Munroe Island, Kerala

Exploring The Munroe Island (Travel Guide + Hidden Spots)

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Munroe Island is the perfect place for you to rejuvenate your energy levels. The place is surreal and popular for the canoe rides which take you through the backwaters. The twin bamboo arches and the lush green forests are a treat for your sore eyes, and you can explore the beautiful island without any hassle. There are numerous hidden gems in this tiny piece of the isle; you shouldn’t miss any of them. With this guide, you’ll be able to know the different facets of the aisle, the things you can do here, how to reach, and a whole lot more. Let’s jump right in.

Munroe Island Travel Guide

Munroe island aerial view
Aerial view of Munroe Island

About The Munroe Island

Munroe Island is situated at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River in the Kollam district of Kerala. It spans 13.4 square kilometers and is also known as the sinking island of Kerala. Munroe comes from the British Colonel John Munroe of Erstwhile Travancore State.

Best Time To Visit

Canoeing at Munroe island

The Munroe island can be visited throughout the year. However, the place is far more scenic and calm during the post-monsoon months (September to January). It is the best time to explore this place, largely covered by a dense canopy of trees.

During summer, although the temperature goes as high as 30-35℃, the climate is relatively less humid, thus making Summer an ideal time too.

During rains, the canoeing still continues its service by providing visitors with an umbrella.

How To Reach?

Munroe Island is accessible by road, water, and railways. There are road and railway bridges that connect the island.

By Road

Munroe Island is located 48 Km from Varkala and 23 Km from Kollam. There are frequent buses from the latter destination, which you can hop on to reach the islet. Alternatively, you can also get on a tuk-tuk to reach Munroe. However, the best way is to rent a vehicle and explore the island on your own. This way, you can travel to any corner based on your whims and find rare places.

By Ferry

how to reach Munroe island by ferry

A ferry service operates daily, carrying people to and from the island. This shortcut route saves 10+ Km (one way) and is used by the locals even today for their daily commute to the island. The ferry service is done between the Perumon Devi temple and Munroe Island.

Perumon railway bridge

Not known to many tourists, while on the ferry ride, you can see the Perumon railway bridge and a half-constructed road bridge.

  • Cost: Rs. 20 for two-wheelers, Rs. 50 for four-wheelers and free for humans
  • Duration: Takes 10-15 mins one-way
  • Timings: One ferry goes on and off the island every 30 to 45 minutes, yet not so frequent in the noon. The first ferry leaves from Munroe and Perumon at 7:00 AM and 7:15 AM, respectively. The last ferry from Munroe and Perumon leaves at 7:45 PM and 8:00 PM, respectively.
From Munroe7:00 AM7:30 AM8:00 AM8:30 AM9:00 AM9:45 AM10:20 AM11:00 AM11:40 AM
From Perumon7:15 AM7:45 AM8:15 AM8:45 AM9:15 AM10:00 AM10: 40 AM11:20 AM12:00 PM
From Munroe12:20 PM1:00 PM1:50 PM2:20 PM3:00 PM3:40 PM4:15 PM4:45 PM5:15 PM5:45 PM6:15 PM6:45 PM7:15 PM7:45 PM
From Perumon12:40 PM1:50 PM2:05 PM2:40 PM3:20 PM4:00 PM4:30 PM5:00 PM5:30 PM6:00 PM6:30 PM7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM

By Train

Munroturuttu Railway Station (Station code: MQO) is the nearest station on the island. The station has good connectivity to different towns and cities in Kerala, including Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, and Guruvayur, to name a few. Even if direct trains are unavailable, there are frequent trains from Kollam. You can go from the station to the ferry service via a Tuk-tuk, which costs approximately Rs. 100.

Exploring The Island

The best way to explore the island and its hidden places is with your own vehicle. Two-wheelers and car rentals are available in Kollam and Varkala. So ensure you get one for yourself in those places, as no rental services are available on Munroe Island. Tuk-tuk services are available to hop on between places on the island. However, they might be slightly expensive if you want to check out different spots on the aisle.

Languages Spoken

Most of the local people in the region converse in Tamil and Malayalam. Very few can converse in Kannada, Telugu, and Hindi. Very few locals, excluding property owners, can speak English.

Network Availability

Jio and Airtel offer good connectivity on the island. However, during the boat ride, the signal strength will fluctuate. 

ATM Availability

Only one ATM is available on Munroe Island. The ferry service accepts only cash, so ensure you carry physical money and don’t rely on UPI services like GPay, PayTM, and PhonePe. However, all shops and canoe rides accept digital payments. 

Where To Stay?

There are many resorts and homestays available on Munroe Island. Although we visited the place for a day trip, we recommend Green Chromide Munroe Homestays and Mariyalayam Munroe Island Residency.

Few resorts also offer day packages on a 2D/ 1N basis with food, accommodation, canoeing, and pickup and drop from Kollam. This could be the best choice if you’re visiting as a family with kids.

