Kumarakom – an entrancing backwater destination – offers unworldly natural beauty and charm. Comprising of island clusters surrounding the Vembanad Lake, this picturesque tourist spot is a perfect paradise for nature enthusiasts and a treat to the eyes for ornithologists. In addition to the numerous places to visit in Kumarakom, the city also has some absolutely pleasant activities including boating, angling, strolling, and quick & short treks.

These super cool activities for families, couples, and friends are some of the best ways to chill out. Besides the unparalleled beauty of Kumarakom, these activities make it one of the most visited destinations in the God’s own country. How much one can indulge in depends on the duration of stay. But even during a short and crisp vacation, one can plan and extract the maximum fun of this pristine backwater scene.

How To Reach Kumarakom?

By Air

Cochin International Airport, located 85 km from Kumarakom, is the nearest airport that is well connected to the other cities of the country as well as the world.

By Rail

Kottayam Railway Station, located 16 km from Kumarakom, is the nearest railway station.

By Bus

There are regular buses of KSRTC (Kerala State Run Transport Corporation) plying between Kumarakom and Kottayam. Located 16 km from Kumarakom, Kottayam is further well connected to the cities of South India by bus.

By Water

State-run boats and private ferries across the Vembanad Lake are available from Muhamma, a small town located near Alleppey.

Must Read: 20 Best Resorts In Kumarakom

Best Time To Visit Kumarakom

November – February is the best time to visit the popular places to visit in Kumarakom. The temperatures are moderate and the climate is perfect for sightseeing, houseboat rides, and to enjoy the scenic beauty of the region.

Coming to the actual itinerary of your trip, here is a detailed list of top things to do in Kumarakom that must be a part of your plan.

Things to do in Kumarakom

Here are some of the best things to do in Kumarakom which will make your stay in Kerala exciting and also let you indulge into some enthralling adventure.

1. Houseboat Ride

Vembanad Lake is one of most popular tourist places in Kumarakom

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Residing in a houseboat and sailing through the quaint and charming backwaters is one of the best things to do in Kumarakom. The jaw-dropping backdrop, lush green plantations along the banks, and gorgeous Vembanad Lake (formed by convergence of 10 Malabar Rivers) pulls plenty of tourists to rent a houseboat and voyage in it.
The houseboats are endowed with all essential and luxury amenities and run by professional agencies whose expertise lie in offering utmost delight while exploring the in-depth exquisite Malabar prettiness.

Operating hours: Depending on the holiday duration, one can float in the traditional houseboats for some hours or spend the entire night. The journey starts at noon with lunch and ends the next day with breakfast at 10 am. The boats are anchored in the Lake Vembanad near the mainland from 6 pm – 7 am.

Charges: Approximately INR 9000 is charged for a 22 hours voyage, including the stay and food. The prices, however, may vary from agent to agent.

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2. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Watch The Birds

Birds flying over the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the Vembanad Lake

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Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a small piece of heaven for nature lovers and bird watchers. Located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, this preservation ground is a habitat to plenty of common as well as endangered species of residential and migratory birds. These include Siberian Cranes, Parrots, Herons, Owls, Egrets, Darters, and Waterfowls. Exploring the sprawling 14 acres in a canoe is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating things to do in Kumarakom.

Also visit: Pathiramanal, the fascinating island called the Sands of Midnight on the Vembanad Lake, can be reached by boat from here.

Opening hours: 6:30 am – 5 pm; all days of the week

Entry charges: INR 50 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners; camera charges extra

3. Maya Spa: Invigorate With Aromas Of Ayurveda

A woman enjoys an Ayurvedic treatment at the Maya Spa in Zuri Hotel

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The peaceful glory of Kumarakom is enjoyed best by soothening of senses and relaxation of mind, body, and soul. And when we talk about the same, Maya Spa of Zuri Resort occupies the top most rank in the list. With a plethora of Ayurvedic massages, Maya Spa Kumarakom in Kerala is conceivably the idyllic rejuvenation destination.
As a prestigious winner of Green Leaf certification for authenticity and excellence of spa, it offers expertise and professional service excellence in Shirodhara, Ksheeradhara, Padabhyanga, face massage, Njavarakizhi, Patra Potala Swedam, and Udwarthanam.

