You can lose yourself in nature in Wayanad. Surrounded by the majestic silhouettes of the Western Ghats mountains, this rural district in south west India is alive with wildlife and plants. Discover nature reserves deep in the forest, rice paddies that gleam in the moonlight and tea and coffee plantations fragrant with crops. You can take your pick of ways to explore, from hiking and boating to trips to ancient temples. With luscious green countryside all around you, Wayanad is the perfect place to unwind.
Get a room with a view at a hostel in Wayanad within 700 acres of grounds overlooking the plantations. At a hostel in a heritage bungalow, you can get a feel for local life by helping out around the homestay and surrounding organic farm. Many hostels in Wayanad now offer free Wi-Fi, making planning the rest of your journey (or extending your stay by another week) easy. Wayanad hostels that include free breakfast and linen can help keep your wallet full and your backpack light.
Wayanad is a tranquil district and its surroundings offer endless opportunities to go deep into nature. You can visit Kuruva Island for a real escape from city life. This densely forested oasis is home to rare species of birds and plants. For trekking, head to the trails that wind around Chembra Peak, with blissful views across lush valleys. Rainforest vistas await in Lakkidi, where you can walk next to streams and take in the panorama of greater Wayanad.
It's all about wildlife in Wayanad. Keep to hushed tones on a safari through the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and you might just catch a glimpse of tigers, panthers and Asian elephants. You can also take a bamboo raft trip on the Kabini River and keep your eyes peeled for rare species along the banks or head to the pretty, freshwater Pookode Lake for a swim. There are plenty of historical treasures here too, such as the Neolithic engravings in the Edakkal Caves and the 3,000-year-old hillside Thirunelli Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
To get to Wayanad by air, fly into Calicut International Airport (also known as Karipur Airport). From there or nearby Calicut Railway Station, the journey takes about 3 hours. There are local and private buses in Wayanad, which run regularly throughout the day, which makes it easy to travel between the key sights.