Kovalam lies 10 kilometres south of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Kovalam is the only beach resort of Kerala, and is very popular with the Indian as well as international tourists. Industry is relatively small scale in this area and the prices low. The beach is just a few minutes walk from the village.
Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches; the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach, is where most of the visitors spend their time. The beach is bordered with low cost lodging houses, and restaurants which offer adequate facilities, at affordable tariffs - ideal for a long stay. The light house on the promontory at the southern end of the beach, offers a spectacular view across to the Vizhinjam mosque.
The middle beach, overlooked from a rocky headland by the five star Ashok Radisson resort, functions each morning as a base for local fishers. North of Ashok, is the third beach which is very little affected by the changing times. It is dotted with a few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels.