India: Ride in the Spicy South

Cochin Round Trip

13 Days

Ride in the Spicy South – 2023 Departure dates:

  • 10 to 22 January 2023
  • 11 to 23 March 2023

South India has so much to offer, with various beautiful landscapes of nature, diverse cultures, rich history, incredible tropical flora and fauna, twisting country roads, and breathtaking trails. We explore Kerala’s ‘God’s Own Country’ and Tamil Nadu ‘The Land of Temples’ on this tour. The region has hill stations, majestic temples, lush green forests and immaculate beaches.

This tour offers riding on a Royal Enfield motorcycle through twisty and generally well-surfaced roads. This tour offers you such variety as it takes you through beaches, backwaters, tea and coffee estates, coconut groves, cardamom plantations at higher altitudes and wildlife at Periyar.

There are so many experiences to have as you ride with us. These are a night on the backwaters in a houseboat, relaxing by the pristine beaches of Varkala and exploring the historic trading port of Fort Cochin with its Chinese fishing nets and Kathakali Dance Show.

Ride in the Spicy South Summary:

States: Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Best Time: October to March
Number of Days: 12 Nights / 13 Days
Number of Riding Days: 11 Days
Accommodation: 3 Star and 4 Star
Riding Level Required: Intermediate
Terrain: 90% Tarmac and 10% Gravel
Duration of Ride: Between 4 and 7 hours a day on average
Distance Covered on Motorcycle: 1350 Kilometres / 845 Miles
Temperature: Nights and early mornings 8ºc to 15ºc / Daytime 20ºc to 30ºc.

Places visited on this Tour:

Cochin-Thattekad – Valparai – Palani – Kodaikanal – Munnar – Thekkady – Varkala – Alleppey – Cochin.

Ride in the Spicy South Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Cochin Airport

Our local representative will meet you at Cochin International Airport. You will be transferred to your hotel and assisted with your check-in. They will then brief you about the tour. You will then have free time to relax after your flight or have a look around.

Overnight stay in the selected hotel in Cochin.

Day 2: Cochin to Thattekad – Ride 70 kilometres / 3 hours riding (Breakfast)

After breakfast, you will collect your Royal Enfield 500cc motorcycle. The Road Captain will brief you and the others in the group on the rules of driving in India and how best to operate your motorcycle in South India.

With all the preparations finished, you start your ride to Thattekad, a hidden gem and home to hundreds of different birds. On arrival, check-in at the resort. Afterwards, enjoy a nature walk and prepare to immerse yourself in the forest fully. Watch for birds, butterflies and other wildlife which live here. You have the option to take a kayak trip where you’ll kayak to riverside villages to get a first-hand glimpse of traditional Keralan life.

Overnight in the resort in Thattekad.

Day 3: Thattekad to Valparai – Ride 150 kilometres / 6 hours riding (Breakfast)

After breakfast, you will ride on the scenic and twisty roads to Valparai, Riding through the Idamalayar Forest Reserve, where white-tailed monkeys and many animals, such as elephants and wild goats, live. Along the way, we visit Sholayar Dam, then onto Valparai.

Valparai is a hill station located 1370 metres above sea level. It is a little piece of heaven tucked away in the cradle of the Anamalai mountain range of the Western Ghats. Evergreen, deciduous forests containing lakes, waterfalls, mountain peaks, and lush green valleys are the attractions to be experienced. On arrival, we check into the hotel. Later explore Valparai, a less explored hill station of unspoiled beauty where humans and animals live in perfect harmony with nature. Visit Birla Falls, Koolangal River, Grass Hills, and Nirar Dam.

Overnight in the hotel in Valparai.

Day 4 : Valparari to Palani – Ride 120 kilometres / 4 hours riding (Breakfast)

After breakfast, we ride to Palani. Today’s ride is through the hills and Idamalayar Reserve Forest, through the tea and coffee estates of Valparai. Here we will ride down winding hairpin bends to reach Palani. En route, places we will visit are Aliyar Dam and Loam’s View Point. On arrival at Palani, you check into the hotel. Palani is another beautiful hill station; the hills are part of the oldest mountain range in India. As Lord Murugan had settled here, Palani is a holy place of international renown. Whilst here, we take a rope car to the Murugan (Kartikeya) Temple on the top of the hill. The temple is an ancient one, situated 460 metres above sea level. One can view the entire Palani town and the agricultural places from the hilltop.

