Apart from the famous backwaters, rice paddies, coconut trees swaying by the river and the rich heritage of spices & tea estates, Kerala is also home to wildlife such as elephants, myriad species of birds, awe-inspiring waterfalls and rich cultural heritage in the form of Kathakali and the likes. If lucky, you will also be welcomed by the odd appearance of a Tiger at the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
There are the famous places travellers visit like Munnar- known for its tea & spice estates, Thekkady for its wildlife reserves, Kumarakom & Alleppey for its backwaters but there are also some off-beat places that should be on your must visit list if taking a long break in this part of South India. Varkala, a beach destination offers breath-taking views of the beach from a cliff. Varkala is about 118 kms (2.16 hrs) from Alleppy and a 3 hours distance from Cochin. It is famous for its beach, mineral water springs, Shivagiri Mutt & a 2000 year old Vishnu temple. Apart from Varkala there are a couple of places like Anamudi, Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls, Beypore Beach, Ashtamudi Lake – second deepest lake in the state after Vembanad Lake, Cherai beach, Veliyaparamba Backwaters and Kuruva Islands which demand a dekkho. These are rarely explored but are definitely worth the time when in Kerala.
And for the adventure lover there are plenty of options to choose from – bamboo rafting in the rivers, canoeing & kayaking, mountain climbing, wildlife safari or staying in a tree-house. All of these experiences make up the place called Kerala – jewel of South India