The best known of India’s southern states, Kerala is the country’s most verdant and relaxed with something for every taste.
Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and ranges of the Western Ghats forming the border with Tamil Nadu to the east, Kerala is a fertile paradise of palm lined beaches, rice paddies, steamy jungles and plantations in every shade of green imaginable.
The hill country is ideal for walks and treks with far-reaching views or you can hike in the jungle with a reformed poacher in search of wildlife. In the lowlands, the famed Kerala Backwaters form an enchanting watery network of lakes, rivers and canals and at its heart the former spice trading centre of Cochin remains filled with reminders of its Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial influences.
With its long coastline, Kerala cuisine contains many mouth-watering seafood dishes; delicately flavoured with local spices and enriched with coconut milk, meals are a foodie’s delight. Kerala is also the home of ayurveda, a 2000 year old healing tradition based on the science of complete well-being. For those short on time, a massage based on its principles will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated.
Hinduism is deeply ingrained in everyday life and everyone is welcomed to join the festivals complete with elephants or elaborately painted dancers. Wherever you choose to go you will be greeted happily – Kerala is also India’s smiliest state.
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- Jump aboard through narrow channels, lakes and lagoons of the Backwaters
- Experience local culture at the markets of Kerala
- Guided forest walks
- Gentle cycling from farms to rural villages
Top Reasons To Visit Kerala
Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.
Best time to go visit Kerala
The best time to visit Kerala is from November to the beginning of March. Kerala has a tropical climate and is at its most enjoyable at this time; it’s warm, sunny and dry with daytime temperatures in the lowlands around 30’C.
Humidity levels are at their lowest in December and January. In turn this becomes peak season with prices and visitor numbers at their highest. Temperatures are tempered by altitude, so in the hill stations, such as Munnar and ranges of the Western Ghats it is much cooler and you will need a fleece, pullover or jacket in the morning and evening.
Temperatures and humidity begin to build through March and the monsoon rains fall in Kerala from May to October, petering out in November with the occasional tropical thunderstorm and downpour. There’s a few weeks of respite from rain in the second half of September when the prevailing wind changes direction. This is a beautiful time to visit while taking advantage of low season discounts.
Best time to go visit Kerala
Our Favourite Camps & Lodges
The Hermitage offers a utopia far removed from the pressures of everyday living, and a chance to enjoy the essence of authentic India.Learn More
Windermere River House is the essence of calm. Located on two acres of lush garden on the banks of the Periyar River.Learn More
The journey from the arid plains of Tamil Nadu, climbing on the winding roads of the green Palani Hills is just the first of the joys of Rajakkad.Learn More
The River House echoes a stately old Colonial bungalow with large rooms, soaring ceilings and handcrafted furniture that was built on site.Learn More
Kerala (FAQS) NEED TO KNOW
Where is the best place to stay in Kerala?
There’s a great choice of accommodation across Kerala and it’s certainly worth mixing things up to enjoy a variety of different experiences and to access a number of various areas. However, an experience not to be missed is a night or two in a homestay. Spending time with a family offers a unique insight into everyday life that’s only possible by staying with the locals who are likely to be some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet. Your itinerary will be tailor-made so we will be happy to discuss the options and plan this with you.
When is the best time to visit the Kerala Backwaters?
Daytime temperatures in the Backwaters hover around 30’C throughout the year, but the drop in humidity from November to February marks the winter season and the most comfortable time to visit.
What is the best way to explore the Kerala Backwaters?
The best way to get around the Kerala Backwaters is by private boat. Sipping fresh coconut water while drifting along on a converted rice barge or paddling your own canoe, you can observe riverside life along the way and hop onto land to find out more whenever you fancy. If you’re feeling more adventurous you might like to jump on board a government ferry – they’re crowded but offer an authentic view of local life.
In the Alleppey Backwaters it’s not always easy these days to find a quiet place to moor for the night but, especially if you prefer your creature comforts and more space, there are some fabulous waterfront villas to choose from too.
Is Kerala a good destination for families?
Kerala is India’s most laid back state and offers a visual and cultural feast at a relaxed pace for all the family. During the UK Christmas and February half term school holidays the days are tropically warm and balmy, favourable to a spot of adventure before chilling on a beach.
Keralites are very family orientated and welcome children with open arms. We recommended spending a night or two at a family homestay to immerse yourselves in local life and enjoy Indian food at its best – home cooked. So that you don’t miss some of Kerala’s well-known highlights we’ll help you discover them in a variety of different ways; leave the car behind and join your private guide exploring by public bus and ferry, auto-rickshaw, on foot, bicycle and canoe – and perhaps even on elephant back. You’ll always have the flexibility to linger longer when something catches your interest, or to move on or call it a day when interest or energy levels are flagging.
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