Tip: Maya Spa is quite popular amongst tourists and hotel residents, so a prior reservation is a must.

Opening hours: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm; all days of the week

Charges: Depending on the service(s) the charges vary. For details click here.

4. Kathakali Performance

Kathakali performers on a stage in Kumarakom

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Kerala is a land of colorful culture and vibrant traditions. Kathakali – the traditional dance form – is an integral part of the Kerala culture and is practiced across the state. The bold dance form, its dynamic mudras, diverse facial expressions, and the charismatic accompanying rhythm make the ambiance magical and mythical. Watching and enjoying the beauty of these dance performances is one of the mesmerizing things to do in Kumarakom.

Some of the resorts also arrange for performances of Kalaripayattu – a traditional martial art form of Kerala, performed by local artists.

Opening hours: Evening shows are common. One needs to check with the respective hotel helpdesk for show times.

5. Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall: Experience Trekking

The beautiful Aruvikkuzhi waterfall that is a must-visit while sightseeing in Kumarakom

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Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall is a scenic and gorgeous tourist attraction near Kumarakom, surrounded by rubber plantations and sedimentary rocky outcrops. The fascinating place is a favorite among wanderers, nature lovers, and trekking enthusiasts. One can take a 2 km muddy trail and trek up to the cascading waterfall to enjoy the jaw-dropping charm of luxuriant green foliage and sparkling meandering streams plunging over the rocks. The waterfall is also a popular picnic spot and must not be missed while sightseeing in Kumarakom.

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6. Lakeside Strolls

The lakeside paths for casual strolls around the Vembanad Lake

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Nature walking and leisure strolls along the lakeside while enjoying the mesmerizing backwater landscape is a perfect treat for the mind and soul; and one of the best things to do in Kumarakom. The lush green plantations, blue lake water, picture-perfect rural landscape and chirping of birds intoxicates the mind completely.

Kumarakom is a dreamland for nature enthusiasts. One can spend the entire stay peacefully with pleasure and delight simply by taking nature strolls through the small piece of heaven.

7. Nehru Snake Boat Race: See The Exotic Activity

Group of men from Kerala drive a snake boat at the annual boat race event in the Vembanad Lake

If you happen to be in Kumarakom between August and September, you can be a spectator to the world famous boat races, such as the Nehru Trophy snake boat race, Champakulam Moolam Boat Race, Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali, and Payippad Jalolsavam. The thrilling boat races change the serenity of backwaters and make the ambiance fiery and sizzling during this fun-filled competition. Viewing this super cool boat competition is one of the most fun things to do in Kumarakom.

Opening hours: Every year timing for each of these races vary. So for the current year, check out the festival calendar.

Entry charges: Check the official website of KTDC for details about the dates and tickets.

8. Street Markets: Shop ‘Em All

The street markets have ample shopping options that is one of the less popular things to do in Kumarakom

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One must try and explore the local street markets of this Kumarakom. Gorgeous Kerala silk sarees, antique handicrafts like bronze & metal statues, camel-bone carvings, wood carvings, embroidered screw pine mats, and Kathakali masks are the best things to pick while shopping in Kumarakom.

Opening hours: 10 am – 8 pm; time may vary from shop to shop

9. Baker’s Gourmet: Taste The Delight

The fine dining at the Baker’s Gourmet at the Vivanta-by-Taj-Kumarakom

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If you are a foodie at heart, Kumarakom will not disappoint you. Tempting Kerala cuisine will certainly entice the soul and would spoil your taste buds for good.

Grannery Restaurant: The popular restaurant in Abad hotel serves palatable appam, Karimeen Pollichathu, and Grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf.

Cocobay Resort: The resort houses a charming restaurant that specializes in Meen Molee and Chemmeen Ularthu.

Baker’s Gourmet: This restaurant in Vivanta-by-Taj is also a favorite among tourists. Must tries here include uttapam and avial!

One can also try authentic Kerala cuisine in Lakshmi Restaurant and Lakesong Restaurant.

