Set in the state of Kerala, often described as “God's Own Country”, this tour will take you through the colonial history of India in the city of Cochin where you can visit the Jewish Synagogue, and the oldest church built by Europeans in India, St. Francis. In this state famed for its natural beauty you will get to visit plantations, see antelope in the wild, cruise the winding backwaters on a house boat and dine on delectable dishes infused with coconut. Here you will even get a chance to visit some of the premier beach resorts in the country and enjoy Ayurvedic spa therapies that will rejuvenate your body and soul.
Arrive at Cochin International Airport, receive assistance upon arrival and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour of Cochin, including sites such as St. Francis Church, the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and the picturesque Chinese fishing nets. Take a relaxing sunset cruise in the harbor this evening followed by a Kathakali dance performance at the cultural center. Stay overnight at the hotel.
PLEASE NOTE: The above rates are calculated based on the local currency (INR) and are subject to change based on exchange rate fluctuations. Your balance payment will be due and payable based on the exchange rate at that time. An option to pay in full and lock in today's exchange rate is also available; please contact us for details.
We use hotels listed in our accommodation section or ones similar to them. Please see the accommodation section to see the list of hotels used.
Your price includes:
Your price does not include:
25% of total tour cost due at the time of booking
75% or balance no later than 68 days prior to tour departure date
(i) 25% of the total tour value if cancelled more than 65 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS
(ii) 100% of the total tour value if cancelled 0-64 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS
The above times are based on local time of the destination where the tour is provided. In order to provide enough time for processing cancellation, guests need to add 3 business days to the above timeframes. An administration fees of 15% on any monies to be refunded to the client will be charged prior to refund.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For information on available plans or to purchase travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.
What is the best time to travel to South India?The best months to travel are between September and June, as July through August is monsoon season.
What are the passport/visa requirements for travel to India?
A passport with validity at least six months beyond your departure from India is required. Also, visas must be obtained prior to arrival in India. If you are a US citizen, please follow this link for details on obtaining an Indian Visa: https://www.indian-visa.com/. If you are not a US citizen, Please visit www.mea.gov.in, click on “Welcome” and then under "MEA Links" at the right, click on "Missions and Posts Abroad" and then click "Consulate Generals". You can then select your appropriate Consulate General office and link directly to its website, where detailed visa information and application forms can be found.
How can I reach Cochin?
Cochin International Airport hosts flights from around the world. You could also fly to Cochin from within India, from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Udaipur or Jaipur.
What is the travel time between each city?Please be aware that on average, it takes one hour to cover 30 to 40kms while traveling through smaller towns and 40 to 50 kms per hour when traveling using highways. Please note that these times are approximate and are subject to change based on road conditions, weather, and the like.
What types of clothing should I bring?
We recommend that you travel as light as possible, as clothing and laundry are both quite inexpensive in India. The best outfit in the summertime is a tee-shirt worn with loose cotton trousers. It is best for women to avoid wearing tank tops or short skirts / shorts. Adventurous ladies can try wearing the Indian “Salwar-Kameez” which is comfortable and free sized.
Where and when are meals taken?
All breakfasts are included in your package and are served at your hotel. Lunches and dinners are usually not included unless specified. During your tour, your tour guide can provide you with names of hotels and restaurants where our guests typically enjoy lunch or dinner. We have tried our best to identify these based on our experiences and that of other travelers since quality and safety of food is an important factor while traveling. You would be able to choose the location depending on the availability and feasibility during your tour.
If I have a specific diet restriction or preference, will you be able to accommodate my request?
All efforts are made to accommodate reasonable diet preferences. We communicate the requests to the hotels and restaurants where you would be eating and your request should generally be honored and ready. However, it is always better to re-coordinate the requirements with your escort/attendant who will be able to ensure the establishments know about your requirements. We also request you to re-inform the establishment about your requirement at the time you go for meals to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.
What type of cuisine is served?
Beef and pork are not served in many parts of India, but good quality vegetarian food is easily available. Curd or yogurt is served with most meals, as it is a natural aid to digestion and helps temper the spicy food. We highly recommend that you drink only bottled water.
Please tell me more about the houseboat.
The houseboat experience is wonderfully unique to the Keralan waterways. The boats, traditionally used by rice farmers, have been converted for your comfort. The three-member crew is there to ensure your safety and enjoyment. The boat is air-conditioned and lantern-lit in the evenings. Mineral water is used for cooking and drinking. Tea and coffee are provided complimentary; you may purchase soft drinks & beer on the boat, or carry your own wine or liquor on board. Please advise us at the time of booking what bed type you would require, if you have any special dietary needs, and if you would like mosquito netting about your beds (i.e. if you will wish to open the windows at night).
What should I expect during the sightseeing tours?Certain temples have dress codes, such as covering your head or going barefoot and/or do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises; please check with your guide beforehand so that you do not unwittingly give offence. Always switch off your mobile phones before entering a place of worship. Photography is not always permitted, and at many places it is permitted only at a fee (still camera and video cameras).
Can you provide a wheelchair if I need assistance on the sightseeing tours?
Wheelchairs must be arranged for at the client’s cost. Please be aware that sightseeing vehicles and many monuments are not fully wheelchair accessible. Therefore, it will be beneficial if the party can stand and walk at least a few steps with assistance for entering/exiting vehicles and maneuvering within certain monuments.
What can I do during my “at leisure” times?
You may utilize the car/driver to explore the city as you wish, within permissible limits. Parking charges and guide services are additional.
Are any monuments/sights closed on particular days?
As some Cochin monuments are closed on Friday and Saturday, we recommend beginning your tour on Sunday through Thursday.
What is the recommended gratuity?In hotels, porters and room service attendants are normally tipped at the end of the stay, though an early tip is likely to get you better service. Standard gratuity for restaurants is around 10%. Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary. For your driver/guide, per day, a tip of $10 for the driver and $5-$10 for the guide is appropriate, but gratuities are solely at your discretion and should reflect your enjoyment of the journey.
What type of currency is recommended?
U.S. Dollars and Indian Rupees are commonly accepted, as well as Thomas Cook or American Express travelers’ checks. In cities you can change major foreign currencies and any brands of travelers' checks. Most big cities have ATMs which accept Visa and MasterCard as well as American Express. The ATM network is ever expanding and in some states, you can find them even in some smaller towns.
What are the standard practices for shopping?Try to shop in government handicraft shops and a few other private shops, as their prices are fixed and the quality is certified. You may also visit some shops run by craftsmen/artisans in the smaller towns, where bargaining is a standard practice and is enjoyed by all.
What are your guidelines on local customs or social interaction?
If you are confronted by beggars, do not let them hassle you and do not encourage them by giving them money. If you are taking a taxi or rickshaw, insist on seeing the latest rate card and pay accordingly, as the fares are constantly changing and do not always conform to readings on the meters. Do not leave your luggage unattended in vehicles; we recommend using lockers at the hotels. Carry your wallet and passport at all times. Public toilet facilities may be few and far between; take every opportunity to use the facilities in hotels and restaurants.
What are the health precautions and recommendations?
Unfortunately, we don't offer Visa assistance but we can provide you with all the information that you need for getting a visa to India
Palace Tours is the official representative in the US for :
Advantage of dealing with Palace Tours
12000 Biscayne Blvd. Suite #107, Miami FL 33181
Toll Free (US & Canada): 800-724-5120