Kovalam, Kerala


Climate

Kovalam has a tropical climate with steady temperatures that range from 25 - 32 degrees Celsius year round. The most popular time to visit is between November and March. During this period its hot, the skies are clear and the light is crisp and dynamic. The Arabian Sea is warm and the beaches sizzle. Monsoon hits at the end of May and lasts until November. The rainfall is quick and heavy with periods of sunshine. It’s an interesting time to visit.


Accommodation

Kovalam offers a full spectrum of accommodation that ranges from the 5 star to the backpacker hostel. Many of the hotels across the range have swimming pools. Airbnb’s, self-catering and home-stays are also available. Expect to pay anywhere from £10 a night to £200! Trip advisor, booking.com and airbnb are a good place to start looking.

We can recommend places to stay - please contact us.


Food

There are many options for food. The numerous local restaurants offer South Indian, North Indian, Chinese and continental dishes. The food quality varies from place to place as does the cost. The food is generally well prepared, many places cook with filtered water.


Downtime

There is plenty to do when not studying. The beaches are the main attraction here and there are many to choose from. You can lounge on a shaded sun-bed on the more popular beaches or you can discover more remote coves and just chill on the sand. Temples and historical structures are scattered throughout the area and Trivandrum, Kerala’s capital is only 30 mins away. The jungle offers wonderful opportunities for a stroll and the quiet lanes that criss-cross it make for a perfect, relaxing route through. There are plenty of Ayurvedic centres that offer massage and therapies - we can recommend a really good one!


Getting Around

Getting around is simple. The many rickshaws, taxi’s make travel easy and inexpensive. You can rent a scooter if you wish to be more independent. Trivandrum airport is 30 mins away.


Visas

You can apply online for an E27 visa to India. It takes 4 days to come through and should be applied for no later than 4 days before intended date of travel. It’s by far the most simple and hassle free method for a stay of up to 60 days. It costs around £100. You will need electronic versions of your 50x50 India Visa photograph as the whole application process is online. Apply here.


Money

India is still inexpensive to visit, however prices are rising fast. Its roughly 90 INR to the £. Cash points are everywhere and most accept uk visa debit cards. You can take out a maximum of 20,000 INR a day and there is a 2% charge for the service. There are places that will accept credit cards for higher cash sums, there is a 4% charge on top. Many shops and restaurants accept UK Visa cards also. Each transaction will have an added 2%. If on a simple budget expect to spend between £20-40 a day which will cover accommodation and 3 meals depending on how simple you want to be.


Safety

Kovalam is safe on the whole. The biggest risks are the Ocean, which has some strong currents, motorbike riding - enough said, India’s roads can be challenging for western drivers! The police have a strong presence here and are working hard to ensure that visitors have a pleasant stay. Try not to wear provocative clothing - even though it’s hot, be respectful of the local culture. It’s pretty conservative in Kerala and alcohol is tightly controlled.


Medical

There are plenty of good hospitals and clinics. The medical staff are experienced and understand how the climatic conditions can effect the tourist, We recommend that you get travel insurance.