Kovalam is Kerala’s best known beach destination. Once the exclusive preserve of hippies who moved south from a crowded Goa, Kovalam soon became a must visit beach for the intrepid traveler also. Located about 16 kilometres away from Trivandrum, three crescent shaped beaches, separated by rocky outcrops and backed by steep headlands make up this beautiful beach destination. Up the steep headlands; shacks and shops selling all kinds of handicrafts and tourist accessories, houses converted to homestays and resorts stand side by side, overlooking the expansive Arabian Sea. The largest of the beaches is the Lighthouse Beach. Here restaurants, money changer shops, handcraft shops, travel agents and fruit vendors line its bay. To add to this livery, the waters offer swimmers hallow depths upto 100 metres, ideal for wading into on a hot summers day! Hawah Beach is the second largest beach in Kovalam. Relatively less crowded this beach is frequented by foreigners who like its quietitude. Open air restaurants are the biggest draw here and the cove provides opportunities for swimming, surf boarding and sunbathing. The northern most part of the bay lies Samudra Beach used less by tourists and mostly by fishermen. A must visit on every tourist itinerary into Kerala, Kovalam is most definitely Kerala’s oldest tourist destination, having had visitors since the late 1970’s.