Described as God’s Own Country, Kerala is blessed with incredible geographical features that add to its reputation as one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. From the beautiful coast and backwaters to the gushing waterfalls and dense woods of the Western Ghats, this charming state has a lot in store for those willing to explore. Staying true to its location, a primary attraction in the coastal state is the plethora of engaging activities designed around water. From kayaking to scuba diving, here are some of the top water activities in Kerala.
Bamboo Rafting to Scuba Diving: Pick from these top Water Activities in Kerala
1. Bamboo rafting in Wayanad
Apart from wildlife tourism and lush greenery, Wayanad has water bodies that are a sight to behold. With only a small fraction of Wayanad relatively urbanised, tribals form a larger portion of the population here. Naturally, a simple mode of transport like bamboo rafting is a wonderful example of indigenous living. Why not try your hand at this rustic water activity while you’re here? Cruising along the calm green waters on a bamboo raft, surrounded by the serene landscape of Wayanad..now that’s an experience that cannot be missed.
2. Boating at Banasura Dam
Another must-visit location in Wayanad is the largest earth dam in India, the Banasura Sagar Dam. Set against the backdrop of the Banasura Hill, a popular trekking destination, the dam is constructed on a tributary of the Kabini river. Dotted with islands, the dam is a great location for speed-boating. Savour the cool breeze and splendid sights around while you whizz by in the speedboat. Want something more laidback? With the luxuriant greenery of surrounding hills and islands for a view, pedal boating offers a more relaxed way to explore the waterscape.
3. Kayaking in Alappuzha
In addition to the many beaches, backwaters are another geographical feature you will find along the coast of Kerala. But none are popular as the kind found in Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey. With canals that form a part of the National Waterways, it is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East.’ Flanked by mangroves, markets, even houses and plush resorts in some cases, its calming backwaters and the vast and open Vembanad lake make for a winning combination. While houseboat rides are a great way to explore the splendid landscape, kayaking is one of the best water activities in Kerala for those who want to have a more personal experience with the waters. While you guide the kayak through the narrow canals, look out for views of paddy fields along the bank.
4. Wave Runners at Payyambalam Beach
One of the five beaches that make up the coast of Kannur, the Payyambalam Beach has grown into a hotspot for tourism over the past years. One of the main reasons for this would have to be the watersports here. Among the relatively new water activities in Kerala, Wave Runners can be equated to motorbikes on the road. It offers an unmatched and thrilling experience of the vast open waters. The adrenaline rush of riding the waves combined with the sea breeze and the splash of salty water makes this a must-try activity while you’re in Payyambalam.
5. Rafting in Kannur
Kannur has its fair share of scenic rivers adding to its appeal. The calm waters and green environs make it an ideal location for white water rafting, among the most exciting water activities in Kerala. Tejaswini River near Kannur, is ideal for this activity, especially during the monsoon. The river is divided into two stretches – the Upper Tejaswini and the Lower Tejaswini. The latter features water currents ideal for rafting in the region. The activity involves navigating across the rapids which can be particularly exhilarating in rough waters. It can be an arduous task for first-timers, so make sure you follow safety guidelines.
The feeling of ‘flying’ over the vast openness of blue waters with an unmatched view of the coast…if that sounds exciting, then parasailing is one of the activities you can sign up for while in Kerala. You will be fitted with a sailing harness that is connected to a speedboat which would be speeding over the waters. Keep your eyes open for the stunning sights laid out below you as you move over the breezy waters. Prominent beaches like Varkala Beach and Alappuzha Beach even offer variations of parasailing based on the type of towing equipment used.
7. Scuba diving at Kovalam beach
On a coastline that stretches for almost 600 km, Kochi and Kovalam are two of the renowned scuba diving hotspots in Kerala, known for their vibrant aquatic life. Plunging into deep waters just off the coast, you can spot exotic marine life while being surrounded by absolute silence. Cochin was the first location to offer PADI-authorised scuba diving in South India. Kovalam beach near Trivandrum too has grown into an equally popular hotspot for the activity. Given the danger associated with the activity, it calls for proper training which is provided at the diving centre here. With an affable staff, well-trained instructors and the right equipment in line with safety requirements, you would have little to worry about while being guided through the entire experience.
8. Snorkelling in Kochi
Particularly popular due to the relative ease with which it can be picked up, snorkelling is ideal for a larger group when compared to deep sea diving. Be it to gain some insight into marine life or to simply explore the underwater world, the activity has grown into one of the top water activities in Kerala. The recreational activity is one of the most sought-after experiences along the coast, particularly in Kochi and at Kovalam beach. Once you get the required basic training, you will be provided with the necessary equipment and accompanied by a well-trained instructor. The close-up view of different aquatic creatures, including sea urchins and a variety of corals makes for a truly amazing experience for a first timer.
9. River Crossing in Munnar
Munnar is all about the expansive, soothing greenery of tea gardens that envelope the rolling landscape. For those looking for an adventurous water-based experience, try river crossing which is fast growing into one of the popular water activities in Kerala. Much like the name suggests, the activity involves crossing a river, but on a zip-line. You will be fitted with a harness to ensure safety. Guided by an instructor, you will get to experience the thrilling activity of crossing a flowing river while hanging at an elevation that offers a spectacular view of the surroundings. Flanked by the unbound greenery of Munnar and captivating waters below, the activity offers a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Munnar.
Next time you head to God’s Own Country, make sure to try your hand at some of these popular water activities in Kerala.