Places in Kerala for Solo Travelers
Kerala often referred to as Keralam is rightly called “God’s Own Country” due to its rich vegetation, backwaters, beaches, biological diversity and lifestyle. Traveling solo is an enriching experience especially if you are planning to take it up with a place like Kerala. Not only that Kerala tops the list of ‘must travel places in India’ by most of the travel blogs but also offers ease of travel and safe. Kerala is well connected with trains and airports to ensure ease of travel. The surrounding hills, rich waterfalls and palm-studded beaches offer a perfect option for solo travelers to get closer to nature. Here is a list of some of the places one can mark on their map (in no specific order) if you are traveling solo to the beautiful land of Kerala and be ready to experience the beautiful explorations.
Wayanad in Kerala
Wayanad is among the most unexplored choices among the travelers’ buck list here in Kerala. The district is a great destination for hiking with its natural surroundings, coffee and teak plantations, and lots of greenery. The place is ideal for solo travelers who are looking for an escape in the lap of nature as well as it’s inherently safe. People of the region are quite welcoming and helpful and speak the following languages like Malayalam, Hindi and English which makes it easy to communicate with them. Travelers can explore caves and wildlife sanctuary in the area. Commuting in the area is easier via local cars and taxis.
Varkala, the Coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Varkala is one place which will give you the perfect backpacker vibes as you will get to meet a lot of solo and like travelers here. The town is essentially famous for its temples, but the beaches and the perfect natural setting along the edge of cliff top offer some of the most popular backpacker hang outs. If you are traveling solo then its best to indulge yourself in some surfing trips and Ayurvedic massage treatment experiences. The place is overall safe to travel alone but is also home to some of the most dangerous beaches in Kerala with very strong currents so make sure you take a swim between the flags under the supervision of a lifeguard.
Kochi in Kerala
Kochi is a renowned city for a lot of local tourist attraction and is usually an ideal city to start your backpack trip in the diverse land of Kerala. Kochi does not need much of a pre-planning as the city witnesses lots of tourists, it has good hotels and lets you enjoy the city to the fullest with plenty of things with its Portuguese and Dutch history, architecture and style. Some of the things you can check out while you are here include the Dutch Palace, Anglican St. Francis Church – the oldest church in India, and Vasco de Gama’s tombstone. Next you can head to the tip of the Kochi fort which is ideal for a perfect sunset view. The city has traffic congestions but offers a great choice to kick of your traveling journey.
Alappuzha is a land woven with rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals and is the most sought after destination to travel in Kerala so much so that it is sometimes also referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’. The land is sure to evoke a sense of tranquility and peace. Here you can choose to take up an accommodation in the backwaters with plenty of options, interact with the locals and other travels, and dine on traditional local cuisines. The best part about this place is that you get to explore the island by boat along backwaters. You can either hire a local English speaking guide or hire a boat with boatmen and get going with the help of some locals. During the sunset indulge in local singing of traditional songs while the boatmen row your boat.
This place is known for being the major rice granary of Kerala with vast stretches of paddy farming below sea level. Among some of the most major reasons of visiting this region includes fields interlaced with breathtaking backwaters. The easiest route to get to Kuttanad is taking the Alappuzha-Changanasserry road and the Cochin International Airport, which is about 85 km from Alappuzha. The region will take you close to the village life of the locals and the rich traditions of Kerala. During the day the canal stretches are busy with different activities such as selling of vegetables, grocery etc on the boat on the banks and so on. Solo travelers can explore the region better by hiring a boat, motorboat or houseboat.
The beach is located at an approximate distance of 7 km from Thalassery in Kannur district. The nearest railway station is situated at about 16km and Calicut International Airport is about 102 km. The beach is famous for being the only drive-in beach in Kerala stretched across 4km of sand where one can enjoy driving at the entire length. Also, the shallow waters make it a paradise for swimmers. Packed with water adventure sports, this location is ideal to add a fun-filled side to your solo trip with sports like paragliding, parasailing, microlite flights, power boatings, catamaran ride etc.
Bolgatty Island, another finest solo tourist destination, in Kochi is located beside Eillingdon and Ernakulam Islands. The island is named after the famous Bolgatty Palace built in 1744 by the Dutch which is turned into a premium hotel, managed and run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. If you are traveling solo and have a fair budget, you must stay here for a perfect experience. This exotic island offers the perfect view of the sea and serene ambience making it worth a visit away from the hustle bustle of city life.
