Weather in Kerala in December

Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 22.01.2024

Kerala - a dream vacation spot with palm-fringed beaches, rolling hills and green valleys. Whether you’re here for the wildlife safaris in Wayanad or to unwind amidst the lush backwaters, Kerala will blow you away. December to February is generally considered to be the best time to visit Kerala, although it can be hard to predict what kind of weather you’ll be met with during your stay. If you’re planning a trip in December then read on to find out about the weather in Kerala in December!

What's the weather in Kerala in December like?

Kerala, the south Indian state known for its unspoiled palm-lined beaches and lush hill stations, is one of the most visited destinations in India. If you're looking to explore some of the country's best sights without having to pay an arm and a leg then Kerala offers an exciting array of attractions.

But what's the weather like in December?

December is a time for misty glades and otherworldly experiences. From the tea-towering mountains to the postcard-perfect beaches of Kochi, December is an ideal time to experience all that this verdant paradise has to offer.

Especially if you’re planning some beach time – the skies are blue and the humidity isn’t too fierce. December also marks the beginning of the dry season in Kerala, with lower chances of rainfall compared to the monsoon months.

However, it's still advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat, as occasional showers can occur. The coastal areas of Kerala may also experience slightly higher humidity levels due to their proximity to the sea.

Rough Guides Tip: make sure to also read about the best time to visit India.

Kerala backwaters houseboat, India © Shutterstock

One of the best things to do: a boat trip on the backwaters of Kerala ©Shutterstock

Average temperatures in December

Kerala has a tropical monsoon climate, with hot temperatures and plenty of rainfall year-round. Located on the southwestern coast of India, it's influenced by the Arabian Sea, Western Ghats mountain range, and the Northeast Monsoon.

Winter in Kerala begins in December and lasts until February. During this time, the weather is cooler and more enjoyable compared to other seasons. The humidity levels are lower, making it a great time to explore the state.

Coastal regions

The coastal areas of Kerala, such as Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, have average daytime temperatures ranging from 27°C (81°F) to 32°C (90°F) in December. The evenings and nights are cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 20°C (68°F).

Hill stations

Kerala's hill stations, including Munnar and Wayanad, offer a respite from the heat with cooler temperatures. In December, the average daytime temperatures in these regions range from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). However, nights can get chilly, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C (50°F) or lower in some places.

Overall, the weather in Kerala in December provides comfortable weather conditions, making it an excellent time for outdoor activities and exploring.

What about rainfall in Kerala in December?

In December, Kerala gets rain from the Northeast Monsoon. The rain can be different in strength, but it usually brings light to moderate showers during this time. The amount of rain can vary in different parts of Kerala. Coastal areas get less rain compared to the inland and hilly regions.

On the coast, the average rainfall is around 30-60 millimeters, while the inland areas get more rain, around 70-120 millimeters. The hill stations may get even more rain because they are higher up.

Overall, the weather in Kerala in December has a mix of rain, gentle winds, and sometimes fog and mist. It creates a beautiful and refreshing environment to explore the state's diverse beauty.

India, Kerala, Kochin, Chinese fishing nets hanging above sea at sunset

Fishing nets hanging above sea at sunset in Kochi ©Shutterstock

Tips for travelling in Kerala in December

The weather in Kerala in December makes it a great time to visit the region. If you plan a visit, make sure to check the following tips.

Clothing recommendations

When you visit coastal areas in Kerala, like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, it's usually warm. So, wear light and comfortable clothes made of cotton or linen. You can go for shorts, skirts, t-shirts, and light dresses. And don't forget to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

But if you're planning to go to hill stations such as Munnar or Wayanad, the temperatures can be cooler, especially in the mornings and evenings. So, it's a good idea to bring layers of clothing. Pack light sweaters or jackets, and wear long pants or jeans. Since there might be some rain in December, it's a good idea to carry a waterproof jacket or an umbrella, just in case.

Precautions to take during rainy periods

Since December is part of the Northeast Monsoon season in Kerala, it's important to get ready for rain. Make sure to pack a lightweight raincoat or poncho so you can stay dry if it suddenly starts raining. It's also a good idea to wear waterproof footwear or sandals with good grip to prevent slipping.

Remember, when it's raining, surfaces can get slippery, especially in hilly areas and near waterfalls. So, be cautious when walking on wet paths or participating in outdoor activities to avoid any accidents.

Availability of accommodations and tourist crowds

December is a great time to visit Kerala because it's a popular tourist season. It's a good idea to book your accommodations ahead of time. Coastal areas and famous hill stations can get really busy, so make sure to secure your bookings early so you can get a spot.

This month is considered a peak tourist season in Kerala because the weather is nice and it's the holiday season. Places that tourists love, like beaches and hill stations, might have more people than usual. So, when you plan your schedule, keep in mind that these popular spots might be crowded.

Munnar landscape in Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Beautiful scenery of Munnar ©Shutterstock

What to do in Kerala in December

With balmy temperatures ranging between 26°C on most days and home to some of the country's most beautiful sites including tea plantations, backwaters, mountain ranges and national parks full of rare species – there really is something for everyone.

