Kerala, located in South India, is a nature lover’s paradise. With its enchanting backwaters, picturesque hill stations, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, Kerala has everything a traveler could want in a holiday destination. Kerala tourism has gained significant popularity in recent years, attracting millions of visitors every year.
Planning Kerala holidays can be overwhelming due to the variety of activities and attractions available. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive Kerala travel guide to help you plan your perfect trip. From exploring the serene backwaters to indulging in Ayurvedic wellness treatments, there’s something for everyone in Kerala.
- Kerala, located in South India, is a popular tourist destination with enchanting backwaters, picturesque hill stations, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture
- Planning Kerala holidays can be overwhelming due to the variety of activities and attractions available
- This Kerala travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip to experience the best of what Kerala has to offer
- Some of the must-do activities in Kerala include exploring the backwaters, visiting hill stations, indulging in Ayurvedic wellness treatments, and trying the delicious cuisine
- Travel tips such as transportation and accommodation options, as well as when to visit Kerala, will be provided to ensure a hassle-free holiday
Discover the Beauty of Kerala’s Beaches
Kerala’s pristine beaches are a major attraction for tourists visiting the state. The sandy shores and tranquil waters offer the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun or indulge in water sports, Kerala’s beaches have something for everyone.
Best Beaches to Visit in Kerala
Kovalam Beach: This crescent-shaped beach is one of the most popular in Kerala. With its golden sand, clear waters, and a lighthouse overlooking the shore, Kovalam Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers.
Varkala Beach: Known for its stunning cliff views and mineral springs, Varkala Beach offers a unique experience for visitors. It’s also a popular spot for surfing and paragliding.
Cherai Beach: Located on a narrow island off the coast of Kochi, Cherai Beach is a picturesque destination with calm waters and palm-fringed shores. It’s a great spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Activities and Attractions
In addition to soaking up the sun and enjoying the natural beauty of Kerala’s beaches, there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained. From beachside cafes and restaurants to water sports and beach games, there’s something for everyone.
The nearby fishing villages offer an opportunity to experience the local culture and cuisine. You can also take a sunset cruise on a traditional sailboat or explore nearby lighthouses and forts.
Explore the Enchanting Backwaters of Kerala
When it comes to Kerala tourism, the backwaters of Kerala are a must-visit. These serene waterways are a network of interconnected canals, lagoons, and lakes that stretch along most of the state’s coast. Cruising through the backwaters on a traditional houseboat is a unique and unforgettable experience.
The backwaters are not just a scenic delight, but they also serve as a vital mode of transportation and a source of livelihood for the locals. The backwaters are also home to a diverse ecosystem of aquatic life, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
If you’re planning a trip to Kerala, make sure to include a visit to the backwaters in your Kerala tour packages. Popular tourist destinations in Kerala that are known for their backwaters include Alappuzha, Kumarakom, and Kollam.
Exploring the Backwaters
One of the best ways to experience the backwaters is by taking a leisurely houseboat ride. These houseboats, also known as kettuvallams, are made by tying together wooden planks with coir ropes. They come equipped with modern amenities like air conditioning and comfortable bedrooms.
As you glide along the calm backwaters, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, vibrant birdlife, and quaint villages. You can also catch a glimpse of the daily life of the locals, who travel through the canals to carry out their daily activities.
In addition to houseboat rides, you can also explore the backwaters on a canoe or kayak. This is a more budget-friendly option, and it allows you to venture into smaller canals and get up close with the local wildlife.
Top Backwater Destinations in Kerala
|Distance from Kochi
|Backwater houseboat rides, Alappuzha Beach, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
|Backwater houseboat rides, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Vembanad Lake
|Backwater houseboat rides, Ashtamudi Lake, Thangasseri Beach
No Kerala holiday is complete without exploring the enchanting backwaters. Plan your trip to Kerala today and experience the unique beauty of these waterways for yourself!
