Kerala Backwaters Tours

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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.
Location
Address: India
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4 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Kochi Private Tour: Kerala Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise

Discover the famous Alappuzha waterways during this seven-hour tour from Fort Kochi. Experience the beauty and tranquillity of one of Kerala's most-prized destinations as you float along the network of waterways aboard a traditional house boat. Enjoy an up close look at rural life and stunning nature during this memorable day on the water.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$80,00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$80,00

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. 
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$176,25
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$176,25

7-Day Tour: Spice Lands of Kerala from Kochi

Enjoy the warmth and colors of exotic Kerala, one of India’s most preferred regions. Backwaters, wildlife, ayurvedic treatments, and spice plantations, Kerala has been blessed with it all. Explore a tranquil world set amidst marvelous mangrove forests, coconut trees and green paddy field culture.
  • Duration: 7 days
From
US$690,00
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  • Duration: 7 days
From
US$690,00

4-Night Best of Kerala Tour

Experience the peaceful beauty of Kerala on this four-night tour that showcases the best of this southern state. Explore the backwaters and learn about local life along India's narrow canals and waterways. See the city of Kochi and tour the landmarks and attractions of Thekkady and Kumarakom with your expert guide. 
  • Duration: 5 days
From
US$606,00
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  • Duration: 5 days
From
US$606,00


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