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Tamil Nadu

Bus & minivan tours

Our most recommended Tamil Nadu Bus & Minivan Tours

Cochin: Half-Day Backwater Village Boat Cruise with Lunch

1. Cochin: Half-Day Backwater Village Boat Cruise with Lunch

Discover the famous backwater canals of Kerala on a half-day tour from Fort Cochin, and immerse yourself in a quiet way of life, far from the pressures of big city life. The tour starts with a pickup from a meeting point in Fort Cochin at 8:30 AM. Drive to a village just outside Cochin City to board a traditional covered country boat. The boats have a capacity for about 20 people, allowing for an intimate experience while enjoying the serenity of the landscape. Your guide will paddle you through the sumptuous vegetation, stopping at a village to see coconut palm weaving and coir making. Then, savor a vegetarian lunch and later, a transfer to Fort Cochin. Arrive back at the meeting point at around 3:00 PM.

Kerala: 4-Day Tour with Tree House Stay & Houseboat Ride

2. Kerala: 4-Day Tour with Tree House Stay & Houseboat Ride

Day 1: Arrive Cochin – Munnar by Road [135 kms / 4 hours] On your arrival in Cochin your driver will pick you up from Cochin airport or your other pre-arranged meeting point. Take a scenic drive to Hill Station in Munnar where you will enjoy your tree house stay. Check-in at the treehouse and take in the beautiful forest scenery. In the afternoon you will have the chance to do some sightseeing at major tourist hotspots such as: Eravikulam National park, Tea Museum, Mettupatty and Echo Point. You will have the evening to do your own exploring before you spend the night in your treehouse room which is fitted with modern amenities.  Day 2: Munnar – Thekkady by Road [95 kms / approx. 3 hours] After a delicious breakfast, head towards Thekkady in an air-conditioned car with your driver. You will be taken to your accomodation upon reaching the destination. From your accomodation you will be taken to some of the most important sightseeing locations in the area, such as: Thekkady Lake, Periyar Tiger reserve, Vandanmedu, Plantations (tea, coffee, etc), Pullumadu, etc. Enjoy a relaxing evening as you ride a boat in the tranquility of Periyar Lake. After this you will be directed back to the hotel in Thekkady for an overnight stay. Day 3: Thekkady – Alleppey by Road [135 kms / approx. 4 hours] After breakfast you will be ready to leave for Alleppey, taken by your chauffeur in an air-conditioned car. You will be taken to your houseboat upon reaching Alleppey. Board your houseboat fitted with all modern facilities and enjoy an overnight ride gliding along the backwater toward your next destination, Kumarkom. All meals will be cooked and served on board. Enjoy an amazing meal and relax onboard for the rest of the evening.  Day 4: Kumarakom – Cochin [55 kms / approx. 1 ½ hours] – Departure Wake up to a delicious breakfast on board in Kumarkom. Kumarkom is where you will deboard the houseboat. Your driver will be present to receive and take you to Cochin city. Cochin also called Kochi, is a major port city of Kerala with a surreal mix of English, Dutch and Portuguese architectures. Enjoy the day sightseeing and visiting: Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Marine Drive, Bolgatty Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue and Chinese Fishing Nets. Your tour will finish after the city tour of Cochin and you will be safely dropped at the Cochin airport or other pre-arranged drop-off point.

Munnar Private Day Trip

3. Munnar Private Day Trip

After an early morning pick-up from your Kochi hotel, travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for about 4 hours to Munnar. En route to Munnar, stop to see the Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls, and take a break for breakfast. Your local guide will meet you in Munnar to start the tour. Munnar is a hill station that is known for its vast tea plantations and natural beauty. It was once a favorite summer retreat for British colonials. Start your tour by visiting Mattupetty Dam and a tea museum, then take a short walk through the tea plantations. There will be a break for lunch before heading back to your hotel in Kochi, with a stop at a spice plantation along the way.

Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

4. Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. Starting in Chennai, you'll be transported to Mahabalipuram, famous for its splendid 7th and 8th-century art and architecture, especially its stone carvings. You will start your tour by visiting the magnificent 7th-century Shore Temple which is surrounded by lush gardens. In addition, you’ll also visit the 7th-century Five Rathas shrine, also known as Pancha Rathas. After visiting Mahabalipuram you'll stop to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known as the "golden city of a thousand temples" and is also one of the 7 sacred cities of India. The city has some grand and majestic buildings that reflect the architectural experiments undertaken by different dynasties ruling the city over the centuries. Visit historic spots like the Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamaskhi Amman Temple and Ekambareswara Temple. All of these are excellent specimens of the architectural splendor of the medieval period.   

Cochin: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion

5. Cochin: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion

Explore the historic city of Cochin and the backwaters of Kerala on a full-day private tour, customized to your preferences. Following a pick-up at your city center hotel, or from the cruise ship terminal, relax in your chauffeur-driven transport as you investigate the heritage of one of India’s most enchanting areas. Drive to a local vegetable and spice market to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the city and see locals going about their business. Marvel at the scents of the spices and the bustle of the market. Enjoy a backwater cruise of Kerala’s canals, gliding along a narrow waterway surrounded by tropical vegetation and traditional fishing nets. After lunch at a Vedic village resort, climb aboard a tuk tuk for a short 3 mile (5 kilometer) tour to the Bhadra Kali Temple. Then, it’s time for a tour of Cochin city center. See heritage monuments, such as the small church of St. Francis. Originally built in 1503, it is the oldest European church in India and once contained the remains of the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama before they were removed to Lisbon. You will also wander the first Jewish settlement of India, visiting the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. If there are any Hindu temple village festivals at the time of your visit, arrangements can be made to see caparisoned elephants and tours can be further customized to accommodate.