Experience the Tranquil Hill Stations of Kerala
While Kerala is known for its stunning beaches and serene backwaters, the lush hill stations of the state offer a completely different experience. The hill stations in Kerala are known for their pleasant climate, breathtaking views, and outdoor activities, making them a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
The Best Hill Stations to Visit in Kerala
When it comes to the best hill stations to visit in Kerala, Munnar, Wayanad, and Vagamon top the list. Each of these hill stations offers a unique experience and is worth a visit during your Kerala holiday.
Munnar is a popular hill station known for its sprawling tea plantations, pristine valleys, and mountains. Visitors can take a guided tour of the tea estates, explore the scenic waterfalls, and trek through the nearby hills. Munnar is also home to the Eravikulam National Park, which is known for its endangered Nilgiri Tahr and Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once in twelve years.
Wayanad is a picturesque hill station that offers a blend of adventure and relaxation. Visitors can trek to the Chembra Peak, explore the Edakkal Caves, and enjoy the stunning views from the Soochipara Waterfalls. The hill station is also known for its wildlife sanctuaries and tea gardens.
Vagamon is a hidden gem in Kerala and is known for its meadows, pine forests, and waterfalls. Visitors can go paragliding, trekking, and enjoy a ride on the Vagamon Hill Station Railway, which is one of the steepest railway tracks in India. The hill station is also dotted with temples and churches, adding to its charm.
Outdoor Activities in the Hill Stations of Kerala
The hill stations of Kerala offer plenty of outdoor activities, making them an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts. Visitors can trek through the hills, go mountain biking, and indulge in various water sports. The hill stations also offer options for camping, rock climbing, and paragliding.
Best Time to Visit Kerala’s Hill Stations
The best time to visit Kerala’s hill stations is from September to May when the weather is pleasant and conducive to outdoor activities. Visitors can avoid the monsoon season, which lasts from June to August, as the heavy rains can hinder outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Overall, the hill stations of Kerala offer a unique and refreshing experience for visitors. From the stunning views to the outdoor activities, there is something for everyone in these tranquil destinations. Book your Kerala holiday today and add a visit to these hill stations to your itinerary!
Immerse Yourself in Kerala’s Vibrant Culture
Kerala is known for its rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its art, music, dance, festivals, and cuisine. With a history that spans over several centuries, Kerala has preserved its traditions and customs, making it one of the top tourist destinations in India.
One of the best ways to experience Kerala’s culture is through its traditional art forms. From Kathakali to Mohiniyattam, Kerala has a variety of dance forms that are unique to the region. These dance performances are characterized by elaborate costumes, makeup, and expressions that tell stories from Hindu mythology.
Another way to explore Kerala’s culture is by attending its colorful festivals. The state has a calendar full of festivals that are celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigor. Some of the popular festivals include Onam, Vishu, and Thrissur Pooram. These festivals are a showcase of Kerala’s rich traditions, music and dance performances.
Food is another important aspect of Kerala’s culture. Kerala cuisine is famous for its unique blend of spices and flavors. From the spicy fish curry to the sweet payasam, Kerala has a diverse range of dishes that are sure to excite your taste buds. Make sure to try out the local street food to get a real taste of Kerala.
Lastly, Kerala’s culture is also reflected in its architecture and landmarks. The state has several historical monuments, temples, and palaces that are a testament to its rich past. Some of the must-visit landmarks include the Mattancherry Palace, the Bekal Fort, and the Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
Whether it’s dance, music, festivals, or food, Kerala’s culture is sure to fascinate and enthrall you. Make sure to include a visit to Kerala’s cultural sites in your Kerala holidays itinerary to get a glimpse into the state’s vibrant heritage.
“Kerala’s rich traditions, music and dance performances are a showcase of its vibrant heritage.”
Indulge in Ayurvedic Wellness in Kerala
If you’re looking for a truly rejuvenating experience during your Kerala holidays, then indulging in Ayurvedic wellness treatments is a must. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of holistic medicine that uses natural remedies to promote balance and harmony within the body.
Kerala is renowned for its authentic Ayurvedic treatments, which are offered in various resorts and spas throughout the state. These treatments include massages, herbal remedies, and yoga, and are aimed at restoring the body’s natural balance and promoting overall wellness.
