Firstly, this is for those who don't know the wayanad local language "Malayalam".
If you happened to tour Wayanad without planning.. then you might end up having a bit of a friction towards trusting the help you could get in wayanad from tourist cabs or your hotel front desk. But,
Thats how tours are supposed to kickoff.. isn't it.. without full planning.. after all this is not again a business project where we want to start only after analysis and stuff.
As far as I have tried to understand wayanad with my brief tour there:
1. Trusting Tour operators and Services: You can trust help you get in Wayanad from tourist cabs or your hotel front desk.. there is of course a small possibility that a small set of people could try to dry your pocket.. but I guess if you chose to find information from different people and initially signup for only a one day tour package, then you should be happy with choices you have.
I recommend: http://parambathtravels.com/
Parambath Travels have a small office in Kalpetta.. close to kalpetta bus stand you could enquire for "car/taxi stand" and you would find their office. I tried here, and later used the same cab with driver for 3 days.. everyday evening we used to decide or callup the driver and confirm our interest in using the cab for the next day... and paying only at the end of a day's tour. He charged me 1500 per day for a 'tour anywhere for 100 km' like package.. and he didn't ask for more though one of the days we travelled close to 180 kms. If you think nice of it and would like to use him on your trip to kalpetta (wayanad), the cab driver's name is Shrafull : 944713115 (knows only malayalam, little tamil i guess.. definitely not enough english)
2. Food: Because its an often place for tourists from within India, during the seasons you mostly get all the basic kinds of Indian food in most places.
I suggest though that Outside your hotel, you should feel comfortable to try the fare based on the people who run the hotel/eatery rather than looking at the paint or newness of the eatery.
Try: Eating at a typical hut like, kerala-rice(fat-boiled-rice) serving, local eatery in atleast one of the places you tour where there might not be a proper restaurant. Yes, don't try too many times though.
3. Touring: If you are one of the 'I can try small adventures' kind, importantly, with the kind of acceptable fitness(not too fat/heavy to carry yourself) to trek on rocky terrain, like the ones usually near water falls, then I suggest you should not miss these in wayanad:
Kuruvila Islands (trek inside, dont look at it from outside like many of those worried tourists.. its not break bone stuff, only a sweaty adventurous trek)
Edakkal Caves (again the same, trek inside.. if scared tail people.. thats how we didnt even have the slightest of the fears of trekking into the cave area through slopy steps)
This is only worth it if you have never trekked.. because the portion of caves allowed for public viewing is only one area midway on a hill climb and not even deep inside the caves, the caves are deep i believe atop the hill but you will need special permissions and off-season visit period to try that i guess.
One of those Dams (only good to go if you havent seen one in years.. and you go there after a days trek .. around the 5pm climate)
One thing about wayanad, when we toured was, all days it seems clouds over wayanad pour almost sharp at 6pm for a few mins (must be seasonal though). We had a nice, power rain drenching walk, back from the Dam.. the rain was so heavy, it started our like around 5:55 a huge dark cloud started looming above us, all scary, and the rain poured at 6:01 for only about 20 mins but with heavy winds almost scaring like it we are into a twister like climate environment.
Why I don't recommend: Tholpetta wildlife sanctuary..
First they fleeced us of money, then Our Jeep safari for 1 hr didnt turn up any views of wildlife except for a ride on a typical broken road inside forest terrain. Whatever we saw, we could as well have seen outside the sanctuary itself, some occassional elephants, a handful of deers, forest greens.., that was it.
My mom has memories of visiting this sanctuary in the 1970's and it had happened to be lustrous with a lot of animals around and importantly, they allowed only one jeep to be inside the sanctuary at a time it seems.
On my trip, there were so many people, badly wanting to go into the wild in jeeps and see tigers and lions fighting on their prey.. just like us.. unfortunately, the forester took the opportunity with his team and some agents, fleeced everyone and believe me, there were close to 25 jeeps moving into and out of the sanctuary at a time as if it was a military camp.. obviously animals don't stay close to human habitat and none were there... whatever deer/elephant you could see also weren't doing wild things.. they behave like they are domesticated.
Probably a lesson that.. Its high time we understand and respect animal spaces and don't "tour" them but only trek/safari them in small groups.