Best time to visit Kerala

temperature & rainfall

Click on a location: Thiruvananthapuram | Munnar
When working out the best time to visit Kerala, most Europeans want to avoid the monsoon, which peaks June, July and August. Kerala is also flooded with tourists in December and January however. Come immediately post monsoon and the rain has turned forests, mountains and waterfalls to levels of lusciousness that look as if you have a filter on your camera. With the exception of the mountains, it’s hot all year round with mid-Feb to mid-May hitting 35°C. Bring a brolly though, as it can rain anytime.

When to visit Kerala

month by month guide

  • If you want to go hiking in the Western Ghats, stay clear of the monsoon peak, June, July and August. Houseboats aren’t much fun during this time either.
  • Just after the monsoon, in September, everything is exquisitely emerald, so a great time for hiking or exploring the hill stations.
  • Unlike some national parks in India, Periyar stays open all year round. The most popular time to visit is during the cooler, drier months from October to February. It is particularly vibrant just after monsoon, and there are fewer people.
  • The best time for viewing elephants is during the hotter months of March and April, when they spend the most time in the water.
  • Periyar is best avoided on weekends due to crowds of day tourists.
  • Sun worshippers will be at their happiest between October and February, when their god makes her most glorious appearances. February until May are also lovely, although a lot more humid.
  • There is another monsoon October to November but many local people say this is now disappearing and much less of an issue. December and January brings a flood of tourists just about everywhere, however.  A tailor made vacation during this time will enable you to get off the beaten track if that is what you are seeking.
  • According to Ayurveda tradition, monsoon is the best season for rejuvenation therapies because the pores of the body open wide allowing them to fully absorb the oils and therapeutic treatments.

Best time to visit Kerala recommends

Rajat Kumar, Managing Director at our supplier ExplorIndya:“February and March are wonderful, because places and people are more relaxed after the Christmas rush. October and November are also great, as it is fresh off the monsoon and everything is luscious and green. For hiking March is perfect with clear blue skies - the sort of weather where you wake up with your eyes closed and still know it is a sunny day."

Diana Syrett, Managing Director of one of our top suppliers, Kerala Connections: “The Easter vacations are good for families and August/September is still low season in a lot of the lowlands, but you need to book flights well in advance for that time of year. Also we used to warn people about the second monsoon, in October/November, but it has virtually fizzled out."
Vishal Koshy, General Manager of one of our supplier, Kalypso Adventures: “Activity wise, June and July is not advisable, because of the monsoon, especially trekking. It is fine for sightseeing as it doesn’t rain all day, and I love driving during the monsoon as everything is so green and the waterfalls are very full. Also, if you want to enjoy festivals, come in March and April, our summer period. There is a lot of tropical fruit during that time too, so we have mango festivals and so on. “

Festivals & events in Kerala

Our cultural pick from the Kerala calendar

Did you know about...?

The Aranmula or Snake Boat Races. During August or September, depending on the date of the Onam harvest festival, villagers and families race in magnificent handmade wooden boats, with up to 60 oarsmen in each, along the backwaters. An ancient tradition for men who worked the backwaters in their rice boats to show their prowess on the water. And still is.
Photo credits: [Temp chart: Yogendra Joshi] [RT recommends: Sankara Subramanian] [Did you know about?: Arun Sinha]
Written by Catherine Mack
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