 

Where To Eat?

There are numerous restaurants spread across the island. We ate at Jai Jawan family restaurant. The food was good and reasonably priced. In this restaurant, you’ll get Kerala meals, parotta, Puttu, appam, and all seafood fry and curries. If you’re looking for refreshments like cool drinks, snacks, and water, you can find them in almost all shops.

Parking Facility

There are no dedicated parking spaces available. You can park your vehicles at your place of stay or on the side of the road. Ensure you do not block the road/path for another vehicle while parking yours. 

Things To Do On Munroe Island

Canoeing

Munroe Island is known for canoeing via the twin arches. Canoeing in the Ashtamudi Lake waters is very peaceful and soothing. The serene waters and ambient noises from nature put our minds at peace, and we almost felt like we were meditating.

Canoeing here is an intriguing experience. The boatman used bamboo sticks which were 7 feet tall and traversed through narrow canals, dwarf bridges, and mangrove forests. The most simple things, such as the gentle breeze, the gurgling of water, and the reflection of mangroves, left us bemused. But there’s more to the ride. 

The canoe pauses for a few minutes in shallow dunes in the middle of the backwaters. You can step down here for a few moments just to take a break and climb up the roots of mangroves. You can click pictures, get closer to the mangroves, or simply sit and witness nature’s marvels. 

sunset at Munroe island

If you ride during the golden hours, you will find several rare species of migratory birds and eagles. Ideally, you must go for the ride during the sunrise or sunset as the scenery is far more beautiful during those hours. Also, the place can get crowded on weekends and holidays, so try to do this activity on a weekday.

Note: During rain, canoeing is done with umbrellas. Life jackets are mandatory during the boat ride.

Location: Opt for the canoe ride from here

Many boat riders call out to tourists and explorers. We’re sharing the contact number of the person who gave us a ride. Reghu: +91 9496302707 (Knows Malayalam only). He was very kind and patient and highlighted the best spots where we could click pictures and shoot videos. Our experience was incredible, and we would recommend you go on a canoe ride with Reghu.

Cost:

No. Of PersonsBoat TypeDuration Of The RidePrice
1-7 personCanoe1-hour rideRs. 500
1-7 personCanoe2-hour rideRs. 1000
1-15 personShikkara1-hour rideRs. 1100
1-15 personShikkara2-hour rideRs. 1500

The price is the same for both Indian and foreign nationals. It is nominal and worth every penny you spend. We recommend you choose a 2-hour ride as you get to check out the interior regions of the backwaters. Every moment of those 120 minutes was fascinating as we experienced numerous things for the first time. 

If you’re good at negotiations and bargaining, here’s where your skills come in handy. However, be considerate as it is a tough job, and the people who give you the canoe rides do this for a meager amount.

Timings: The service starts at 5 AM and ends at 7 PM. To watch the sunrise, go at 5 AM, and for sunset, go at 5 PM.

The Hidden Spots

X marks the spot

X marks the spot is a hidden place on Munroe Island that you should definitely not miss. It is a long and curved road that stretches alongside the backwaters. You’ll see a tall coconut tree bent towards the water body at one point. The view from this place is mesmerizing, and you can click several pictures from here. Besides this, you can also click photos and shoot Instagram reels at different points on the road. The vibe of this stretch is unparalleled as you experience tranquility.

Fish and prawn cultivation

When we moved further from this place, we spotted a fallen tree that made up for the perfect bench. We sat there for a while, soaking in the beauty around us, which instilled a sense of peace. After some time, we continued down the road to witness how fish farming occurs in the area. A rustic-looking boat stood at the end of the road, elevating the scenery. Although the stretch doesn’t offer any specific viewpoint or activity, it is perfect for people who want to exist in seclusion. 

Munroe Viewpoint is a popular spot among tourists. From here, you get to see the twin mangrove arches and the surrounding sceneries of the lake. You will also find restaurants lined up on the passageway that leads to the viewpoint.

Ashtamudi lake - Munroe island

Munroturuttu Railway Station

You might be wondering what is special about this railway station to have a special mention on this list. With no modern amenities or sheds, this station looks stunningly green, with plants lined up on either side. With sit-outs for visitors, this simple yet beautiful station deserves a visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Munroe Island worth visiting?

Absolutely! Munroe Island is an underrated destination you shouldn’t miss on your visit to Kerala.

Can we swim in the waters of Munroe Island?

You can dip your legs and have fun in the middle of the backwaters near the shallow sand dunes. But swimming is not allowed in the waters of Munroe Island as it is not a freshwater lake and is very salty.

What is special about Ashtamudi Lake?

Ashtamudi Lake, the second largest in Kerala, is known for canoeing, bird watching, wetland ecosystem, and scenic coconut groves.

What are the other water activities at Munroe Island?

Beyond canoeing, the island does not offer any water activities.

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