Kerala Trip Guide - Plan your Kerala Tour - A step by step guide for Kerala Tour Packages
Are you planning a Kerala tour or a honeymoon to Kerala? If yes please read the below. We have tried to write this article for those who are planning a Kerala holiday. This will help the first time visitors to plan their Kerala holiday without any problem. This is basically a general idea about Kerala and Kerala tour packages.
Before searching for the best Kerala tour packages or Kerala honeymoon packages, you should have a clear answer to the following points.
A. No of days you will be spending in Kerala
B. Type of accommodation that you would like to have
C. Type of transportation – selecting the best car
D. Arriving airport, railway station or bus station.
E. Places that you would like to visit while you are in Kerala.
Plan your Kerala arrival based on the tour packages you have selected. If your first destination in Kerala is Cochin or Munnar or Alleppey, you can come directly to Cochin. In most cases, Cochin is the common arrival point for everyone as their tour will start from this city.
You can book your flight to Cochin international airport (COK) - the airport is just 20 km from the main city. You can also book to Trivandrum airport if your first destination is Kovalam or Kanyakumari. Calicut airport is for those who are planning for a Wayanad tour.
Cochin is also spelt as Kochi and Cochin is also known as Ernakulam or if you are coming to Cochin by train you can book your ticket to Ernakulam north or Ernakulam south or Aluva railway station (which is near to airport). Some trains will have stops at either in the north station or in the south station. The code is ERS or ERN.
If you are coming by bus, this is advisable for tourists from Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, you can book to Ernakulam and bus services have multiple drop points in the city, you can coordinate with your tour consultant to arrange to pick up.
Selecting the best accommodation or hotel
Please choose your accommodation based on your itinerary, your tour consultant will help you in finding the best hotel according to your budget. Just like any other place the hotel category starts from Budget to 5 star and Kerala also have a good number of service villas and homestays. Especially if you are planning a stay in Fort Kochi, a stay in one of the homestays near to the beach will give you an extraordinary experience.
Hotel prices in different seasons?
The hotels in Kerala have three different seasons and the price will change depending on the season. There are season price, peak season price and off-season price.
Season - from 1st October to 15 December and 15 January to 31 March- during these periods prices will remain same, rates will be relatively higher than offseason but up to 40 % less than peak season.
Peak Season- Diwali vacation and from December 15 to January 15 - During these periods the hotel prices will have an increase up to 40%. In most of the hotel's rate will change on 24th December and 31 December and will have Christmas and new year gala dinner charges extra.
Offseason- from 1st April to 30 September - during these periods prices may come down by 40 % and these changes may not be applicable in hill stations, especially in Munnar this is mainly because Munnar attracts a lot of domestic tourist during the hot season. offseason in Munnar is from 01 Jun to 30 September.
selecting the vehicle for Kerala holiday packages
Indica or other small hatchbacks- Suitable for two persons
Sedan- Car with boot space – Suitable for three persons or small family
Innova –Seven seater category – A Tavera is suitable for 4-7 persons and if you need some luxury you can opt for Innova.
Tempo traveller- It is advisable for groups having 7 or more people. Please note that you will be travelling least 3 to 4 hrs daily on your holiday, so choosing a wrong vehicle will ruin your entire holiday plan. Please don’t try to save money by congesting yourself in a vehicle, then you will not get a comfortable drive since you will be climbing hills. Please consider your luggage while selecting the vehicle.
Carry your luggage based on the vehicle chosen. You can find many ATM’s in all part of Kerala, most of the shops do take credit and debit cards. Always carry enough cash for local buy and food. Please carry minimum ornaments while you are on your holiday.
Carry at least one ID card each person. You may be asked to produce the ID cards in hotels.
Kerala has a good network connection and almost all the major telecom companies have towers in all corners of the state but in some hill stations, only BSNL has good range.
Selecting the places to visit on your Kerala tour
You can choose the destination according to your mood and preferences. Kerala has many tourist destinations that will meet every type of expectations. Kerala has a good number of beaches, popular hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries, backwaters, historical places, and places for adventure tours. Below mentioned is the most visited places in Kerala.
01.. Munnar – Munnar is the most famous tourist destination in Kerala, especially famous among honeymooners from everywhere. Munnar is a beautiful hill station with scenic tea plantations, breath-taking viewpoints, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries. Munnar is just 110 km 3.5 hrs drive. Minimum two night is required to see the top places in Munnar.
Most visited places in Munnar
02. Cochin- Fort Kochi- Cochin has many tourist destinations, if you like shopping, beaches, palaces, museums, and shopping malls then you should spend a couple of days in the city to explore it to the maximum. The top places to visit in Cochin as follows.
Top places to visit in Cochin on holiday
03.. Thekkady- Thekkady is famous for Periyar wildlife sanctuary. A boat ride in the lake will help you to rediscover wildlife. Thekkady also has many adventure and eco-tourism activities.
Top places to visit in Thekkady
04.. Alleppey Backwater- Alleppey is also known as the “Venice of Kerala” true to the name, Alleppey has a good canal waterway network. Alleppey is famous for one thing that is the houseboat cruising in the lake. A houseboat stay and traditional meal along with scenic view is an amazing experience for those who like to refresh their life. There are lot other places to see in Alleppey some of them are mentioned below.
Top places to visit in Alleppey or Alappuzha
05.. Trivandrum- Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala, has many tourist destinations and pilgrim places. If you like history and Ayurveda then Trivandrum is a good place for you. Below are the top places to see in Trivandrum.
