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Munnar is a wonderful hill country full of tea plantations and beautiful treks. It is full of greenery and nature. Munnar was definitely our favorite place in India. Make sure you visit this part of the country! You will not regret it. It is clean and peaceful. Perfect place to relax! Find out more about things to do in Munnar!
How to get to Munnar
Getting to Munnar is not that difficult. Wherever you are you need to reach Kochi first. You can easily get there by train or fly from any major city in India. Another option is arriving by bus. We took an overnight bus once and it was a nightmare. We find trains much more reliable, comfortable and clean.
From Kochi you have to take a bus. Bus towards Munnar starts at Ernakulam bus station or Aluva bus station. Aluva is a further from the city. The journey took us slighty more than 5 hours and we paid around 160 INR each (2€). First half is pretty fine, the second half is a thrilling adenture. There are mountain roads full of curves leading up to Munnar. And rivers are really crazy. It was a ride full of adrenaline.
Of course you can also go for a private transfer. Just find a driver (you can ask at your hotel). The price will be around 3000 INR which is 35€. It’s a huge difference compared to bus.
Where to stay in Munnar
Munnar has two parts – Old Munnar and Munnar. They are just 1 or 2 km apart and very similar. It doesn’t really matter where you stay. You can find many restaurant and accomodation options in both parts. Anyway, most of the things to do in Munnar are actually not in the town itself.
We stayed a bit further from the city in Beyond Eco Living resort. It is a wonderful place right in the middle of a nature. You have everything you need there. There is a sunrise trek and spice garden nearby. Most of activities we did were organized by them. And we had an amazing time. There is a beautiful river where you can watch daily lives of locals just few minutes of walk from the resort.
Things to do in Munnar
Visit tea plantations
This is very easy. Anywhere you look there is plenty of tea plantations in every directions. Especially around Munnar. You can rent a tuktuk for a day and drive around. Driver will stop on multiple view points and take you to a tea factory. Or simply walk around. You can reach tea plantations directly from Munnar within a few minutes. In most parts you can walk freely around the plantation. Otherwise locals will inform you that it’s not allowed.
Visit tea factories
There is multiple tea factories in Munnar you can choose from. Most of them provide a guided tour around the factory. It is a perfect way to learn how the tea is prepared. You will definitely find a number of factories providing a tour in English. And don’t forget to taste the tea at the end!
Visit spice garden
You will notice there is many spice gardens right along the main road. It is very simple to find one. Entrance costs around 1-2€ and you’ll get a 30 minutes tour with explanations. There are mostly ayurvedic plants with unbelievable versatility. You will notice there is a plant for everything. We had one spice garden just a few minutes of walk from Beyond Eco Living. The staff there helped us organize everything.
Go on a Kolukkamalai sunrise trek
This is a must when in Munnar. Kolukkamalai is a hill station which is home to the highest tea plantations in the world! And views are just stunning! Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time for a visit to Kolukkamalai. You will find many tour agencies offering you a sunrise trek. It includes a private jeep ride which takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes walk. The price was around 60€ for 2 people. We found it a bit too expensive. We also read that you can just take a bus to a location where local jeeps collect people. They are shared and it’s much cheaper. Since we didn’t have enough time we couldn’t test it ourselves.
... or any other trek
Munnar is full of hills and trails! Hikers will definitely love it here! There is soo many different options. We went on a sunrise trek with Beyond Eco Living. It was actually more like a short walk. It only took us 15 minutes to get to this viewpoint. You can find many guides that will take you up to the hills or ask you acommodation for help!
Jeep safaris are very common activity in Munnar. We went on a jeep ride with Beyond Eco Living. We explored surrounded nature and visited a lovely tea shop. We had a chance to stop by a wonderful and peaceful spot right next to river. After 7pm that place gets full of wild elephants. Our destination was a tribal village.
There is many tribal villages around Munnar. Some are less accesible than others. It might be difficult to visit them, since they keep to themsleves and it is not allowed for everyone to enter their area. These forest people used to live isolated from the rest of the population. Nowadays the situation is changing slowly. It was a very interesting experience.