17 days in Durban, Sri Lanka & South India Itinerary

17 days in Durban, Sri Lanka & South India Itinerary

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17 days in Durban, Sri Lanka & South India Itinerary

Start: Durban, South Africa
1
Durban, South Africa
— 1 night
Fly + taxi:  21​h 45​min
2
Kandy, Sri Lanka
— 2 nights
+2
train + taxi + Fly:  6​h 15​min
3
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Thekkady, India
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
5
Mararikulam, India
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Kochi (Cochin), India
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h
End: Durban, South Africa

1
night
Durban, South Africa

Sunny weather and golden beaches await you on a vacation in Durban, a busy port city on the Indian Ocean known for its outdoorsy atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): browse the different shops at Gateway Theatre of Shopping and then meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by The Puzzle Place, enjoy the sand and surf at Umhlanga Main Beach, and then buy something for everyone on your list at La Lucia Mall.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Durban trip builder .

If you are flying in from South Africa, the closest major airport is King Shaka International Airport. In January, daytime highs in Durban are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Durban

Shopping Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Umhlanga Rocks, The Puzzle Place, La Lucia Mall
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Umhlanga Main Beach ©
Umhlanga Main Beach
Gateway Theatre of Shopping ©
Gateway Theatre of Shopping

2
nights
Kandy, Sri Lanka

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
On the 5th (Sun), stroll through Royal Botanical Gardens, contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake, then stop by Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items, and finally contemplate the long history of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Udawattekele Sanctuary and then pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Sriya & Daya Curio Shop.

To see more things to do and more tourist information, read our Kandy vacation builder .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Durban to Kandy in 22 hours. You'll lose 3 hours traveling from Durban to Kandy due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum).

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Shopping

Side Trip

Royal Botanical Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Kandy Lake ©
Kandy Lake

3
nights
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) ©
Situated among a collection of low hills that lead up to the coastline, state capital Thiruvananthapuram acts as a base for exploration of the southern tip of the country.
Get a sense of the local culture at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Puthenmalika (Kuthiramalika) Palace. Visit Varkala Beach and Lighthouse Beach for some beach relaxation. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum): Kovalam (Kovalam Beach & Hawa Beach) and Varkala (Moon Stone Arts, Asparagus, & more). There's more to do: buy something for everyone on your list at Saphalyam Shopping Complex.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) visit app .

You can do a combination of train and flight from Kandy to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of taxi and flight. In January, daytime highs in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can go by car to Thekkady.

Things to do in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Varkala Town, Kovalam
Highlights from your plan
Varkala Beach ©
Varkala Beach
Kovalam Beach ©
Kovalam Beach
Lighthouse Beach ©
Lighthouse Beach

2
nights
Thekkady, India

Thekkady ©
Centered on an artificial lake, Thekkady provides a sanctuary to a diverse set of animals and plant species.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): contemplate the waterfront views at Periyar Lake, identify plant and animal life at Periyar Tiger Reserve, then take some stellar pictures from Chellarkovil Viewpoint, and finally admire the natural beauty at Abraham's Spice Garden. On the 11th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Elephant Junction and then look for all kinds of wild species at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Thekkady trip planner .

Drive from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) to Thekkady in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Mararikulam.

Things to do in Thekkady

Parks Wildlife Nature
Highlights from your plan
Abraham's Spice Garden ©
Abraham's Spice Garden
Periyar Tiger Reserve ©
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Elephant Junction ©
Elephant Junction

3
nights
Mararikulam, India

Mararikulam ©
If you're looking for soft sand and warm water, plan a vacation in Mararikulam.
Escape the urban bustle at Marari Beach and Andhakaranazhy Beach. Mozart Art Gallery and St Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church ,Kokkamangalam are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Mararikulam: Kottayam (Pulimootttil Silks & Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple) and Kumarakom (Kumarakom Craft Museum & Kerala Album Art Gallery). There's more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Mararikulam Beach.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Mararikulam travel itinerary planner .

Drive from Thekkady to Mararikulam in 4 hours. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in January, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Kochi (Cochin).

Things to do in Mararikulam

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Kottayam, Kumarakom, St Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church ,Kokkamangalam, Andhakaranazhy Beach
Highlights from your plan
Marari Beach ©
Marari Beach
Mararikulam Beach ©
Mararikulam Beach
Andhakaranazhy Beach ©
Andhakaranazhy Beach

4
nights
Kochi (Cochin), India

Kochi (Cochin) ©
A flourishing port city and magnet for the spice trade since the 15th century, Kochi (Cochin) proudly bears its distinct international influence and local Keralan culture.
Kashi Art Gallery and Jew Town are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at LuLu Mall and Kerala Museum. Change things up with a short trip to Alappuzha Beach in Alappuzha (about 1h 05 min away). There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Cherai Beach, make a trip to Chinese Fishing Nets, stop by Kochi Books, and browse for treasures at Indian Industries.

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Kochi (Cochin) online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Mararikulam to Kochi (Cochin) takes 1.5 hours. In January in Kochi (Cochin), expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 26°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 18th (Sat) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Kochi (Cochin)

Shopping Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Alappuzha Beach
Highlights from your plan
LuLu Mall ©
LuLu Mall
Cherai Beach ©
Cherai Beach
Alappuzha Beach ©
Alappuzha Beach

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