Kerala travel tips from an insider
Clad in tropical scenery, vast waterway networks and tea and rubber plantations, Kerala’s landscape feels light-years away from India’s otherwise thrumming city streets. But climb down from the sloping mountains of the Western Ghats and you’ll find traditional Indian villages with unique flavours all of their own.
Kerala travel tips
If you’re travelling to Kerala to help you get the most out of your holiday, we’ve compiled a list of insider tips that’ll help keep your trip authentic and local.
Where to go in Kerala
The first of our Kerala travel tips is where to go. No two of Kerala’s cities are created equal – each one offers a very distinct essence. If you’re looking for an authentic experience that will take you off the beaten track, there are plenty of lesser-known pockets where local roots run deep.
Cochin is home to the main Kerala airport, making it a great gateway for wider exploration. It’s a colonial fishing hub which harks back to its days underneath Portuguese rule. Most newcomers stop along the waterfront for views of the Chinese fishing boats but ask about the fishing village for a true taste of Cochin life.
This village is known for its authentic and quiet beach lined by coconut trees. It’s aptly nicknamed the ‘secret beach’ and is a favourite among locals. Mararikulam also boasts the stunning Sree Mahadeva Temple, one of the oldest temples in India, and the only temple where the deities Shiva and Parvati sit facing each other.
Endlessly green and paved with tea plantations, Munnar is tucked up in the Western Ghats. Sipping tea straight from the source is the obvious, unmissable activity here, but hikes and cycle trips around the sometimes-steep hills offer first-hand views of the natural landscape.
What to do
Experience elegant and unique Kathakali dance
Kathakali is Kerala’s very own brand of dance, combining storytelling with music, dance, acting and incredibly colourful and elaborate costumes. There are centres featuring Kathakali performances throughout Kerala. Arrive early and you’ll get to see performers intricately applying their makeup. Definitely one of our favourite Kerala travel tips!