An eco retreat in Thekkady, Kerala
Located in the midst of cardamom plantations in Kerala’s Thekkady is this unqiue eco retreat that blends tourism with agriculture. The cottages at Monsoon Retreats Ecostay are built on high stilts so that no land is wasted and farming continues unhindered! This green plantation also ensures guests enjoy a stay in the lap of nature.
The retreat offers five stilt cottages in a plantation filled with spice and fruit trees. The native trees attract a large number of birds—over 80 varieties of birds out of 330 species of birds that have been sighted in the nearby Periyar Tiger Reserve visit the property. So this is a great place for birders.
There is a whole host of activities for guests to enjoy. The plantation and farm is a great place to understand natural agricultural practices. The ecostay has a hall where workshops on various conservation and ecology related topics and yoga retreats are conducted. Beyond, guests can go on a hiking and bamboo rafting day trip within parts of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, go on a 15km trek in the jungles, enjoy an easier but as interesting nature walk along well defined trails and join a night patrol as a volunteer. There are also fun activities like going boating and visiting a spice plantation. The ecostay also organises cultural performaces performed by local artists.
The days may be filled with activities, but the nights are serene with the cicades’ song lulling you to sleep.
Price: Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000
Read more: http://www.monsoonretreatsecostay.com/
Monsoon Retreats Ecostay combines agriculture with eco-tourism. The cottages made of wood and other locally available materials are built on stilts and are 10 to 15 feet above the ground, ensuring plants can grow unhindered. The ecostay has planted native trees, ensuring it becomes a habitat for birds and animals. The local community is involved in the running of the ecostay, especially in terms of guided tours for guests. Cultural shows like Kathakali and Kalarippayattu along with tribal dance is promoted to encourage the culture as well as to provide livelihood for local artists. They also support nearby farmers to adopt more sustainable and organic farming practices. The property uses traditional wells, rain water harvesting and permaculture methods to sustainably use water. The ecostay conducts regular workshops on various conservation and ecology related topics. The ecostay proudly claims to have a negative carbon footprint. The ecostay supports locals, especially college and school dropouts, become bird watching guides to lead tours for guests.