Kappil Beach located about 8km north of Varkala is a best kept secret.
You can enjoy the beach as well as do cruise in the backwaters, all in the same vicinity. Not many makes it to Kappil, thanks to its off beaten location.
The centerpiece of Kappil's attraction is palm fringed narrow long stretch of causeway (locally called the Kappil Pozhi) that separates the sea from the backwaters.
Kappil makes a great short excursion from Varkala. Hire a taxi or auto-rickshaw.
North of Kappil is the Nadayara Backwaters, east the Nellathil Backwaters and at the west lies the Arabian Sea. The estuary meets the Arabian Sea and the palm fringed backdrops make some stunning scenery. Get on top of the bridge that crosses the backwaters for a panoramic view.
There is also a the tourism promotion council managed boat club.
If you want to do it on a shoestring, take one of the local buses from Varkala town. Or even take one of those trans heading north from Varkala. Only the local passenger trains stop at Kappil. Kappil is the second stop after Varkala.
There are quite a few reasons why Varkala often ranks well compared to other popular beach destinations. Varkala still is a sort of virgin destination, with all the clumsiness of a new arrival in the beach scene. Some like the rustic ambient of Varkala together with its unique natural backdrops.
From a tourism perspective, the beaches of Varkala stand first.