Itinerary & Map
Below is a day-by-day itinerary for “The Coconut Route” Tour. This is how we expect the tour to flow, but as you know…adventure happens! Dive in and get excited!
Day 00: Add-on day
We suggest arriving at least a night before the first day of the tour. This day can be used to get over the jet-lag as well as to acclimatize to India, its climate and conditions. You may purchase our Add-ons package which includes a “meet & greet” at Cochin International Airport (COK), transfers to hotel and accommodation at 3.5* hotel with breakfasts. Also, it makes it easier to join the half-day sightseeing tour of Kochi on DAY 01 as it starts at 0845 hrs from the Kochi hotel. This tour will be conducted by an English speaking guide and includes a short cruise on the harbor as well a walk through the historical Fort Kochi area to visit a few points of interest.
Day 01: Kochi
At start of the tour in Kochi, you shall meet your ride leader as well as the rest of the crew. The 2nd half of the day is reserved for tour briefing & signing of paperwork. If you arrive in Kochi in the early hours of this day or purchase our Add-ons package and are arriving a day or two in advance (which is recommended) you can join a half-day sightseeing tour of Kochi between 0845 hrs and 1400 hrs.
Day 02: Kochi – Athirappilly (80 KM)
After breakfast, you shall proceed to collect your motorcycles from the rental company. From there, you shall head out north of Kochi city. The ride to the small village of Athirappilly will serve as the perfect familiarization ride to get used to your motorcycle and the conditions. Athirappilly is a tiny hamlet bordering the Sholayar forest famous for Kerala’s largest waterfall (at 80 feet height) on the river Chalakkudy which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges. After the visit to the waterfall, you shall have plenty of time to relax or explore the surroundings.
Day 03: Athirappilly – Pollachi (145 KM)
Today’s ride: Following the rivers path, the ride will take you further east and north, through the hills & Idamalayar reserve forest, through the tea & coffee estates of Valparai (ele. 1100 M), winding down hair-pin bends through the Indira Gandhi Wildlife sanctuary to Pollachi (in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu) breaking the journey to our next destination in half. This evening you shall get another opportunity to relax at a very nice resort located in serene countryside surrounded by coconut grove and paddy fields.
Day 04: Pollachi – Kodaikanal (145 KM)
Checking-out after breakfast, today you ride further east through the back-roads around Pollachi towards the town of Palani. From there, a spectacular ride up another set of winding hair-pin bends through the Palani hills the ride will bring to an altitude of 2133 M and to the picturesque hill town of Kodaikanal.
Day 05: Kodaikanal
Modern Kodaikanal was established by American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats in 1845, as a refuge from the high temperatures of the nearby plains. Meaning “The gift of the forest” in the local language (Tamil), Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. The day is yours for relaxing, exploring or sightseeing and Kodaikanal has a lot to offer in that field.
Day 06: Kodaikanal – Munnar (195 KM)
Leaving Kodaikanal, you will be delighted at the opportunity to go down the same winding road towards Palani which you took to get to Kodaikanal. Making an eastwards loop to join the SH 17, you shall be heading back into the state of Kerala. Heading South now, you will be riding through the Annamalai Tiger reserve as well as the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary constantly gaining elevation till you arrive at the other most popular hill town of the region, Munnar. At 1600 M, Munnar offers wonderful views of the lush green surrounding hills covered with tea and spice plantations.
Day 07: Munnar
A hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, Munnar is surrounded by rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the late 19th century. A rest day here shall give you the opportunity to visit a spice plantation as well as tea gardens (& factory).
Day 08: Munnar – Thekkady (via Vagamon, 200 KM)
Today’s ride offers great variety and excitement. Instead of taking a direct route, you will be taking a few back roads and village roads through the scenic landscape of Kerala. Heading south out of Munnar, you will be cutting across the Idukki district to Vagamon, a scenic town with landscape which is mostly bald-green hilly meadows. From there, more district roads through small Keralan villages will bring you to Thekkady, a village on the edge of the Periyar lake and the national park.
Day 09: Thekkady
Another spectacular spot for a rest day. Your resort offers unparalleled views of Thekkady’s dazzling sunrises either from the comfort of your room or the viewing deck. The region around Thekkady is famous for it’s Spice plantations and you shall be visiting one for a guided/walking tour. And you will also not want to miss the evening show of Kerala’s own martial arts “Kalaripayattu”.
