Kerala is rich with sites of natural beauty and attraction – from pristine beaches to evergreen forests. This, combined with the state’s rich history, makes it a uniquely rewarding place to visit with children. Here’s our guide to Kerala’s best destinations to head to with kids.
Houseboat stays in the backwaters of Alappuzha are among Kerala’s key tourist highlights, and are highly enjoyable for kids and adults alike. These large, slow moving boats with thatched roofs and wooden hulls let you soak in the beauty of the state’s many water bodies, which it navigates, surrounded by coconut trees and greenery.
The most famous among Kerala’s many beach towns, Kovalam is uniquely picturesque and full of life. The three beaches here – Lighthouse, Samudra and Hawah – are major sites of attraction for their highly scenic views, and local fisher-folk culture. Being well maintained and safe for children, Kovalam’s beautiful beaches are among Kerala’s finest family vacation destinations.
Periyar National Park
This tiger and elephant reserve is surrounded by the forested hills of the Western Ghats. It is home to a significant number of endangered flora and fauna, and spans over an area of 925 squared kilometers. The park also has two major rivers flowing through it, and offers multiple scenic boat ride options which kids will particularly enjoy.
Periyar National Park, Kerala, India, +91 481 252 5864
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Home to numerous species of birds, in addition to being the regular haunt of migratory birds from around the world, this sanctuary is the perfect adventure to embark on with older kids. Spread over 14 acres by the banks of Kavanar River, the sanctuary provides a good trek through densely forested terrain. You can also opt for a boat ride through the sanctuary as an alternative.
The hill town of Munnar makes for Kerala’s best family picnic destinations. Munnar is home to rare flora and fauna, including the endangered Neelakurinji flowering plant which famously blossoms just once in 12 years. The hills of Munnar are also home to several historic tea plantations, about which you can learn at the Munnar Tea Museum.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Spanning 344 square kilometers, this dense forest is home to tigers, Indian bisons and elephants, among other wildlife. The sanctuary is also home to a range of rare birds, and endangered plant species. You can access the park via a range of treks, safaris and guided tours, all of which can prove to be fun experiences for children.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, India, +91 4936 220 454
Cochin or Kochi is a uniquely rewarding destination to head to along with children interested in history, museums, and the arts. From the 16th-century Mattancherry Palace and the 19th-century Hill Palace to the famous Chinese fishing nets of Fort Kochi, there are plenty of richly historic sights to see in Kerala’s second most populous city.