Overnight in the hotel in Palani.

A short break near a plantation.
A stop near a plantation.

Day 5: Palani to Kodaikanal – Ride 85 kilometres / 3 hours riding (Breakfast)

After breakfast, we ride to Kodaikanal. Another day of spectacular riding up another set of winding hairpin bends through the Palani Hills. The ride will bring you to an altitude of 2133 metres. On arrival in Kodaikanal, you check into the hotel. Enjoy the afternoon exploring Kodai Lake, Kurinji Andavar Temple, Coaker’s Walk, Waterfalls and Dolphin Nose. Later you return to the hotel.

Overnight in the hotel in Kodaikanal.

Day 6: Kodaikanal to Munnar – Ride 170 kilometres / 6 hours riding (Breakfast)

Having eaten breakfast and packed our bags, we checked out from the hotel for our ride to Munnar through a very scenic route. Munnar is a picturesque hill station nestled on the verdant slopes of tea plantations and situated at 1585 metres above sea level. Munnar is South India’s largest tea-growing region. We ride down a different zig-zag mountainous road. Then across the plains for about an hour before climbing through 17 hairpin bends. The road is the beginning of never-ending tea plantations, after stopping for tea on the edge of the Tata tea estate, the world’s largest, with a splendid view over Devikulam Lake. We return to our ride to the enchanting hill station of Munnar.

Overnight in the hotel in Munnar.

Day 7: Munnar. A non-riding day (Breakfast)

After breakfast, we visit a tea plantation and factory to discover the tea-making process, including the intriguing process of segregating, drying and threshing. Later we visit Tata Tea Museum, displaying machinery and photographic records of the tea industry’s integral part in this beautiful region. After the Tata Tea Museum, we visit Echo Point and Mattupetty Dam.
After a lunch break, then off to visit Eravikulam National Park, the home of Nilgiri Thar (a rare mountain goat) on Anamudi peak, at an altitude of 2695 metres above sea level, situated in the southern region of this park.

Overnight in the hotel in Munnar.

Loooking out toward sthe tea plantations
Looking across the tea plantations.

Day 8: Munnar to Thekkady – Ride 120 kilometres / 4 hours riding (Breakfast)

The ride after breakfast is through some truly spectacular scenery. We pass through the backwaters and rice paddies before we start the ascent on well-surfaced roads through the rubber and tea plantations of the Cardamom Hills and Southern Ghats. We reach the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Wildlife is abundant, from flora, birds and insects to bears, leopards, elephants and even tigers, although they usually keep themselves and are well hidden.

On arrival at Thekkady, we do our hotel check. We take a spice plantation tour in the afternoon to see how spices like cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg are grown and harvested before being processed for sale. We will shower with an elephant, then return to our hotel; in the evening, you’ll watch a Kalaripayatu Performance, one of the most ancient martial art forms.

Overnight in the hotel in Thekkady.

Day 9: Thekaddy to Varkala – Ride 190 Kilometres / 6 hours riding (Breakfast)

We ride to Varkala after breakfast. The first half of the ride begins in the hills and then on the plain to reach Varkala. Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasham Beach. Papanasham means to wash away sins, and a dip in the waters of Papanasham Beach will wash away all the sins of your life. Varkala is the only town in Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. On arrival, we check into the beach resort. Later enjoy a relaxing walk along the beach and enjoy the Sunset.

Overnight in the hotel in Varkala.

A stop by the water
A stop on reaching the sea.

Day 10: Varkala (Breakfast)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the day is free to rest or be active on Varkala Beach, like walking, yoga or surfing. You can choose ayurvedic body massage at the land of Ayurveda to rejuvenate yourself and detoxify your body.

Overnight in the hotel in Varkala.

Day 11: Varkala to Alleppey – Ride 130 kilometres / 5 hours riding (Breakfast and dinner)

We head for Alleppey post breakfast. Alleppey is famous for its backwaters and beautiful houseboats. We will check onto our houseboat, fully furnished with bedrooms, a private balcony and a kitchen. Onboard there is a chef, oarsmen and a cabin assistant. This part of the tour will be unique and memorable. You will be cruising past villages and paddy fields, witnessing the life of the Kerala villages for the whole day. The houseboat is fully furnished w. The materials that go into the making are all local and eco-friendly. Materials used are bamboo poles, coconut fibre ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc. We will hold our Farewell Dinner in the evening with beverages and seafood.

