Sunbathe, swim and then climb to the top of the lighthouse that gives this southern Indian beach its name.
Follow the crowds through Kovalam to find yourself at the region's most popular shorefront, Lighthouse Beach. Once a quiet fisherman's port, this beach became a huge tourist destination after hippies came here during the 1970s.
Approach the beach through Kovalam’s steep streets, past grazing goats and souvenir vendors. Roll out your towel on the sand or rent a sun lounge and umbrella. Stroll by the shoreline and swim in the warm equatorial water. For refreshments, purchase drinks and freshly chopped fruit salad from stalls along the beach.
Enjoy beautiful views of the bay, which include the commanding presence of the lighthouse that gives the beach its name.
Walk up the headland for a better view of this red and white structure. Pay the small fee to climb the staircase inside the 118-foot (35-meter) lighthouse. From the top, there are spectacular views of the Kovalam Hills and sprawling Thiruvananthapuram in the distance. Look to the east and you will see a striking green mosque. If there’s time during your vacation, pay a visit to this religious landmark.
Leave the beach for a shopping expedition along the beach's promenade. Browse stores selling hand-woven bags, Tibetan jewelry and other souvenirs. Behind the main stretch, a maze of alleys leads to stores selling colorful dresses, drums and many other curiosities. Don't be afraid to practice your haggling.
As evening falls, come back to Lighthouse Beach’s promenade for dinner with a view of the sunset. Fresh fish, Keralan delicacies and Western cuisines can all be found in the shorefront restaurants. Alternatively, venture deeper into Kovalam to find vegetarian curry houses and other charming places to eat.
Lighthouse Beach is the southernmost beach of Kovalam’s three beaches. It is situated approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Thiruvananthapuram. Arrive by rental car, taxi or get there in about 40 minutes via a rickshaw.