Cheap Alleppey ferry backwaters activities

Best Alleppey ferry boat on must-visit Kerala backwaters. Public transportation when backpacking in Kerala backwaters, India

You should totally consider an Alleppey ferry boat ride in the Kerala backwaters if you’ll be passing through Alleppey following a one week in Kerala itinerary.

 

Kerala is famous for its backwaters and there are many ways that you can get on the backwaters.

There’s public transportation on the backwaters, and that means that riding a government boat is one way!

Ferry rides can make for good day trips from Alleppey, and they can be on the list of the best things to do in Alleppey.

And you have a few different ones to choose from! Go to Kuttanad, Kollam, or maybe even Kottayam.

You can even take one of these ferries to leave Alleppey or arrive to Alleppey from another backpacker city in Kerala.

You can go in part by ferry to get from Alleppey to Varkala, to Munnar, or to Thekkady.

Although there are other activities in Alleppey that will allow you to better experience village life on the Kerala backwaters, the public ferry is by far the cheapest way to experience it.

So, if you are on a serious budget when traveling in India, then this would be the must-do backwaters activity for you!

It’s a public boat ride cruising the backwaters.

You should totally still consider seeing the backwaters by canoe or kayak.

 

Alleppey ferry: Best Kerala backwaters, Public transportation in Kerala backwaters, India

 

And as a visitor, there are a few routes that can make for the best ferries:

 

Below will go over each of these ferries and why you might want to take them – including possibly as a way of getting to your next destination!

 

Alleppey ferry: Tourist boat ride cruise on Kerala backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

With people living right along the backwaters, locals take the public ferry to get around. And you can hop on a ferry right along with them!

 

Alleppey ferry: Kerala backwaters village. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

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 Kerala backwaters.

 

Alleppey ferry: Best Kerala backwaters, Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

How to take the ferry in Alleppey

Taking a public ferry from Alleppey can be easy!

 

1. Arrive at the main Alleppey ferry station in town.

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey ferry station in town. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

2. Head to the office of the station master to confirm the ferry schedule and location of pick-up.

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey ferry station master inquiry in town. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

There are a couple of different areas where a boat can dock, so just make sure that you are waiting at the right spot.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey ferry station in town. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

3. When your ferry arrives, get on the ferry!

Alleppey ferry: Boat arrival at Alleppey ferry station in town. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

4. Once you are on the ferry, the ticket conductor will come around and you will pay for your ticket.

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey boat ticket on Kerala backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

5. Enjoy the boat ride on the Alleppey backwaters!!

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey tourist boat ride on Kerala backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

Map of the best ferry routes around Alleppey

Take a look at the map of where the best ferries around Alleppey go for reference!

Alleppey ferry: Map of best ferry routes in Alleppey backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

Best Alleppey ferry boat on must-visit Kerala backwaters. To Kottayam. To Kuttanad. To Kollam. Public transportation when backpacking in Kerala, India, South Asia

 

Here are the best ferry rides around Alleppey for travelers

Best Alleppey public ferry. How long is the day trip from Alleppey? To Kollam 8 hours, to Kottayam 3 hours, to Kuttanad 1 hour. Backpacking Kerala backwaters on a budget. India.

 

1. Alleppey to Kottayam ferry

Cost: 18 rupees (25 cents)

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kottayam ferry. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

It takes 2.5 to 3 hours to go from Alleppey to Kottayam by ferry.

Parts of the route will feel like you’re taking a boat ride through the more rural parts of the backwaters.

While you won’t be going down any smaller canals, you’re getting a little further out so you’ll be going through parts that have less boats on the water.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kottayam ferry boat ride on Kerala backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

How to get back to Alleppey from Kottayam

There are 2 main ways you can get back to Alleppey once the ferry reaches the final ferry stop in Kottayam:

Once you reach Kottayam, you can choose to take the ferry back, or you can also get back to Alleppey by bus.

Kottayam is around 50 km by road from Alleppey, and by bus it can take around 1.5 hours to get back to Alleppey.

The Kottayam bus station is located around a 15 minute walk from the ferry station. You’ll likely easily be able to find a rickshaw to take you there too.

Either way, you’ll likely have to wait a bit for the bus or ferry. So you can make your decision on whether you want to go back by ferry or bus once you arrive in Kottayam based on how you feel!

Going back to Alleppey by bus means you return to the chaos of India 😉 while going back by ferry means that you get a little more peace and tranquility!

 

Alleppey to Munnar via Kottayam

Another option that you have is to take the Kottayam ferry when you are ready to leave Alleppey for good.