Day 10: Thekkady – Varkala (205 KM)
After a few days in the hills it’s time to head down to the coast. Yes, today you ride down the Western ghats all the way to the coast of the Arabian sea, to the small beach resort destination of Varkala.
Day 11: Varkala (Beach Resort)
Situated on top of a cliff adjacent to the small beach, Varkala is a popular beach destination for tourists. The setting of Varkala beach is striking enough to take your breath away, with a long winding stretch of cliff that extends over the Arabian Sea. A paved footpath runs along the length of the cliff, bordered by coconut palms, quaint shops, beach shacks, hotels, and guest houses. Nestled at the bottom of the cliff is a long stretch of sparkling beach and steps lead down from the cliff top. A day here will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beach, walk along the cliff path and shop for souvenirs or relax at your resort and indulge in some “ayurveda” spa treatments Kerala is famous for.
Day 12: Varkalai – Alappuzha (140 KM)
Heading northwards now, today’s ride takes you through the low-lying regions of Kerala, through the numerous paddy fields and coconut groves to the historic town of Alappuzha. The name refers to the network of waterways and backwaters that Alappuzha and surrounding areas are famous for. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the “Venice of the East” by Lord Curzon (Viceroy of British India, from 1899 to 1905). Your resort for 2 nights is on the banks of the huge Vembanad lake (at the heart of Kerala’s backwater tourism).
Day 13: Alappuzha (Backwaters)
Alappuzha (sometimes still referred to as Alleppey) has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is the houseboat cruise. The houseboats you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times. Kettuvallam is a Malayalam word, ‘Kettu’, refers to dwelling structures and ‘Vallom’ means boat. In the olden days, kettuvallam or boat with thatched roof that covers over wooden hulls was used to carry tons of rice and spices. Today, you will be taking an afternoon cruise in such a houseboat, designed to cater to tourists requirements. Tea & light snacks will be served on the boat as it meanders through the scenic backwaters at a slow pace.
Day 14: Alappuzha – Kochi (70 KM)
Heading north from Alappuzha, the last ride of the tour will bring you back to Kochi. After returning the bikes to the rental place you will return to the hotel in Kochi, which shall be the end of the tour. You may choose to fly back home the same evening or spend another night (add-on) at Kochi and leave next day.
*Distances measured are approximate Odometer readings. Actual / Sat Nav figures can be different.
Click on the map below for higher resolution.
- 13 nights accommodation* (Double or twin-bedded rooms)
- English-speaking ride leader & support crew
- Breakfast & Dinners
- Experienced motorcycle mechanics
- Royal Enfield rental motorcycle (including fuel)
- Local sight-seeing (at selected locations)
- Comfortable support vehicle with driver (for luggage, gear & occasional passengers)
- Transfers from/to airport (if you purchase add-on accommodation at Kochi)
The regular price of the tour is per person on the basis of twin-share accommodation. “Twin Share” means sharing either a “double bedded” OR a “twin bedded” room with either your companion (wife, husband, partner, friend etc.) or another member of the tour of the same sex (as assigned by us). However, an unaccompanied participant’s “twin-share “ booking is accepted only on the condition that if no roommate is available, the participant accepts that a single accommodation price be charged over and above the tour price.
SINGLE ACCOMMODATION: If you don’t want to share a room you can purchase a single accommodation supplement (approx. price AU$ 975). In fact, we recommend booking a “single” accommodation if you’re a very light sleeper or a loud snorer yourself. However, Single Accommodation is subject to availability, so check with us and book early.
We also reserve the right to impose a “single accommodation” price on a participant, like a minor participant or an unaccompanied participant, if he/she cannot be accommodated with another member of the tour due to any reason(s).
If you have concerns regarding the standard of accommodation on our tours, we’d like to assure you that our selection of hotels will not disappoint you. In fact, if you read just a few of our TripAdvisor reviews of Kerala tours you’ll see that most of our previous customers have made a mention about it; some calling it “fab” and some “excellent (beyond expectations)”. The reason for that is that we have carefully selected (and fine tuned) a good mix of heritage & modern hotels (which have a good balance between the old charm and modern travelers needs). Some have been chosen for convenience, some for their spectacular location and some just to give you a taste of Kerala’s “luxury” resorts without sending our tour prices “through the roof”. The reason we don’t share photos here is to keep the surprise element. Nonetheless, we’ve provided a small “glimpse” of it on one of our Gallery webpage (scroll down to “Kerala Accommodation” slide) as evidence 🙂
What To Pack
Please note: On all our tours the space on the support vehicles is limited. Hence, we request that you limit your baggage to 25 KG.
