Alleppey Kerala backwaters tours: Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters beyond houseboat: PHOTOS and List of best Kerala backwaters activities and tours. Village canoe tour, kayak tour, cycling tour, Kerala homestay food, drink coconut, overnight houseboat, public ferry boat ride. Backpacking Kerala, India

You definitely need to consider the Alleppey backwaters as a part of your Kerala itinerary if you’ll be traveling to Alleppey

 

Kerala is best known in India and around the world for its backwaters.

So, how to experience the famous Kerala backwaters in Alleppey?

You have options!

But maybe the best would be the option where you can get a taste for Kerala village life on the backwaters too!

Going to Kuttanad, Kollam, or Kottayam by taking the Alleppey ferry aren’t bad options either.

Many of the best things to do in Alleppey are done through a trip to the Kerala backwaters!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters: List of best Kerala backwaters activities and tours. Village canoe tour, kayak tour, cycling tour, Kerala homestay food, drink coconut, overnight houseboat, public ferry boat ride. Backpacking Kerala, India

 

Below is a list of the best activities on the Alleppey backwaters

 

 

This list goes from the most expensive to the cheapest way to see the Kerala backwaters.

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters. Which of the best Alleppey backwaters activities are most worth it? Kerala, India

 

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters

 

1. Overnight houseboat on the backwaters

Cost: Varies, but not unusual to be 7,000+ rupees (US$100+)

Best Alleppey backwaters activities: Houseboat. Kerala, India

 

Houseboats are what tourists who are familiar with Alleppey generally think of when they think about the Kerala backwaters.

These are basically private floating hotels… kind of like a mini-cruise!

They can be perfect for couples and groups of friends. You can find houseboats with a varying number of rooms and amenities, and you can get homemade Kerala food included in your houseboat stay.

Most people opt for overnight houseboats. But you can also go for houseboats that last for 2 nights or longer, and there are also options to just go during the day as well.

 

Best Alleppey backwaters activities: Houseboat. Kerala, India

 

To get a better idea of what’s included in houseboats, you can take a look at the pictures of this houseboat on airbnb as an example.

And if it’s your first time booking on airbnb, then you can use this referral link to sign up and get up to US$40 off.

Now, if you’re a budget backpacker traveling in Kerala alone, a houseboat is pretty much out of the question.

But the good news is…

 

 

You have alternatives when it comes to backwaters activities that are a bit more budget-friendly!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters beyond houseboat: Things to do on Kerala backwaters. Backpacking Kerala, India.

 

2. Backwaters kayaking tour

Cost: 1,500 rupees (US$23)

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Village kayaking tour. Kerala, India

 

If you’re looking to do more than just sit and have someone else do the rowing through the backwaters for you, kayaking the backwaters just might be the perfect activity for you!

A backwaters kayaking tour is typically a half-day activity. You can usually choose the early morning tour or sunset kayak tour.

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Village kayaking tour. Kerala, India

 

My Alleppey kayaking tour came with:

  • Ride to and from the starting point of my kayak by scooter (on the way there) and rickshaw (on the way back)
  • Kayak guide to lead the route through the wide open lake and smaller canals
  • Life jacket!
  • Stop for chai twice
  • Stop for coconut

 

3. Backwaters village canoe tour

Cost: 1,000 rupees (US$15)

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Village canoe tour. Kerala, India

 

Touring the backwaters by canoe can be the perfect way to experience the Kerala backwaters!

A village canoe tour can actually be more than just a canoe ride. It can encompass a few different aspects that will make you feel like it is totally worth it.

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Village canoe tour. Kerala, India

 

My Alleppey canoe tour came with:

  • Ride to and from the ferry station by scooter (on the way there) and rickshaw (on the way back)
  • Public ferry rides to and from Alleppey town to a village in the backwaters
  • Visit to a village home
  • FOOD: Kerala breakfast
  • Canoe ride through the canals
  • Stop for a coconut
  • Stop for Kerala palm wine (aka toddy at a toddy shop)
  • FOOD: Kerala lunch

 

4. Cycling tour along the backwaters

Cost: 500 rupees (US$8)

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Cycling tour. Kerala, India

 

If you want to see some of the Kerala backwaters in a way that not many tourists do, then consider a cycling tour along the backwaters!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Cycling tour. Kerala, India

 

My cycling tour came with:

  • Ride from bus stop outside of main Alleppey bus station
  • Bicycle
  • Helmet (although I had my own)
  • Water
  • Guide to lead the cycling route crossing across some main roads of Alleppey district, rural Alleppey alongside paddy fields, and then of course, the backwaters!
  • Ride to a ferry stop to catch the public ferry back to Alleppey town

I had to catch a bus from the Alleppey bus station to the designated meeting point but this was cheap and pretty hassle-free.