#1 Explore the beautiful waterways of Kerala

One of the most memorable experiences for travellers in Kerala is the opportunity to take a boat journey on the backwaters of Kerala with December the ideal time to try it.

The area known as Kuttanad stretches for 75 km from Kollam in the south to Kochi in the north, sandwiched between the sea and the hills.

This bewildering labyrinth of shimmering waterways, composed of lakes, canals, rivers and rivulets, is lined with dense tropical greenery and preserves rural Keralan lifestyles that are completely hidden from the road.

The region’s bucolic way of life has long fascinated visitors. And the ever-entrepreneurial Keralans were quick to spot its potential as a visitor destination – particularly tourists willing to pay to explore the area aboard converted rice barges (kettu vallam).

Southern India is a feast for the senses. The lush greenery of tea plantations, the colourful spice markets and plantations - this tailor-made trip to Kerala is nothing short of highlights. Take a houseboat trip on the Kerala backwaters before finishing your trip with some leisure beach days.


Exploring the backwaters ©Shutterstock

#2 Explore one of the largest national parks in India

One of the largest national parks in India, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as the Periyar Tiger Reserve) occupies 925 square kilometres of the Cardamom Hills region of the Western Ghats.

The majority of its visitors come in the hope of seeing wild elephants – or even a rare glimpse of a tiger – grazing the shores of the reservoir at the heart of the reserve.

Come in December, as the dry season begins, and the wildlife tends to head to the watering holes to drink, which makes spotting them easier.

Periyar bamboo rafting, India © Shutterstock

Periyar bamboo rafting, India © Shutterstock

#3 Relax on Kovalam's beaches

Kovalam consists of four coves, each with markedly different characters. It takes around 45 minutes to an hour to walk from one end of them to the other, but there’s no shortage of potential pit stops along the way to restore your energies.

The largest and most developed cove at Kovalam, known for obvious reasons as Lighthouse Beach, is where most foreign tourists congregate.

The bay is overlooked by the eponymous lighthouse at the southern end. You can scale the 142 spiral steps and twelve ladder rungs to the observation platform for a fine view.

A small rocky headland divides Lighthouse Beach from Hawah Beach (or Eve’s Beach) – almost a mirror image of its busier neighbour, although backed for most of its length by empty palm groves.

Kovalam Beach, the third of the coves, is dominated from on high by the angular chalets of the five-star Leela resort.

Coachloads of excited Keralan day-trippers descend here on weekends but in December, you’ll be among the first to lay down your towel as the monsoon season abates.

The most northerly of Kovalam’s quartet, Samudra Beach was until recently a European package-tourist stronghold.


Kovalam Beach ©Shutterstock

#4 Go hiking around Munnar

The tea plantations, grassy mountains and dazzling viewpoints around Munnar are the perfect antidote to the heat and humidity of the coast.

Although south India’s highest peak, Ana Mudi, is off-limits due to the Nilgiri tahr conservation programme several of the other summits towering above Munnar can be reached on day treks.

The hiking scene is surprisingly undeveloped and it makes sense to use the services of a guide, particularly for Meesapulimalai Peak (2640m), which can be accessed from Silent Valley or Kolukkumalai estates and could easily be incorporated into a multiday excursion.

Always check the weather, but as December is now the dry season, hiking trails tend to be in firm underfoot and in good shape.

On this tailor-made trip to Magical Kerala, you will enjoy a lazy cruise on a converted rice barge; visit fragrant spice plantations in Munnar and explore Cochi and spot local wildlife.

#5 Witness spirit-possession ceremonies at temples in northern Malabar

Parades of extravagantly decorated elephants, backed by drummers and fireworks, form the focal point of Kerala’s Hindu festivals, among them Thrissur’s famed Puram; you can also see intimate (theyyem) spirit possession rituals in the north.

Theyyem (or theyyam) – the dramatic spirit-possession ceremonies held at village shrines throughout the northern Malabar region in the winter – rank among Kerala’s most extraordinary spectacles.

More than four hundred different manifestations of this arcane ritual exist in the area around Kannur alone, each with its own distinctive costumes, elaborate jewellery, body paints, face make-up and, above all, gigantic headdresses (mudi).

Unlike in kathakali and kudiyattam, where actors impersonate goddesses or gods, here the performers actually become the deity being invoked, acquiring their magical powers.

These allow them to perform superhuman feats, such as rolling in hot ashes or dancing with a crown that rises to the height of a coconut tree.

Numerous theyyem take place in December across Kerala but check ahead for exact dates.

For more practical guidance that will help you make the most of your trip, have a chat with our local India experts, who can help you plan your dream trip.

Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 22.01.2024

Ties is a true world explorer - whether it be for work or leisure! As Content Manager at RoughGuides, and the owner of Dutch travel platform, Ties is constantly on the move, always looking for new destinations to discover.

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