Nestled in the lush forests of north Kerala, Wayanad offers travelers a bounty of incredible experiences both on land and water.
From jungle safaris searching for wild elephants to bamboo rafting, Wayanad offers plenty of adventure between visits to tea and spice plantations. Here are the top things you shouldn’t miss in this nature lover’s paradise.
1. Spot Wild Animals on a Jungle Safari
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary protects over 350 square kilometers of dense forest roamed by exotic creatures.
Hop in an open-top jeep to head deep into bamboo thickets and teak woods for sightings. If luck shines on your side, you may encounter majestic tuskers, spotted deer, playful bonnet macaques swinging through trees, and even elusive tigers.
Early morning and late afternoon safari rides provide prime time for animal spotting. A knowledgeable naturalist guide on board helps point out camouflaged creatures you might otherwise miss.
2. Paddle Through the Forest on Bamboo Rafting
Drift silently down the Kuruvikkal River on a handmade bamboo raft, taking in the verdant scenery. Choose either a quick 30-minute float or a longer half-day tour with swimming and picnic stops along the way. Local craftsmen expertly pole these eco-friendly vessels through gentle rapids and dense thickets.
Keep your eyes peeled for hornbills flying between giant trees and Malabar squirrels scampering high up in branches. The most exciting moments come when guides paddle towards riverbanks, spotting wild elephants and bison drinking at the water’s edge. To avoid higher prices on different things, book your Wayanad tour packages in advance.
3. Wander Spice and Tea Trails
Before the forests took over, Wayanad prospered from cultivating spices, coffee, and tea across its hilly terrain. Many plantations are now open for tours, offering insight into the cultivation plus tasty sampling experiences.
Walk shaded lanes at Aroma Spice Garden, breathing in fragrances from trees filled with pepper, nutmeg, vanilla, and cloves. Over at Tea County, witness expert tea pickers at work and taste black, green, and white varieties straight from the plantation.
Visit factory workshops to observe harvests getting processed for retail products you likely use daily. Check out the Francis Spices shop for the best vanilla, pepper, and ginger to bring home.
4. Find Tranquility on Kuruva Island
Accessible only by bamboo footbridge, uninhabited Kuruva Island within Kabini River feels truly cut off from civilization. The isolated setting allows you to immerse yourself fully in nature while strolling trails weaving through evergreen forests filled with rare birds, butterflies, and orchids.
Keep attentive to spot giant wood spiders and exotic hornbills frequenting the island haven. For a fully Zen experience, sleep the night in tented cottages amid the jungle sounds. Yoga sessions at sunrise surrounded only by wildlife makes this syrupy slow getaway even sweeter.
From thundering waterfalls to cave temples to nonstop trekking routes, Wayanad overflows with incredible experiences.
Visitors plan return trips to fit in all the natural and cultural wonders across this biodiverse pocket of Kerala. With so much on offer, you’ll soon see why Wayanad scores top billing among places to visit in South India’s incredibly diverse landscape.