Varkala beach is bordered by high cliffs. If you want a cheap holiday, Varkala is the place to be. In the off season, the area is mellow and relaxed and hotel rates drop to a couple of hundred rupees. In November, the season starts and prices soar. The season continues till March-April. During the monsoon, Varkala beach disappears almost entirely to gradually emerge during the tourist season.
Varkala has remained a Hindu pilgrimage centre since the 12th century. The Janardhana temple was built around this period. The main beach and the tourist area are located at the cliff top, just 10 minutes walk from the temple. That is where all the hotels and restaurants are located.
It is better to buy films and other necessary items from Varkala town than from the beach. It is also advised to drink only mineral water. Try to avoid drinking tap water. Internet browsing centres are plenty on the cliff. You can bargain and fix the rates before you start using. The rates vary from Re 1 to Rs 2 per minute.
The post office is to the south of the restaurants near the helipad. A police aid post also exists near to this. A tourist helping centre is located on the beach at the end of the beach road. It is friendly and organises elephant rides, backwater trips and other such activities. It also arranges overnight trips. Be careful of shady dealers who claim to give you a good deal for backwater trips.
One should also be careful while going up and down the steep cliff. Carry a torch during night. Surfing boards are available for hire at the beach. It is charged Rs 50-100 per hour.