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Kerala Backwaters Tours

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Kerala Backwaters
The Kerala backwaters refers to a large region spanning some 558 miles (900 kilometers) consisting of an interconnected network of brackish lagoons, lakes, and canals. The best way to truly experience this beautiful area is aboard a traditional houseboat; journeys last anywhere from a few hours up to a few nights.
 
The Basics
Most visitors to Kerala make a point of cruising its backwaters aboard a houseboat, which are traditionally made of locally harvested coir, or coconut fiber. This sprawling region consists of hundreds of miles of waterways flanked by jungles and rice paddies, with ample opportunities to take photographs of local wildlife, from water birds to otters. Many tours of the region include short jaunts on houseboats, and some even feature multi-night backwater journeys.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • A must-do for couples and those interested in local culture.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Cruises are generally calm, and most travelers prone to motion sickness shouldn’t have any issues.
 
How to Get There
Most people start their cruise from Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, a short drive from the Kochi/Ernakulam area. You can also take a prepaid taxi from one of two area airports: Cochin International Airport or Trivandrum Airport.
 
When to Get There
If you want to go on a backwater cruise, it’s best to avoid the rainy season (June through November) and instead opt to come during the cooler, dryer winter months of December, January, and February. March through May tend to be the hottest months in Kerala, but if you’re willing to brave the heat, you can often get good offseason discounts.
 
Kerala Cuisine
If you spend more than a couple of hours on a backwater cruise, chances are you’ll get to sample some of Kerala’s traditional cuisine, which is quite different from the North Indian cuisine usually associated with the country. Much of the food here is cooked with coconut milk and oil, giving it a sweeter taste, and instead of the wheat-based naans and chapatis served up north, rice and various rice-based pancake-style breads dominate.
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Day Trips

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Half Day Village Backwater Country Boat Cruise : Group Tour from Fort Cochin

Cruise the fabled Keralan backwaters by traditional Non Mechanized Country boat on a 6-hour tour from Fort Cochin, and see the villages along the lush canals. Enjoy a vegetarian lunch in the countryside, and immerse yourself in the everyday lives of the locals.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$30.00
From  
US$30.00
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

NEW TO VIATOR

Private Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Cruise with Lunch from Cochin

On this private, full-day houseboat tour, you’ll glide through lush paddy fields, picturesque lagoons, and scenic local villages in Alleppey’s backwaters. Get up close and personal with “God’s Own Country,” getting to know the Keralan countryside away from the roads. Tours include door-to-door vehicle transfers from either the airport, port, or your hotel, plus lunch and welcome drinks.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$60.00
From  
US$60.00
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Private Full-Day Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Tour With Lunch & Pickup From Kochi

Experience the picturesque backwaters of Alleppey or Kumarakom on a houseboat cruise during a private full-day tour from Kochi. You'll glide across the rural waterways of Kerala on a houseboat cruise that includes snacks, tea, and traditional Keralese lunch served onboard. Watch the locals on the riverbanks as you pass small villages, farms, and homes that are typical of the region. Your tour includes a private guide and air-conditioned vehicle, houseboat cruise, snacks and lunch, and pickup and drop-off from your hotel or Kochi Airport.
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  • 7 hours
From  
US$140.00
From  
US$140.00
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  • 7 hours

Day Trips

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Private Houseboat for Overnight Stay with All Meals from Kochi

On this private, overnight houseboat tour through Kerala, you’ll explore the lush southern Indian state’s fabled backwaters. Glide past paddy fields, picturesque canals, and local villages, discovering untrodden landscapes not reachable by road. Sleep comfortably onboard the traditional, thatched-roof boat, and upgrade to include tasty all-inclusive meals. Tours include door-to-door, air-conditioned transfers from your hotel or airport.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$80.00
From  
US$80.00
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Luxury South India Munnar Aleppey Tour in 04 Days

Cover the highlights of Kerala—nicknamed “God’s Own Country”—on this all-inclusive, multi-day excursion. Scenic stops include a trip to misty, wildlife-filled Munnar, an overnight houseboat cruise down the picturesque backwaters of Alleppey, and a visit to local cardamom and tea plantations. Travel between locations in a deluxe, air-conditioned private vehicle.
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$427.00
From  
US$427.00
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation

Bus & Minivan Tours

SPECIAL OFFER

All inclusive adventure of Cochin Local lunch with boat cruise in backwaters

Cruise through the calm backwaters of Cochin (Kochi) on a private half-day boat tour that features a cooking experience with a local family. After you glide through the scenic backwaters, stop at a small island to meet the family. Learn how favorite dishes of Kerala and south India are prepared, along with typical ingredients and spice blends. Your tour includes lunch with the family and a private guide and boat.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$109.80
US$122.00
US$12.20 savings
From  
US$109.80
US$122.00
US$12.20 savings
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

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Kerala Backwaters Cruise in a Private Houseboat from Cochin

Backwater Day Tour in a Houseboat is recommended to those who are staying in Cochin or visiting to Kerala for a short trip. This backwater day tour will give a taste of Houseboat as well as the Kerala Backwaters.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$80.00
From  
US$80.00
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

NEW TO VIATOR

Explore Backwater Routes

The houseboat/canoe moving on the shallow, gleaming backwaters and the network of canals take you to the rustic Kerala, a truly amazing experience !
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$15.00
From  
US$15.00
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Nature & Wildlife

SPECIAL OFFER

experience village backwater in country boat

our village backwater cruise includes pickup and drop from your hotel / homestay / hostel / guesthouse in fort kochi, matttancherry or ernakulam areathis trip traditonal home made kerala meals ( lunch ) served on banana leaf guest can also experience the real village life like toddy tapping, fishing, pottery making, coir and mat making etc.,'activity takes place in a quiet backwater village away from the noise and pollution of city life
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$17.27
US$21.58
US$4.31 savings
From  
US$17.27
US$21.58
US$4.31 savings
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

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Sawfish Luxury Cruise

Luxurious 90 feet live aboard lets you experience shimmering backwaters of Kerala, an ultimate floating escape. Centrally air–conditioned Luxurious Lounge areas, Cozy Dining deck, Spacious roof top open decks with owning to give guests, exclusive cruising experiences.Discover hidden gems on the islands and experience the authentic village life. A nature rejuvenation trip for a city-dweller, starting from the center of Kochi city.*Maximum capacity is 40 people (We charge rs.1,000/person for a group more than 15 people).
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$500.00
From  
US$500.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

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From Cochin Port: Backwaters by Houseboat & Chinese Nets

Explore the backwaters of Kerala by houseboat on a group tour specially designed for cruise ship passengers from Cochin Port. Enjoy lunch aboard the boat in Alappuzha, and then visit Fort Kochi to see the famous Chinese fishing nets.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$85.00
From  
US$85.00
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Cochin (Kochi) Shore Excursions from Cruise Terminal Ships Pier

Make the most of your time at shore and take a tour of Kochi’s main highlights. There are three different itineraries based on the day of travel which visits key landmarks including the Kerala backwaters, the traditional Chinese fishing nets, the St. Francis Church, and Fort Kochi. Learn about the history of Kochi from your guide and enjoy a hassle-free trip during this shore excursion.
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Group Shore Excursion from Cochin Port

Enjoy a houseboat tour on the inland waterways of Kochi when your cruise ship pulls into the Kochi port. Travel to Alleppey (Alappuzha) to board a traditional houseboat that takes you on a 2-hour cruise through scenic waterways lined with villages, rice paddies and coconut palms. Sample the delicious cuisine of Kerala during a lunch served on board your vessel. Afterward, transfer to an air-conditioned coach to see the highlights of Fort Kochi, including the Chinese fishing nets.
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Sightseeing Tours

8 Days Kerala Private Tour (3 Star) with Munnar, Houseboat & Cab- Iris Holidays

Save hours researching and planning an itinerary in Kerala by going on a comprehensive 8-day tour. You’ll enjoy the luxury of having a private chauffeur to pick you up from Kochi Airport, and transfer you between sites. Areas you’ll visit include Munnar, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady, Vembanad Backwaters, and Kovalam. Conveniently, accommodation is included as well as select meals.
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  • 8 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$420.00
From  
US$420.00
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  • 8 days
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Kochi Shore Excursion- Private Day Tour of Heritage and Backwaters

This incredible tour showcases the best of Kerala and creates the perfect opportunity to enjoy rural South Indian life. Enjoy a rival cruise along the Alleppey backwaters in a traditional house boat. Savor the flavors of local Kerala cuisine cooked on board and tour Fort Cochin, see the famous Chinese fishing nets, check out St Francis Church and tour Dhobi Khana.
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  • 7 hours
From  
US$70.00
From  
US$70.00
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  • 7 hours

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Overnight Alleppey Houseboat Cruise from Kochi