Some of the best places to visit in Kerala for Ayurvedic wellness include:
|Sarovaram Ayurvedic Backwater Health Center
|The Leela Kovalam
|Somatheeram Ayurveda Village
These Ayurvedic resorts and spas offer a range of treatments, from week-long wellness programs to individual massages and consultations. Many also offer yoga and meditation classes, as well as healthy dining options.
When planning your Kerala holidays, make sure to include some time for indulging in Ayurvedic wellness treatments. The experience is sure to leave you feeling relaxed, balanced, and rejuvenated.
Visit the Historical Landmarks of Kerala
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Kerala by visiting some of the state’s most famous landmarks. From ancient temples to colonial-era architecture, there are plenty of awe-inspiring sights to explore.
Kerala is home to several stunning temples that are significant religious and cultural landmarks. One of the most famous is the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and boasts stunning Dravidian architecture. Other notable temples include the Guruvayur Temple in Thrissur and the Sabarimala Temple in Pathanamthitta.
Kerala has a rich history of colonialism, and there are several forts built by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British that still stand today. One of the most famous is the Fort Kochi, a seaside fort built by the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Today, it is a popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning architecture and vibrant cultural scene. Other notable forts include the Bekal Fort in Kasaragod and the Pallippuram Fort in Kochi.
If you want to learn more about Kerala’s rich history and culture, be sure to visit some of the state’s museums. One of the most famous is the Kerala Folklore Museum in Kochi, which showcases traditional art, crafts, and architecture from different regions of Kerala. The Napier Museum in Thiruvananthapuram is also worth a visit, featuring a stunning collection of ancient artifacts, including bronze idols and ivory carvings.
|One of the most famous temples in Kerala, known for its stunning Dravidian architecture
|A seaside fort built by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, now a buzzing cultural hub
|Kerala Folklore Museum
|A museum showcasing traditional art, crafts, and architecture from different regions of Kerala
Whether you’re interested in ancient temples, colonial-era architecture, or fascinating museums, Kerala has plenty of historical landmarks to explore. Book one of the many Kerala tour packages available to visitors and discover the best places to visit in Kerala.
Explore the Diverse Wildlife and Nature Reserves in Kerala
Kerala’s rich biodiversity and diverse landscapes make it a haven for nature lovers. The state’s national parks and reserves are home to rare and exotic species of flora and fauna. Here are some of the best places to visit to experience the wild side of Kerala:
|Periyar National Park
|Thekkady, Idukki district
|Kerala tourism, Kerala holidays
|Silent Valley National Park
|Nilambur, Palakkad district
|Best places to visit in Kerala
|Eravikulam National Park
|Munnar, Idukki district
|Kerala tourism, Best places to visit in Kerala
Periyar National Park is one of the most popular wildlife reserves in Kerala, renowned for its elephant population. Visitors can enjoy a guided eco-tour of the park or even go on a bamboo rafting adventure through its scenic waterways. Silent Valley National Park is a hidden gem, known for its untouched rainforests and rich birdlife. For a glimpse of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, head to Eravikulam National Park in Munnar.
Kerala is also home to several wildlife sanctuaries, such as the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located near the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram and is known for its diverse bird species, while the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a population of tigers, elephants, and leopards.
There are also several eco-tourism programs in Kerala that offer unique and sustainable ways to explore the state’s wilderness. From tree-top stays to jungle safaris, these programs provide a one-of-a-kind experience for nature enthusiasts.
Experience Adventure and Outdoor Activities in Kerala
If you’re seeking thrilling experiences, Kerala offers a host of outdoor activities that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. From trekking to wildlife safaris, there’s something for everyone.
Kerala is home to several breathtaking trekking trails that attract adventure enthusiasts from around the world. The Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a range of trekking options, from easy day hikes to challenging multi-day expeditions. The Chembra Peak Trek is one of the most popular treks, offering mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills and the heart-shaped Chembra Lake. The Anamudi Peak Trek, the highest peak in South India, is also a must-try for experienced trekkers.
