Bike, hike & kayaking vacation in Kerala, India

Departure information

This trip can also be tailor-made to suit your interests, time schedules and budget requirements. Minimum age 12 years.
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Vacation type

Traveling with a local operator

This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bike, hike & kayaking vacation in Kerala, India

Environment

By staying at environmentally low impact accommodation like the Hornbill Camp, we hope to bring in awareness about Responsible Tourism among the general public. Hornbill Camp is made of locally available materials and constructed exclusively by using locally available expertise in reed leaf thatching. There is very little concrete used, instead tents are used. The water is heated using solar heaters and the kitchen refuse is recycled for use in the spice plantations nearby.

Community

The members of the local communities are involved in each and every activity of this tour. The visit to spice farms and staying at homestays also adds to the local economy in a big way, both directly and indirectly. Vegetables and fruits used at these places are locally grown and the proceeds go directly into the hands of the farmer rather than a big corporation, thus making them stake holders in such a tour as this.

The treks are always led by tribal trackers and members from the local community, who have over the years come to depended almost exclusively upon income from tourism related activities, due to slowing down of their farm-related traditional incomes. The treks in Munnar leave only a miniscule carbon footprint and present itself as an alternative form of tourism as opposed to the mass tourism normally seen in such hill stations.

This is also the case with kayaking, which once again utilizes the services of the local youth, who are expert oarsmen, helping them make an alternate livelihood since their traditional livelihood from fishing has seen a serious decline in recent past. We always employ local drivers during all our tours. Our supplies like vegetables and poultry are always sourced from villagers residing near the camp & we promote local businesses by using local jeeps and locally owned wooden canoes for moving on the river, whenever possible.

Reviews of Bike, hike & kayaking vacation in Kerala, India

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 03 Mar 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cycling through villages, with all the children running out to greet us, and giving us "high 5's"as we passed through - Standing on top of the 2nd highest mountain in South India, having just trekked to the top. Staying for the night on a rice boat - and so many other memories that I would need more space than this little box !!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Plenty of warm clothes for the top of the mountain. A torch - and maybe a few games/cards, etc., When the sun sets and you are on top of a mountain, staying on a rice boat, or simply at a camp sight/homestay with no entertainment, you need to make your own.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


For sure, there were plenty of people that would have benefited from us being there, they would receive work/income from this. The tour operator did the best they could to reduce environmental impacts where at all possible

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It surpassed our expectations - yes it was hard work, especially climbing hills and covering up to 85kms on a bike in 33 degrees of heat and humidity, but it was worth every drop of sweat - a fantastic experience. Make sure that you are fit, but the operator was always there with a back up vehicle if needed. Fortunately for us we did not need to use it.

Reviewed on 04 Mar 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Everything! Meeting and being welcomed by the local people, cycling through villages, towns and beautiful countryside. The amazing view down through the clouds and the tea plantations as we arrived at the top of mount Meesapulimala on our trek. The attention to detail by our guide, Shabeeb, who arranged all kinds of extras for us along the way. The superb Keralan food, everywhere we stayed.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for a very active fortnight - cycling in the heat and humidity, and trekking at altitudes of 2500m. Bring light,easy to wash clothing, and extra warm layers for camping in the Ghats.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We'd like to think so. No UK agent is involved so everything we spent benefitted the Keralan people who ran the camps and homestays, and acted as guides and drivers. Having a local cycling / trekking guide allowed us to meet and learn from the people living and working there, rather than visiting the tourist 'attractions'. Although we had two vehicles to support nine cyclists, the miles covered were relatively few compared with other types of vacation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Brilliant! The first 10 days are very intensive - cycling and walking with lots of new experiences along the way. The last few gave us plenty of time to wind down and relax so that we have arrived home feeling completely refreshed.

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The diversity in this two week training camp was really something. From Kayaking in +30c to staying in a tent with -4c. And the intensity of the cycling. 100 km up and down. But then always guides with loads of bananas, beer and kindness. We say - almost perfect. The walk to 2800 meters was a real joy.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Train a lot before you go…

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. But a 10 m boat following when kayaking just for a table and some chairs were really overkill. And not really environmental. Or the extra cottage we got at the beach resort ... . But hard to complain about that.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent is the best word.

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