Taking a Houseboat tour down the backwaters is a popular activity in Kerala.
Where to take them:
- Most people take it from Alleypey, many operators are based there.
- Some luxury resorts/ hotels have their own
- Your hotel should be able to arrange one for you even if they don't have their own
- You can do one way or round trip. Popular routes are:
- Alleppey -> Kottayam (useful if you're proceeding on to Munnar or Periyar in Thekkady),
- Alleppery -> Kochi.
- For an overnight right, it ranges from 5,000 rupees ($90) without aircon to 10,000 rupees ($150) with aircon - for 2 ppl.
- It can go up further with larger size group or more luxury boats (around 20,000 rupees ($285) for a hosueboat with multiple rooms)
- Price includes an onboard cook, food, drinks.
- Price could go up in high season
How long to take them for:
- You can hire them from 1 day or up to a week
- Most people do overnight trip - you sleep on the boat in the middle of a lake or somewhere peaceful
- Day trip starts from midday - 6pm
- Unless you are super into boat rides, overnight or max 2 days is more than enough
- Alleppey-Kuttanad: Narrow canals. Farming & local village life
- Alleppey-Kumarakom: Wider canals. Many luxury resorts here. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
- Make sure you are not going on a shared houseboat if you want one to your own
- Get one with a upper deck lounge if you can ;)
- Dec-Jan is peak season so better book in advance. Monsoon season there are special discounts. If you go during Mar-May, make sure you hire one with aircon!!! It's super hot
Further info check out this article from Kerala Travels