The Best Guided Tours in Kerala, India

Munnar has always left its visitors in awe | © Koshy George/Pexels
Munnar has always left its visitors in awe | © Koshy George/Pexels
Photo of Charishma Thankappan
6 February 2018

Kerala is a holistic tourist destination that has much to offer to all kinds of traveller. From nature lovers to adventure enthusiasts, culture and history buffs and health and wellness aficionados, all can enjoy a slice of God’s Own Country through these eight unique guided tours that are tailored to meet your requirements and ensure an unforgettable experience that you can take back home with you.

Kochi-Munnar-Thekkady-Alappuzha private tour

The best of central Kerala can be experienced on a seven-day private tour covering Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Munnar, Thekkady and Alappuzha in that order. The itinerary covers a guided city tour through the ancient ports of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, a visit to Munnar tea plantations, boating and wilderness activities in Thekkady, where you can experience its scenic rural landscape and an overnight cruise in a houseboat on Alappuzha’s backwaters. The travel itinerary varies by tour operator but can be customized according to your needs.

Book your private tour with eKerala Tourism, Cochin at +91 99584 14244 or from your hotel.

A boat ride through the Periyar National Park in Thekkady | © Jonathanawhite/WikiCommons

Houseboat cruise on Kerala’s backwaters

Embark on an overnight houseboat cruise, where you can savour local cuisine, especially steamed freshwater fish and fish curry meals. Indulge in canoeing or kayaking at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and travel through the narrow canals of Mundrothuruthu in a thoni, a smaller, open-air oar-driven boat. A two-night, two-day trip is enough to experience the Backwater Rhapsody of Kerala.

Book your backwater tour with Travel Division, Cochin at +91 98460 43403.

Catch a picturesque sight of dawn from a houseboat in Alappuzha | © Sholto Ramsay/GoodFreePhotos

Camping and trekking in Munnar

The land of the peaceful plantations is also a haven for trekkers, with the best of the lot being the Meesapulimala trek from Yellapatty campsite through Rhodo Valley. The sunrise views and the sea of clouds below the peak are an unforgettable experience. If the time is right, witness the Neelakurinji flower that blossoms once every 12 years. The Nilgiri tahr can be easily sighted along with a myriad of varieties of butterflies, birds, insects, plants and wildflowers. A two-night and two-day package is recommended.

Book your Adventures tour with Kestrel Adventures And Holidays (P) Ltd., Munnar at +91 94470 31040.

Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd is the one and only authority to conduct trekking activities to Meesapulimala | © Sajinskollara/WikiCommons

Tea tasting and museum visit in Munnar

When in Munnar, a visit to a tea museum and learning about the processing of tea is an absolute must. Visit either the Tata Tea Museum or the Kannan Devan Tea Museum for a guided tour as they take you through the entire experience of plucking tea leaves and its processing until it is packed and retailed in markets. There is also a short documentary film that is screened, which acquaints you with the history of the plantations. It ends with an opportunity to buy fresh tea, where you can choose a variety of flavours.

Book your hill station tour with Kestrel Adventures And Holidays (P) Ltd., Munnar at +91 94470 31040.

Visit guided tea plantation tours in Munnar | © Sumittchavan/WikiCommons

Periyar Tiger Trail

Tiger Trail is an adventurous trekking and camping program conducted by a team of rehabilitated poachers and tree cutters of the park. These hardy individuals with their intimate knowledge of the forest terrain take you deep into the wilderness enhancing the chances of encountering tigers. The treks are usually 20 to 35 kilometres, depending on the chosen package and route. A one-night, two-day package is recommended.

Book your Tiger Trail package with Periyar Tiger Trail, Kumily at +91 95269 23124.

Tiger in the wild | © N.A.Nazeer/WikiCommons

Heritage walks in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Calicut and Thrissur

There are a number of organizations that conduct guided cultural and historic walks and heritage tours in the cities of Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, and Thrissur. You can contact them directly and choose a package that suits you. These tours can last from one to a few hours, in which an experienced guide or expert in a chosen field explains the significance of the subject. These are interactive tours and rich in information. One such organization is Sahapedia.

Follow Sahapedia’s Facebook page to be notified of heritage walks and talks conducted by them.

Heritage walks are commonly conducted in Fort Kochi | © Rojypala/WikiCommons

Experience Kerala’s art forms

Take part in this two-hour guided trail of Kerala’s famous art centre, Kalamandalam in Thrissur. Get introduced to the martial art form of Kalari, while also exploring the Vallathol Museum. The tour offers insights into culture, the inception of different classical art forms and background on the founders and patrons.

Book your performance art tour with Wandertrails Services (P) Ltd., Bengaluru at +91 96325 63535.

One of the famous exponents of Kathakali, Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair performs as Hanuman | © Hareesh N Nampoothiri/WikiCommons

Mental and physical rejuvenation through Ayurveda

Opt for a wellness vacation with a guided Ayurveda package. Provided by resorts, hotels and Ayurveda centres, these packages are available from a single day to a week-long duration. These will include an in-house nutritionist, yoga expert and masseuse, who provide you with a customized package according to your requirements. Niraamaya Retreats is one such resort that is well-known for their guided Ayurveda packages.

Unwind with a customized Ayurvedic experience at Niraamaya Retreats | Courtesy Niraamaya Retreat Kovalam

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