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Terraced tea estates

Trek Kerala 10 days India


About the Challenge

Kerala in southern India is renowned for its wonderful palm-fringed beaches and the rich tropical landscape of its interior. Our trek takes in the lush green forests, cardamom-scented hills and photogenic tea plantations of the Western Ghats.

From the beautiful colonial hill station of Munnar, we trek over forested hills and open ridges, passing plantations of coffee and mango as well as the famous tea. En route we take in Meesapulimala Peak, the highest accessible point in southern India, where the views over this beautiful area are breath-taking.

The cool mountain air is perfect for trekking these wonderful hills; afterwards we head down to the beautiful lagoons and rice paddies of the coastal backwaters, where we discover the local way of life on a relaxing houseboat cruise.


Check out our other Indian adventures.

Dates & Prices

Nick - June 2019

My trip to Kerala, my first fundraising activity like this, was a wonderful introduction to activity and adventure holidaying, and one that I intend to repeat again. Kerala was a different experience, ranging from crowded, bustling and vibrant coastal towns to the
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stunning tea plantations, forests and mountains of the Western Ghats. Discover Adventure looked after us well, the leader was friendly and inspirational at the same time and the local support team couldn't do enough for us. I have had no hesitation in recommending this and Discover Adventure to everybody who has been willing to listen!
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Trek Kerala

  • On arrival we transfer to our hotel. After time to freshen up, we are free to explore this lovely old city, also known as Cochin. Founded by the Portuguese in 1503, it is India’s earliest European settlement. The brightly-painted buildings, narrow streets and food stalls are very atmospheric, and the bazaars and old harbour area are fascinating. In the evening there is an optional visit to see a Kathakali display, a dance unique to Kerala. Night hotel.  (Lunch not included)

  • Leaving the coast behind, we drive up into the hills to Munnar (1600m). A beautiful hill station on the Western Ghats, Munnar was the British summer resort of southern India. It is surrounded by tea plantations and still retains its colonial charm. We spend the afternoon exploring the town and its markets, and enjoying the views over the sprawling hills and valleys. Night hotel.

    Drive approx. 4-5 hours

  • After an early breakfast we drive out of Munnar to the tiny village of Nagarmundi, where we start our trek. We ascend gradually through the tea plantations, our trail climbing up into the Seven Malai hills. Our surroundings are spectacular, with hill-slopes covered in verdant plantations and forests, sparkling waterfalls, and tiny villages set among the rolling valleys. We pass through cardamom and coffee plantations before reaching the hilltop, where we can soak up the wonderful views over Annamudi Peak, Changulan Lake and back down to Munnar. We descend on the same path, and return to Munnar. Time permitting, you can visit the tea museum if you wish (optional). Night hotel (1600m).

    Trek approx 4-5 hours

  • After yesterday’s taster, we should be raring to go! We drive past tea estates to the Silent Valley plateau, a haven to the rare goat-like nilgiri thar, as well as many bird species. We start our trek from around 2000m, initially on wide jeep tracks which ascend steadily through forest into natural, grassy wilderness with wonderful views down over the tea estates. We continue over rougher grassland to open ridges, our way becoming steeper as we near the top. Meesapulimala Peak (2630m) is the second-highest peak in South India; the highest is in a restricted area. Afternoon cloud often obscures the summit, but when the views are clear they are breath-taking, reaching across Kerala and Tamil Nadu. After time to enjoy the views and the sense of achievement, we descend to our camp. Night camp.

    Drive approx 2 hours; trek approx 7–9 hours

  • Today’s trek takes us through the Shola forest, where we’re rewarded with magnificent scenery. We walk through hills thick with red rhododendron and many endemic plants, passing small streams as we go; we may even spot wildlife including wild goats, deer, giant squirrel and wild boar. We stop for a picnic lunch midway in a shaded spot. Our route is undulating, as we head towards the foothill of Yellapatty, passing through friendly traditional villages where we can see the local way of life. From Yellapatty, we will take a short transfer (approx. 30 mins) to Oorkad (Top Station). Night camp.

    Trek approx. 6-8 hours

  • We descend from Top Station – named for its location in the shipment system for tea and other goods in the early twentieth century – through eucalyptus plantations and farmers’ fields. Before long, we reach an undulating trail road leading to the old tribal village of Vattavada. Stopping for lunch in the village, we continue on our trek, enjoying panoramic views of the cluster houses of the Koviloor village. Crossing a small canal, we head on in to the village, where we take a short transfer in 4x4s to Top Station (approx. 20 mins). Here we’ll meet the waiting vehicles and begin our beautiful drive through the hills to the bustling village of Thekkedy. This area is known for its spice-growing. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 4-5 hours; drive approx. 4-5 hours

  • We say farewell to the beautiful Western Ghats as we wend our way back down to the coast, the temperatures increasing as we leave the hills. Coming to Alleppey, we board our houseboat and can relax as we cruise the serene backwaters, a network of lagoons, rivers and canals, lined with coconut palms and dazzling green rice paddies. Watching the beautiful scenery and villages glide by is a wonderful way to relax and contemplate our achievements! We spend the night on our houseboat.

    Drive approx 4-5 hours

  • We leave our houseboat and the tranquillity of the backwaters and transfer to our hotel in Aleppey; here we gather for an evening to celebrate our big achievements. (Lunch not included)

  • Transfer to the airport in time for our flight home.

Dates & Prices

Prices may vary depending on date.


  • All flights and transport from London to Koch
  • All meals except where specified
  • Accommodation and camping equipment (except sleeping bag)
  • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers, porters and cooks
  • Local support and back-up equipment
  • Entrance to reserves, houseboat cruise and any sites visited as part of the itinerary


  • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • India entry visa
  • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
  • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
  • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
  • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
  • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions


Detailed Information

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any medical incidents. They help the crew to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries may be less than you would spend on an average night out.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check
  • Group flights usually leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route; details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • We camp in two-man tents; these are usually expedition-style (ie sleeping room only). Camps are usually simple, in remote locations with great views! We have communal dining areas (usually with tables and chairs/stools) and toilet tents, and the local crew look after us very well. We stay in hotels (of a 2-3* standard or equivalent) at the start and end of the trip; standards may vary between different hotels, but they are generally clean and comfortable with good facilities.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 15-25 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten at our accommodation each evening. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas, or among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. Please ensure you allow plenty of time to apply for your visa; we will provide you will all necessary information 6 weeks prior to depature to assist with your application.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, with plenty of information, and we are always available if you need advice.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on all of our challenges outside of the UK; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed, or as soon as you're able to purchase some, and at least 8 months prior to travel. Should you need to cancel prior to departure, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    We all hope never to need it, and thankfully most of the time we don't, but on those rare occasions when you do, you want it to cover you as best it can. Whilst it's a fairly boring admin task relating to your trip of a lifetime, it is really important you ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation, so make sure you're happy with the level of cover. There are lots of suppliers out there, with a wide range in levels of cover; generally speaking, you get what you pay for! Get and pay for the right level of cover and then you can go on your adventure not having to worry about the what-if's. For more details click here.

    Once your travel insurance is arranged, just remember to let us know the policy number and 24-hr medical emergency phone number provided by your insurers.


  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees and amendment fees are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

  • We have a Passenger Portal which will give you more details of the challenge itself. It also enables you to see any outstanding information we need, the countdown to your challenge departure, see your outstanding balance, make payments and update your contact details. You can access this via the following link - Passenger Portal Log in.