making meaningful connections
Small group holiday – Christmas special
Verdant hills and winding backwaters, with authentic hospitality
For the ideal Christmas break, join a small group in this is a slow and gentle discovery of rural Kerala. Stay in the Wayanad hills for a joyful discovery of upland Kerala, with truly welcoming hosts, before relaxing onboard a very special village-owned houseboat, and finally celebrate Christmas day with stay in the vibrant port-city of Cochin.
Itinerary | Day by Day
This is a fixed-date departure, starting on 16th December
DAY 1 (16th Dec '23) | Welcome at Bangalore
A road transfer( 6 Hrs) takes you into the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats, the charming hillside village of Mothakkara in Wayanad for a 4 night stay.
Night 1 - Night 4 (16 - 19th Dec) | In the Wayanad Hills
Enjoy four nights with the community of Mothakkara in the special community-run guesthouse. Explore the coffee and pepper plantations and enjoy forest walks and spectacular views across the sprawling hills of the Western Ghats towards Banaura Mountain. You may discover local pottery, enjoy a concert from the women’s drumming group, and visit nearby Thrikkaipatta to meet the women weaving beautiful bamboo handicrafts. There is a strong sense of tradition and your hosts welcome you with genuine warmth. Our guests agree that Mothakkara is one of the most relaxing places to stay, and is a firm favourite. Why not add on an extra trip to nearby Tholpetty for a jeep safari through the Sanctuary, abundant with wildlife – including wild elephant.
Day 5 (20th Dec)
Return by road to Kozhikode and take the train to Ernakulam. Meet at Ernakulam station and short transfer to Vayalar village to board the Kayal Kettuvallam houseboat.
Night 5 - Night 7 (20th - 22nd Dec) | Exploring the Backwaters
Spend three nights onboard the Goodearth Kayal Kettuvallam, visiting four of the five communites; Vayalar, Chenganda, Perumbalam, Chemmanagri and Kodamthuruthu. Your mornings and evenings are spent in the villages, getting to know the communities and discovering the customs and traditions, or exploring deeper into the backwaters in the houseboat’s own canoe/tender.
During the hotter, central part of the day the boat progresses gently through the backwaters to the next village. You navigate dense, narrow canals and open waterways, while on the banks busy village life takes place. You may pass duck herders on a punt, buffalo grazing at the water’s edge, fishermen in dugout canoes, coir weavers and coconut harvesters. If you wish to take a cooking class from some of the local ladies, your guide can arrange this.
Day 8 (23rd Dec) | Transfer to Kochi
fter breakfast, a short transfer takes you to Kochi to stay in a traditional heritage homestay for 3 nights.
Night 8 - Night 10 (23rd - 25th Dec) | Christmas in Fort Cochin
With three nights here you have time to explore this exciting port city and the wonderful old fort district of Fort Cochin. Enjoy a warm and restful Christmas.
Day 11 (26th Dec)
We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Bangalore. If you require a transfer from elsewhere, this can be arranged at an additional cost.
Your holiday includes transfers, your own guide throughout your stay with the communities, accommodation in Mothakkara village, on the Goodearth Houseboat and in Fort Cochin. Trains from Cochin to Kozhikode are included.
In the village Guest houses
The village guesthouses are comfortable but simple in keeping with life in the host villages. Rooms are twin bedded, each fitted with a mosquito net. Rooms are clean, with basic facilities and comfortable mattresses. Bath and toilet facilities are ensuite. Most of the guesthouses are run on solar power.
On the Houseboat
The houseboat has two twin cabins with private facilities. If there are fewer than four in your party, you may wish to upgrade and have exclusive use of the houseboat. This can be arranged at a supplement of £96 per person (£192 for a single traveller).
All meals and tiffins are provided during your stay with the communities and on the houseboat; in Kochi breakfast only is included. Meals in the villages are vegetarian. On occasion fish may be served.
In the city and during transfers, meals are at your own local charge.
Extra car transfers, except those which are mentioned in the itinerary.
Secret KeralaSmall Group Trip, 11 Nights
All meals and stay at villages
B&B in hotels
Guide and Porter services
Inclusive of all taxes as applicable
HOLIDAY PRICES per person