New Years in Kerala: Harmony, Healing & Happiness
Dec. 27, 2012 - Jan.6, 2013
End 2012 and ring in 2013 on an inspiring and rejuventating trip to Kerala. Explore the unique biodiversity by visiting nature reserves and viewing rare species. Meet with social activists and learn why Kerala is a "socialist state", exhibiting an absense of the huge income gaps, social unrest and deep levels of poverty found in the rest of India. Stay at ecolodges and visit with tribal communities, partaking in traditional dance and cooking lessons. Participate in the famous Kochi Carnival and enjoy the New Year Celebrations and relax with the healing power of yoga and ayurveda.
Tour Dates: Sample dates Dec. 27, 2012 - Jan.6, 2013
Day 1: Weds. Dec. 26, 2012- Kumarakom
Arrival at Kochi International Airport and proceed to Kumarakom and check into the hotel(2 hrs by road).
Day 2: Thurs. Dec. 27, 2012 - Kumarakom
In the morning, group orientation followed by houseboat cruise through the backwaters of Vembanad Lake to experience the village life of people living alongside the lake. In the afternoon, visit the Kumarakom Bird sanctuary and free time to mingle with the people or fish at the lake.
Day 3: Fri. Dec. 28, 2012 - Thekkady
Travel to Thekkady to visit a cooperative farming society raising coconut and pineapple and discuss with the activists. The tour continues to a visit to a nearby rubber plantation at Kanjirappally followed by lunch at an eco-friendly restaurant. The afternoon will include a look at fair trade with the Peermade Development Society and Sahayadri Tea farmer consortium. This evening stay at an eco-friendly resort in Thekkady.
Day 4: Sat. Dec. 29, 2012 - Thekkady
Explore Thekkady, India’s largest wildlife sanctuary, and a 2-hour boat journey through the Periar Tiger Reserve (the country's only tiger reserve. Then a stop at Kalarippayattu Centre (Kerala Martialarts) and view different types of martial arts performances. In the afternoon enjoy a visit to an Ayurveda & Yoga Centre and experience a rejuvenating ayurvedic massage with herbal mixes.
Day 5: Fri. Dec. 30, 2012 - Munnar
Early morning departure to the tea town of Munnar, one of the most popular hill stations in India set at an altitude of 5000-8000 feet above sea level. The unending stretch of tea plantations filled with valleys and mountains is a spectacular sight. Then, visit Rajamala National Park home to half of the world's population of the endangered mountain goat (Tahr). AT Mattupetty, explore why this region is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project, that raises over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle. Overnight at an eco-resort in Munnar.
Day 6: Sat. Dec. 31, 2012 - Kochi
Today, travel to Eravikulam National Park, home of the Nilgiri Tahr and then proceed to Kochi. There we till tour Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Dhobby Walas, St.Fransis Church, Chinese fishing nets, Dutch palace, Jewish synagogue and the famous spice market. In the evening, participate in the famous Kochi Carnival and enjoy the New Year Celebrations.
Day 7: Sun. Jan. 1, 2013 - Kochi
Enjoy a guided tour of the Museum of Kerala’s History then attend a cooking class of traditional Kerala cuisine. In the evening view a Kathakali (a classical dance form of Kerala) performance and a dinner discussion with a well-known environmental and social activist about environmental and social issues of Kerala.
Day 8: Mon. Jan. 2, 2013 - Thrissur
Today we will visit the Guruvayoor Temple Elephants at Elephant Fort (there are about 60 temple elephants inside the fort). After checking into the hotel in Thrissur, visit COSTFORD (Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development) and the Dolours Basilica (the biggest church in Asia).
Day 9: Tues. Jan. 3, 2013 - Thrissur
Visit Panjal Village and talk with Mr. Subramanian Nampoothiri (recipient of the Kerala Literary Academy Award for best drama writer) and learn about his role in the reformist movement in Nampoothiri. Then, enjoy a visit to the Palumkil Shivanarayana Temple (the family temple of Mr. Kunju Vasudevan). Eat traditional vegetarian lunch Mr. Kunju Vasudevan’s house have group discussion with him and his father, Mr. Vasudevan Nampoothiri (a Sanskrit scholar, art critic and a Kathakali expert). Enjoy an evening free to explore other temples and for shopping.
Day 10: Weds. Jan. 4, 2013 - Wayanad
Proceed to Wayanadu, a biodiverse region spread across 2,132 square kilometers on the lofty Western Ghats. Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature and the majority of the inhabitants belong to tribal groups. Enjoy explorations of the unique nature, temples and tribal dances and music. Overnight in a forest bamboo hut resort.
Day 11: Thurs. Jan. 5, 2013 - Wayanad
Start the day exploring the Edakkal Caves, considered to be one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Inside the cave you will find ancient stone scripts and pictorial wall inscriptions. Then, visit to some of the nearby tribal settlements and to Meenmutty Falls. Learn about traditional medicine from tribal healers and enjoy more festivities.
Day 12: Fri. Jan. 6, 2013 - Kozhikkod
Visit Banasura Sagar Dam and also shop for some specialties of Wayanad such as spices, coffee, tea, bamboo products, honey and herbal plants. Then proceed to Kozhikkod where you will have a discussion with a top woman activist of Kerala followed by closing dinner.
Day 13: Sat. Jan. 7, 2013 – Kozhikkod-Home
Departure from Kozhikkod (Calicut) Airport - Karipur International Airport about 23 km from Kozhikode to return home.This adventure is suitable for travelers who live an active lifestyle, enjoy good health and mobility, are comfortable participating in 4-6 hours of daily physical activities and sightseeing.
Group size of 10-11
Group size of 14-15
Group size of 20
$3345Price is subject to slight change and based on early 2012 rates.
The price includes
• All confirmations in the program
• Double room accommodations
• Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach as well as transfers for group as appropriate.
• Global Exchange/EcoArts Tour trip representative to accompany the group from through the whole touring period and/or English speaking, tour guide(s) to accompany the group throughout the touring period.
• Preparatory reading materials
• Admission and fees to museums and program activities
• Honoraria for conservation and arts professionals and donations to organizations
• Global Exchange annual membership fee of $35 (this amount is tax deductible)
• Two meals a day
• Philanthropic and carbon offset donations to One Million Lights and Native Energy
The price does NOT include
• Extra baggage fees
• Expenses of a purely personal nature
• Room service charges
• Gratuities to the bellboys, waiters, guide and driver
• Extra Beverages and one meal a day
• Travel Insurance (We strongly advise that each participant arrange for their own travel insurance)
Reserve Your Space
Deposit: A $400 non-refundable deposit (that is included in the total tour cost) and registration forms are required from each tour participant by Sept. 1, 2012. The deposit secures a participant’s reservation.
Application: Fill out this online application and contact Rosalyn at 415-680-3474 if you have any questions.
Final payment: The remaining balance, health and liability forms are due by Oct. 15, 2012.If you plan on attending this tour but need an extension for the payment deadlines, please let us know and we will do our best to work with you on an alternative.