The Best Day Trips From Kochi, India

Iringole Kaavu
Iringole Kaavu | © @indiyatrik/Instagram
Charishma Thankappan

Kerala is a vast state with plenty to see. But it can be hard to cover all the options when on a tight schedule. If you’re staying in Kochi and have exhausted all the locations within the city, there are still numerous places to visit around the area. Here is a list of seven handpicked locations that can be explored within a day while travelling from Kochi.

1. Athirappilly waterfalls

© Milan S Thottathil/Wikimedia Commons

The largest waterfall in Kerala, it cascades from a height of 24.4m (80 ft.) It is the Chalakudy River that flows down as the waterfall. Tourists can reach the top of the falls via a paved path, and take a narrow lane to reach the bottom. It is best visited post Monsoons when the rapids will be fullest with water. It is not advised to bathe in the waters of this fall due to the unexpected surges of water.

Distance from Kochi: 66kms
Best time to visit: September to January

Athirappilly Waterfalls, Athirappilly, Vettilappara, Pariyaram, Kerala 680724, India

Athirappilly Waterfalls have been a popular location for several film shoots in India | © Milan S Thottathil/Wikimedia Commons

2. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

The first bird sanctuary in Kerala, it is named Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, in honour of Dr Salim Ali, the greatest ornithologist in India. The acclaimed bird watcher named the location as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India. The sanctuary is known for sightings of birds such as the Great Indian Hornbill, which is also the state bird of Kerala; Ceylon Frogmouth, Collared Scops Owls and many more.

Distance from Kochi: 64kms
Best time to visit: October to February

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nyayapally PO, Thattekad, Kerala 686681, India

Little Cormorant at Thattekad | © Shagil Kannur/Wikimedia Commons

Cherai beach

This is one of the most favoured beaches close to Kochi. With a length of 10km, the beach is ideal for swimming as the waters are generally shallow and gentle. The shore is also known for dolphin sightings. Chinese fishing nets are a prominent attraction on this coast. Visitors can enjoy games such as beach volleyball, beach football, and water rides.

Distance from Kochi: 34kms
Best time to visit: September to May

Sunrise at Cherai Beach

3. Iringole Kaavu

Hindu Temple

© Charishma Thankappan
This is a hidden beauty near Kochi. Located in Perumbavoor, the temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is nestled amidst a forest. It is counted among the 108 temples devoted to Durga in Kerala, which is believed to have been sanctified by Parashuram, who is the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu. The trees surrounding the temple are believed to be gods protecting the deity.

Distance from Kochi: 42kms
Best time to visit: October to December

4. Kumarakom

© Lenish/Wikimedia Commons

Richly endowed with scenic backwaters, Kumarakom is another retreat like Aleppy, where you can enjoy a cruise in a houseboat. The largest lake in Kerala – Lake Vembanad, lords over the waters of the region. The area is also distinguished for its wide variety of fauna and flora. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is remarkable for its splendid bird sightings.

Distance from Kochi: 50kms
Best time to visit: September to March

Houseboats on the backwaters of Kumarakom | © Lenish/Wikimedia Commons

Thommankuthu waterfall and trek

The waterfall is named after Thumban, a tribal head who died at its waters. A short, wide-bodied waterfall, it is located inside a magnificent forest trail. Visitors can trek along the trail past the waterfall, that goes 10kms deeper into the jungle. Entry into the waterfall is prohibited as it is notorious for slippery slopes and the gushing currents of water which has resulted in the death of tourists.

Distance from Kochi: 71kms
Best time to visit: June to January

Thommankuthu allows a guided trek with permit from the Forest Department


A prized trail for trekkers, Marottichal has several interesting features to offer. The trail begins with the Marottichal waterfall which is easily accessible for all kinds of tourists – young and old. From there begins a most marvellous 4km long trekking path that passes through dazzling streams and a delightful forest. The trail ends at Ilanjippara waterfall.

Distance from Kochi: 84kms
Best time to visit: September to February

The forests are so pristine here that the trees have written mesmerising stories out here

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