Kerala is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that offer thrilling wildlife safaris. Periyar National Park, located in Thekkady, is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Kerala. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and leopards. You can take a safari through the park to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Other popular wildlife reserves in Kerala include the Silent Valley National Park and the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
For water sports enthusiasts, Kerala offers a range of exciting activities, including kayaking, canoeing, and white-water rafting. The Chalippuzha River in Wayanad is an ideal destination for white-water rafting, with plenty of rapids to navigate and stunning scenery to enjoy along the way. If you’re looking for a more relaxed water activity, kayaking through the tranquil backwaters of Alleppey is a must-try.
Rock Climbing and Rappelling
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, rock climbing and rappelling are popular adventure activities in Kerala. The Western Ghats offer several rock climbing and rappelling spots, including Meenmutty Falls in Wayanad and Munnar in Idukki. Safety gear and trained guides are available on-site to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
These are just a few of the adventure activities Kerala has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a beginner, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Book your Kerala tour package today and experience the thrill of adventure.
Sample Kerala’s Flavors: Food and Spices
One of the highlights of visiting Kerala is experiencing the state’s delicious cuisine. Influenced by a diverse range of cultures, Kerala’s food is a unique blend of flavors and spices that will tantalize your taste buds.
When in Kerala, you must try the famous traditional dish, sadya. A vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf, it includes a variety of curries, rice, and bread. If you’re a seafood lover, indulge in the meen pollichathu, a tender fish wrapped in banana leaf and baked to perfection.
Kerala is also known for its spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper, which are grown locally and exported globally. Make sure to visit one of the spice plantations for a unique experience and to stock up on some authentic Indian spices to take back home.
|Appam with stew
|Hotel Saravana Bhavan, Kochi
|Puttu and Kadala Curry
|Aryaas Restaurant, Kollam
|Paragon Restaurant, Kozhikode
If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience, try taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare some of Kerala’s famous dishes. You’ll get to learn about the spices used in the cuisine and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal.
“The cuisine of Kerala is truly a sensory experience. The flavors and textures of the food, combined with the aroma of the spices, will leave you wanting more.” – John, food enthusiast.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to savor the incredible flavors of Kerala during your visit. From traditional dishes to exotic spices, Kerala’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscape.
Capture Memories of Kerala: Shopping and Souvenirs
Kerala is a shopper’s paradise, with a vibrant and colorful market scene that promises to delight visitors. Whether you are looking for traditional handicrafts, spices, or designer clothing, you will find it all in Kerala.
One of the best places to experience the hustle and bustle of Kerala’s markets is at the Ernakulam Market . Here, you can browse through a variety of goods, from clothing and electronics to spices and fresh produce. Another popular market is the Thrissur Round , located in the heart of Thrissur city. Here, you can find traditional metal and wooden handicrafts, silk sarees, and handmade jewelry.
Kerala is known for its beautiful handicrafts, such as coir products, wood carvings, and Kathakali masks. You can find these at local markets as well as specialty shops. One place to check out is the Kairali Handicrafts Emporium in Kochi, where you can find a range of authentic handicrafts from all over the state.
Kerala is famous for its spices, and visitors can take home a piece of the state’s unique flavor by purchasing spices from local markets or specialty shops. Some popular spices include black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon. The Spice Market in Mattancherry, Kochi, is a great place to explore and purchase a wide variety of spices.
If you’re looking for a unique Kerala souvenir to bring back home, you might consider purchasing a traditional mundu and neriyathu, a set of clothing worn by men and women in Kerala. You could also opt for a Kathakali mask, a piece of coir handicraft, or a box of authentic Kerala spices.
Best Places to Shop
|Kairali Handicrafts Emporium, Kochi
|Spice Market, Mattancherry, Kochi
|Clothing, electronics, spices, fresh produce
|Metal and wooden handicrafts, silk sarees, handmade jewelry
No matter what you choose to buy, shopping in Kerala is an experience that should not be missed. The vibrant markets, unique handicrafts, and delicious spices all add to the charm of this beautiful state.
Travel Tips for a Hassle-Free Kerala Holiday
Planning a Kerala holiday may seem daunting, but with the right preparation, it can be a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some travel tips to make your journey stress-free:
Best Time to Visit Kerala
Kerala has a tropical climate, with monsoon seasons from June to August and October to November. The best time to visit is from September to March, when the weather is pleasant and comfortable.
