When it’s time to rest your weary traveler heels and put your feet up, Kerala’s backwaters are where you want to be. Beautiful waterways lay scattered along the coast of Kerala, providing ample areas on which to boat, depending on the level of relaxation you’re looking for.
The most popular route is between Alleppey and Kolam. Here, you have many options for boats to hire with a range of size and length of journey. Make it a romantic couple’s time, go with a group of friends, or find strangers and make new friends. Sit back and relax as a captain, driver and cook take care of everything. Not feeling up for an overnight on a boat or can’t fit it in your budget? I hear there are other ways to explore these waterways: hop on a government ferry and experience them like a local. This is super cheap and allows you to see the transportation paths of the waterways. Alternatively, rent a canoe and explore deeper into waters too small for the larger ferries or houseboats.
Because of Alleppey’s popularity, these waters are rumored to be very hectic, so for a more tranquil time opt for one of the other areas. I cruised around Valiyaparamba in Northern Kerala, and there was only one other houseboat and the very rare ferry or fisherman out on a canoe. The peace and quiet in comparison to the constant honking and yelling of urban areas was a welcome escape. The scenery was similar – lots of beautifully bending palm trees – and the boat paused and dropped anchor for a swim along the way – refreshing and calming. Both the sunset and sunrise were stunning. Also incredible was the food: prepared fresh on board, my party and I were served a feast – enough to feed twice the amount of people – and every dish was delicious!
Kerala is very much worth exploring: serene and gorgeous – a respite along a busy journey!