Traveling solo to Vypin Island can be an enthralling experience for any person who loves nature, beaches, backwaters and tranquillity. It’s a lovely place to be if you visit Kochi.
Vypin Island is a mini personification of Kerala in so many ways. It comprises all the travel elements that a person expects to find while visiting Kerala. While traveling solo to Vypin Island, I connected to the place and its vibe really well.
I liked being there so much that I cut down my travel plans to other parts of Kochi on the same trip (I did visit them later). Most travelers I know visit only the main areas of Kochi and leave out Vypin altogether. However, Vypin Island is one of the most beautiful regions to visit, not just as a solo traveler but otherwise.
The fact that Vypin is located slightly far from Kochi should not stop you from missing out on this fascinating Island. In my current blog, I will try to provide you with as much travel information as possible so that you are able to visit Vypin Island easily.
This region will not come across as alien if you know enough about it beforehand. Since I have been traveling solo to Vypin Island a lot, I will also provide backpacking and solo travel tips for any person who wishes to visit Vypin Island in the near future.
Traveling Solo to Vypin Island
In order to enjoy a new region, it’s essential that you know the travel basics of that place. That way, the region doesn’t come across as strange, especially for first-time travelers.
The essential travel information becomes even more significant for people traveling alone. After all, you’re fully in charge of your trip. So staying slightly aware will surely help.
An Overview of Vypin Island
Here is some important travel information pertaining to Vypin Island in Kochi. You must be aware of the basics of this region before heading out on your own.
Vypin is an island on the outskirts of the city of Kochi in the south Indian state of Kerala.
Throughout the year. The Island is accessible to travelers for all twelve months.
As far as the natives are concerned, they mostly speak Malayalam and Tamil. But English is also widely spoken, especially by people of business for you (hotel owners, cafe owners, restaurant owners and shopkeepers).
|Suitable time to visit
The most suitable time to visit Vypin Island is from the end of October to the first week of December. During this time of the year, the weather is quite pleasant and hence you don’t have to face the harsh humidity.
In all my experiences of traveling solo to Vypin Island, November was my preferred month
|Distance from Kochi
About 23 kilometers
|Mode of transport
If you want to travel within Vypin Island, you can either rent a cycle, or you can easily get an auto rickshaw. Also, you can choose to hike.
If you want to travel outside Vypin Island, you can take a cab (Ola and Uber’s services are good on the Island) to reach the Jetty (Ferry) point and then board the local Ferry.
|Suggested offbeat places to visit in Vypin Island
Ambedkar Beach, Njarakkal Aqua Farm, Munamban Fishing Harbour
|Highlight of Vypin Island
Dolphin sighting at Cherai Beach. The Dolphins are seen here in their natural habitat.
There are a lot of eateries, cafes, restaurants and resorts on Vypin Island. You can easily get Kerala food, north Indian food, and even Continental food in all of these eating places.
While I was traveling solo to Vypin Island, I got the opportunity to taste almost every kind of meal there. Going by my experience, I suggest you go only for Kerala food at small eateries (since they prepare their own food best). Go for Continental and the usual snacks at cafes and posh restaurants.
Vypin Island has no dearth of accommodation options. The Homestays and resto-hotels on the island are really good. There are also a few resorts present which is decent.
Just make sure you book them early.
While in Vypin, I always stay at a lovely beachside resto-hotel that goes by the name of Cherai Natural Beach Resotel. It is a few metres away from the beach and makes for an excellent stay on Vypin Island.
As a travel destination, Vypin Island is full of surprises. You might just encounter the most fascinating aspects of nature at the most unexpected places here.
Since traveling solo to Vypin Island is still quite offbeat, travelers planning to visit here have a number of questions.
A lot of first time visitors keep asking me very pertinent questions. Therefore, let me address the most important ones for you below.
Frequently Asked Questions by People Traveling Solo to Vypin Island
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions by individuals travelling solo to Vypin Island or just backpacking or even heading for a family tour.
How to reach Vypin Island from Kochi ?
The best and the easiest way to reach Vypin Island from Kochi is via a ferry.
A ride on a ferry will cost you just 3 INR from the jetty point in mainland Kochi till the jetty point of Vypin Island. This journey, which is otherwise more than 25 kms takes just 7 minutes when you travel via the sea route.
