March to May is considered as the shoulder. June to September is considered a low season because of the monsoon. 

Q4: How much liquid cash should I carry for this Kerala trip?

Ans: Rs.2000/- would be sufficient for food and basic expenses. Rest all depends on how much you want to shop and other activities.

Q5: Which mobile networks are available in Kerala?

Ans: Almost all the networks work. Only during the transit from one place to another, there will be little disturbance in the network.

 


     Day 1 Arrival

  • Cochin:
    • Airport: Report at the airport before 10 AM. Major cities of India are connected to Cochin international airport. Our vehicle will be waiting for you at pillar number 32. Washrooms are available at arrival and also at pillar number 28. Basic food stalls are also available outside the airport
    • Railway station: Report before 9 AM. Our vehicle will be waiting at parking.
    • KSRTC Bus station: Report before 9 AM. Our vehicle will be waiting at parking.
    • Note: We will be reaching stay around 2 PM. We will be halting at a restaurant after an hour of travel, basic washrooms are available there. The halt will be for 30 minutes. Plan getting freshened up & having breakfast accordingly. Airports have clean washrooms where you can freshen up & change clothes if needed. Do not expect a bath on day 1 during the daytime. You can take bath once you reach the stay place in the eve

      Departure on Day 5:
  • Thiruvananthapuram
    • Airport: You can plan your return journey after 5 PM. We will be dropping you at the airport around 4 PM. You can consider 60 to 90 min to complete check-in formalities.
    • Railway station: We will drop you at 4:30 PM. You can plan accordingly.
    • Bus station: We will drop you at 4:30 PM. You can plan accordingly.

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