The best time to visit Kovalam is from September to March, when the weather is dry and fairly cool. Summers, which run from March to May, are exceedingly hot, and the monsoon season, which runs from June to August, is humid and rainy.
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Hike inland for a look at date palms and the rice paddies. In the areas further removed from the coast, visitors can meet locals, sit down to a meal, and enjoy a slower, relaxed life far-removed from their own.
Comprising three beaches set along 10 miles (17 kilometers) of sandy coastline, Kovalam’s beaches are separated from each other by rocky outcroppings. Of the three, Lighthouse Beach is the furthest south, as well as the most popular with tourists; it is named for the charming lighthouse perched on the nearby rocks. Hawa Beach, further north, is a short walk away, and is less crowded than Lighthouse Beach. Furthest north is Samudra Beach, which is frequented by fishermen, and largely devoid of other travelers.
Given Kovalam’s close proximity to the sea and its abundance of coconut trees, its cuisine is mostly centered around fresh fish, meat, and tropical fruits. There are a number of upscale restaurants along the beach which serve vegetarian, seafood, and fusion cuisine - all of which feature locally grown ingredients.
With swells of up to 7 feet, or 2 meters, Kovalam is an excellent surf destination. However, visitors should note that the area is home to a number of powerful currents and undertows; surfers should always speak with lifeguards prior to entering the water.
Located near the southern beach, the old lighthouse was originally built to help ships navigate to the nearby port at Vizhnjam. Visit the lighthouse at dusk for a glimpse of the sun as it sinks beneath the horizon.
Two miles (three kilometers) from Kovalam lies Vizhinjam, a quaint fishing town slated to be developed into an international port. Because of its natural harbor, the town was contested by myriad dynasties and kingdoms; today, however, it is a peaceful, relaxing village that offers excellent views of the sunset.
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