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Kerala Backwaters Tours and Activities

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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.
Address: Alappuzha, Kerala, India
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30 Tours and Activities to Experience Kerala Backwaters

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Kochi Private Tour: Kerala Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise

Kochi Private Tour: Kerala Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise

star-5
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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.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$124.80
Price varies by group size
From
$124.80
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Cruise with Lunch from Cochin - Private Tour

Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Cruise with Lunch from Cochin - Private Tour

star-4.5
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Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, on a 6 -7 hour tour from Fort Kochi and discover the famous inland waterways of Kerala by a traditional houseboat. See traditional villages and backwater boats and more. Alleppey is located between the Arabian Sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. In the early 20th century, the Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon, was so mesmerized by the scenic beauty that he declared that Alleppey was “The Venice of the East.”
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$119.60
Price varies by group size
From
$119.60
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Houseboat Day Cruise with Lunch at Kerala Backwaters from Cochin

Houseboat Day Cruise with Lunch at Kerala Backwaters from Cochin

While using this tour, you will be experiencing the most beautiful attraction of Kerala. You can enjoy the beauty of the Backwaters, Kerala Traditional Lunch on board and much more.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$200.00
Price varies by group size
From
$200.00
Price varies by group size

From Cochin Port: Backwaters by Houseboat & Chinese Nets

From Cochin Port: Backwaters by Houseboat & Chinese Nets

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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
$85.00
From
$85.00

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

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

star-4.5
11
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$26.00
Price varies by group size
From
$26.00
Price varies by group size

5 Days Premium Kerala Tour Package - Private Tour with Exclusive Houseboat Stay

5 Days Premium Kerala Tour Package - Private Tour with Exclusive Houseboat Stay

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In this 5 days tour we will take you to - Munnar hill station, Periyar wildlife sanctuary (Thekkady) and Alleppey Backwaters. Stay in a private Moving Premium Houseboat
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  • 5 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$352.00
From
$352.00
Taking safety measures

From Cochin Port: Backwaters by Shikara (Covered Canoe Boat) & Chinese Nets

From Cochin Port: Backwaters by Shikara (Covered Canoe Boat) & Chinese Nets

Explore the backwaters of Kerala by Shikara (Covered Canoe Motorized Boat) on a group tour specially designed for cruise ship passengers from Cochin Port. Enjoy a Keralan lunch or Snacks in Alappuzha, and then visit Fort Kochi to see the famous Chinese fishing nets.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.20
From
$57.20

Private Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise with Lunch from Cochin

Private Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise with Lunch from Cochin

You must have heard about the houseboats in Kerala or Kerala backwaters. Alleppey / Kumarakom is the place where you can experience them. Kerala is an ultimate tourist destination for those who have a fascination for the emerald backwaters. It is situated in the backdrop of the largest lake of kerala, Vembanad Lake.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size

Private Alleppey Houseboat Cruise with Overnight Stay from Kochi

Private Alleppey Houseboat Cruise with Overnight Stay from Kochi

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One of the most preferred ways to get close to the backwater life in Kerala is the houseboat stay. In this package we included a houseboat cruise with overnight stay at Alleppey backwaters. In the day time boat will cruise through the lake and experience the backwaters. Next day checkout from houseboat by 9 am, if interested visit Alleppey beach and then  come to Cochin (by car) do sight seeing  visit Santa Cruz Basilica, St Francis Church, Fort Kochi, Chinese fishing nets, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Jew street etc and drop  at Hotel / Airport according to your requirement.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$120.22
From
$120.22

6 Days Kerala Premium Tour Packages- Glimpses of Kerala with Sanguine

6 Days Kerala Premium Tour Packages- Glimpses of Kerala with Sanguine

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In this tour one can feel the aroma of spices, chillness of a hillstation, exciting wild life, bewitching backwaters and much more
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  • 6 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$437.34
From
$437.34

Kochi Backwater Experience including transfer by Tuk Tuk

Kochi Backwater Experience including transfer by Tuk Tuk

star-5
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Tuk Tuks (auto-rickshaws) are the best way to see and explore Kochi and the surrounding area. Kochi Tuk Tuk Tours offer a flexible and friendly service tailor made to suit your needs. If you have little time, but would like to experience the backwaters, one of the main visitor attractions in Kerala, then why not book a transfer to a local jetty for a one hour experience by motor boat. If you would like to combine or extend this tour to visit Fort Kochi and Mattancherry this is also an option.
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.88
From
$52.88

Bicycle & Houseboat Tour

Bicycle & Houseboat Tour

This cycle tour will take you across the scenic route between Fort Kochi and Alappuzha with beaches on one side and backwaters on one side. We will cross several islands on our way as well as hop across some of the most exotic beaches in Kerala and the famous St. Andrews Basilica at Arthunkal. In the afternoon, check-in to your floating houseboat and enjoy unlimited surfing on backwaters, sip a coconut, get disturbed by only the chirping of birds, occasional ripples in water and savor mouth watering delicacies prepared in front of you by your kitchen crew.
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  • 1 day 6 hours 30 minutes
From
$198.64
Price varies by group size
From
$198.64
Price varies by group size

Alappuzha Backwaters & Beaches Bike Tour

Alappuzha Backwaters & Beaches Bike Tour

This cycle tour will cover the rural less visited areas in Alappuzha district. Our morning ride will cover the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha, also known as the Rice Bowl of Kerala, where rice is grown 4 to 10 feet below sea level. Ride across the paddy fields along the river banks and view the local rural life from close quarters. Afer enjoying a typical Kerala Lunch in banana leaf, our afternoon ride will cover the beaches in Alappuzha district. Hop from one beach to another in the coastal route along the Arabian Sea.
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  • 8 hours
From
$102.96
Price varies by group size
From
$102.96
Price varies by group size