Munnar is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district of the southwestern Kerala surrounded by the Western Ghats of mountains. Munnar is an idyllic destination if you are traveling solo with breathtaking tranquility and peace. The region features tea plantations, small picturesque towns and winding lanes making it a popular tourist town. Munnar is home to the highest peak in South India called the Anamudi, which is also an ideal spot of trekking. Some of the places that you can explore in and around Munnar is Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty, Top Station, Power House Waterfall, Kundala Lake and so on. Munnar provides accommodation options across various classes of hotels, resorts and home stays.
Gavi is a village in Pathanamthitta district located 28 km from Vandiperiyar, a town in Idukki on a highway connecting Kollam and Madurai. The offbeat location has recently caught attention of the tourists for its Eco-tourism project undertaken by the Kerala Forest Development Corporation. The offbeat location is ideal for solo travelers looking to explore the state differently especially for nature lovers and adventure travelers. The place offers activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping and night safaris. Since the location is mostly untouched and unexplored as of now, it is well blanketed by tea plantations and adjoining forests which is a refreshing experience in itself. The Gavi lake offers spectacular views during the sunrise and sunset. Tourists can seek accommodation in either tree houses or go camping in the forests besides other options. Gavi is surely a place that should not be missed if you are traveling solo to Kerala for it will add an unforgettable experience to your journey.
Periyar Tiger Reserve Kerala
The Periyar forest of Thekkady is home to one of the finest wildlife reserves in India which you just cannot mark out of your solo trip to Kerala. The wildlife reserve is rich in both flora and fauna with over 35 species Mammals including Asian elephant, tiger, Indian bison, sambar deer, leopard, and so on which can be spotted while you are on a boat trip in the Periyar Lake. It is also home to almost 265 species of birds including migrants and reptiles like cobra and vipers. For an excellent view of the wildlife one can go up the watch towers which are built at several locations inside Periyar Tiger Reserve. The best time to visit the reserve is from September to May. The Kerala Forest Department provides various accommodation options such as Bamboo grove, Jungle Inn and Jungle camps.
Tips for Solo Travelers
- However, travelling alone is fun but at the same time one must ensure to be cautious, responsible and slightly well planned in advance.
- Instead of getting a private guide for your entire trip which might cost you on a heavier side, solo travelers can instead take help of the locals or hire guides at different locations as per your itinerary and requirement.
- If you are a woman solo traveler, then make sure you avoid bikinis or short swim suits on the beaches, however, there is constant police patrolling, it is advised to follow the dress code.
- When heading to beaches, make sure to leave all your personal belongings and important documents like passport in the hotel room. Traveling solo comes with an implied responsibility of taking care of your belongings on your own. Do not trust strangers to look after your belongings while you take a swim and carry only beach essentials.
- Avoid traveling at night.
- With the set itinerary solo travelers can sign up for group trips for certain destination to get under the skin of the destination without being alone and making some new friends. Certain destinations can get slightly more expensive if done independently like Munnar, and thus you can join in with 2 or more solo travelers via travel agency and get going.
- Kerala is famous for its Ayurvedic treatments, massages and products, however, one must research well about the certification and affiliations before visiting any ayurvedic centre and undergoing any of the treatments. For the products, you must buy them from genuine and locally trusted outlets as compared to road side hawkers or advertised products.
- While it’s important to have a set itinerary while traveling solo, it’s equally important to have a set budget of the overall trip as well as destination wise trip to avoid any trouble. Kerala is popular for offering some of the best budget travel trips provided it’s planned.
- Solo travelers are recommended to make bookings to travel to nearby destinations via known local agents or via hotel’s travel desk as compared to public taxis to ensure safe travel.
- Indulging in the food of Kerala should be on the top list of solo travelers, however, it is important to know what is the perfect budget way to sample the delicacies. Thali meals served with vegetarian and non vegetarian choices are the safest way if you are not very familiar with the food names on the menu.
- Although, Kerala is rated as one of the safe destinations in India to travel alone, still one must be prepared well to tackle any kind of unexpected situation. Always keep your phone battery charged, carry all you essentials in the backpack along with the details of an emergency contacts.
- While traveling in Kerala, especially to the village areas, language will become a barrier and so it is important that before you head out you have some important details written on a piece of paper in the local language such as the name of the hotel or place staying at etc. If possible keep a translator app handy in your Smartphone or any such device.
- Do not place all your money in one place and always split up and keep it in different places and carry only reasonable money in your wallet.
- Last but not the least stay safe, be aware of your surroundings and always trust your instinct while traveling solo