Explore the backwaters of Kerala by houseboat cruise that includes an overnight stay on the boat with a small group of no more than 10 travelers. Glide across Vembanad Lake, see waterside villages, taste typical Kerala cuisine, and enjoy the tranquil scenery on this overnight trip from Kochi. On the second day, tour Kochi by car to visit the Chinese fishing nets, Santa Cruz Basilica, Mattancherry Palace, St Francis Church, and more.  Includes houseboat cruise, Kochi tour, guide, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$172.00
From  
US$172.00
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Air Tours

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3 weeks backpacker trip through India

Small budget, but to organize a trip to India alone overwhelms you? No problem! Chalo! Reisen organizes a three-week India backpacker trip.Trekking in the Himalayas, living in a yoga ashram on the holy Ganges, camel safari through the desert, cooking class, visiting lively markets, houseboat tour on the backwaters, hike through tea and spices and finally relaxing days on the beach!You will be met at the airport in Delhi by our experienced tour guide and for the first two weeks you will travel together through North India. So you will not only get acquainted with the Indian customs through your guide, but also get insider tips on the people and the culture of India. The last week you will spend in south Indian Kerala. During the roundtrip through the tea plantations, backwaters, spice forests and beaches you will find taxi with private driver available.Events:05.10-27.10.201907.03.-03.29.2020
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  • 23 days
From  
US$1,626.07
From  
US$1,626.07
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  • 23 days

Cultural Tours

Kerala Package for 8 Days Includes All Transfer,Sightseeing and Accommodation

Kerala, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by National Geographic Traveler. Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters. It’s unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, have made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Kerala is an established destination for both domestic as well as foreign tourists. Kerala is well known for its beaches, backwaters in Alappuzha and Kollam, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries In Thekkedy and Hill Station of Munnar with Tea Gardens’. You will enjoy this tour with your private vehicle and English Speaking Driver. Edit Step 2
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  • 8 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$440.00
From  
US$440.00
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  • 8 days
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Celebrity Cruise Group Shore Excursion from Cochin Port

If you have a Celebrity Cruise coming up and are looking for a shore excursion, here are some options. Three different tours are offered depending on your dates. One will take you out into Kerala's famous backwaters by houseboat, complete with a local lunch. A second itinerary involves a houseboat cruise and a trip to Fort Kochin, known for its Chinese Fishing Nets. The third is land-based, with visits to the Dutch Palace and historic Fort Kochi.
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Private Tour: Kerala Backwater Cruise

Discover Alleppey's tropical backwaters by boat on this immersive full-day guided tour by private boat, departing from Kochi. Settle into your private 'kettuvallam,' a traditional Indian houseboat typical to the state of Kerala. Your friendly local guide will take you through local villages, where locals fish and farm rice and other foods as they have for centuries. Learn about rural life and meet locals as you admire this enchanting region, and enjoy a traditional lunch. 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$181.25
From  
US$181.25
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Cochin Group Shore Excursions from Cruise Terminal Pier

If you're traveling by cruise to Cochin and want the chance to explore a bit more of Kerala, this shore excursion might be the perfect fit. Three itineraries are available, depending on your arrival date, which could have you either visiting the backwaters on a traditional houseboat, visiting the historic sites of Fort Cochin, or both!
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Nautica Kochi Shore Excursions

When your Nautica cruise docks in Kochi, go ashore to view the Alleppey's (Alappuzha) picturesque backwaters on a houseboat cruise. Explore the rural inland waterways of Kerala, and enjoy a buffet lunch served onboard your boat. Shore excursion tour includes houseboat cruise, lunch, and port pickup and drop-off.
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 4 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Cochin & Mumbai Combo Shore Excursions -Multi Port Group Tours

This group tour is specially designed for cruise travelers who dock at Cochin & Mumbai Cruise Port.The itinerary is designed in such a way that it meets your ships arrival and departure time so that you have a worry-free Shore Excursion and we will ensure your timely return to the port for this activity. Depending on your Cruise ship, you tour will follow one of the Single itinerary or Combo Itinerary below.
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  • 4 to 7 hours
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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  • 4 to 7 hours

Ports of Call Tours

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From Cochin Port: Backwater Cruise by Houseboat

Explore the backwaters of Kerala by houseboat on a group tour specially designed for cruise shippassengers from Cochin Port. Enjoy lunch or Tea /Coffee Snacks aboard the boat in Alappuzha
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$85.00
From  
US$85.00
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation


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