Backwater Kayaking at Alleppey

Backwater Kayaking at Alleppey

This tour will take you to the near and far end of the backwaters, kayaking through canals, rivers, lakes and lagoons. With the waterways being a means of transport in the remote villages of Kerala, you will be able to interact with the local community and get an idea about their livelihood and lifestyle.
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  • 1 day 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$15.52
From
$15.52

Private Houseboat Backwater Day Cruise tour with Lunch from Cochin

Private Houseboat Backwater Day Cruise tour with Lunch from Cochin

star-5
1
Kerala backwaters offer a lifetime experience to explore the scenic and stunning backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom. A chain of brackish lagoons and canals linking five large lakes, Kerala Backwaters is a maze of water bodies stretching over 900 kilometers. One of the most important aspects of tourism in Kerala, the backwaters were used traditionally as waterways to ferry rice and spices from one place to another in kettuvallams, or the traditional rice barges, which now form the major tourist attraction and ferry tourists and visitors from one destination to another.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$115.00
From
$115.00

14-Day Private Tour of Kerala with Accommodation

14-Day Private Tour of Kerala with Accommodation

We immerse ourselves in the tranquil life of Kerala, marvel at gigantic temples, hike in the shadow of the highest South Indian mountain massif, learn a lot about spices and tea, drift in a kayak through the world-famous backwaters of Kerala and relax with yoga on the endless white sandy beaches of Marari.
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  • 14 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$3,380.41
Price varies by group size
From
$3,380.41
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Excursion to Rice Farms of Kerala.

Excursion to Rice Farms of Kerala.

This tour of Kochi has been especially designed for Insignia cruise passengers with limited time on land. You'll be picked up directly from your ship, to save the hassle of navigating in a new city. Choose from two itineraries: a comprehensive overview of Kochi (including Jew Town, Fort Kochi, the Chinese Fishing Nets, and more), or an unforgettable, three-hour backwater cruise.
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  • 5 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
Price varies by group size
From
$75.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Relax In a Backwaters - A Two-night Excursion From Cochin With Private Transfers

Relax In a Backwaters - A Two-night Excursion From Cochin With Private Transfers

The backwaters in Kerala are a world of serenity and wonderment. This coastal region has a network of waterways, inlets from the sea, and estuaries of over forty rivers, lakes and natural canals connecting coastal towns. The interlinked body of waterways is known as the Kerala Backwaters. Over 550 miles of the Kerala backwaters are navigable and have been used for centuries by the local people for transportation. You will enjoy the scenery of this unique eco-region as you cruise these waters. Highlights • Cruise on the Kerala Backwaters  • Narrow Canals in a unique ecological region • View local village life • Active lifestyle of the region
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  • 3 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$421.00
Price varies by group size
From
$421.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

South India Discovery - A Private Eight Day Tour From Cochin To Chennai

South India Discovery - A Private Eight Day Tour From Cochin To Chennai

South India is known for wonderful lush hill towns, bustling attractive cities, mesmerizing backwaters, exotic wildlife and serene lake towns. This wonderful tour, spanning 7 nights and 8 days offers you a chance to explore and experience the states of Kerala & Tamil Nadu. During your travels you will experience popular attractions found in Cochin, Kumarakom, Periyar, Madurai and Chennai. Highlights • Chinese fishing nets. • Backwaters Cruise of Kumarakom. • Spice Plantations at Thekkady • Meenakshi Temple at Madurai • Temples of Kanchipuram
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  • 8 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,593.00
Price varies by group size
From
$1,593.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Lush Malabar Coast And Colorful Kerala - A 6 Day Private Tour

Lush Malabar Coast And Colorful Kerala - A 6 Day Private Tour

Cover the highlights of lush, attraction-packed Kerala during this multi-day journey through “God’s Own Country,” which includes a backwaters cruise in a traditional houseboat. From tea gardens and spice plantations to centuries-old synagogues and Dutch-built colonial landmarks, you’ll get a complete introduction to the state. Tours include meals, accommodation, and door-to-door transportation.
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  • 6 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$946.00
Price varies by group size
From
$946.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Luxury South India Munnar Aleppey Tour in 04 Days

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
$456.00
Price varies by group size
From
$456.00
Price varies by group size

7-Night Kerala Tour to Kochi, Munnar, Periyar, Allepey and Kovalam

7-Night Kerala Tour to Kochi, Munnar, Periyar, Allepey and Kovalam

star-3.5
3
Hit the highlights of Kerala—India’s lush, beachside southern state on the Malabar Coast—during this multi-day guided tour. Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey on a traditional houseboat, check out a live Kathakali dance performance, and lounge on some of India’s most stunning beaches. Tours include all meals and overnights and airport or hotel pickup.
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  • 8 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$725.34
From
$725.34
Taking safety measures

Cochin & Mumbai Combo Shore Excursions -Multi Port Group 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
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.00
From
$26.00
Taking safety measures

From Cochin Port: Backwater Cruise by Houseboat

From Cochin Port: Backwater Cruise by Houseboat

Explore the backwaters of Kerala by houseboat on a group tour specially designed for cruise ship passengers from Cochin Port. Enjoy lunch or Tea /Coffee Snacks aboard the boat in Alappuzha
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$88.40
From
$88.40

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Kerala Backwaters?