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Participant Concept

Small Group Explorations:

A Visit Beyond Small Group Exploration normally has no more than 2-5 people. It is not a
group tour in a big tour bus and expect therefore that you might only be 2 on the tour. And
being few, you can go places less travelled. Small group explorations bring you closer to
local life, increase flexibility and take you beyond the ordinary.

Shared Group Experiences:

A Shared Groups Experience normally has more than 2 participants in the group, but expect up
to at least 12. Most likely, you will therefore share your experience with others. Most
shared group experiences have fixed departure days so please check the booking calendar to
reserve your preferred day.
 

House boat & beach tour


Option :  

Kerala is an enchantingly beautiful place flanked by the Western Ghats on one side, the Arabian Sea on the other, and strewn with rivers, lagoons, backwaters and rich vegetation in between. Lush green coconut groves, sunny beaches and meandering backwaters have made Kerala one of the most visited regions in the country. With boats standing in the harbour, roaming through the palm fringed backwaters and many other activities provide superb view of Kerala on a clear day.

Description
Trip length:
7 Day(s) 6 Night(s)
Unique Experience:
● Colonial Charm, lush green coconut groves, sunny beaches and meandering backwaters – all in one!
● Take in Cochin and that special colonial charm of the city when visiting the Dutch Palace and observing the Chinese fishing nets
● Discover life and culture at the backwaters when passing small villages and experience the locals fishing in the area
● Kick back and relax on Varkala Beach – the perfect hideaway
Locations Visited:
● Cochin
● Varkala
● Alleppey
● Houseboat
Please see itinerary for more locations
Start City:
Cochin
End City:
Cochin
Physical rate:
Type of transportation:
AC car and Houseboat
Type of Accommodation:
Budget: Guest House in standard room with private bathroom – 1 star hotel or similar
Comfort: Deluxe/Standard room with private bathroom – 3 star hotel or similar

Tour departure day(s):
Evey day
Participants:
Small Group Exploration
Minimum 1* and maximum 8 participants

*Note that it is possible to book 1 person, but price is higher and we cannot guarantee more participants on the tour.
Children Policy:
Child age: Up to and including 6 years of age.
Child price: 1 child is free of charge if sharing bed with parents. Children aged over 6 years will be treated as adult.
Included in Price:
Accommodation: In hotels of your choice of “Budget” or “Comfort” (see “Rates” and “Type of Accommodation”)
Meals: 6 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and 1 dinner
Transport: AC car w/road taxes and parking fees
Guide: Chauffeur who speaks basic English only
Excluded From Price:
● Meals other than the one mentioned in “Included in the price”.
● Visas, travel insurance (compulsory)
● Entry fees at the monuments
● Personal guide for the whole trip
All other expenses not stated as included in the above.
Travel season:
Throughout the year - Kerala experiences pleasant weather throughout the year. The best time to visit Kerala is in the months October to March, which is also the peak season for Kerala visits. June to August is the time for Monsoon.
Essential to bring:
-

Day 1: Cochin
Arrive in Cochin. Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be meet and transferred to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2: Cochin

After breakfast, you will proceed for the city tour, visit Jewish synagogue, St. Francis church -The oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent. The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed and were send to Lisbon. Dutch palace built by the Portuguese and presented to Veera Kerala Varma (1537-65), Raja of Kochi, in 1555 AD. The Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace in 1663, and thereafter it was popularly called Dutch Palace.
Later visit Chinese fishing nets and by noon board a boat for a small backwater cruise. Overnight in Cochin. Over night at hotel in Cochin.

Day 3: Cochin - Alleppey

After breakfast, you will check out from hotel at 10 a . m. and proceed to Alleppey (2 hours) to board the Houseboat. Cruise through the most enchanting backwaters in Asia, while food will be served on board. Overnight in Houseboat.

Day 4: Alleppey - Varkala

After breakfast check out from the Houseboat and proceed to Varkala beach (130 kms – 3 hours). Check into a beach resort. Rest of the day free to relax. Overnight in Beach resort.

Day 5: Varkala

Today you will enjoy your day on beach. Overnight in Beach resort.

Day 6: Varkala

Today you will enjoy your day on beach. Overnight in Beach resort.

Day 7: Varkala - Cochin Airport

Today after breakfast, you will check out and proceed to the Cochin airport (200km – 5 hours)/ or proceed on your next destination on your own.

Index of notes:

Emergency Contact - Emergency Funds - Additional Expenditures - Tipping - Weather and Unpredictables - Meals - Group Leaders and Guides - Arrival - What to bring - Checklist - Visas - Laundry - Share Your Trip - Respectful Dress - Money, Dough, Loot & Booty - Departure Tax - Communications - Expect the Unexpected - Health & Fitness - Travel Insurance - Your Travel Buddies - Responsible Travel - The law and "the man"

Emergency Contact

In the event of a genuine crisis or emergency, Visit Beyond’s India Office can be reached on Mobile - 0091 93101 40833, 98181 61194. For further contact details please use the following page: http://www.visitbeyond.com/top-menu/contact-us

Emergency Funds

We advise that you keep INR 5,000 for unforeseen incidents and circumstances beyond our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, etc.).

