Kerala's Mountains & Parks

The best known of India’s southern states, Kerala is the country’s most verdant and relaxed.

It is undoubtedly one of India’s most beautiful and the slow pace of life in ‘god’s own country’ is ideal for unwinding and getting back to nature.

Kerala has something for virtually every taste. Step into the tea-clad hills around Munnar for spectacular treks and walking. Relax aboard a converted ricebarge as you paddle through the languid backwaters watching life unfold. Join a cookery class at a homestay to discover the secrets of timeless family recipes. With its long coastline, spice and coconut plantations, meals in Kerala are a foodie’s delight.

In Tamil Nadu – the colourful neighbour of Kerala – Hinduism dominates nearly every aspect of life. If you only visit one temple, make sure it’s the Sri Meenakshi in Madurai. Balancing on each other’s heads and packed up tightly between kings and warriors, millions of gods smother its towering gopurams in a riot of colour that has you reaching for your sunglasses.

Elsewhere, discover a little piece of France in Pondicherry with its curry and croissants. And Chettinad demands a leisurely few days of pottering – wander around abandoned mansions, cycle down quiet lanes and unearth amazing antiques in the region’s markets.

Wherever you visit, you’ll be greeted by wonderful people. After all, Kerala is known as India’s smiliest state. 

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Experiences in Kerala

Exploring Kerala's Western Ghat Mountains

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Kerala’s backwaters by boat

A tropical labyrinth of lakes and lagoons criss-crossed by rivers and canals, there’s no better way to explore Kerala’s Backwaters than by houseboat.

Through a verdant countryside in every shade of green imaginable the watery network lacing its way between villages and farms was once used to transfer rice and spices from the hills to market towns. These days the Backwaters are left to visitors to enjoy; it’s the perfect excuse to do nothing more than kick back and drift aimlessly along the languid waters.

A private houseboat is a wonderfully relaxed way to get around in tune with the local slower pace of life and idle away an afternoon, sipping fresh coconut water through a straw as coconut palms, groves of mango, papaya and jackfruit pass before your eyes. Made from wood in traditional style, with a nod to modern requirements like a flush loo, our favourite houseboats remain simple but comfortable for a night or two.

When we're here we love the opportunity to pull up at a bank and go for a stroll among whitewashed homes and churches or be punted along channels in a leaky dug-out canoe. Families barely give you a second look as they go about their daily business beating laundry into submission, washing pots and pans and bathing in the lake, while poised girls in tiny boats brimming with baskets of fruit glide off to school between scooters and the occasional pig as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.      

Before you know it an hour or two passes by and you’re ready for a freshly cooked meal of rice, fish and curry served traditionally on a banana leaf plate, followed by the sweetest, juiciest pineapple you’ve ever tasted.

The sunsets are sublime and we recommend a couple of nights afloat so that you can sail through untouched waterways, but if your time is limited then a day afloat combined with a stay at a Backwaters hotel or homestay is a flexible alternative.

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Kerala's Top Camps

Windermere

Working cardamom and vanilla plantation is perched on a hilltop with spectacular views

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Kerala's Top Camps

The Bison

a mix of simple East African safari camp meets Raj hunting lodge

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Kerala's Top Camps

Shalimar Spice

A relaxing jungle retreat on a hillside near Periyar

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Kerala's Top Camps

Paradisa

The only thing you’ll hear is the sounds of birds and chirping insects

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Kerala's Top Camps

Tranquil

High up in the Western Ghats hidden among the bushes and trees of Kappamudi Estate

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Kerala's Top Camps

Wayanad Wild

Situated amid the rainforests of Lakkidi in the hills of Kerala’s Western Ghats

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Kerala's Top Camps

Rajakkad

Cool hills and simple styling here are literally a breath of fresh air

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Our experienced travellers include:

Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan
Olly Williams
Olly Williams
Rod Tether
Rod Tether

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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