You can head to Munnar in the hills to a region that’s known for tea plantations.

Here you can do a Munnar tea plantation trek or the Meesapulimala Trek.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Munnar ferry, bus, rickshaw. Alleppey to Kottayam. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

The fastest way to get from Alleppey to Munnar is by bus. But if you want to leave Alleppey Kerala-style (i.e. the backwaters!), you can get there by ferry and bus.

Once you reach the Kottayam ferry station, it’s a 10-15 minute walk or short rickshaw ride to the bus station. And from there, you’ll find buses from Kottayam to Munnar.

See more details about how to get to Munnar from Alleppey by ferry and bus.

 

Alleppey to Thekkady via Kottayam

Thekkady is another place you can get to part way by ferry that is also inland and in the hills.

It’s known for the Periyar National Park and tiger reserve.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Thekkady ferry, bus, rickshaw. Periyar, Kumily. Alleppey to Kottayam. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

The main city here is Kumily, and this area is a place you go for wildlife, hills, and cooler weather. It’s also a good place to watch traditional Kerala cultural shows.

Similar to Munnar, the quickest way to get from Alleppey to Thekkady is by bus.

And once again, when you get to the Kottayam ferry station, you can head to the nearby bus station. You’ll find plenty of buses from Kottayam to Kumily.

 

2. Alleppey to Kuttanad ferry: “See Kuttanad ferry”

Cost: 15 – 40 rupees (25 – 60 cents)

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kuttanad ferry - See Kuttanad. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

This is also known as the See Kuttanad ferry.

This is another good introduction to the Kerala backwaters.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kuttanad ferry - Kainakary village canoe. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

Compared to the ferry to Kottayam, the ferry to Kuttanad stays closer to the main part of Alleppey. (Have a look at the map above!)

This ferry takes you through some open water, past some paddy fields, and then some!

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kuttanad ferry - See Kuttanad backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

On this ferry, you can choose to sit on the upper deck or lower deck during your boat ride, and the cost is a little different between the two.

Cost of the See Kuttanad ferry:

  • Lower deck: 15 rupees (25 cents)
  • Upper deck: 40 rupees (60 cents)

 

How to get back to Alleppey from Kuttanad

There are 2 main ways you can get back to Alleppey once the ferry reaches the final ferry stop in Kuttanad:

  • Kuttanad to Alleppey ferry
  • Rickshaw to Alleppey

Once at the final ferry stop, there might be a break of about 30 minutes at Kuttanad before the same ferry heads back to Alleppey where you came from.

If you decide that you’d rather head straight back to Alleppey the quick way instead of taking the ferry, there are rickshaws nearby that you can take.

The end point of this ferry is no more than 15 km by road from Alleppey, so you stay relatively close which means the ride back is no more than 30 minutes.

The cost of the rickshaw from this Kuttanad ferry stop to Alleppey is around 250 rupees (US$4).

See more pictures from the See Kuttanad ferry.

 

3. Alleppey to Kollam ferry

Cost: 400 rupees (US$6)

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kollam ferry. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

The Alleppey to Kollam tourist ferry is a public ferry that’s operated by the Kerala state government, but the price tag is not as cheap compared to a regular public ferry.

This boat ride is catered towards tourists. It’s an alternative to taking the bus or train when traveling south from Alleppey. It’s faster to take a train or bus, but this ferry is about the experience!

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kollam ferry tourist boat ride on Kerala backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

You can choose between the upper deck and lower deck on the Alleppey to Kollam ferry as well, but there is no price difference no matter where you sit during this boat ride.

This ferry doesn’t really make stops for locals, but it does make a couple of stops for food, as it is about an 8 hour ride.

There’s a lunch break and there’s also a snack break.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kollam ferry tourist boat ride food on Kerala backwaters. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

The food does cost extra. It’s around 100 – 150 rupees (US$2-3) depending on whether or not you get fish.

This is a traditional Kerala meal, and unless you bring along your own food, it’s really your only chance to eat real food during the full day journey.

You can keep requesting more food at no extra cost as long as they haven’t run out.

You take this ferry when you want to leave Alleppey for good.

Taking this ferry will take you south towards Munroe Island, Varkala, Kovalam, and the Trivandrum airport.

You can go in the opposite direction as well, from Kollam to Alleppey.

There is NO Alleppey to Kollam ferry during parts of the off-season.

I believe it doesn’t run in May, June, and July. But confirm this with the guesthouse you are staying at in Alleppey. They should be able to tell you for sure!

