Kerala backwaters Alleppey canoe tour: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour with price. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

You should totally consider an Alleppey canoe tour in the Kerala backwaters if you’ll be passing through Alleppey when following a one week in Kerala itinerary.

I also think a canoe tour can be part of a perfect one day in Alleppey.

 

Alleppey canoe tour: Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Group canoe ride through canals. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

Touring the backwaters by canoe can be the perfect way to experience the Kerala backwaters, and it can be one of the best things to do in Alleppey!

Taking the ferry around the Alleppey backwaters isn’t so bad either.

But with a village canoe tour, you’ll get a bit more than going for a ride on a ferry.

The most important thing to know is that a canoe village tour in the Alleppey backwaters can be so much more than just a ride on the water.

Kayaking can be another good option!

 

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Canoe ride through canals. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

That said…

I would say that I have done a fair bit of the touristy backwaters activities. 

And I REALLY think that a full-day canoe tour in Alleppey is THE best way to experience the Kerala backwaters when you are only here for a very limited time!

Basically, a canoe tour encompasses a bunch of very Kerala experiences, so I really think it can be a perfect way to spend your day in THE hub of the Kerala backwaters!

 

 

You don’t need a houseboat in Alleppey to see the Kerala backwaters

For many (most?) people, when they think of the Kerala backwaters, a Kerala houseboat comes to mind.

But a houseboat in Kerala is not the only way to see the Kerala backwaters!

If you’re with a group, or if you’re looking for a bit of luxury, then maybe you’ll want to look into getting a houseboat in Alleppey.

Otherwise, going for a canoe tour can be a perfect way to see the Alleppey backwaters!

And, a canoe ride is much more environmentally friendly than a houseboat.

There are hundreds (if not 1,000+) houseboats in Kerala. These houseboats float on (pollute) the same waters that people fish for food and kids go swimming in… not to mention a canoe tour comes at a cheaper cost.

 

 

Now…

First, the quick list of what was included in my canoe tour.

Then, a little bit more about each of these things.

 

A bunch of the best things to do in Alleppey can be done right during your backwaters tour!

 

So…

What do you get with a Kerala backwaters Alleppey canoe tour?

Different tour operators may provide a different experience. This is what was included in my eco-friendly canoe tour in Alleppey.

 

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour. What's included in the cost of a day tour. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

1. Pick-up from my Alleppey Beach guesthouse with a ride to ferry station in town

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Alleppey Beach guesthouse places to stay. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

2. Public ferry ride for trip to backwaters

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Public ferry boat ride. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

3. Traditional Kerala breakfast at a village home

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Kerala homestay breakfast food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

4. Canoe ride with a rower

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Canoe guide. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

5. Stop at traditional Kerala palm wine toddy shop

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Drink Kerala palm wine at toddy shop. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

6. Stop to drink coconut water straight from a coconut

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Drink Kerala coconut water. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

7. Stop for a walk along the backwaters

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Village walk. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

8. Traditional Kerala lunch at a village home

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Kerala homestay lunch food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

9. Public ferry ride back to ferry station in Alleppey town

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Public ferry boat ride. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

10. Drop-off back to my guesthouse near Alleppey Beach from the ferry station

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best things to do in Alleppey. Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Pick-up and drop-off from Alleppey Beach guesthouse. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

How much does an Alleppey canoe tour cost?

The cost of the backwaters canoe village tour that I did was 1,000 rupees per person, which is around US$15.

I found this to be the standard rate for this kind of canoe tour.

I did my canoe village tour through this guesthouse near Alleppey Beach… and you can stay here for an open-air space on the rooftop kind of hostel-style for a unique overnight stay in Kerala! 

 

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Arrange through guesthouse near Alleppey Beach. Funky Art Beach House. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

I wasn’t staying there at the time that I did the tour though, so I think you can arrange it through there even if you don’t stay there.

You can call Funky Art Beach House direct for a canoe tour or to book a stay: 074035 72116 or +91 74035 72116. (whatsapp works too)

 

 

Now…

Before getting into whether a canoe tour is worth it…

 

Where to stay in Alleppey

See some budget accommodation with prices, reviews, and photos below! (partner website) 

 

Best hostels in Alleppey

There aren’t too many hostels in Alleppey, but you likely can’t go wrong staying at Zostel Alleppey (which is near the beach) or Artpackers (which is a bit further from the beach)!