Kerala has a well-connected transportation system, with options such as taxis, buses, and trains. For longer distances, trains are the most comfortable and affordable option. Pre-book your transportation to avoid last-minute hassles.
Kerala offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly homestays to luxury resorts. Book your accommodation in advance to ensure a hassle-free stay.
Things to Do in Kerala
Kerala offers a diverse range of activities for travelers, from exploring the backwaters to indulging in Ayurvedic treatments. Research and plan your activities in advance, so you can make the most of your time in the state.
Respect Local Customs
Kerala has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and avoid public displays of affection.
While Kerala is generally a safe destination for travelers, it’s important to take precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and carrying a copy of your travel documents.
By following these travel tips, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable Kerala holiday. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Kerala is a destination you don’t want to miss.
There you have it, folks, a glimpse into the unforgettable tropical paradise of Kerala. With its stunning beaches, tranquil backwaters, picturesque hill stations, vibrant culture, renowned Ayurvedic wellness treatments, diverse wildlife, and adventure activities, Kerala has something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your Kerala holiday today and experience all that this magnificent state has to offer. With convenient transportation options, comfortable accommodations, and friendly locals, your journey is sure to be hassle-free.
Whether you are a history buff, foodie, nature lover, or just looking to unwind and relax, Kerala has something special waiting for you. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the tropical paradise of Kerala.
What are the must-visit attractions in Kerala?
Kerala is home to several must-visit attractions, including the stunning beaches, enchanting backwaters, tranquil hill stations, historical landmarks, wildlife reserves, and vibrant cultural experiences.
What are some of the popular beach destinations in Kerala?
Some popular beach destinations in Kerala include Kovalam, Varkala, Marari Beach, and Bekal Beach. These beaches offer beautiful shores, water sports, and breathtaking views.
What activities can I enjoy in the backwaters of Kerala?
In the backwaters of Kerala, you can enjoy cruising on traditional houseboats, exploring serene villages, witnessing beautiful sunset views, and indulging in delicious local cuisine.
Which are the famous hill stations to visit in Kerala?
Some famous hill stations in Kerala are Munnar, Wayanad, Thekkady, and Ponmudi. These hill stations offer breathtaking views, tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, and opportunities for trekking and adventure.
What cultural experiences can I have in Kerala?
Kerala offers various cultural experiences, such as witnessing traditional art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, exploring historic temples, attending colorful festivals like Onam, and enjoying the delicious cuisine of the state.
Where can I experience Ayurvedic wellness in Kerala?
Kerala is known for its Ayurvedic wellness treatments. Some popular places to experience Ayurveda are Kovalam, Varkala, and Ayurvedic resorts and spas located throughout the state.
What are some historical landmarks to visit in Kerala?
Kerala has several historical landmarks to visit, including the Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi, Bekal Fort, and the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi. These landmarks offer a glimpse into the rich history of the state.
Are there any wildlife reserves or nature parks in Kerala?
Yes, Kerala is home to several wildlife reserves and nature parks, such as Periyar National Park, Eravikulam National Park, and Silent Valley National Park. These places offer opportunities to spot diverse flora and fauna.
What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Kerala?
In Kerala, you can enjoy various outdoor activities such as trekking in the Western Ghats, bamboo rafting in Periyar, wildlife safaris in national parks, and water sports on the beaches.
What are some popular dishes to try in Kerala?
Some popular dishes to try in Kerala include appam with stew, Malabar biryani, fish curry, prawn masala, and Kerala-style sadya. These dishes showcase the unique flavors of Kerala cuisine.
What are some recommended souvenirs to buy in Kerala?
When visiting Kerala, you can buy souvenirs such as traditional handicrafts, aromatic spices, coir products, Kathakali masks, and local textiles. These items make for unique and memorable gifts.
What travel tips should I keep in mind for a hassle-free Kerala holiday?
Some travel tips for a hassle-free Kerala holiday include booking accommodations in advance, planning your itinerary, carrying insect repellent for outdoor activities, carrying sunscreen and hats for beach visits, and respecting local customs and traditions.