India
India

Kerala Mountains, Wildlife & Beaches

The Kerala Mountains, Wildlife & Beaches motorcycle tour offers a dramatic contrast to our other Indian tours, and a great winter touring option. Kerala lies at the southern tip of India and offers some very dramatic riding with its truly un-spoilt beaches, spectacular mountain rides and wildlife. Unlike the mass tourism of Goa, Kerala offers empty roads, glorious scenery, highly rated hotels and a friendly welcome.

Highlights

— Witness the captivating Munnar tea plantations
— Visit the wonderful Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
— Enjoy riding along mountain switchbacks
— Search for tigers in the jungles of Masinagudi

  • Day 1

    Cochin/Alleppey

    On arrival in Cochin you will be transferred to your hotel by the beach in Alleppey. Here you can unwind and enjoy some R&R by the pool. Then you have an introductory meeting to get to know the other riders and your bike, hopefully with time for a short ride. Finish off the day with a welcome dinner and some beers.

    Day 2

    Alleppey (free day)

    A leisurely breakfast sets the scene for a relaxing day. You can go for an exploratory ride along the coast, past mission churches, unspoilt fishing villages, backwaters, lighthouses and beaches shrouded by endless palm trees. After this you should be starting to adjust to the pace of life here. And if you haven’t quite chilled out enough, book a massage, go to a yoga or cookery class, or grab a hammock and relax!

    Day 3

    Alleppey – Kumily (200 km)

    Cross the backwaters before ascending through the rubber and tea plantations of the Cardamom Hills. Climb on largely empty, well-surfaced roads until you reach the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. This route is untrodden and you’ll journey through 100 km of the sanctuary. There is an abundance of wildlife and flora including elephants and even tigers, although they keep themselves well-hidden usually. And no traffic!

    Day 4

    Kumily (free day)

    Today is a free day, so you can decide what you want to do. If you would like, there is an early 6 am start to take the Periyar Lake boat trip to see the wild elephants, or you can get up a little later and just stroll around the town, take in the sights, do some spice shopping and enjoy the atmosphere.

    Day 5

    Kumily – Kodaikanal (150 km)

    Drop down to the plains again on some very good roads and stop for a traditional Tamil lunch at the foot of the Palani Hills. Head off in the heat of the day, but temperatures soon drop as you ride up to the hill station of Kodaikanal at 2000 m in just 30 miles. If there’s time, you can take the bike around the paths of the summit, explore on foot, hire a boat on the lake in town, or just enjoy the local dairy products.

    Day 6

    Kodaikanal – Munnar (165 km)

    A mid-morning start gives you time to cruise back down, stop for lunch at a restaurant at the foot of the Palani Hills. Then ride across the plains for about an hour, before climbing again through 17 hairpin bends and the start of a road of never-ending tea plantations. After stopping for tea on the edge of the Tata tea estate, the world’s largest, with a lovely view over Devikulam Lake, carry on to the hill station of Munnar.

    Day 7

    Munnar (free day)

    A chance to explore the delights of Munnar. Search for the Nilgiri Tahr, a rare mountain goat, or many other species of wildlife as about 2000 animals live in the ranges below the Anamudi Peak, the highest in southern India. You can ride the beautiful road down to Marayoor, or to the Mattupetty Dam and up to Top Slip, how about a visit the tea museum and take a jeep tour to the highest tea estates in the world?

    Day 8

    Munnar – Ooty (250 km)

    Leaving Munnar, ride through Eravikulam Park, with its abundance of monkeys and scattering of elephants, leopards and tigers. Pass through Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, stopping for tea at Marayoor. Looking out for herds of wild elephants sauntering across the road, then descend to the plains of Tamil Nadu stopping for a late lunch. Then up the Nilgiri Hills, hairpin bends aplenty, to a height of 2000m.

    Day 9

    Ooty – Masinagudi (50 km)

    See Ooty by motorcycle or on foot. Ride up to the Dodabetta Peak for fantastic views, or Avalanche Point, where there was snow and an avalanche many years ago! Visit the botanical gardens, churches, tea gardens and shops. You then take your final mountain ride down a steep ghat road with over 40 hairpins to Masinagudi in time for lunch and a pleasant afternoon by the pool or searching for tigers in the forest.

    Day 10

    Masinagudi – Wayanad (175 km)

    An early start to go looking for elephants and tigers if you wish. After breakfast, traverse the huge Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and into Karnataka State. Stop at the Bandipur Sanctuary and continue west into Kerala. Passing through Muthanga and Wayanad Sanctuaries, where spotted deer, wild boar and langur monkeys are common, and if you’re lucky you’ll see elephant herds browsing near the road.

