Kerala River Regeneration (Adventeers Wanted)
9 days / Year Round
Pricing is based on group size and seasonality, please check with us to secure the best pricing.
• Immerse yourself in an ancient and thriving culture with an intimate tour of Kerala’s villages, music, dance, and cuisine.
• Sail the backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat. This unique geographical formation has engendered a unique lifestyle which can only be appreciated from onboard a boat.
• Stay in one of the last remaining namboothiri illam, a traditional Kerala Brahmin manor, boasting a 2-acre sacred grove.
Day 1: COCHIN
We will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
Day 02: COCHIN
In the morning, we will take a sightseeing tour of Cochin City. Highlights of the tour include the Dutch Palace and a local Jewish synagogue. In the evening, we will visit Kathakali Dance Theatre for a live performance of a famous Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali is a traditional dance form in Kerala and the remarkable facial expressions, hand gestures, and dance moves will leave you spellbound.
Day 03: COCHIN TO NILAMBUR
In the morning, we will drive to Nilambur and check into Maranat Mana, one of the last extant examples of a traditional namboothiri illam (a Kerala Brahmin house). Situated in central Kerala at the foothills of the Western Ghats, Maranat Mana strikes an excellent balance between traditional life style and modern living, devoting special attention to sustainability. Within the farm, a two-acre sacred grove helps maintain the area’s biodiversity.
Day 04: NILAMBUR
We will spend the day indulging in the pleasures and opportunities of Maranat Mana. You might choose to visit local schools, tour a teak forest, or join the local farmers in the paddy field.
Day 05: NILAMBUR TO RIVER NILA
In the morning, we will drive to Kodeeri, stopping along the way to visit Angadipuram Village for our Musical Trails Program. This 2-hour lecture and demonstration showcases the various schools of music that have evolved and thrived on the banks of River Nila. Once we reach Kodeerimana, we’ll check into a 400 year old heritage house for our home stay. Part of a responsible-tourism initiative, this house is part of an organic farm that makes a positive impact on the countryside. As part of your stay, you will learn about the local cuisine, taking a food tour and helping make a delicious and satisfying dinner.
Day 06: RIVER NILA
After breakfast, we will embark on our Thoni cruise from Tirur to Ponnani. We will sail down the Tirur River in a simple but sturdy traditional boat, stopping at local islands to see coconut processing and other village activities. These boats were traditionally used for transporting fine sand, before sand-mining was outlawed. These trips offer an ethical alternative to sand smuggling. We’ll eat lunch in a local village before returning to take a walk around a farm.
Day 07: NILA TO KOTTAYAM
After breakfast, we’ll drive to Kottayam and board a kettuvallam (houseboat) for a tour of the vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers, and canals that lace the coastline of Kerala. These backwaters represent a unique geographical formation and are the basis of a distinct lifestyle. Travelling the backwaters is one of the highlights of a visit to Kerala.
Day 8: BACKWATERS TO KUMARAKOM
Our cruise will continue through the lush green spice plantations and past small villages. Late in the morning, we’ll disembark and drive to Kumarkom, one of the most enchanting villages in the region. Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, this beautiful hamlet boasts soothing backwaters, thick mangrove forests, green paddy fields, and towering coconut groves. You will enjoy spending the afternoon exploring the lake.
Day 09: KUMARAKOM TO COCHIN
After a leisurely morning, we will drive you to Cochin Airport for your return flight.
This trip is part of a river regeneration program. Using stories as a medium, we explain the importance of this river which is part of the social and cultural psyche of Kerala.
By hiring local boats and oarsmen, we create an alternative, supplementary source of incomes for sand miners, coconut processors, and small-property owners.
We will spend a day with traditional musicians, helping them promote their art forms and providing them with a regular source of income. We have also set up an initiative to support vegetative restoration in the hopes of bringing life back to the once mighty river.