Kerala: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Kerala: The Ultimate Travel Guide


Think swaying palm trees, tea and spice plantations, hill retreats, silent backwaters, rice paddies, beautiful national parks that are home to a host of wildlife and you’ve teleported yourself to Kerala. That’s serenity right there! So, what do you do with a place so beautiful? Explore it to your heart’s content of course! And you can take our word for it, it won’t disappoint you. Words can not express how beautiful Kerala is. But numbers can! So, we give it a 10/10!

Women travellers sitting by the sea shore in Marari Beach, Kerala
Wanderers at the picture perfect beach of Marari, Kerala. WOW Trip to Kerala in 2018

Planning a trip to Kerala can be puzzling. Choosing among the various hill stations in Kerala, the beaches and backwater experiences can be tricky.

Still confused about what to do in Kerala? Here's an ultimate travel guide to Kerala that will help you decide!

View in Kerala
Kerala at it's best during the winter months. WOW Trip 2019

Best Places to Visit in Kerala:

Kerala will surprise you with a myriad of attractions it has in store for you.

The WOW Club has been operating solo women travel groups to Kerala for over 10 years. Click the link below to see our itinerary that has been perfected over time. Or read on for details on our favourite locations in Kerala

Women Solo Tour to Kerala - WOW Club Kerala Solo
Enchanting Kerala is a beautiful destination! We've already been there, and now it's your turn, with our Solo Travel Kerala special offer. Click here.
WOW Club's Kerala Itinerary

What is Munnar famous for?

Breathtaking hills, the largest tea-growing region, and a heavenly feel are all about Munnar, one of the best hill stations in South India. Munnar is the perfect beginning to your trip to Kerala.

  • Eravikulam National Park: paradise for birders & wildlife enthusiasts – home to endangered Nilgiris Tahr.
  • Visit Attukal waterfalls - Most picturesque waterfalls in God’s own Country!
  • Any trip to Kerala begins and ends with Tea. Tea is all around you in this verdant countryside. So make sure you visit a Tea Plantation.
  • Hiking through the Tea Plantations -  These treks aren’t that challenging or long adventures. The average length of treks ranges between 10-12 km and 16-20 km (note that all have to be done only with a guide).
  • If you are an animal lover, then you should definitely not miss the Wild Elephant Village at Anakulam
  • Other top places to visit in Munnar are - Mattupetty Dam, Kundala Lake, Top Station, Mattupetty Dairy Farm and Echo Point
How to get to Munnar?
Munnar is about 125 km away from Cochin International airport. En route the scenic drive from Cochin to Munnar, see the Cheeyappara Waterfall. It is a sight to behold as Cheeyappara Waterfalls run down from a rocky slope in seven steps.
Tea Plantations of Munnar
A picture amongst the Tea Plantations of Munnar is a MUST. WOW Trip 2017

What to see and do in Thekkady

Thekkady is just a 3-hour drive from Munnar. The entire route from Munnar to Thekkady is of high landscapes with mountains, hills, tea manors and Cardamom estates.

  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary - The sanctuary is located on the banks of River Periyar, which offers some of the best wildlife sighting. Don't forget to go for bamboo rafting on the lake to enjoy the real pleasure of this amazing place.
  • Visit Spice Plantation and enjoy shopping for spices at Kumily town
  • Enjoy a Cultural show of  Kerala's renowned art forms known as Kathakali and Kalaripayattu.
  • Other top places to visit in Thekkady are - Ramakkalmedu, Spring Valley Mountain, Mullaperiyar Dam and Thekkady Lake
Kathakali Artists
Kathakali Artists of Kerala. WOW Trip 2018

Is Alleppey worth visiting?

Yes! Here are some hidden things you didn't know about Alleppey

Home to the famous backwaters of Kerala, Alappuzha or Alleppey, as it’s more commonly called, was originally a small fishing village that has now become one of India’s most popular tourist destinations. Dangerously balanced on a complex network of inland canals and backwaters, life at Alleppey is languid, best experienced on a houseboat.

Alleppey top 10 list

  • Indulge in Kerala’s Backwaters With The Best Houseboats in Alleppey
  • Relax under the palm groves and have a picnic beside the Alappuzha beach.
  • Vembanad Lake -  This is where the beautiful village of Kumarakum is located. You can also find some amazing beach resorts in Kumarakum where you can have a relaxing time.
  • Marari Beach - Known for its serenity and tranquility, this beach is listed among the World’s top five hammock beaches by National Geographic Survey.
  • Other Top places to visit in Alleppey are -  Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Krishnapuram Palace, Sri Krishna Temple,  Revi Karunakaran Museum and Punnamada Lake.
WOW Pro Tip: If you are visiting Alleppey in the months of June-August, you can see the snake boat races which would surely be a thrilling experience that you can get in Marari.

What is the best time to visit Kerala?

September to March is the best time to visit Kerala. This is the time when Kerala has a comfortable climate and pleasant weather with less humidity making it suitable to explore the state - the hill stations, beaches and backwaters.

Kerala is one such place which can be visited round the year.