 

For another budget accommodation option:

Tip: It says female-only dorm is available, but it actually means it’s for travelers (not locals), so if you’re a foreigner guy backpacking around Kerala you can still reserve a bed! 

It’s a beachside guesthouse with a shared rooftop sleeping space. It’s basically outdoor living, and you’ll wake up to ocean views!

 

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Arrange through guesthouse near Alleppey Beach. Rooftop hostel. Funky Art Beach House. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Arrange through guesthouse near Alleppey Beach. Rooftop hostel. Funky Art Beach House. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

More hotels in Alleppey

Put in your travel dates below (partner website) and see the prices of hotels in Alleppey!



Booking.com

 

 

Is the canoe tour worth it?!

Now, if you’re planning your trip to Kerala from home in the US or Europe right now, $15 may not sound so bad. But once you’ve been traveling around India for even a short time, 1,000 rupees can feel like a lot.

The important thing to remember once again is that a canoe tour in Alleppey can actually be more than just a canoe ride.

 

Can you get just a canoe ride?

If you want it to be just a canoe ride on the water and nothing else, you can get that too.

You can get that by walking around the main ferry station in Alleppey or along the waterways in town.

There’s a good chance that you will find an offer of a canoe ride of 2-3 hours that would include nothing but a ride. That will probably be around 300-500 rupees (US$4-7).

You probably don’t want to do a ride for less than 2 hours because that may not get you very far.

Remember that it’s a human-powered boat (rowing!) and it takes time to get to the smaller canals from Alleppey town.

So rowing 1 hour out (to allow time for 1 hour back) may not be as good as a longer canoe ride coming from town. (That’s if your canoe ride starts in town. If you’re taking a bus to start your canoe, then chances are you’re starting quite close to the smaller backwater canals. In that case, 1-2 hours will be fine if you want JUST the canoe ride!)

 

But…

A proper full-day village canoe tour can encompass a few different aspects that can make you feel like it is totally worth it… depending on what’s worth it to you!

If you’re still looking for a cheaper way to get out on the water, this is the ultimate cheap way to see the Kerala backwaters.

 

 

So, more about what was included in my canoe village tour!

 

Alleppey canoe tour on Kerala backwaters: Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour. Best of South India. Village life on Kerala backwaters. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

Ride to the ferry station

Knowing that you don’t have to arrange your own ride to get to the start of the tour is kind of convenient.

So no matter which canoe tour (or another backwaters tour) you do, make sure to ask if this is included. If not, make sure to ask the best way to get there.

 

Public ferry ride to a village in the backwaters

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Near Alleppey ferry station. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

If you didn’t take a tourist ferry to get to Alleppey, then this might be your first public ferry ride in Kerala!

How exciting! 😉

This is how people who live around the backwaters get around, so it’ll be your first glimpse of “local life” on the tour.

 

If you want to arrive to Alleppey in style, aka by way by the Kerala backwaters, you can take a ferry in part to get to Alleppey from Varkala, from Munnar, and from Thekkady. Also see other ways of how to get to Alleppey by public transport.

 

 

Visit to a village home

On the ferry was another person who would then take us to his home. (I signed up for the tour alone, but I was in a group of 3.)

This house was a short walk from one of the ferry stops.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Alleppey backwaters ferry stop. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Walk to village home for Kerala homestay food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Walk to village home for Kerala homestay food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Walk to village home for Kerala homestay food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

Eat a Kerala breakfast

At the home, we were served with a Kerala breakfast.

I LOVE Kerala breakfast foods.

During the canoe village tour, they gave us idli.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Kerala homestay breakfast food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

Canoe ride through the canals

Once finished eating, it was then time to start the “canoe” part of the canoe tour.

We next met up with another person who would be our canoe “guide.”