On reaching the jetty point of Vypin Island, either take a bus (the service is very frequent) or book a cab (through Ola or Uber) or just hire an auto.
What are the most comfortable places to stay at Vypin Island?
Resto hotels are really comfortable and I’ve been staying in one on all of my trips. You can also choose to accommodate yourself in a homestay as well as a resort. But this will depend completely on your budget.
Personally, I like saving on accommodation and spending on exploration. My minimum requirement is a safe and hygienic place. That is all.
What kind of food options are available on Vypin Island?
Mostly the local Kerala food is available. Most hotels and stays provide breakfast around 8 a.m. Then there are also options for snacks. But those are limited to fancy places and cafes.
Also, they are expensive and not worth their price at all. So I highly insist skip them.
If you are an early riser like me and like to eat before 8 a.m, buy some fruits the previous evening. Shops in Vypin do not open as late as 11 am. So buying edible stuff beforehand is recommended.
Has Vypin Island been affected by the Kerala floods?
Not at all. In fact, none of the beach locations across Kerala has been affected. The places affected sprawled in and around the backwaters and not the beaches.
What are the top three things that should be packed for Vypin Island?
While traveling solo to Vypin Island or otherwise, make sure to pack a mosquito repellent, a good SPF sunscreen cream or a menthol based face wash (too frequently get rid of the heat) and a hat to protect you from the sun.
Any important travel tips for Vypin Island?
Yes. Drink at least 2.5 litres of water every day. Buy 3 mineral water bottles daily from your hotel or elsewhere. Drink about 1 litre right after you wake up, about 1 litre throughout the day and the remaining quantity just before bed.
This will help you stay hydrated on this tropical island. Else, you will end up being infected with either a UTI or severe dehydration.
Do not save money on water. A 1-litre bottle costs only 20 INR. So even if you buy 3 bottles daily, it just amounts to 60 INR. Remember this money can help you save a lot of trouble.
Now that I’ve introduced you to the basics of Vypin Island, let me move on to the list of places (starting with beaches) that you can explore in and around the locale.
What Beaches Must be Visited while Traveling Solo to Vypin Island?
You will come across a lot of beautiful beaches in and around Vypin Island. This is one of the best reasons to live on an island in the first place.
Let me introduce you to the ones that I visited on my past trips.
Let me now elaborate more on all of these beaches. Also, I’d like to highlight all the experiences you can have at each of the above beaches as a free spirit travelling solo to Vypin Island.
While traveling solo to Vypin Island, I had the rare opportunity to stay just a few meters away from Cherai Beach. Hence, I made a special connection with this place.
Cherai Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Vypin Island. It isn’t the largest but it surely is the most peaceful. The authorities of the area have put special beach chairs for anyone to sit and enjoy the view.
I’ve spent most of my time on the trip sitting on the beach chair during dawn and dusk. It provided me with the perfect serenity that I was looking for during vacation.
Observe Exotic Birds and Dolphins at Cherai Beach
One of the best parts of Cherai Beach is that it is visited a lot by species of exotic birds. You can easily spot them if you’re an early riser. If you’re lucky you can also spot adorable mammals like Dolphins.
Observe patiently and you might witness a Dolphin pop out of the water every now and then. It’s very rare that you get to see a dolphin in its natural habitat. Cherai offers that natural setting. Trust me, when you see it, the sight will stay with you forever.
The shoreline of the beach has endless cafes, restaurants, resorts and Ayurvedic Massage Centres. Get yourself a decent scrub at one of these centres.
Since I stayed near Cherai beach, I’ve mentioned it first here. However, as a newbie traveler, you can choose to visit Munamban beach first because it will provide easy access to all the beaches on Vypin Island.
The Government has taken great care of the area around the beach and hence it has become tourist-friendly over the years. However, there isn’t still much when it comes to food and drinks. But it definitely is a good place to relax.
Witness Chinese Fishing Nets at Munamban Beach
Munambam beach is located close to the fishing harbour at Vypin Island. This area is unique because the equipment used here for caching fish are the Chinese fishing nets.
While here, do witness the entire procedure of how fishermen use these Chinese nets to catch fish.
There are a lot of crabs on this beach and the fishermen try to capture them using their Chinese nets. I could see a lot of light green coloured and brownish crabs. They’re beautiful.