  • Winter (October-February) - If you wish to explore the enchanting lagoons, tranquil canals and spicy plantations of Kerala’s amazing cities, winter is the perfect time for you.
  • Summer (March-May) - Hill stations like Munnar and Wayanad are popular during the summer months.
  • Monsoon (June-September) - People who are looking for ayurvedic treatments prefer the Monsoon season. Torrential monsoon rains (at their worst from June to August) flood Kerala and make visiting the beach towns pretty unpleasant and travel inland potentially tricky. The only exception to this season is if your visit is for an Ayurvedic retreat, with no intention of exploring the rest of the state; you’ll save a lot of money attending the retreats during low season and an alternative indoor focus means the storms won’t really trouble you.
Kerala Beach
Postcards from Kerala Beaches. WOW Trip 2019

Things to know before you go to Kerala:

  • Walking shoes and flip-flops: Comfy sneakers are ideal in hilly places like Munnar and Wayanad, while beach destinations demand airy flip-flops.
  • Mosquito repellent and leech socks: Mosquitoes love Kerala’s lush environs, so be sure to carry a repellent. Plantation areas and trekking routes are breeding grounds for leeches during the rains. You may want to invest in leech socks.
  • Warm clothing and umbrellas: Carry a light jacket for evenings in coastal areas; you’ll need something heavier in October–February for the hills. A sturdy umbrella in June and September is a must.
  • Languages spoken: Malayalam, English, Tamil and some Hindi.
  • You may note that several towns or airports are referred to by two or three different names. For example, Trivandrum is also called Thiruvananthapuram, whilst Alleppey is also called Allapahauza. Most people will understand either name, but it does mean you just need to double-check before confirming that flight or train booking!
Too much planning that goes in just for a weekender? Rest assured and join us on our next trip to Wayanad and Baikal

Which is the best dish in Kerala?

  • Appam with Stew: Appams are light, fluffy pancakes made of rice, crispy at the edges and moist at the center, best enjoyed with a fragrant stew of meat and/or vegetables.
  • Kerala Beef Fry with Malabar Paratha: Chunky, fried pieces of beef cooked in a spicy masala mix served with light, flakey Malabar paratha—one of Kerala’s signature dishes.
  • Prawn Moilee: What’s Kerala without its seafood? While everything from the karimeen to the lobster here is delicious, don’t leave Kerala without trying the moilee, a curry made from coconut and kokum, a local fruit used to add a sour tang to curries.
Kerala dishes
All of Kerala's signature Dishes. WOW Trip 2018

How do you get to Kerala?

  • By Air: The state houses three international airports, namely Trivandrum International Airport, Cochin International Airport, and Calicut International Airport. Kollam Airport is a domestic airport which connects the major cities of the state.
  • By Train: Kerala is brilliantly connected by railways. It has more than 200 railway stations, connecting major cities and small towns of the state. Also, direct trains to various destinations in Kerala can be availed from major cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. You will also find superfast and express trains such as Duronto and Rajdhani.
  • By Road: Reaching Kerala by road is a good idea. The roads are beautifully connected and well maintained. If you wish to have a look at the stunning views, this is definitely the mode of transport for you. National Highway No – 47, 17, 49 and an expanded system of metaled roads connect Kerala to the rest of the country. Private taxis and buses are easily available in all the parts of this state.
  • You can also find luxury overnight buses from destinations such as Alleppey, Kannur, Trivandrum, Wayanad, Thrissur, and Palakkad.

Add-On Destinations to your itinerary

This was a tiny glimpse of Kerala over a period of 8 days, but here are some other recommendations for you to look up if you have more time in the beautiful State!


  • Love beaches? Well, Varkala is the perfect place for you. It is one of the best seaside places with one of the best beaches in Kerala.
  • Varkala attracts thousands of beach enthusiasts every year. Also, you will find some interesting water sports here such as parasailing, surfing, boat riding, jetting and many more.
  • You will also find many Hindu temples in Varkala which welcome religious travelers and heritage lovers.
  • Popular attractions - Varkala Beach, Varkala Tunnel, Vishnu Temple, Janardhan Temple, Kappil Lake, Papanasam Beach, Anjengo Fort, and Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah are some of the best tourist attractions in Varkala

Wayanad and Bekal

  • Wayanad is one of the most exquisite hill stations in India.
  • From adventurous trails to wildlife sanctuaries, from thrilling treks to picturesque waterfalls, Wayanad has a lot to offer.  
  • Wayanad and Bekal are one of the most beautiful retreats of Kerala. It is a perfect 3-4 days getaway from your busy life.
  • Popular attractions - Your vacation to Wayanad is never complete without visiting Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Thirunelli Temple, Lakkidi View Point, Kabini, Banasura Hill, Puliyarmala Jain Temple and Padinjarathara Dam.
  • This piece of information is for all the Tamil fans out there - The song 'Uyire' (Tamil) from the movie Bombay was shot at Bekal Fort. So you know what is a MUST see in Bekal!


  • Kozhikode is one of the famous cities in Kerala.
  • DON'T miss the authentic Malabar food in Kozhikode. The Dum Biryani, Kallummakkaya, Chatti Pathiri and Dal Halwa are a must try.
  • Popular attractions - Mananchira, Tali Temple, Kozhikode Beach, Matri Dei Cathedral, Kappad Beach, Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Payyoli Beach, Kozhippara Falls and Hilite Mall are some of the best places to visit in Kozhikode.

Where can you stay in Kerala?

High End Hotels or Resorts in Kerala

Top on the list of Luxury resorts in Kerala are the resorts of CGH Earth group which are owned and run by a Keralan family in multiple destinations.

  1. Brunson Boatyard in Cochin
  2. Spice Village in Thekkady
  3. Marari Beach in Marari
  4. Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom
  5. Wayanad Wild in Wayanad
  6. Other luxury hotels are Niramaya retreat , Turtle on the beach and Taj green cove resort and spa in Kovalam

Mid Range Properties

  1. Abad Atrium in Cochin
  2. Abad Green Forest Resort in Thekkedy
  3. Abad Turtle resort in Marari
  4. Abad Whispering palm in Kumarakum
  5. Abad Copper Castle in Munnar

Hope you find this guide helpful to plan your vacation to Kerala. Well if you still need some help, please reach out to us us for personalized trip to Kerala or just join us on our next WOW Trip to Kerala