In March 2018, I spent a little less than a week in Munnar.
During this time, I explored some of the top sights and best things to do in Munnar.
You can still have a great time with just 3 days in Munnar by doing some of the activities I did.
Munnar is basically known for tea plantations, hills, and trekking.
The Munnar itinerary
Here first is the quick list of my itinerary for less than a week in Munnar:
- Getting to Munnar: Wayanad to Munnar by bus
- DAY 1
- DAY 2
- Village walk through tea plantations
- DAY 3
- DAY 4
- Scenic drive to Top Station for best views of Western Ghats
- Overnight camping in forest of Kannan Devan Hills
- DAY 5
Read on below for more information below about each of these Munnar activities!
- Hiking: What to wear hiking in hot weather/Hawaii + NOT
- Water sports: Best things to wear snorkeling + NOT
- Cruise: What NOT to bring on a cruise
Adapting this into a 3 day itinerary
Since I had more time, I was able to spread out these things over more days.
If you have a shorter time, you can pick and choose from these Munnar activities to have a memorable trip in hills of Kerala!
3 days in Munnar seems to be a good amount of time to spend in Munnar in order to get a feel for the area, as well as to make a trip out to these hills worth it!
Getting to Munnar: Wayanad to Munnar by bus
I arrived in Munnar by going from Wayanad to Munnar, with a detour in Thrissur.
I went from Wayanad to Thrissur by bus (6 hours), stayed overnight in Thrissur, and then went from Thrissur to Munnar by bus (5 hours). Going straight from Wayanad to Munnar is about 10 hours.
Both rides were government buses. There’s no advance booking required with these kinds of buses. You can just show up to the bus station, board the bus to your destination, and then pay when you’re on the bus.
For travel around Kerala, I checked aanavandi to find bus options. Checking this site can be good to get a general idea of bus options, although this doesn’t seem to be an extensive list.
Here are some of the best things to do in Munnar as a tourist!
DAY 1 IN MUNNAR
Visit to Munnar Tea Museum
Munnar is all about tea, and I love tea, so I thought the perfect first stop in Munnar would be to go to the Tea Museum! I figured this would be a great introduction to the region for the rest of my time in Munnar.
This is a total and complete tourist attraction, complete with the goal of trying to get you to buy tea, but hey… when in Munnar…
Here are some of the experiences you can have at the Tea Museum in Munnar.
30 minute documentary
This is about the history of how the tea industry came about in Munnar. I found this to be interesting! Basically, if it weren’t for people from Kerala’s neighbor state of Tamil Nadu, the tea industry in Munnar wouldn’t be what it is today.
Presentation on TEA!
A guy talks all about tea surrounded by tea leaves… and is quite convincing in why you should start drinking green tea like yesterday.
Tea manufacturing unit
This is basically a tea factory where you can see the process that’s used to manufacture tea.
After the tea presentation, you may be convinced to buy tea. 😉 And you have lots of different types of tea to choose from. I was running low on the oolong tea and green tea I had brought from home, so I took the chance to buy some tea here!
DAY 2 IN MUNNAR
Village walk through tea plantations
Once again, with Munnar being about tea, I wanted to get out and see some more tea plantations!
This time, I basically just looked at Google Maps to try to find some streets that may have potential for some nice walking. I looked at the area that was near the tea museum.
As it turns out, Google Maps is not reliable at all in this area. 😀
One of the streets that I was thinking about walking on turned out to be private property.
So instead I took a different road that looked more promising and didn’t seem to be on private property.
And it ended up being a nice walk in Munnar on roads that went through some tea plantations.
DAY 3 IN MUNNAR
Tea plantation trek
One of the most popular things to do in Munnar among foreign tourists is to go for a tea plantation trek.
Each tea plantation trek may offer something slightly different depending on who you book it through.
But in general, you can likely expect:
- Jeep to your starting point
- Trail through the forest
- Walk through tea plantations
- Learning about the different spices and plants that are grown in Munnar as you pass by them
At the end of the tour, after the trek was over, we were then shifted by jeep to someone’s house.
And there, we had a delicious meal and it was the perfect end to the trek! Tamil food was served, representing the culture of the Munnar region.
When you get to Munnar, you’ll likely see signs posted advertising different types of trekking.
This tea plantation trek would be considered “soft trekking” which meant it was a more of a simple walk, although it can start to feel a little long. It lasted all day, from 9am to 4pm. There were a couple of breaks for tea and snacks during this time.
I booked the trek through the hotel I was staying at, the Green View Inn as recommended by my trusty guidebook.
DAY 4 IN MUNNAR
Scenic drive to Top Station for some of the best views of Western Ghats
A visit to Top Station is another one of the most popular things to do around Munnar.
Top Station is basically a scenic overlook that will give you amazing views of the Western Ghats, one of the noteworthy mountain ranges in India.
According to UNESCO, the Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas.
Top Station is located about 1.5 hours from Munnar town.
Part of what makes the trip worth it is the scenic drive to Top Station.
You might even spot a wild elephant!
I never saw one but there were signs for elephant crossings. And at one point, traffic was jammed and people on the side of the road were gathered around and pointing and looking in one direction… Rumor was that there was an elephant sighting.
But even if you don’t spot an elephant, you’ll have the scenery!
Then once you get to Top Station, there’s a relatively short path you walk.
You’ll pass by a number of commercial stands, and you’ll also have plenty of chances to buy some snacks and drinks.
Once you get to the entry point of Top Station, there’s another path you’ll walk.
This part has some stairs you need to climb to reach the overlook area. This makes bringing along water important!
So for some great views of the Western Ghats, Top Station is a worthy visit.
The entry fee for Top Station was 50 rupees for foreigners.
Overnight camping in the forest of Kannan Devan Hills
This overnight camping experience was done as a part of the Meesapulimala Trek.
There was also a filling dinner served, and a small campfire to go with it too.
DAY 5 IN MUNNAR
Meesapulimala Trek to the 2nd highest peak in Kerala
One of THE treks to do when you’re in Munnar (and Kerala) is the Meesapulimala Trek.
This is a part of the Western Ghats, and the trek will take you to the second highest peak in Kerala to an altitude of over 8,500 feet / 2,500 meters.
This is basically a full day trek.
The trek starts directly from the Meesapulimala Trek base camp where the tent camping takes place.
My group had 12 people, plus the guide. How long it takes to reach the peak will depend on the pace of your group.
My group took around 4 hours to reach the peak. I’d say we were going pretty slow.
And at the peak is where I ate the packed lunch that was provided as a part of the trek.
Our group spent around an hour at the peak.
Then once everyone was ready to leave, it took a shorter time to get back down to base camp. Maybe it took a couple of hours.
When I did this trek, the price for each 2-person tent was 3,500 rupees, so 1,750 rupees per person.
Since that time, the price has gone up. The cost to do the Meesapulimala Trek starting April 2018 is now 4,000 rupees per tent.
Because of permits required, the only legal way to do this trek is through the Kerala Forest Department.
HAPPY MUNNAR ITINERARY PLANNING!
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- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
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- What to wear hiking
- What to wear snorkeling
- What to wear on a cruise formal night
Best things to pack for active travel- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
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- At the beach: This type of pouch that you can easily take your wallet in the water with you, instead of leaving on the beach.