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Additional Expenditures

Take into account your personal spending habits when deciding how much money to bring. How much will you drink and party? How many souvenirs to you intend to bring? How many gifts? Remember to include tips in your calculations. (See below.)

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Tipping

Visit Beyond employs local guides who greatly appreciate recognition of services rendered. Tipping about INR 200 per day (if you are happy with the service for a one time day sight seeing) is appropriate, but not compulsory. We suggest INR 50 per day for porters (if applicable). For drivers who render services for several days in a row, INR 100 per day is appropriate. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

At small restaurants you may want to round up to the nearest INR 20. At upscale restaurants, a tip of 5 to 10% is appreciated. (Note that upscale restaurants often levy a 10% service charge on the bill. Additional tipping is at your discretion.

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Weather and Unpredictables

Visit Beyond operates trips in India throughout the year—including the rainy season—and changes may result from inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. We reserve the right to change the itinerary according to such circumstances as we see fit to ensure the best experience for our customers.

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Meals

Meals in India - Breakfasts are often simple (eggs, bread, butter and jam, coffee/tea would be most common). This is mostly accompanied with Indian breakfast dishes. For lunch and dinners, if you are new to Indian food then the easiest is to order some curries/cooked vegetables/gravies with Indian breads and rice.

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Group Leaders and Guides

Visit Beyond will often provide experienced, local, English-speaking guides who know the destination and region well. Kindly note that it is sometimes necessary to change the guide at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Your guide is there for you. He will offer recommendations, history, useful phrases and more. We encourage you to ask questions. At Visit Beyond we aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit.

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Arrival

If you have booked an arrival package then you can expect a Visit Beyond representative waiting for you at the airport. If you cannot locate your tour leader at the airport, please contact Visit Beyond at Mobile - 0091 93101 40833, 98181 61194. Office Phone - 0091 11 2353 9018, 2353 5231

Visit Beyond does not offer refunds for missed transfers due to a change in flight or delays. Any additional cost you may incur to meet with your group is at your own expense.

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What to bring

Pack according to the tour you have chosen. If you’re going trekking, bring appropriate shoes; if you’re going diving, bring your suit, etc. Visit Beyond encourages you to pack only necessities. Although there are some tours and trips in which you can leave your luggage behind for a day’s excursion, we generally require you to carry your own gear. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to pack in a backpack with straps and back support and a smaller daypack. We strongly discourage traditional luggage!

Responsible travel (see below) dictates that we respect local cultures. Bring a camera and take pictures and video, but never intrude on people’s lives.

See our checklist below for more specifics.

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Checklist

This checklist is intended as a reference guide; it is not a complete packing list. Always keep in mind weight restrictions according to your airline of choice.

Travel documents: Passport and visas, travel insurance documents, tickets, Visit Beyond vouchers (if any).

Money: Cash, credit card, money pouch.

Day pack: First-aid kit, medication/prescriptions (consider carrying a doctor’s letter if you require a large amount of medication), sunscreen, refillable water bottle and purification tablets, flashlight, insect repellent, hat and sunglasses, traveler’s diarrhea tablets, prescription glasses, contact lenses and solution, earplugs, playing cards, phrasebook.

Large pack: Alarm clock, international outlet adapter, swimsuit, lightweight towel, eye mask, comfortable walking shoes, raincoat, umbrella, waterproof jacket, outdoor sandals with good grip, waterproof bags for the rainy season, appropriate clothes for temples and religious sites.

And, of course, your camera, film or memory cards and spare batteries!

Please also check our online checklist for this tour.

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Visas

Tourist visa needed for traveling around in India.

For more information on Visa for Danes refer to http://www.indian-embassy.dk/mainPages/home.asp

For more information on Visa for Dutch nationals refer to

http://www.indianembassy.nl/page181000.htm

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Laundry

Some hotels offer laundry services for an additional charge. You can find additional laundry services in all major cities. If you choose to do your own laundry, kindly use non-polluting and biodegradable soap.

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Share Your Trip

Go on, show off a little! Share your pictures on our Facebook page. We occasionally hold contests for those who provide the best shots, so stay on the look-out and you could win a free trip!

Respectful Dress

Remember that styles of dress are generally conservative throughout Asia. This is especially true outside major cities. Visit Beyond therefore strongly recommends modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Avoid tank tops on the beach and never sunbathe topless. Men and women alike are often required to wear trousers that cover the legs in temples and religious sites.

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Money, Dough, Loot & Booty

We recommend withdrawing money from ATMs, which are widely available throughout India. This has the advantage of keeping your money safe in the bank; not vulnerable in your back pocket. Remember to bring your bank’s emergency contact details in the event that your card is stolen. In addition, notify your bank of your travels before you depart, as banks often place a temporary hold on cards due to transactions in foreign countries or other suspicious activities.

Visit Beyond does not recommend traveler’s cheques. Exchanging them can be a lengthy process and can pose difficulties due to banking hours and holidays. In addition to a commission, unfavorable exchange rates often apply to traveler’s cheques. If you insist on bringing traveler’s cheques then purchase them with a major brand like American Express and strong currency like US Dollars. Old cheques are rarely, if ever, accepted.

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Departure Tax

There is no departure tax at Indira Gandhi International Airport at the present time. This is subject to change without notice and Visit Beyond is not liable for unexpected charges levied on departing tourists.

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Communications

The most reliable method of communication during your travels will be email. Although Internet access is widely available in India, we do visit areas of the country for several days at a time in which Internet access is limited or unavailable. Please take this into account when planning your trip.
It is a good idea to leave your booking agent’s contact details or Visit Beyond’s contact information with friends or family in your home country in case of emergencies. We do not recommend that you leave friends and family with your hotel details because there is no guarantee that hotel staff speaks English. Facebook is another handy tool to keep in touch.
 Always register with your country’s embassy in India and provide details of your itinerary in order to make yourself available in the event of an emergency.

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Expect the Unexpected

Visit Beyond, as the name implies, brings you places that are beyond the well-worn tourist path. Out here, things sometimes go wrong and if they do, it is imperative that you tell your guide, tour leader or Driver immediately. They are best suited to help however they can. If this does not suffice, your Driver will contact our manager.

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Health & Fitness

There are no health requirements for this trip. However, to get the most out of your trip, all travelers should be in good physical health. You should consult your doctor or physician before leaving your home country and you should honestly assess your ability to complete your vacation based on the detailed Visit Beyond trip itinerary. In general, the more you physically prepare for the trip, the more you will enjoy it. We sometimes walk at altitude and some treks are very demanding. Expect hilly terrain and extreme temperatures. Visit Beyond and its guides reserve the right to exclude a participant without refund if said traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to him/herself or to the group.

Small and very handy first aid kits should be readily available in your home country. We recommend you purchase a kit before departure along with any personal medication you may require. Read the trip itinerary closely and bring medicine accordingly, as many trips entail travel on long, windy roads and require that you eat local food. Do not rely on trip leaders or guides, as they are legally prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache medicine and antibiotics.

Visit Beyond is well aware of the health risks of bird flu and SARS. Therefore, Visit Beyond reserves the right to make unannounced changes to all itineraries in the very unlikely occurrence of an outbreak of bird flu, SARS or other disease. Please contact us at india@visitbeyond.com should you require any clarification.

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Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is obligatory to join a Visit Beyond trip. We recommend Gouda Travel Insurance for our European customers.

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Your Travel Buddies

Traveling in a group can be a very positive experience. You are likely to find that your travel buddies hail from all over the world. Therefore, you will get the double pleasure of experiencing a new part of the world and new friends to enjoy it with. In order to get the most out of your trip, each traveler must respect every member of the group, arrive on time according to the trip itinerary, and practice patience with one another. These are your responsibilities as a member of a group and we expect each member to follow them. For reasons of privacy, Visit Beyond will not provide personal information or contact details of your fellow travelers prior to departure.

Solo Travelers

Visit Beyond trips most often provide double room accommodation. A single supplement charge is levied for solo travelers. This applies only to accommodation during the tour. This tour can be arranged individually for solo travelers.

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Responsible Travel

Traveling responsibly is a pillar of the Visit Beyond philosophy. To us, it means two things: respect for the environment and respect for local cultures. We practice low-impact tourism and make every effort to preserve the environment. We refuse to treat local people as mere photo-ops and insist that you engage with locals as human beings. You will have a better trip for it. Please refer to our Responsible Travel page for further details and suggestions for responsible travel.

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The law and "the man"

Visit Beyond does not tolerate illegal drugs nor do we tolerate visiting prostitutes. Both of these may be common among certain communities we visit but they are illegal nonetheless. Engaging in such activities puts you and your group at serious risk. Possession of illegal drugs is a crime punishable by death in India. Visit Beyond and group leaders reserve the right to immediately expel from the group anyone engaging in these activities.

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Disclaimer

This itinerary is an accurate account of your trip. Please note, however, that we regularly update each trip according to customer recommendations and changes on the ground. Varying conditions and unforeseen circumstances may alter this itinerary, which does not represent a contract between Visit Beyond and its customers. As your trip approaches, we recommend you check visitbeyond.com for the most accurate and up-to-date itinerary.

Adventure trips, trekking, hiking, and water activities including swimming, snorkeling and diving are done at your own risk. Visit Beyond recommends purchasing travel insurance before leaving your home country. We can recommend Gouda travel insurance for our European customers.

We reserve the right to make changes without prior notice.

 
 
 

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