If you are in the planning stage of a great holiday or honeymoon to Kerala, I suggest you to go through the details below. This is written from my own experience in planning Kerala tours for many guests like you. This article will definitely help you in deciding every aspect of your tour.
Get Ready For Your Dream Vacation –
“A Practical Guide to Help You Plan Your Kerala Tour better”
- Before doing any research, finalize the number of days you can spend on your Kerala holiday. This is crucial as you can decide on places to visit as per your leave only.
- If you are having enough leave from office, go through different tourist spots in Kerala, and with the help of your tour organizer finalize the number of days. In both cases, freeze your arrival and departure dates.
- Once this is finalized, you can book your tickets to Kerala. While booking onward journey, it’s always advisable to book up to Cochin. Trivandrum is another option – book up to Trivandrum only if your first destination is Kovalam or Kanyakumari. Calicut is good only if your first destination is Wayanad.
- Cochin is also spelled as Kochi, and is also known as Ernakulam. While booking a bus you can make the booking to Ernakulam. While booking a train you may book to Ernakulam North or Ernakulam South as some trains stop only at one station. The station code for train booking is ERN or ERS. For flights, make the booking to Cochin or Kochi (location code is COK). By any means, try to reach Cochin as early as possible to cover maximum spots.
- Tourists from Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai and Hyderabad can reach Kerala by train, flight or bus. From Coimbatore, bus is the best option. If you are traveling from Bangalore, you have all three options. Normally a bus takes 9 – 12 hrs to reach Cochin from Bangalore. Nowadays multi-axle Volvo buses are reaching Cochin in 9 to 10 hrs. This varies on road conditions. There is a check post at Tamil Nadu – Kerala border and very rarely, we have seen buses come late due to checking at this check post. There are lots of buses plying on Bangalore – Cochin route and this is a good option to reach Kerala from Bangalore. You may even check for sleeper buses. A train takes approximately 12 hrs from Bangalore but getting a ticket is the biggest challenge. If tickets are available, this is the best option. In any case, try to book a bus/train which reaches Cochin in the morning. If you are opting for flight, book a flight that reaches at least before noon.
- From Hyderabad, flight or train is the best option. Choose a bus only if nothing works out, as it takes almost 18 hours. Nowadays buses are plying from Mumbai also but use this as your last option, as it is nearly a 36 hour journey.
- From Mangalore you can travel by bus or train. From Mysore, you have the option of only bus, or else you need to travel to Bangalore first and then to Cochin. From Chennai you can travel by bus, train or flight. Bus and train takes almost 12 hours to reach Cochin.
- From Delhi, Ahmadabad or any other destinations to Kerala, you have the option of traveling by train or flight only.
- For those who are coming from other countries, you have the option to come directly by flight. You can also get off at one of the metro city air terminals and come to Kerala by train. You need to do all the booking beforehand to avoid any confusion.
- Once onward journey is booked, you may book return ticket. While booking return ticket, please be careful about timings and destinations. I suggest you book this only after finalizing the package, or at least the itinerary.
Choice of Destinations
Now we need to finalize on the destinations to be covered. This is where we need to balance between the number of days you have and your interests. A small description about the major tourist spots in Kerala should help you with this.
Major Tourist Destinations in South/Central Kerala
- Cochin – In most cases this is the place you land in Kerala. If you are interested in Cochin sightseeing, you can either do this on the first day – upon arrival at Cochin, or if you have enough time on last day, go for it.
- Munnar – This is the best tourist spot in Kerala. You’d love to see it 100 times. Munnar is a hill station.
- Thekkady – Thekkady has the Periyar wild life Sanctuary that you can visit when you go for boating at Thekkady. Thekkady has a lot of adventurous activities and eco tourism activities too.
- Alleppey/Kumarakom – This is the place where you can go for a houseboat cruise. Alleppey also has a lot of resorts to relax, and there is also a beautiful beach.
- Trivandrum- The capital city
- Kovalam – Lovely beaches
- Kanyakumari – Though this is in Tamil Nadu, if you are travelling up to Trivandrum (and if time permits), it is advisable to have a visit.
- Athirapilly-Vazhachal – Biggest water falls in Kerala.
- Cherai – Another beach near Cochin.
- Guruvayoor – Pilgrim place, the famous Krishna temple. There is an elephant sanctuary at this place with more than 65 elephants.
Get Route Plan Done
Some suggested route plans are mentioned below. Depending on your interest, you may decide on the number of days to be spent at each destination. You may skip any place in between also. As km is also mentioned, this will help you to get the routing done easily for your holidays.
If arrival is at Cochin
- Cochin – (135 km) – Munnar – (110 km) – Thekkady– (160 km) – Alleppey resort – Alleppey Houseboat – (80 km) – Cochin.
- Cochin – (135 km) – Munnar – (110 km) – Thekkady– (160 km) – Alleppey resort –Alleppey Houseboat – (80 km) – Varkala – (150 km) – Kanyakumari– (90 km) – Trivandrum/Kovalam – (230 km) – Cochin
- Cochin – (80 km) – Alleppey resort –Alleppey Houseboat – (210 km) – Kanyakumari– (90 km) – Trivandrum/Kovalam – (230 km) – Cochin
- Cochin – (135 km) – Munnar – (110 km) – Thekkady– (160 km) – Alleppey resort –Alleppey Houseboat – (80 km) – Cochin – (90 km) – Guruvayoor– (140 km) – Athirapillyvazhachal– (70 km) – Cochin
- Cochin – (300 km) – Wayanad– (300 km) – Cochin – (135 km) – Munnar – (110 km) – Thekkady– (160 km) – Alleppey resort –Alleppey Houseboat – (80 km) – Varkala – (150 km) – Kanyakumari – (90 km) – Trivandrum/Kovalam Cochin
If arrival is at Trivandrum
- Trivandrum/Kovalam – (90 km) – Kanyakumari – (150 km) – Varkala – (80 km) – Alleppey Houseboat –Alleppey resort – (160 km) – Thekkady – (110 km) – Munnar – (135 km) – Cochin
Kerala has a typical tropical climate around the year. December and January are relatively colder months, and the weather starts warming up from February. April – June are the summer months where it can be quite hot and humid.
The South West monsoon season from June – September sees a lot of torrential rainfall. Following that, there is the North East Monsoon that runs from October to December.
It’s best to plan your trip based on the weather conditions as well. Hill Stations remain cool year round, and you can expect a higher tourist population during the summer months. Kerala is quite enchanting during the monsoon season, and you can enjoy the weather if you come prepared with appropriate rain gear.
Do select vehicle as per the number of people travelling and the luggage you carry.
For 2-4 person,the Swift Dzire/Etios/Indigo will be the best & comfortable but please avoid Indica as it doest’nt have sufficient leg & luggage space.
If there are 4 to 7 persons, then choose Tavera and for more luxury Innova can be selected.
If there are 8 or more people in your group, then travel in Tempo traveler (9 Seat,12 Seat,17 Seat,19 Seat,26 Seat).
If you try to save money by congesting yourself in a vehicle, then your travel will not be relaxing. Not only that your vehicle will find it difficult in pulling through hills. There should be space to keep your luggage also while selecting the vehicle.
Luggage/Cash & ID cards
While travelling try to carry minimum luggage. Also try to take minimum cash with you and fewer ornaments. You will find lot of ATM’s in Kerala.
Do carry ID card of every person who travels with you. ID card is required at the time of check-in at hotels.