Have a look at the worst things about the Alleppey to Kollam ferry to decide if it’s worth it for you to do this backwaters activity.

See more pictures from ferry to Kollam.

 

Alleppey to Amma’s Ashram ferry

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Amma's ashram. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

The other stop that the Alleppey to Kollam ferry can make is at Amma’s ashram in Amritapuri.

This is an internationally known ashram with a sprawling complex. Amma is the spiritual leader of this ashram, and she is known as the “hugging mother.”

She has followers all around the world who come and visit this ashram. There are also many people who live here long term.

The cost of Amma’s ashram was 250 rupees (US$4) a night, with 3 meals included.

 

Alleppey to Varkala via Kollam

Varkala is a beach town in Kerala that’s famous for cliff-side restaurants and guesthouses.

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Varkala ferry, bus, train, rickshaw. Alleppey to Kollam. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

If you’re looking to get to Varkala from Alleppey, you can go by bus or train… or part way by ferry!

The ferry is the longer way to get to Varkala, but you can leave Alleppey in true Kerala-style. 😉

You’ll take the ferry to Kollam. Then once you get to the Kollam ferry station, you can choose to go by bus or train from Kollam to Varkala.

Once again, the Kollam bus station is right across the street from the ferry station.

There may not be a direct bus at a convenient time to take you from Kollam to Varkala. In this case, you may need to take 2 buses to get to Varkala.

See further details on how to get to Varkala by public transportation.

 

Another option: Take a ferry from the Alleppey ferry station to anywhere!

If you’re feeling up for an adventure, you can head to the Alleppey ferry station in town, and get on the first ferry that comes your way.

Then, as you’re on the ferry, you can have a look around to see what ferry stop looks promising to explore by walking! And then get off the ferry at a random stop!

 

Alleppey ferry: Kerala backwaters village. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

If you decide to explore the Alleppey backwaters this way, there are 2 main ways you can get back:

  • Take the ferry back to Alleppey
  • Catch a bus back to Alleppey

To take the ferry back, once you get off at the ferry station, ask around to find out the timings of the ferry back to Alleppey. Then go off and explore the backwaters by walking around by foot, and be back in time for the ferry!

To take a bus back, look at Google maps or ask around about where a main road is located. You may choose to explore the backwaters by foot based on the direction of the main road.

Getting to a main road means that you will almost certainly be able to catch a bus back to Alleppey! Or you may possibly find a rickshaw to take you back too.

 

What about a ferry from Alleppey to Kumarakom?

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kumarakom ferry. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

Kumarakom is another destination known for the backwaters, and it’s also known for the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. (I think Alleppey is a better destination than Kumarakom for backpackers though. Basically because with Alleppey you get both the backwaters and the beach. Do these Alleppey backwaters activities, and stay at this guesthouse near Alleppey Beach!)

It’s also possible to get to Kumarakom in part by ferry.

This isn’t a ferry trip you’d take to see the backwaters, as the ferry ride to Kumarakom is really simply a ride across a lake.

It’s more of another means of transportation to get to your destination!

 

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Kumarakom ferry. Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

If you’re looking to get to Kumarakom from Alleppey by public transportation, you can go by bus and ferry:

  • Take a bus from Alleppey to Muhamma
  • Walk to the Muhamma ferry station from the bus station, about a 5-10 minute walk. (You can get a rickshaw too.)
  • Take the ferry to Kumarakom!

See more about taking the ferry to Kumarakom from Alleppey.

 

 

Is there a ferry from Cochin to Alleppey?!

Alleppey ferry: Alleppey to Cochin ferry? Public transportation in Kerala, India

 

Cochin is the main “big city” near Alleppey. If you’re backpacking in Kerala, there’s a good chance you will be thinking about adding Fort Cochin to your itinerary.

And if you look at a map (see above!) it looks like there’s a massive waterway between Cochin and Alleppey.

Unfortunately, there is currently NO public ferry to get from Cochin to Alleppey.

Your main options are bus and train.

The bus timings from Cochin to Alleppey are very frequent, so the bus may be the more convenient option compared to the train.

 

More of the best Kerala backwaters activities

Alleppey Ferry: Best Kerala backwaters activities and tours. India.

 

If you’re willing to spend a little more money to experience the backwaters that Kerala is known for, have a look at these Alleppey backwaters activities too!

With these tours, you’ll have the chance to see a little more of the backwaters village life!

 

Alleppey ferry: Best Kerala backwaters, Public transportation in 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 FERRY PLANNING!

 

Best things to do in Alleppey backwaters on a budget

 



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