Well, if you’re thinking about traveling to Kerala for a combined yoga retreat and ayurvedic retreat…
You might want to know a little bit about WHY Kerala is a worthy travel destination in India on its own!
After all, once you’ve completed your yoga retreat, you’ll probably want to explore more of the surrounding area!
Kerala can make for a PERFECT spot for your wellness vacation and retreat in South India.
That’s because even after your retreat, there are a few places you can go to get some more relaxation in as a follow-up to your retreat.
Kerala is not that big of a state, so no matter where your retreat is, it can be a good access point to any of these places.
First, a list of a few destinations in Kerala to visit to further your wellness goals after your retreat.
Then, some of the best yoga retreats in Kerala to consider that have top-rated reviews.
At book yoga retreats (partner website), you can find reviews of some of the top yoga retreats in India that you can book online! (But more on this later.)
The need-to-know India travel tips!
If it’s your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more!
Mosquito repellent tip!!
You can buy good mosquito repellent when you’re in India! There’s a cream (and spray and lotion) called ODOMOS. It works SO well for me! Why do I say that?! Well, there had been times that I would wait until mosquitoes would start biting me to put on odomos. Well, after I put it on, no more mosquitoes! To me, that’s proof. 😉 But of course, your experience may vary. You can find odomos at street shops all over India to try it for yourself! It’s a natural repellent, and it has vitamin E and almond oil in it too… meaning it’s good for your skin too. 😉
India tourist visa tip!
See the current cost of an e-visa by selecting your country. (partner website.) If you’re American, know that you can get a 10-year tourist visa! If you’re fairly certain this South India trip is your ONLY trip to India you’ll make, then the e-visa will be a simpler process. American or not, also see about how to get an e-visa for India.
And while we’re at it, also see about how to spend one month in India before or after your yoga retreat. 😉
Best places to visit in Kerala for a wellness vacation surrounded by nature
1. Alleppey (backwaters + beach + coastal vibes)
There are chill vibes to be found here too.
The main thing that makes it popular is the Kerala backwaters.
This means that there are many activities that can get you out on the water.
And just being around water is known to have a calming effect.
And it’s not just the backwaters that Alleppey has.
And you can find a place to stay near the beach too.
And this means that you can end your day with an ocean sunset – for more of that calming water, and this time with coastal beach vibes!
Alleppey can be a perfect location for beach yoga too!
Have a look to sunset beach yoga classes in Alleppey.
There’s morning yoga too.
2. Munroe Island (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 canoe ride or go cycling around the island, you don’t come across many people anywhere on the island.
You can find accommodation right on the water, and you can set up your yoga mat here too for some yoga and meditation.
3. Munnar (mountains)
Kerala has mountains too. (Although they are more often referred to as “hills.”)
The Western Ghats, a mountain range that spans across several states in South India, goes through Kerala too. These mountains are even older than the Himalayas and have UNESCO world heritage status.
Being outdoors in general can be therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul.
There are a number of places to visit in the hills when in Kerala, and Munnar is one of the top destinations.
Not only can the mountains have a calming effect, but you know that exercise can also be good for your overall mental and physical health and wellness too.
And you can go hiking from Munnar as well.
You can go for a more leisurely tea plantation trek…
Or you can go for a step above by doing the Meesapulimala Trek that comes with overnight camping in the mountains.
The Kerala hills are another place that you can have a peaceful homestay experience.
4. Varkala (beach + coastal vibes)
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!
And even if you decide not to stay at a hotel on the cliff itself, there are plenty of budget options that are located within a few minutes walk of the coastal views.
There are also lots of options in Varkala for getting ayurvedic massages and other ayurvedic treatments that focus on using natural ingredients only.
Ayurveda retreats in Kerala
Ayurveda is actually another BIG reason to choose Kerala for your yoga retreat!
What makes Kerala unique as a yoga destination is that Kerala is considered to be the birthplace of ayurveda, and a yoga retreat in Kerala can also mean an ayurvedic retreat as well.
You can learn more about what ayurveda is (and why you should consider it!) by checking out any of the retreats listed below.
But in short, ayurveda can be seen a form of alternative medicine that uses natural herbs and remedies to improve health and well-being (mental and physical), as well as a way to improve or treat existing health conditions, both chronic and acute.
Because Kerala is the land of ayurveda, you’ll find that most yoga retreats in Kerala will offer some sort of ayurveda experience as a part of your yoga experience.
This might be through ayurvedic massages, ayurvedic cooking, a consultation with an ayurvedic doctor, and more.
As an aside, in Kerala you can find ayurvedic shops in much more abundance than in other parts of India.
This is a bonus if you want to find certain herbs and oils that you discovered during your retreat! It could be a little bit easier to locate those items!
No matter which yoga retreat in India you choose, look for one that includes an ayurveda component to add to your wellness retreat experience in India!!
Okay, so now that you know that you REALLY need to consider Kerala for your yoga retreat in India…
What are some of the best yoga and ayurvedic retreat options in Kerala?!