    Day 11

    Wayanad – Secret Beach (200 km)

    Descending the ghats and avoiding the congestion of Calicut, you arrive at Guravayoor, one of the most famous temples and pilgrimage sites in southern India. Enjoy a quiet section of the coastal road to a beautiful, beach resort. The people here are incredibly friendly and make great efforts to make you feel welcome. Spend the afternoon relaxing, and if you’re lucky you may see some dolphins.

    Day 12

    Secret Beach – Thattekad (90 km)

    An early start as you head for Kodanad, a forestry department kraal where orphaned baby elephants are rescued, cared for and trained for a working life. Timing is crucial, so you can join in the daily bathing and rub down in the river! A little known but well-kept road leads you to the hotel. This evening watch the villagers playing and working in the lagoon, with the croak of bullfrogs to complement your conversation.

    Day 13

    Thattekad (free day)

    Today why not enjoy an early morning plantation walk, followed by canoeing in the Periyar River, with its sand boats, or even try white water rafting? In the afternoon, take a short ride into the forest where there’s a boat trip on the lake to go elephant and wildlife spotting.

    Day 14

    Thattekad – Cochin (50 km)

    Your final ride takes you back to Cochin. Say farewell to your bike, then there’s time for sightseeing and shopping in the old town. Famous churches, cathedrals, synagogues and palaces are all within walking distance, and the sights and smells of the famous Chinese fishing nets and the market, with its teas and spices, make this an enjoyable wander. Take a stroll around the fort before this evenings farewell dinner.

    Day 15

    Cochin

    After breakfast this morning your tour ends, transfer to airport for your onward travel arrangements.

    Total Distance c. 1500 km

  • Kerala Mountains, Wildlife & Beaches Adventure
    Dates Rider Passenger Single room supplement
    03 Feb - 17 Feb 2019 £2,345.00 £1,725.00 £675.00
    17 - 31 Mar 2019 £2,345.00 £1,725.00 £675.00
  • What's Included & What's Not
    Price Includes Price Excludes
    14 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
    12 days motorcycle hire, Royal Enfield 500 (left foot gear change) or 350 Bullet
    Fuel
    Some Dinners
    Soft/drinks and bottled water on tour
    Entrance Fees
    Airport and local transfers
    4WD support vehicle
    English speaking tour guide and local support team
    US$500 refundable security/damage deposit to pay locally in cash
    Visa (c.£65)
    Personal items and expenses
    Additional activities
    Riding gear
    Insurance
    Flights, stopovers and additional accommodation which can be arranged through H-C Travel
  • Tour Guide AlemAlam Hussein, who started working for us a mechanic when he was 16, has been guiding tours since 2005. He has been on over 100 tours in India and the Himalayas as rider, mechanic or guide. Alam is no mean rider either. He participated in the Himalayan Raid Rally in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and came second in his class in 2005. And when not working to make your tour the best possible riding experience, Alam runs a motorcycle repair business and custom bike building shop in Dehredun that is famous throughout India.

    Alam’s team
    Without his reliable local support team, the logistics of running our tour programme in Northern India, Bhutan and Tibet would be well-nigh impossible. Our chief mechanic is Biru, who has worked on our tours since 2000, and our support/luggage vehicle driver is Bopinder, who joined in 2002. They are usually supported by two assistant mechanics.

    Daniel Benster is our guide and tour organiser in Kerala, with over 10 years’ experience guiding in Kerala. Born and raised in Yorkshire, he lives in Pune and spends as much time as he can in Kerala. Married to Anamika, he has incredible local knowledge, and the requisite laid back but firm attitude necessary to make your holiday run smoothly.

    Daniel’s team
    As with our northern Indian tours, we travel with a mechanic and a support vehicle driver.

    Ranesh, our chief mechanic runs a very respected repair shop in Cochin. A real wiz with the spanners, there’s nothing you can teach him about Enfield Bullets.

    Niyaz, our support vehicle driver, is the man who makes everything tick. He’s always on hand to offer a cold drink, sort out permits, red tape, and any other local ‘difficulties’ with a smile and the right words. He somehow manages to get our support vehicle through gaps that you’d think only a motorcycle could get through.


    Tiffany Coates
    We’re delighted to be working with global adventurer Tiffany Coates on our unique Ladies of Ladakh adventure. Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team and is just a great person to work and ride with. You can follow her adventures at www.tiffanystravels.co.uk

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