- Driver’s license*
- International Driving Permit
- Travel insurance**
- Protective Riding Gloves
- Riding boots
- Riding jacket & pants (summer mesh jackets will be most suited)
- Riding goggles
- Eye drops
- Insect repellent
- Sunglasses & Hat
- a fleece/pullover/ warm jacket
- Ear Plugs
*Full and valid for min 411cc motorcycle
**Must cover riding motorcycle overseas for leisure
Tours start and end in Kochi (Coastal tropical weather is warm & humid). Daytime temperatures on the tours will be in the high twenties (hovering around low 30’s in the coastal plains). However, the temperature can plunge in the late night/early mornings at the hill stations (sometimes even below 10°C). Hence, it will be a good idea to bring a fleece/pullover/ warm jacket for the evenings.
We don’t expect to be troubled by rain during these times of the year. Although a thunder shower is always a possibility in the tropics, since the air is warm you’d dry off in the wind quite easily. Nonetheless, if you have spare room in your luggage, you may bring some rain gear to be safe.
The following vaccinations are recommended for your trip to India* (if visiting for less than 5 months):
- Hepatitis A
- Japanese Encephalitis, Poliomyelitis
Please ensure you are also up to date with routine vaccinations such as:
- Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
- Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT)
- Rotavirus (for children)
If you are arriving from the following countries it is required for you to have the Yellow Fever vaccine:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Cote d’lvoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- French Guiana
*This is a general guide. Please consult your doctor for country specific medical advice.
Telephone: Country code is 91 Mobile phone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is limited to major towns. Internet: Wi-Fi is available in most hotels and cafes. Post: Airmail service to U.S and Western Europe takes up to two weeks.
Visas & Documents
When travelling to India you will need the following documents:
- Passport (valid at least 6 months past the intended period of stay)
- Indian Tourist Visa
Indian Tourist Visa Travelers should apply for a tourist e-visa before they visit India. Processing time is generally between 36-48 hours, you can apply for an e-Visa here. These are single/multiple entry visa’s that are valid for a 30/60-day stay. To see if you are eligible for a tourist e-visa visit this website.
Your adventure starts now! Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.
What happens then?
We’ll get back to you within a couple of days with a registration form and a full list of T’s & C’s. Once you’ve submitted the completed registration form we’ll send you an Invoice of the tours/services opted by you. If the tour start date is more than 3 months away, a 25% advance payment will secure your spot on the tour.
To pay for your tour, we only accept Bank telegraphic (wire) transfer.
It’s our preferred option because it’s safe, transparent & cheap. While it may seem like outdated technology where you’re from, it’s still standard business practice here. Transfer of funds takes place from your bank account directly to our bank account (with reasonable commissions or charges levied by the banks).
Our T’s & C’s document details more info about our payment policy, but if you’ve got questions about ‘wiring’ money please don’t hesitate to contact us or your bank.
I’ve paid, now what?
We’ll send you an email with confirmation, a receipt, and everything else you need to know – so you can get ready for new experiences, with new friends, in foreign lands!
The open road beckons. See you at the airport.
The fine print
Booking shall be subject to availability & eligibility. Your booking is confirmed after deposit is received as per the terms & conditions. Your privacy is protected and we agree not to share the information provided with third parties for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, unless legally required.
The price of the tour is per person on the basis of twin-share accommodation. “Twin Share” means sharing a “double bed” or a “twin bed” room with your companion, or another member of the tour of the same gender.
If you don’t want to share a room you can purchase a single accommodation add-on. Single Accommodation is subject to availability. On the Himalayan Tours, it cannot be guaranteed at locations where we stay in “tented camps” as the availability of such accommodation is scarce during the high season.
We reserve the right to impose a “single accommodation” price on a participant, like a minor participant or an unaccompanied participant, if he/she cannot be accommodated with another member of the tour due to any reason(s).
To participate as a rider an individual has to be an adult above the age of 18 years at the time of the tour, holding a valid full motorcycle driving license authorizing him/her to ride a 411/500cc motorcycle and in sufficiently good health to undertake a motorcycle journey without any pre-existing medical condition(s) which may be detrimental to the participants health & safety. To participate as a co-rider on the pillion an individual has to be above the age of 12 years.
Further details will be available for your perusal in the terms & conditions appended to the tour registration form.