Cochin: Private Heritage and Backwaters Houseboat Tour

6. Cochin: Private Heritage and Backwaters Houseboat Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel in Cochin or Cochin Cruise Port ships berth before beginning a 1.5-hour transfer to Alleppey to board your houseboat. You will then begin your journey, cruising slowly through the backwaters and village areas to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and more. There will be 3 staff members to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as you could wish for. Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is located between the Arabian Sea and the web of rivers flowing into it. In the early 20th century, the Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon, was so mesmerized by the scenic beauty that he declared that Alleppey was the “Venice of the East.” You can enjoy a lunch of Keralan cuisine on the houseboat, before later transferring to Fort Kochi to visit the famous Chinese nets, St. Francis Church and Dhobi Khana. Your tour will then conclude as you are driven back to your hotel in Cochin, or to the Cochin Port.

From Cochin: Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Sightseeing Tour

7. From Cochin: Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Sightseeing Tour

See the Chinese fishing nets introduced in Kochi by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in the 14th century. See also the 16th-century St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the burial place of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Next on the 4-hour shore excursion is Santa Cruz Basilica. Admire the interior decorated with frescoes, murals, and paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. Visit the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese. See murals with scenes from Hindu tales. Next door is the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the brass pulpit, glass chandelier, and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles.

Kochi: Full-Day Mein Schiff Special Shore Excursion

8. Kochi: Full-Day Mein Schiff Special Shore Excursion

Board a traditional houseboat on Kerala’s backwaters, and savor an on-board buffet lunch as you sail by palm groves, villages and fields. Afterward, tour colonial era Fort Kochi, seeing the Chinese nets, St. Francis Church and more. Meet your guide at the portside. Then, travel by comfortable, air-conditioned coach through Kerala’s countryside to Alleppey (Alappuzha), the main gateway to the area’s inland rivers and canals. After roughly an hour and 45 minutes on the road, arrive at a waterway where your charming wooden and bamboo houseboat awaits you. Step aboard the traditionally built craft, find a spot on deck and drink in the scenery as you cruise the placid waters past paddy fields, coconut groves and rustic villages. Savor a delicious Keralan buffet lunch as you sail, enjoying dishes like fish, chicken, vegetables and rice against the rolling backdrop of the greenery. After about 2.5-hours on the water, disembark and return to Kochi for a tour of Fort Kochi, the city’s waterfront colonial era quarter. View the Chinese nets as you discover their exotic history, admire St. Francis Church, India’s oldest European church, and the impressive 19th century Santa Cruz Basilica, standing on the site of the original Portuguese built cathedral. Your shore excursion then finish with a port drop-off at about 17:00.

From Cochin: Athirappilly Waterfall Excursion with Lunch

9. From Cochin: Athirappilly Waterfall Excursion with Lunch

In the morning after breakfast your driver will pick you up from your hotel between 08:00 – 08:30 am and you will take morning drive to Athirappilly. Athirappilly is a scintillating waterfall over 80 feet high. This breath-taking waterfall joins the river Chalakudy. Chalakudy, is 5 km away from the hill station Valparai which is famous for its serene tea-estate. On arrival to Athirappilly enjoy the scenic views and enjoy lunch in luxury resort or restaurant. After lunch you will be taken to another waterfall called the Vazhachal waterfall. The Vazhachal waterfall is also a part of the Chalakudy river and you will witness a wide variety of colorful flora and herbal plantation. This plantation is maintained by the forest department. Talking of forests, this breath-taking waterfall is situated amidst the lustrous green forest. After a heartfelt trip to the Athirappilly and spending the whole day amongst the waterfalls, go back to your Cochin Hotel in the evening.

Backwater Houseboat and Fort Kochi Tour from Cochin Port

10. Backwater Houseboat and Fort Kochi Tour from Cochin Port

Benefit from pickup at the cruise ship docks at Cochin Port, and journey on the road to board a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala (approx 1 hour and 45 minutes). Cruise slowly through the hidden backwaters of Alappuzha (also known as "Alleppey"), considered the hub of the state's backwaters and home to a vast network of waterways and boats. Venture through village areas and the landscape of the Laccadive Sea to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and much more. There will be 3 staff members along with your guide to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as possible. Enjoy a lunch of Keralan cuisine as you gently navigate the waterways, which includes rice, vegetable dishes, fish, chicken, and more. End your houseboat cruise and later journey to the serene Fort Kochi area. Marvel at the Cheena vala (Chinese fishing nets) in the Arabian Sea, and see other attractions of the region. Then, benefit from drop-off back at your cruise ship in Cochin Port.

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What people are saying about Tamil Nadu

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 3 reviews

My wife and I were in Kochi for only a few days and we are so glad that we were able to do this tour! A taxi picked us up from our hotel in Fort Kochi and brought us south to where the boat launched from. During the boat cruise we learned about the local economy, life in the villages, and how the boats work. We even got to try our hand at rowing the boat with a huge bamboo stick. The team also cut down two coconuts, chopped them open, and gave us straws to drink the fresh juice. The morning finished off with a very good and authentic meal in a village home and then the driver took us back to our hotel. Can't recommend this tour enough!

This was an incredible way of exploring the backwaters of Karela In a slow, relaxing and authentic way. Great guides and people running this, had a great experience!

A wonderfully relaxing experience, topped off with a delicious lunch. The guide was very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna.

Enjoyed this houseboat tour. Be prepared for a 2 hour ride each way. Interesting to see the communities. It is a long ride but worth it

A nice trip. Very gentle. See lots of birds and visiting the family to learn to weave mats was interesting