Or, if you want to do a DIY cycling tour, here are some cycling routes in Alleppey.

 

5. Public ferry on the backwaters

Cost: Starting at around 10 rupees! (15 cents)

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Public ferry. Kerala, India

 

Taking one of the best public ferry routes around Alleppey is by far the cheapest way to experience the Kerala backwaters.

If you are on a serious budget when traveling in India, then this would be the way to go.

It’s a public boat ride cruising the backwaters.

With people living right along the backwaters, locals take the public ferry to get around the waters.

And you can hop on a ferry right along with them!

Since ferries stick to the main waterways, you wouldn’t get to experience the smaller canals with a ferry ride, but you can get an introduction to the backwaters.

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Public ferry. Kerala, India

 

If you’re up for an adventure, you can take a ferry to anywhere around the Alleppey backwaters!

To do this, head to the main ferry station in town when you’re in Alleppey. Then you can hop on the first ferry you see, and then hop off at a random ferry stop!

Make sure you ask around about the time for the ferry back to Alleppey if you do this. Or, you can look at Google maps to find a main road where you are sure to find a bus back to Alleppey, or possibly a rickshaw.

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Public ferry to see Kuttanad or Kottayam. Kerala, India

 

Otherwise, there are 2 ferry routes around Alleppey that can make it easy for tourists to get a glimpse of the backwaters:

Both of these ferries have return ferries to Alleppey shortly after they arrive at their final destinations.

Or, if you want to arrive to or leave from Alleppey Kerala-style (via the backwaters!), you can also take the ferry.

Consider taking the Kottayam ferry to get part way between Alleppey and Munnar or Alleppey and Thekkady.

Munnar and Thekkady are both popular hill destinations in Kerala located in the Western Ghats mountain range.

In Munnar, you can do a tea plantation trek or the Meesapulimala trek.

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Public ferry Alleppey to Kollam on your way to Varkala, Kovalam, Trivandrym Airport, via Varkala. Kerala, India

 

And then there’s another public ferry that’s a good option for tourists:

This is a full-day ferry.

And although this is still a government-run ferry, it’s geared more towards tourists so the price tag is more expensive than a normal public ferry.

 

It’s best to catch this ferry when you’re looking to leave Alleppey for good to head further south to places like Munroe Island, Varkala, Kovalam, or Trivandrum Airport.

There’s also a ferry in the opposite direction, from Kollam to Alleppey, if you want to take a ferry to go north.

The most popular way to take this ferry is probably between Alleppey and Varkala.

 

Okay, so now that you have a better idea of how to spend your time on the Kerala backwaters…

 

 

How to spend a perfect 2 days in Alleppey

 

If you have limited time, like just one week in Kerala, 2 days can be the perfect amount of time to stay in Alleppey.

 

Of course, the perfect 2 days in Alleppey includes time on the backwaters!

 

Day 1: Alleppey Beach

Arrive in Alleppey during the day. Find a place to stay near the beach, like at a beachside guesthouse or a beachside hostel, so that after a day of travel, you can just chill out and take in the ocean views!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey Backwaters: 2 days in Alleppey itinerary - Day 1: Guesthouse near Alleppey Beach. Kerala, India

 

If you arrive earlier in the day, go out into town and buy fresh fish, prawns, and a few spices.

And since you’ve chosen well and you’re staying at a guesthouse with a kitchen, you can fry your own seafood for dinner!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey Backwaters: 2 days in Alleppey itinerary - Day 1: Cook Kerala food/seafood at guesthouse with kitchen near Alleppey Beach. Kerala, India

 

Kerala is known for its seafood so this makes for the perfect meal when in Alleppey.

 

 

Day 2: Kerala backwaters

Dedicate the next day to what Kerala is known for!

Take your pick with how you want to spend that time on the backwaters.

Whichever option you choose, make sure you have a coconut on the Kerala backwaters!  😀

 

Best things to do in Alleppey Backwaters: 2 days in Alleppey itinerary - Day 2: Kerala backwaters with coconut. Kerala, India

 

And then once you’ve finished up your backwaters activity, off you head back to relax at your beachside accommodation!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters activities: Village canoe tour. Kerala, India

 

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 ALLEPPEY BACKWATERS PLANNING!

 

How to spend one week in Kerala

 

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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