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Canoe guide. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

He’s the one that rowed the boat and took us through different parts of the backwaters and smaller canals.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Morning half day canoe. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Morning half day canoe. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Morning half day canoe. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

If you want to paddle the boat, there’s an oar for you too.

 

 

Drink Kerala palm wine (aka toddy) at a toddy shop

Kerala toddy is an alcoholic drink made from the sap of palm trees.

 

Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Kerala palm wine toddy. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

And you could say it’s a very Kerala drink, so you might as well give it a try!

This will be an additional cost, and it’ll likely be around 200 rupees (US$3) for a half liter bottle.

Tell your canoe guide once you meet him that you want to go to a toddy shop so he can be sure to stop at the toddy shop for you.

If no one in your group wants to go, then it’ll be skipped.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Toddy shop on backwaters. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

Tip: If you’re going for a canoe tour on a hot day and you buy your toddy to-go…

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Toddy shop on backwaters. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

Be sure to open up the bottle every so often to release the pressure that’s built up… or else it may explode when you least expect it.

Yes I speak from personal experience. 😉

Here’s more to know about toddy in Kerala, including why you may NOT want to drink toddy.

 

 

More time on the canoe and the backwaters!

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Afternoon canoe through canals. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Motor boat with tourists. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

Stop for coconut water

Well, Kerala literally means “land of coconuts” in the local language of Malayalam.

So what better way to drink coconut water than while on the Kerala backwaters!

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Coconut. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

This is another additional cost, around 20-30 rupees (50 cents).

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Coconut water. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

Once you’ve finished drinking the water, be sure to ask to have it cut open so you can eat the coconut meat too!

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Coconut meat. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

More time on the canoe and the backwaters!

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Day canoe. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Afternoon canoe through canals. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

Eat a Kerala lunch

Soon we made our way back to the same house that we had our breakfast.

This time we were served lunch. This was more of a late lunch.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Walk to village home for Kerala homestay food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Village home for Kerala homestay food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Kerala homestay lunch food. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

Ferry back to Alleppey ferry station

Once we were finished eating, it was time to go back to Alleppey.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Alleppey ferry stop for village home. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: Alleppey ferry station in town. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

 

Ride back to my guesthouse near Alleppey Beach

And then once I got back to the ferry station, another ride was arranged back to my guesthouse.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters canoe village tour: From Alleppey Beach guesthouse. Backpacking Kerala backwaters, India

 

And there was probably a pretty good sunset that evening. 😉

Alleppey Beach can also be a good place to see some local life too.

See some of the best things to do near Alleppey Beach.

You can go for a beachside guesthouse or beachside hostel.

 

 

Should you go with the village canoe tour offered by your hotel or guesthouse?

Most guesthouses you stay at will likely be able to refer you to a full-day canoe tour if you ask them.

And it could work out perfectly and you could end up having the best day EVER if you go through your guesthouse!

But before I went on a canoe tour through a guesthouse, I talked to a couple of people who went on other full-day canoe tours.

And while they would call their overall tour a good experience, there were some things they said that were not so good:

Issue #1: Being forced to stay at the shop of the guide’s “friend” for an hour even though everyone in the group was ready to leave.

Issue #2: The day feels LONG.

In fact, people who HAVEN’T been on a canoe tour will make excuses about how they chose not to go on a canoe tour because they don’t want to be sitting in a canoe all day.

Once again, the thing about these full-day canoe tours is that it’s not just a canoe ride.

I definitely don’t like sitting for long periods of time, and I didn’t feel like I was. I think it’s because there were enough random stops to get up and walk around the backwaters.

When I did the backwaters kayak tour on the other hand… I kind of felt like I was sitting for a long time.

Still, if you’re looking for another unique way to see the Kerala backwaters, an Alleppey kayaking tour is worth a look too!

 

Be sure to take a look the Best of Alleppey Travel Guide so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Alleppey!
Also be sure to take a look the Kerala Travel Guide for one week in Kerala so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Kerala!

HAPPY BACKWATERS CANOE TOURING IN ALLEPPEY!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters on a budget

 

The need-to-know India travel tips!
If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train!

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How to book India train tickets online as a foreigner
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Where to stay on the backpacker trail in Kerala
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