Overnight on board the houseboat.

A boat on the river
Cruising along the river.

Day 12: Alleppey to Cochin – Ride 60 kilometres / 2 hours riding (Breakfast)

Your last day on tour. After breakfast, we set off to ride back to Cochin through fishing villages and along the sea. On arrival in Cochin, you part company of your Royal Enfield, bid farewell to the tour’s crew members, and check into your Hotel. After lunch, you will take a guided tour of Fort Kochi, including the Dutch Palace, built in 1557 by the Portuguese and renovated by the Dutch after 1663. The murals here are perhaps the best in India.

There is a Jewish Synagogue that was built in 1568, which is the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth. In the area is St. Francis Church – built in 1510 and the oldest European church in India, Another interesting aspect of Fort Cochin is the Chinese Fishing Nets, introduced by the court of Kublai Khan. This evening, witness the Kathakali dance performance, performed by various artists. Kathakali is a traditional dance form depicting Indian epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata). They are dressed very colourfully in elaborate costumes. Their faces are painted to represent various characters of these epics. This dance has a lot of facial expressions and brisk yet articulate body movements.

Overnight in the hotel in Cochin.

Local Dancer
Performance by a local dancer.

Day 13: Depart from Cochin (Breakfast)

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, The hotel room is yours until noon. You will be collected from the hotel and taken to Cochin Airport by air-conditioned vehicle to connect with your flight.

8 Days – Rajasthan Highlights Ride Pricing:

  • 1 Rider / 1 Bike / 1 Room: AU$ 4,130.00 per person
  • 2 Riders / 2 Bikes / 1 Room: AU$ 3,570.00 per person
  • 2 Riders / 1 Bike / 1 Room: AU$ 3,145.00 per person
  • Car Passenger (Twin Share): AU$ 2,860.00 per person

What’s Included:

  • 11 nights of hotel accommodation on a share basis with breakfast daily.
  • 1 Night House Boat accommodation on a share basis with all meals.
  • All ground transfers from the start of the tour until its completion, sightseeing and overland journeys by air-conditioned Vehicle on non-riding days.
  • Use of a Royal Enfield 500 cc motorcycle on all riding days.
  • Fuel for the motorcycle.
  • Experienced English-speaking Motorcycle Road Captain.
  • Experienced Royal Enfield mechanic with all necessary spare parts for the motorcycles.
  • One Time Monument/Temple Entrances, Video/Camera Fees.
  • First-aid medical kit.
  • Refreshments for stops during riding days.
  • Support vehicle for your luggage and non-riders.
  • Replacement of motorcycles parts when required due to normal wear and tear
  • Farewell dinner on the houseboat.
  • The services of an English-speaking guide on sightseeing days.
  • Assistance by friendly, knowledgeable English-speaking ground representatives.
  • All Currently Applicable Taxes.

What’s Not Included:

  • International Flights.
  • Pre or post-tours (We can arrange these).
  • Lunch and Dinner (except where specified).
  • Travel insurance, including medical (Compulsory).
  • Motorcycle damage.
  • Visa fees.
  • Tips.
  • Items of personal nature, i.e. laundry, drinks or food.
  • Anything which is not mentioned in the included section.

What to bring on the ride:

Following is a detailed list of items required in the Tour for safety and comfort. We do not provide any of these, so we highly suggest that all Riders bring all of the required items mentioned below:

Clothing and Other Kit:

  • Rider Licence: Full and valid for a 500cc motorcycle.
  • Travel Insurance: Must cover riding a 500cc motorcycle.
  • Sunscreen/sunblock UV 30/40.
  • Lip balm.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Fleece/under jacket.
  • Kidney belt.
  • Warm clothes.
  • Strong pair of jeans/pants.
  • Thermos for hot and cold drinks.
  • Sun hat/cap.
  • Earplugs.
  • Your regular medicine (if any).

Bike Gear:

  • Riding Jacket, Pants and Boots.
  • Helmet.
  • Motorcycling gloves.
  • Hydration pack.
  • Goggles/sunglasses.
  • Snood/ dust mask.
  • Water-resistant backpack.
  • Knee and Elbow guards (if your riding gear doesn’t include proper padding or if you choose not to wear one especially on warm days).

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