10. Trunk Call Bar: Chill And Relax

A corporate meeting going on in the Trunk Call Bar of Zuri Hotels

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Trunk Call Bar in the Zuri Resort & Spa is the star attraction of the nightlife scene in Kumarakom. The luxury lounge boasts of its posh ambiance, perfect crowd, myriad of cocktails, sumptuous food, jaw-dropping lake views, and landscaped garden. The place is comforting and pleasing. The bar serves a great assortment of liquor ranging from imported scotch to outlandish cocktails.

Opening hours: 11 am – 11 pm; make sure you are not visiting on a dry day

11. Vagamon Hill Station: Witness The Beauty


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If taking a break in nature’s lap is what you’re wondering, then take a drive to the Vagamon hill station while in Kumarakom. Located at a distance of 80kms from Kumarakom, this beautiful nature’s paradise is known for its lush greenery and spectacular waterfalls. For the people who love nature and want to capture its beauty in the best way, Vagamon is the place one should go.

Timings: 6AM-6PM

12. Vembanad Lake: Go For Fishing


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Kumarakom is home to some of the best lakes and beaches and what can be better than fishing when you’re close to the waters. One of the famous locations to go for fishing is the Vembanad lake, which is the largest in Kerala and longest in India. It is quite a popular activity to try out when you’re in Kumarakom.

There is a lot to see, do, and discover while one is sightseeing in Kumarakom. Try the traditional foods, engage into shopping in Kumarakom, and feel the extravagant beauty of the backwater landscape. Plan your surreal vacation to Kerala and don’t miss out the chance to take a glimpse of the nature’s serene paradise. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Kumarakom

What is Kumarakom famous for?

While being one of the best destinations to visit in South India, Kumarakom is known for its beautiful houseboats and many other locations which reflects the fine beauty of nature. Places like the Vembanad lake, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, Kumarakom bird sanctuary and Kumarakom beach make this destination worth visiting.

Is it safe to visit Kumarakom during Covid?

Yes, Kumarakom is one of the safest destinations to visit during the current situation. However, it is recommended to get fully vaccinated before planning a trip. Also, stay masked whenever out and maintain social distancing whenever required. Your safety is always in your hands.

What can I buy in Kumarakom?

There are numerous souvenirs and gifts that you can buy in Kumarakom. Some of these include household utensils, bronze lamps, hand-woven textiles, hand-made jewellery, urulis, and more.

What is the best time to visit Kumarakom?

The best time to visit Kumarakom is the winter season, that is, the months from November to February. During this season, you’ll be able to spot various migratory birds in the Kumarakom sanctuary. You can also visit the destination during the months between September to March as the weather is pleasant. This place has a rather moderate climate which allows travellers to enjoy its natural ambience.

Which are the best experiences to try in Kumarakom?

Here are some of the delightful experiences that one can enjoy their vacation in Kumarakom: 1. Watch colourful birds at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary 2. Indulge in a houseboat experience 3. Attend shows of Kalaripayattu and Kathakali 4. Trek to Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall 5. Spectate Nehru Snake Boat Race 6. Indulge ins hopping experiences

Which is better Kumarakom or Alleppey?

Both Alleppey and Kumarakom are popular destinations among tourists because of the pristine view of the backwaters. But both of these locations in Kerala have their own significance. Alleppey is a town which is known for luxurious resorts. While Kumarakom is a collection of islands and is famous for its houseboats.

Does Kumarakom have a beach?

Yes, there is a beach in Kumarakom located in the Kottayam district. This beach is known for its beautiful coastline, pristine sand and smooth waters which attracts tourists.

How far is Kumarakom from Kochi airport?

The Cochin International Airport is located at a distance of 74 km from Kumarakom city centre. You can simply take a state-run or private bus or hop into a cab to get to Kumarakom from Kochi airport.

How can I go to Kumarakom by train?

The Kottayam railway station happens to be the nearest railhead to Kumarakom and is located at a distance of 16 km from it. This railway station has access to frequent train traffic coming from all over the country and connecting this city to every other town in Kerala and the rest of the country.

How far is Kumarakom from Munnar?

Kumarakom is located at a driving distance of 137 km from Munnar, while the aerial distance between the two is about 85 km. You won’t find any direct flights, trains, or buses between these two cities. The most convenient and fastest way to travel from Munnar to Kumarakom is by hired vehicle.

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