One of the lesser known beaches on Vypin Island, the Amedkar beach is a quaint place with statues of Dr B. R. Ambebkar and Ayyankali right at the entrance.
While traveling solo to Vypin Island, I felt that a place like this should have more visitors. But for some strange reason, it doesn’t. I guess, as travelers we really should explore more offbeat places. It is there that true beauty resides.
Plan a picnic to Amedkar Beach
Ambedkar beach is a good place to spend a day just chilling yourself around the warm waters. You can even plan a picnic around here because nobody will disturb you.
I feel this place will receive more visitors in the near future. It surely deserves more footfalls.
My visit to Njarakkal beach was rather unique. Reason being, that I got to attend a traditional Kerala wedding at a hotel near the beach. A fellow traveler and I had bonded over a conversation and insisted that I attend her sister’s wedding.
So that’s how I will always remember this place.
Njarakkal beach is a neat combination of the colours green and blue. Green for the coconut trees around the shoreline and blue for the clear waters of this beach.
While traveling solo to Vypin Island, I always wanted a hammock for myself at the beaches. My wish came true at Njarakkal beach. You too can take a hammock on rent for a few hours. It’s fun.
Invest a few quality hours at the Njarakkal Matsyafed Farm
If you’re at the Njarakkal beach, you should certainly visit the Aqua Farm as well. It’s like a customized tour where you pay 200 INR at the entrance gate and get to spend hours of both fun and learning.
The cost includes a decent meal, an ice cream, fishing opportunities, a paddle boat ride in the backwaters and a chance to view jumping fishes.
Since the boats are open, put a good SPF sunscreen on your face. It’ll protect you against the harsh rays of the coastal sun.
Located at a 20-minute duration from Ferry Point, Puthuvype beach is a decent place to visit. However, right at the outset, I’d like to mention here to not go deep into the waters here. Reason being that no external help or lifeguards are present here.
As long as you beware of the rising tides here, Puthuvvype is a beautiful place to spend a few hours. It’s quite empty and is very clean. The lack of commercial activity here has ensured the cleanliness of this beach.
Take a stroll to the Lighthouse
Opposite to the Puthuvype beach is the lighthouse. From the top of the Puthuvype lighthouse, you can easily see a real-life panoramic view of the entire area. It’s also known as the Cochin Lighthouse
The timings for visiting Vypin lighthouse are from 10:00 am–1:00 pm and 2:00 pm –6:00 pm. This place is closed on Mondays. The entry fees are a mere 20 INR for adults and an additional 10 INR for mobile phones.
My Personal Rating for the Beaches at Vypin Island
As somebody who has been traveling solo to Vypin Island, I would like to rate the following beaches for the convenience of future travelers to this region.
I will be rating them with stars. 1 start will denote the least recommended and 5 stars will denote the most recommended by me.
As a traveler, you should be visiting all these beaches. But if you can’t owing to the lack of time, these ratings will help you choose your pick.
|Cherai Beach ****|
|Munambam Beach **|
|Amedkar Beach ***|
|Njarackal Beach ****|
|Puthuvype Beach *****|
In addition to visiting the lovely beaches at Vypin Island, there are a lot more activities that you can pursue as a traveler.
The region will turn out to be a blessing for anyone who keeps an open mind and stays slightly disciplined.
Offbeat Activities to Pursue at Vypin Island
Let me share all such activities with you so as to make your travel experience memorable.
|Take a morning walk along Cherai Beach|
|Play Beach Football at Puthuvype|
|Take a backwaters trip on a Canoe|
|Pamper yourself to an Ayurvedic Massage|
|Try the locally prepared Toddy|
What’s the fun of going backpacking if you’re unable to experience the offbeat activities of a place? It is the offbeat things that make journeys special.
Take a Morning Walk along Cherai Beach
As strange as it may sound, waking up early during your trip will help you connect with a region more. Also, you will kick start the day early and hence will be able to explore more.
The fact that I was staying so close to Cherai Beach while traveling solo to Vypin Island helped me take early morning walks along the beach. The only people up at that time were a few locals. But that didn’t bother me.
While the rest of the travelers were busy snoring owing to late night parties, I woke up early and saw the most gorgeous species of birds flocking the beach.
They didn’t just fly over me but spent a lot of time on the beach itself feeding on fish and basking in the rays of the early morning sun.
