Touring the Alleppey backwaters by kayak can be a good way to see the backwaters village life if you want to get in on the action and not just sit and have someone row for you like in an Alleppey canoe tour.
Kayaking in Kerala could be the perfect activity for you, and it can be one of the best things to do in Alleppey!
The backwaters by kayak is typically a half day tour, compared to the canoe tour that can be up to a full day.
Although it is possible to find full day tours on a kayak too.
As a half day tour, you can find kayaking tours at different times of the day, including early morning, lunch, and sunset.
Other budget-friendly trips on the Kerala backwaters include taking the Alleppey ferry to places like Kuttanad and Kottayam. You can also go for longer public ferry trips to Kollam, or in part by ferry to Varkala or to Munnar!
How much does kayaking in Alleppey cost?
I did the half day kayaking tour through Oscar Cruise and the price was 1,500 rupees (US$20).
This seems to be the going rate for this kind of tour.
At the time I did the tour (early 2018), it sounded like Oscar Cruise was pretty new with offering kayaking tours.
The Oscar Cruise backwaters tours are best-rated for their canoe tour on tripadvisor, which is why I chose them for kayaking.
Sunset tour, lunch tour, or early morning tour?
I did the sunset tour that was from 2pm to 6pm.
But it looks like they also have a lunch tour from 10:30am to 2:30pm.
And I think you should highly consider doing that one too!
Unless of course you do want to catch a sunset on the Kerala backwaters from a kayak.
But you might like the lunch tour because you can get Kerala homestay FOOD!
My sunset tour only came with coconut and chai.
And while coconut is great…
A full meal on a banana leaf I would definitely say is better. Plus, you can probably ask for a stop to buy a coconut on your lunch tour too. There are plenty of places to buy coconuts on the backwaters.
The food that came with this canoe tour that I did was definitely one of the highlights of time on the Kerala backwaters.
What’s it like kayaking the Alleppey backwaters?!
Kayak tours in Alleppey may vary, and this is what was included in my backwaters half day tour!
I was able to sign up alone and since I guess there weren’t others signed up on that day, it basically was a private backwaters tour as I wasn’t added to a group.
Pick-up from my Alleppey Beach guesthouse with a ride to kayak starting point
The tour took care of pick-up and drop-off.
To get to the starting point of the kayaking, I first started off in a rickshaw from my Alleppey Beach guesthouse.
That ride soon abruptly ended and then I was taken by bike the rest of the way.
Meet up with kayak guide, and then off to go kayaking!
To get to the backwater canals, you’ll first go through wider backwater channels
And you’ll be kayaking in a little kayak right alongside a big houseboat
More kayaking the Kerala backwaters!
Be sure to wave hello to everyone that passes by
It’s a thing. Everyone waves at each other on the Alleppey backwaters!
Soon you’ll cross over a main waterway
Be sure to look both ways before crossing. 😉
A stop for coconut water
You can drink your coconut sitting in your kayak…
Or while walking right along the backwaters!
And once you finish drinking the coconut water, be sure to EAT the coconut too!
More kayaking the Kerala backwaters!
The “sunset” part of the sunset tour
Be sure to take a look at the rest of the Best of Alleppey Travel Guide so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Alleppey!
HAPPY KAYAKING IN ALLEPPEY!
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! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! 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! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!