Top place to visit in Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram
06.. Vagamon - A hill station and a beautiful place to spend one day. You can choose to do a lot of adventure activities in this place. The most visited places in Vagamon is mentioned below.
Top places to see in Vagamon
07.. Wayanad – Wayanad is in the northern part of Kerala and about 300 km from Cochin. Wayanad is famous for nature and wildlife. You may need three days to explore Wayanad. The most visited places in Wayanad as follows.
Best places to visit in Wayanad
08.. Thrissur – Thrissur is just 80 km from Cochin. Thrissur is famous for festivals and it is well-known Pilgrim centre of Kerala. Some of the top places to visit in Thrissur as follows.
Top places to visit in Thrissur
09. Athirapilly waterfalls – As you may have seen in the movies like Bahubali and Raavan. This waterfall is breath-taking. While on your way to this beautiful water you can choose to spend time in “Prakrithigramam”, which has a garden and a ropeway across the river. A good place spends a half day. The drive through the palm trees will give you a good experience. If you planning for a Kerala tour, please add this to your bucket list of places to visit.
10. Cherai Beach. One of the cleanest beaches in Cochin. A good destination for beach lovers who like to swim and enjoy the sunbath.
11.. Guruwayoor. This is a pilgrim spot and the most famous Krishna temple where people from all around India come to conduct wedding ceremonies. There is also an Elephant sanctuary with more than 60 Elephants.
12.. Poovar Islands – Poovar is in Trivandrum and it is a famous backwater destination. Poovar has good no of luxury resorts and hotels. Backwater cruising is one of the main attraction of Poovar.
What to see in Poovar Islands
13. Kanyakumari – Though this place is in Tamilnadu, if you have enough time on your holiday you can choose to visit Kanyakumari. Most of the Kerala tour packages start with Cochin and ends with Kanyakumari. The top places to see in Kanyakumari are mentioned below.
Top places to see in Kanyakumari
Distance Chart - Distance is calculated from Cochin International Airport
Fort Kochi - 36 km - 1h26 minute drive from the airport
Cherai beach- 26.1 km - 52 minute drive from airport
Kuzhupilly beach- 29.2 km - 1h drive from the aiport
Munnar- 110.2 km - 3 h 30 minute drive from the airport
Thekkady- 144.4 km - 4h 40 minute drive from the aiport
Wagamon- 96.8 km - 3h 15 minute drive from the airport
Alleppey-82.9 km - 2h 16 minute drive from the airport
Varkala beach- 188.8km - 4h 59 minute drive from the airport
Trivandrum- 228 km- 5h 27minute drive from the airport
Kovalam- 241.4 km - 5h 40 minute drive from the airport
Athirappilly waterfalls- 39.7 km - 1 hr 22 minute drive from the airport
Guruvayoor- 81.1 km - 2h 16 minute drive from the airport
Thrissur- 53.7 km - 1h 27 minute drive from the airport
Calicut- 174.2 km -4 h 29 minute drive from the airport
Wayanad- 246.3 km - 6h 36 minute drive from the airport
Kanyakumari- 329 km - 7 h 54 minute drive from the airport
Kerala Tour packages usual route
Kerala tour package route - Cochin - Cherai beach - Athirapiilly waterfalls- Munnar- Thekkady - Alleppey/Kumarakom houseboat -Kovalam - Kanyakumari - Rameshwaram - Madurai drop or Trivandrum drop or Cochin drop
Wheather condition in Kerala
Kerala usually have tropical weather all around the year. November last to January are relatively colder month
February to June are usually warm climate, April to June is hot climate with humidity
Monsoon season starts from June- June to September usually have torrential rainfall and
October to December we will have moderate rainfall
Booking online with portals like Makemytrip.com, Booking.com, Expedia Vs Booking with Local travel agents
Online portals only shows the hotel rates independently and it looks cheaper as compared to the Kerala tour package quotation given by the Local travel agent. Most of the cases hotels are booked through online and then look for cab services online or upon arrival. The combined cost of Kerala tour package will always be cheaper with a Local travel agent and there are some benefits as well. Local support in case of any emergencies or any problems in hotels or while traveling. Always book with any local travel agent than your hometown travel agent this is mainly because your hometown agents will be depending on the local Kerala travel agents to conduct the tour and making the cost higher due to his commission. Always ask quotations from three or four online travel agents who is located in Kerala. One of the best way to reduce the cost of your tour package is by selecting the hotels by yourself and you can also get advise from your travel consultant in selecting the hotels. Please do not allow your online travel consultant to select the hotels for you or always check the reviews of hotels recommended by the travel consultants. You can see online genuine reviews in portals like MakeMyTrip or TripAdvisor.
How to compare the quotation given by online tour agents?
The comparison should be done on the basis of below factors.
01. Hotels / Accommodation provided in the quote - Category of hotels
02. Type of Vehicle provided in the quote - Make sure to select the vehicle based on no of passengers and luggage
03. List of places to visit - always ask for detailed itinerary and list of places to be visited on your Kerala tour
04. The total cost given in the quotation- Make sure that there is no hidden cost
Restaurants in Kerala
Kerala has a good number of veg and non-veg restaurants in almost all part of the state. Most of the Keralites are non-veg and in most of the restaurants, non-veg dishes are available. Pure veg restaurants are available in part of the state, you can find a pure south Indian veg restaurant in all places.