How to plan a Kerala trip | Guide to Gods own country

Located in the Southern part of India, Kerala – also known as God’s Own Country – is inexplicably a beautiful state with calm coastal shores, rich culture, pristine landscapes and of course, a unique cuisine! It provides a perfect getaway for people looking to go on a short vacation of four to seven days and welcomes them into its flawless arms. When you plan to visit the grand excellence of Kerala you should know that the state embraces some of the vast majority of intriguing beaches, delightful hill stations, exciting wildlife and relaxing ayurvedic therapies and spa. Flavored with staggering mountains, rich vegetation, and intriguing wildlife, Kerala is a combination of tourist favorites one should not miss in Asia.

Kerala looks at the Arabian Sea in the West and the Western Ghats in the East, bringing together 44 streams that flow amidst the sprawling ranches of the state. All these variables together position Kerala as one of the top visitor destinations in India. If you are voyaging to Kerala for the first time or if you’ve visited it before, the spectacular presentation of the state and its stunning destination will leave you in awe and wanting more! Read now to find about how to plan a trip to Kerala. 


How to Reach Kerala:

The first question anyone asks when they think of how to plan a trip to Kerala is how to reach there. Among the most connected states in India, Kerala can be reached through air, rail, and road. Located between mountains and forests on one side, and the sea on the other, the geography of Kerala is unique. Some of the other distinctive geographical features of Kerala are the midland lakes, lagoons, and backwaters. Once in Kerala, all the tourist destinations are well-connected by rail and by road. Flights are also easily available.

KERALA VIEW.

Image Credits: @SunishSebastian.

The Baby Steps:

Before doing research, figure out how many days you plan on visiting Kerala and accordingly decide the cities you will be visiting. Once you finalize this, you can book your tickets.  While booking, it’s always better to book up to Cochin. If your first destination is Kanyakumari or Kovalam, Trivandrum is another option; Calicut is perfect only if your first destination is Wayanad. While booking a bus or a train to Cochin, you can make the booking to Ernakulam. It is also known as Kochi.

How to Plan a Kerala Trip:

The next step of how to plan a trip to Kerala is to pick the destinations. Kerala has a countless number of tourist destinations that will interest any tourist. Prestigious for its grand landscapes and unparalleled beauty, Kerala is certain to captivate anyone with majestic hills, backwaters, beaches, waterfalls, and wildlife. The state also has a rich legacy and flourishing culture. Most tourists stick to South or Central Kerala and rarely venture to the North as there are not many tourist attractions there. 

The following are some of the places to visit in Kerala:

Cochin:

For most tourists, Cochin is the place they land in Kerala. If you want to do some Cochin sightseeing, you can either do this on the first day of arrival at Cochin, or you could leave it for the last day if you have time. If there is a time constraint, move directly to your first destination from Cochin with your options being Munnar which is 4 to 5 hours drive from Cochin, Thekkady - 5-hour drive, Alleppey, Guruvayoor or Athirapilly-Vazhachal - 2 hours drive. 

Munnar:

A hill station by nature, Munnar is a spectacular spot and the best place to visit in Kerala. If you’re looking to relax by some tea plantations while sipping hot tea, this is where you need to be. We guarantee you’ll come back for more!

Thekkady:

Thekkady has the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to visit and can also indulge in boating here. If you are an adventurous person, this is the place to visit in Kerala for you. Try spending a couple of nights at Thekkady and indulge in all sorts of adventure activities here. From Thekkady, you can move to Munnar, Alleppey,  and Kochi.

Allepy,Kerala.

Image Credits: Mehul Antani.

Alleppey/Kumarakom:

Famous for its houseboat cruises, Alleppey also has a lot of resorts and beautiful beaches to relax in. It’s also known as Kumarakom. Check into your houseboat by noon to make full use of the cruise - you can either opt for a 21-hour overnight cruise or can take morning cruise for 5 to 6 hours. Also read about the 5 star houseboats in Srinagar

Trivandrum:

Being the capital city, it reflects every aspect of city life. If your tour is starting from Trivandrum, you have the choices of moving to Kanyakumari, Varkala, Alleppey, and Cochin from here. At Trivandrum, you can visit the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, museums, and the zoo!

Kovalam:

This destination is famous for its lovely beaches. If you are really in a busy schedule, the one-night stay is enough to get a feel of the place,  but a two-night stay will let you fully enjoy this place. If Kovalam is your last destination, try to book return ticket from Trivandrum to avoid a long journey of 5 to 7 hrs to Cochin. From Kovalam, you can do day-visit to Kanyakumari. Also read about shopping in Kerala. 

 Kanyakumari:

Though this is in Tamil Nadu state, if you are traveling up to Trivandrum, it is advisable to have a visit. Stay for one night at Kanyakumari so that you can see the sunset as well as the sunrise and make sure you reach Kanyakumari before 4 PM to see the sunset.

Athirapilly - Vazhachal

Here, one can visit the biggest water falls in Kerala and it is located about 70 kilometers from Cochin. If time permits, you can even choose to stay here.

Cherai:

Another beach near Cochin, it is only 30 kilometers from Cochin. Again, if time permits, you could choose to stay here for a night or visit during the day.

Guruvayoor:

In this pilgrim place, you can visit the famous Krishna temple. Guruvayoor is 90 kilometers, a 2-hour drive from Cochin towards North West. If you are planning to visit Guruvayoor, try to stay one night there. Though it is only a 2-hour drive from Cochin, you can expect a long queue at the temple 2 to 4 hour waiting period to enter the temple. There is an elephant sanctuary at Guruvayoor that houses more than 65 elephants!


Bonus Activites:

Kerala is also immensely famous for it Ayurvedic spas. It first emerged in India over 5000 years ago and the science of life and long living, Ayurveda, is the most ancient healthcare system in the world. While combining the deep thoughts of medicine and philosophy, it helps in a wholesome physical, a spiritual and mental growth of the mind around the world. Kerala, famously known as the Land of Ayurveda, possesses a seamless tradition that has overcome many invasions and intrusions, both foreign and native. It was the only means of treatment for the people, and the Vaidyars of Kerala who faced difficulties in interpreting the theories of Ayurveda to adapt them actively into effective healing systems in everyday life. Thus, almost all the contemporary procedures of Ayurveda have evolved in and around Kerala. Also read about unknown tourist places in Kerala. 


A Few Final Steps:

Once you decide the places you want to visit, one must figure out a route plan. As we mentioned in the descriptions of the tourist destinations, choose your route plan carefully, depending on where and when you arrive first. Also, try and plan your trip at the time of festivals like the boat race and the feasts to help you take in the culture more freely and openly. Don’t forget to check the weather before you finalize your dates. Kerala has a tropical climate. December and January are cold months while April, May, and June are the hottest. While traveling within the state, carry ID cards for check- in at hotels and carry everyone’s ID, not just one person from the group. Finally, be it a place in Kerala for honeymoon or trip with family, you are ready to go!