Day 1: Cochin/Backwaters – Periyar National Park.
Check out of your Cochin hotel or disembark from your houseboat in the morning and your chauffeur driven vehicle is waiting for you. Start on the drive to Thekkady (Periyar National Park). Arrive at Thekkady and check-in at your hotel. This is the heart of spice country and the pleasant, mild aroma from the surrounding plantations will fascinate you when you arrive.
Periyar is located around a picturesque artificial lake that was formed in 1895 by building a dam on the Periyar River. The terrain is hilly and the elevation of the park ranges from a few hundred feet to about 6000 feet above sea level. The lake occupies the valleys of the thickly forested hills, serving as a permanent source of water for wildlife in the Park. Although it falls under “Project Tiger”, the main attractions of the park are definitely elephants.
Periyar is home to just under a thousand elephants and also over 60 other mammal species including tigers, bison, deer, wild boar, and wild dog. There are over 300 species of birds, and even 160 species of butterflies. Prominent among the birds are Cormorants, Kingfishers, Darters, the great Malabar Hornbill, and the racket-tailed Drongoes. Unlike Ranthambore, your chances of seeing a tiger in this park are extremely slim.
Thekkady is a great stopover on this itinerary for a variety of reasons, only one of them being the National Park. The Spice plantations are another reason to stop here, as is the fact that this rural area happens to be located in one of the most picturesque parts of the Western Ghats.
– There are various options that can be facilitated for you on this afternoon, depending on the time of your arrival at Cochin. These include elephant back rides around the rural community of Thekkady, bullock cart rides in the surroundings hills, a Coracle (traditional small boat) ride, or just a walk around the scenic rural surroundings. Your luxury jungle lodge offers among the best Ayurvedic treatments in their spas which we can reserve on request.
Day 2: Periyar.
Start your morning with a visit to a neighboring spice plantation where an experienced naturalist will guide you through scores of different spice plants and illustrate their medicinal and gastronomical properties.
Return to your lodge to freshen up and eat lunch.
You are driven to Lake Periyar and assisted in embarking the group boat for a boat ride around the lake. Enjoy the incredible scenery and view the wildlife as you cruise around the spectacular lake –elephants, wild boar and deer are the most commonly sighted wildlife
Day 3: Periyar – Cochin.
You are at leisure in the early morning and can check out at any time before noon (unless you have an afternoon flight out of Cochin). We can also suggest activities such as those listed for Day 1, or a return to the lake for another wildlife viewing cruise.
Proceed on the picturesque drive to back to Cochin with your chauffeur.
Arrive at Cochin where you can be dropped off at the airport or at your hotel.