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Kerala Backwaters

The languid Kerala Backwaters typify the relaxing pace of this laid-back part of the world.

The backwaters meandering throughout Kerala link a network of canals, lagoons, lakes and rivers, watering rice paddies and dotted with an enviable armada of live-aboard houseboats.

Whether you set sail for an hour or a week, you’ll take in palm-fringed lakes, boat-filled canals loaded with coconuts and cashews, and backwater villages washed by the waters that provide villagers with their main form of transport.

The heady mix of fresh and salt water provides a haven for a varied array of wildlife, from frogs and water birds to otters and turtles.

Navigating the backwaters in a traditional houseboat is the ideal way to experience life in Kerala, complete with onboard chef, crew and entertainment. The boats are modern-day versions of the traditional kettuvalam haulage vessels, crafted from woven coconut-fiber coir without the use of a single nail.

Houseboat itineraries run from Alappuzha, dubbed the Venice of India, to Thotapally, Kottayam, Kidangara or Mankotta.

Practical Info

The Kerala Backwaters flow inland from Alappuzha on the west Malabar coast. The network of waterways measure 900km (558 miles) from their headwaters in Cochin Harbour on the Arabian Sea. Stops along the backwaters include Kuttanad, Kumarakom, Kollam, Thiruvallam, Ashtamudi, Vembanad Lake and Ponnumthuruthu Island.

Tours & Tickets

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Backwater Village Experience from Kochi, Kochi, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Backwater Village Experience from Kochi

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Come with us to the Kerala backwaters to explore the simple village life in areas that are still not exposed to rush of tourism, where people are warm and the ...  Read more

Location: Kochi, India
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.00
Kochi Private Tour: Kerala Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise, Kochi, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kochi Private Tour: Kerala Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, on a 7-hour tour from Fort Kochi and discover the famous inland waterways of Kerala by a ...  Read more

Location: Kochi, India
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.00
Small-Group Kerala Backwaters Tour from Kochi Including Ayurvedic Massage, Kochi, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Small-Group Kerala Backwaters Tour from Kochi Including Ayurvedic Massage

Discover the culture and renowned beauty of India’s Kerala region on this tour from Kochi. With your expert local guide, enjoy a home-cooked lunch in a local ...  Read more

Location: Kochi, India
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $191.00
Small-Group Cultural Tour of Kerala Backwaters in Kochi, Kochi, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Small-Group Cultural Tour of Kerala Backwaters in Kochi

Experience the culture and customs of India’s Kerala region on this tour from Kochi. With your expert local guide, enjoy a home-cooked lunch in a local ...  Read more

Location: Kochi, India
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $170.00
Private Tour: Kerala Deluxe Houseboat Backwater Tour from Alappuzha, Kochi, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Kerala Deluxe Houseboat Backwater Tour from Alappuzha

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

On a houseboat ride from Alappuzha aboard a traditional kettuvallam, get a feel for local life in this rural region of India. The non-air-conditioned rice boat ...  Read more

Location: Alappuzha, India
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $75.00
Kochi Bike Tour and Backwaters Cruise, Kochi, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Kochi Bike Tour and Backwaters Cruise

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 1 Review

Ride a bike at a gentle pace as you breeze through rural Kochi with an experienced guide. Spend a full day taking in the sights from Fort Kochi to the Kerala ...  Read more

Location: Kochi, India
Duration: 7-8 hours

From USD $135.00

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