You can follow the exact route below and end up with a perfect trip to Kerala!
This basically starts in Cochin (there’s an airport kind of nearby) and then basically heads south down the coast.
A suggested route:
- Fort Cochin
- Alleppey backwaters and/or beach
- Munroe Island backwaters
- Varkala cliff and/or beach
For another route idea, see this suggested one week Kerala itinerary. It includes Kerala tea plantations.
For the most part, the places listed below are somewhat budget accommodation, and there are hostels in Kerala.
Hostels tend to have private rooms too. They also can have nice common areas, so even if you’re looking for a private room, don’t immediately discount the idea of staying in a hostel!
And if you know you ONLY want to stay in a hostel, have a look at the best hostels in Kerala. If you’re traveling in other parts of India, also see these Goa hostels, these Rajasthan hostels, and more hostels in India.
And if you’re still planning out your first trip to India, be sure to see…
- The need-to-know tips for a first trip to India
- How to spend one month in South India
- The basics of backpacking Goa
- The basics of backpacking Kerala
- How to get from Goa to Kerala
- How to get a tourist visa for India online
Where to stay on the backpacker tourist trail in Kerala
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Where to stay in Fort Cochin
Cochin is a popular gateway to Kerala.
If you’re arriving to Cochin Airport and want to stay around Cochin, Fort Cochin before moving on to other parts of Kerala, Fort Cochin is best.
The Cochin Airport is about 1.5 hours from Fort Cochin. (It’s 2-2.5 hours from Alleppey if you want to skip Fort Cochin.)
Places to stay in Cochin
Where to stay in Alleppey
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As the hub of the Kerala backwaters, Alleppey is one of the most popular travel destinations in Kerala, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just a crowded tourist spot.
You have options to stay literally ON the Kerala backwaters.
Or, if you just want to go for a backwaters canoe tour during the day, then staying right near the beach can be a good idea too. There are chill vibes to be found here too. See a perfect way to spend one day in Alleppey! Backwaters + beach can be perfect!
Where to stay ON the Alleppey backwaters!
Best places to stay in Alleppey for beach vibes
More places to stay near the beach
More hostels in Alleppey
You may also consider staying in/near Alleppey town. In that case, see more places to stay in Alleppey. (And why you may want to stay in town.)
Where to stay in Munroe Island
This is a bit of a quieter alternative to Alleppey for the Kerala backwaters.
You could say that this is somewhat of a “sleepy island” in the sense that you really can feel like you’re in a somewhat remote part of India even though in reality it’s not all that remote.
Whether you go for a sunrise canoe tour or go cycling around the island, you don’t come across many people anywhere on the island.
And that’s part of what can make a Munroe Island backwaters homestay perfect!
Best places to stay in/near Munroe Island backwaters
- Munroe Nest homestay
- Green Chromide homestay
- Munroe Days homestay
- Munroe Heritage Inn
- Villagio Munroe
More places to stay in Munroe Island
Where to stay in Varkala
Varkala Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Kerala.
And there’s a cliff with a trail that spans along the coast.
This cliff is lined with shops, restaurants, and oceanside resorts.
This means that you can have every meal with ocean views if you so choose!
Where to stay in Varkala for ocean views
- Cliff Stories – a little bit further away from main tourist cliff area but still get ocean views!
Hostels in Varkala not too far from the cliff
HAPPY STAY IN KERALA!
For examples of general class train travel, see:
For examples of AC train travel, see:
For examples of local bus travel, see:
For examples of overnight bus travel, see:
- Pondicherry to Madurai
- Madurai to Kerala (South India)
- Mumbai to Udaipur
See more backpacking India travel tips!