And so now…
Top yoga, meditation, and ayurveda retreats in Kerala
For each of these yoga retreats in India listed below…
- Click on any date on the calendar to get a better idea of the price of the retreat
- Have a look at the daily schedule to see if it seems exciting to you
- Check to see how many yoga sessions are offered each day
- Check to see how many meditation sessions are offered each day
- Check to see specifically what sort of ayurveda experiences are included in each of the retreats
- Check the reviews for comments on FOOD!
- Some retreats offer tours or excursions as part of the retreat, but don’t let whether this is included or not make or break your decision – you can totally do it alone before or after your retreat! 😉 See about traveling around one week in Kerala and one month in South India.
1. Yoga retreat near Alleppey Beach
- Accommodation: Ayur Beach Resort
- Hatha yoga with ayurveda
- 7-day retreat
- Cost from US$870
- See prices and photos for this Alleppey Beach yoga retreat
This yoga retreat location is right near the beach.
This retreat focuses on ayurveda treatments, stress-relief, beach sunsets, and backwater tours in combination with daily yoga meditation and therapy sessions.
This retreat doesn’t have any reviews listed yet, but I know this general location…
And I think it’s AMAZING!
I have spent a couple of months about a 20 minute beach walk from this retreat location.
See more pictures of what the beach is like in this area!
This is located in Alleppey district, between the beaches of Alleppey Beach and Marari Beach.
2. Yoga retreat near Cochin
- Hinterland Village Resort
- Hatha yoga with ayurveda
- 3-day retreat, 7-day retreat, and longer!
- Cost from US$150
- See prices, photos and reviews for this top-rated yoga retreat in Kerala:
This is possibly among the most popular wellness center and yoga retreat in Kerala.
This is said to be a unique and varied program of yoga sessions, classes, and ayurveda therapies for all types of practitioners and souls.
It’s been called a “spiritual paradise,” surrounded by jungle and overlooking a paddy field.
This retreat is located in Ernakulam district, near Cochin.
3. Yoga retreat in Varkala
- Agnihotra Yoga Retreat
- Hatha yoga with ayurveda
- 6-day retreat
- Cost from US$430
- See prices, photos, and reviews for this Varkala cliff yoga retreat
This yoga retreat is located right off the famous Varkala cliff.
This retreat is said to be designed for detoxification and rejuvenation.
It offers daily yoga classes, fire rituals, along with pranayama and meditation sessions.
4. Yoga retreat near Cherai Beach
- Heritage resort
- Hatha and kriya yoga with ayurveda
- 14-day yoga retreat
- Cost from US$2,480
- See prices, photos, and reviews for this Cherai Beach yoga retreat.
This yoga retreat is located near Cherai Beach, which is the main beach near Cochin.
This is said to be an ayurveda and yoga wellness retreat to experience yoga for health and relaxation.
This retreat offers local tours, cooking sessions, and houseboat stays.
5. Yoga retreat in South Kerala
- Amrutham Ayurvedic Village Resort
- Ayurveda retreat, plus yoga types of hatha, vinyasa, restorative, ashtanga
- 8-day yoga retreat
- Cost from US$890
- See prices, photos, and reviews for this yoga retreat in South Kerala
This retreat is located in South Kerala in Trivandrum district, the same district as Varkala.
This is a wellness retreat to consider for more of an ayurvedic retreat with yoga (as opposed to a yoga retreat with ayurveda).
It is located at the top of some hills in Kerala, and it offers rejuvenation programs and ayurvedic treatments, messages, cooking classes, and steam baths.
And those are among the top wellness retreats in Kerala to consider!
If you’re looking for more, here are a few more retreats.
Yoga teacher training in Kerala
And if you’re looking for a YTT in Kerala…
HAPPY WELLNESS RETREAT IN INDIA!
Be sure to take a look at the Kerala travel guide for one week in Kerala and the India travel guide for one month in India so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Kerala and India!
Welcome to Kerala!
Welcome to India!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train!
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How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!
India tourist visa tip!Access to India as a foreigner seems to be getting friendlier! There's an e-visa now and this visa fee is far less than it was before. See the current cost of an e-visa by selecting your country. That's a partner website to make the evisa application process less stressful - it's possible to apply on your own too. See about your options on how to get an e-visa for India.
Travel insurance for India - just in case!You get travel insurance hoping that you'll never have to use it. But if you do end up needing to use it, chances are that you will be VERY happy that you did get it! See how to figure out the cost of travel insurance for India.
Where to stay on the backpacker trail in Kerala
- Fort Cochin: Zostel Kochi
- Alleppey: Zostel Alleppey or Funky Art Beach House for chill beach vibes! (see my pics - zostel / funky) OR Dream Nest to be closer to town // and see how to spend one day in Alleppey
- Alleppey backwaters: cottage right on the waters
- Munroe Island: cottage backwaters homestay right on the waters (and see why you should consider munroe island!)
- Varkala cliff: Seawin or Prashanthi with ocean views