Photo by Joana Kruse/age fotostock
Home to fields rich in coffee, tea, and spices like cardamom, pepper, and cinnamon, Kerala has been at the heart of the spice trade for several millennia: Even the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians passed through the region to trade goods and stock up on flavorful ingredients. No modern visit to the southern state is complete without a stop at a working plantation, and this 110-acre site—set on a coffee plantation near the town of Kumily, one of Kerala’s main spice hubs—offers a few ways to soak up the setting. Enjoy a boat ride, try your hand at fishing (the plantation will even cook up whatever you catch), go bird watching with an expert, savor a lakeside picnic, or get active with a trek or rock climb. There are also trails winding through acres of plants growing coffee berries, vanilla, pepper, cardamom, clove, turmeric, ginger, and more. To learn more about the crops, visit between November and March to watch the coffee harvesting and processing, or between June and March to catch the cardamom harvest, or between December and March for the pepper season.
By Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor