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Houseboat in Alleppey Backwater - South India tour

Top 10 Things to do in Kerala

Plan your Kerala vacation around the top things to do in Kerala.

Kerala, a coastal state in southern India, often referred to as God’s own country, is one of the most visited destinations in India – and given the wealth of experiences it offers, it’s hard not to see why! From tranquil backwaters to pristine beaches, rolling hills and verdant plantations, stunning resorts and flavorful cuisine, Kerala is a treasure trove of activities with so many things to do. It is also one of the best places in the country to experience a wide range of Ayurvedic wellness treatments, making it a much sought after destination for a wellness holiday.

Experience the beauty of the Arabian Sea during a sunset cruise in Kochi (also known as Cochin), while a houseboat cruise in Alleppey allows you to revel in the rustic beauty of the Kerala backwaters. Kovalam is all about surfing while the national park in Periyar is popular for its elephant sightings. Munnar is all about the beauty of its tea plantations, and when in Kerala, watching a traditional performance of Kathakali is a must to understand one of the most important dance forms in India. 

If you are wondering when is the best time to head to the south of India and visit Kerala and which are the cities you should visit, our destination experts are waiting to assist you. Here is a list of the top things to do in Kerala curated by our Enchanting Travels specialists, which should definitely be part of your Kerala travel guide! 

Flower decorations for Onam in Kerala.
Flower decorations for Onam in Kerala.
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Houseboat, Alleppey, Kerala, South India

1 Explore Kerala’s backwaters on a houseboat

Find peace and relaxation in the backwaters of Kerala. A network of canals, lakes and rivers connects the dreamy little villages of Kerala. Explore the backwaters on a houseboat from Kumarakom. Laze as you watch the waters flow by, enjoy a meal cooked on board with the fresh catch of the day, served on a banana leaf, and watch scenes from rural life unfold in the villages on the banks. Another popular place to embark on a houseboat cruise is the scenic Alleppey

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2 Experience Ayurveda in Kerala

Not just backwaters and beaches, Kerala is famed for its Ayurveda treatments, making it one of the most popular wellness destinations in India. These treatments are available at several Ayurveda resorts and spas that dot its beautiful coastline. Spend a few days healing your body, mind and soul, far away from the crowds by the azure Arabian Sea.

Black tea and spices for Garam Masala Chai Tea

3 Go on a tour of the spice plantations

Walk amid aromatic plantations and rolling valleys shrouded in a veil of mist to truly experience the natural beauty of Kerala. Kerala is famous for spices such as pepper, cardamom and clove, making it one of the spice hubs of India! Your spice plantation tour of Kerala will take you on a walk through the plantations in the hills, during which you can learn about the spices, their history and how they are grown.

Head to the spice plantations in Munnar and be mesmerized by the smells wafting across the plantations, one of the top things to do in Kerala! 

Traditional Chinese fishing net at fort cochin, India, Asia

4 Explore the city of Kochi (or Cochin)

The port city of Kochi (or Cochin) was one of the key centers of trading in colonial India. Discover the myriad attractions of this charming city on your tour of Kochi. Admire its landmarks such as Fort Kochi, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace, the Jewish synagogue and the many churches. Head to the local fish market, learn about the lives of Kerala’s fishermen and marvel at the sheer variety of produce available. There are so many things to do in Kochi!

Kochi also hosts the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art. The Biennale is the largest art exhibition in India and the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia and has been gaining in popularity over the years. one of the venues for the biennale in the scenic Fort Kochi.  

South India Tours Munnar Tea Plantation during Monsoon India Kerala

5 Go on a biking tour in Munnar

The rolling tea hills of Munnar are a haven of peace and tranquility! Lush tea plantations are nestled amid wooded, rolling hills of Munnar, making it a popular place to visit for locals as well as visitors alike. Experience the beauty first hand as your cycle through the many of the trails in the hills. En route, stop at a tea plantation where you will learn about the production process.

Visit the tea museum and don’t forget to participate in a tea tasting session! Munnar is also famous for its spice plantations – don’t forget to buys some and take back home!

Enchanting Travels India ToursChairs and umbrella at Marari Beach, Kerala. It is one of the most popular beaches in Kerala

6 Enjoy a beach vacation in Mararikulam

Mararikulam is a tropical paradise with its pristine white sands and crystal clear waters! Enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Stay in a nearby beach resort and enjoy yoga sessions. Savor traditional Kerala cuisine, lie on a hammock and read your book for a truly relaxing beach vacation!

Asia Tours India Wayanad Vythiri Resort house

7 Explore the verdant hills of Wayanad

Head away from the beaches and backwaters to the mountainous paradise of Wayanad, which is located in the Western Ghats. Breathe in the fresh air as you unwind, surrounded by coffee and spice plantations as well as paddy fields!

Stay in quaint accommodations away from the city hustle and within the heart of traditional tribal settlements in Wayanad. Spend days exploring your verdant surrounds or just laze about doing nothing for a truly relaxing vacation in Kerala!

Witness the thundering Athirapally Waterfalls of Kerala during the monsoon season

8 Discover the Athirapally Waterfall

Vazhachal is home to one of the most beautiful and largest waterfalls in Kerala’s, the Athirapally Waterfall. Winding across the Sholayar Ranges its meandering weaves through lush green forests making for a truly arresting sight.

Puttu - A popular dish in Kerala

9 Enjoy fresh seafood in Kerala

Kerala is a food lover’s delight! With touches of French, Arabic and Malabar influences, the food in Kerala bursts with freshness and flavor. Seafood predominates as do rice and coconut. Sample authentic dishes like Idiyappams or string hoppers, a variety of stews, and the famous Kerala sadya: a traditional vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf!

Enchanting Travels South India Tours Cochin Kerala Kochi, Kathakali performance

10 Watch a cultural performance in Kerala

Kathakali is the traditional dance form of Kerala and its standout feature are dancers’ elaborate costumes and makeup. This traditional dance form is native to the state of Kerala and usually centers around tales from the Indian epics.

There is drama, theater, heightened emotions, the performances are full of gestures and expressive facial movements, all enhanced by the elaborate face masks. One of the best ways to experience culture in Kerala.   

Discover all the best things to do in Kerala by booking your vacation with our experts at Enchanting Travels. Contact us for your tailor-made and obligation-free tour itinerary.

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