A sight that will stay with me forever is witnessing Dolphins pop out of water suddenly. It took me a while to fathom that what I was seeing were Dolphins and not something else. Unexpected pleasures are the best kind, I guess.
Not only did the Dolphins give me a good 15 to 20 minutes of sighting time but also came really close to the shore. I wish more people could view them in their natural habitat. But for that, you have got to wake up early. That is how you make a connect with nature.
I highly insist you take a morning walk along Cherai Beach. You will not regret it.
Take a Backwaters Trip on a Canoe
Kerala is popular around the world for its backwaters. So you might be wondering as to why is taking a backwater trip considered an offbeat activity?
Well canoeing around the backwaters of Vypin Island is an offbeat activity because there is absolutely nobody pursuing it here. Most travelers take a backwaters tour in Alleppey, Kumarakom or mainland Kochi. But never at Vypin Island.
Even the travelers taking a backwater tour in the above mentioned places pursue it either in a houseboat or a Shikhara. As somebody traveling solo to Vypin Island, please take a canoe ride in the backwaters.
The advantage you will have is that the canoe will take you even the most remote of places owing to its small size. Ask any canoe owner for a ride, pay the man well and he will be happy to show you around for a very nominal price.
Play Beach Football at Puthuvype
Even if you don’t like football, play it at least once on the shores of Puthuvype beach. It will be an absolutely fun activity. I am no football maestro. I’m just an average player interested in the game.
But to play it on a beach shore was certainly a different game for me altogether. Kicking a ball with the locals and other travelers at Puthuvype beach was pure relaxation.
The whole point of traveling solo to Vypin Island was to relax and indulge in activities that I don’t usually pursue back in my city life in Bangalore.
So to kick a ball was surely good.
Pamper yourself to an Ayurvedic Massage
Vypin Island is full of Ayurvedic Massage Centres. I suggest you pamper yourself at one of these places. You don’t have to go to a very luxurious massage. Prefer a basic massage and feel the vibe.
A lot of these Ayurvedic places offer complete healing of the body as well. So travelers who have a lot of time visit these places exclusively for healing.
The essential oils used at these places along with the aroma of raw incense take you to a different mental frame.
The service provided is quite professional and the people offering you the massage are well versed in English. So do put forward your queries pertaining to Ayurveda.
They will address your questions and you’ll come out more knowledgeable.
Once your message is done, you can go for a steam bath and cleanse yourself even more.
Try the Locally Prepared Toddy
If you’re traveling solo to Vypin Island, do try Toddy – the local alcohol of Kerala. It is prepared from the sap of coconut trees and is white in colour.
At Vypin Island, a lot of small eateries prepare and sell Toddy daily. If you’re carrying a plastic bottle, the guys selling Toddy will fill it up for you. You can consume it later in your room.
Toddy is quite sour in taste and is mild in nature. You may or may not like it depending on your taste. But I still suggest you try it a little. After all, it is a speciality of Kerala.
Always buy Toddy from a Government approved shop. It comes in cheap.
Is Vypin Island Safe for Travelers?
As somebody who has been traveling solo to Vypin Island, I can vouch for the safety of this place. Vypin Island is safe not just for men but for women as well. In fact the majority of backpackers at Vypin, around the time I visit were women travelers.
Most of them were from outside India.
The only thing you should keep in mind is to not venture deep into the waters of any of the beaches post-sunset. At this time of the day, the tides are usually high.
So if you get stuck, nobody will be able to help you, given the less population around most beaches.
I would also like to tell you that Vypin as a place is a bit laid back. This includes the auto-rickshaw guys.
So try getting back to Vypin before 8 pm. Else, it’ll be hard to get an auto or even a bus for that matter, from the Ferry Point to your place of stay.
A Special Note for Visitors Traveling Solo to Vypin Island
Vypin Island as a place is full of nature’s bounty. It is clean, neat and booming with flora and fauna. As an individual traveling solo to Vypin Island, please maintain the sanctity of nature here. Do not loiter around.
Attend late-night parties, get high, dance on the beach – you’re allowed to have that fun. But do not throw empty beer bottles, cigarette butts and leftover food on the shores of beaches. It destroys the ecosystem.
Be responsible as a traveler. Set an example. That is how others will follow you. Let’s not allow the frivolousness of a few people to undermine the beauty of this place.