Fort Cochin is a part of this one week Kerala itinerary.
So Cherai Beach would be a day trip from Fort Cochin, unless you decide that you want to stay in Cherai.
It’s generally not too difficult to go from Fort Cochin to Cherai Beach by ferry and bus.
The only thing is that it takes TIME.
The quickest and easiest way would probably be to take an Uber.
Although Uber still takes time (around an hour), just not as much time.
Going by ferry and bus means waiting around for the ferry and waiting around for the bus.
But if you plan your day so that Cherai Beach is the only activity of the day, then there’s really not reason to take the slow way, right?!
Or, if you’re on a budget in Kerala… then ferry and bus it is! 😉
How to get from Fort Cochin to Cherai Beach?
aka the cheapest way to get to Cherai
Basically you have 2 main steps:
- Take a ferry from Fort Cochin to Vypin
- Take a bus from Vypin to Cherai (or rickshaw if you prefer)
Fort Cochin ferry station
Fort Cochin is not that big, so you could say that the ferry station with the ferry to Vypin is located in a relatively convenient area.
On Google maps, you’ll look for the Fort Kochi – Vypin ferry terminal.
There are actually 2 Fort Kochi – Vypin ferry terminals showing up on Google maps, but they are both pretty close to one another, so you’ll find it once you’re in the general area.
So once you show up to the Fort Cochin ferry station, you’ll head to the ticket booth to confirm you’re at the right spot, and then buy a ferry ticket.
Then you’ll wait in line for the ferry to arrive!
Fort Cochin to Vypin ferry
It’s a pretty short ferry ride across the waters, around 10 minutes.
You’ll get to see some fishing nets too, on both the Fort Cochin side and the Vypin side.
Vypin ferry station
Vypin to Cherai bus
Once you get to the Vypin ferry station, the Vypin bus station is just a short walk away.
There, you can head to the station master office and ask about the bus to Cherai.
The bus ride is probably around an hour.
Walk to Cherai Beach
You won’t get dropped off directly at Cherai Beach, so it’ll probably mean a 10 minute walk or so.
And along the way, you might come across a place to cycle on the waters with a cycle boat!
And then you’ll make it to Cherai Beach!
How much is a ferry to Vypin?!
I don’t remember exactly how much it cost, but I would say it’s max 3 rupees.
So in US currency, that’s like pennies.
As I recall, all the ferries I took around Fort Cochin were between 1 and 3 rupees.
How much is a bus to Cherai?!
I also don’t remember how much the bus cost, but I would guess it’s less than 50 rupees, so less than US$1.
So as you can see, by ferry and bus is clearly the budget way to get from Fort Cochin to Cherai Beach!
What’s the ferry schedule from Fort Cochin to Vypin?!
…and from Vypin to Fort Cochin?
When it comes to ferries in Kerala, the best thing to do is to confirm the timings at the ferry station.
You can ask the Fort Cochin guesthouse you’re staying at for a general idea too, as they will likely know.
There are generally frequent enough ferry timings for you to just show up at the ferry station and not have to wait too long for the next ferry to Vypin.
But to give you an idea of ferry timings, you can check the Kerala state waterways schedule.
There are a number of ferries that pass through Fort Cochin.
You can look for the ferry route that goes from Ernakulam to Fort Cochin to Vypin.
And in the opposite direction from Vypin to Fort Cochin to Ernakulam.
Just keep in mind that just because it’s on the government website doesn’t mean that it’s completely accurate!
But, looking at ferry schedules can be helpful in getting an idea of how frequent the ferry timings are.
Looking at ferry schedules in general can help you decide whether or not you should have a more planned out day, or if you can just take your time and show up at the ferry station without worrying about the time!
For example, there are some tourist ferries in Alleppey that are more limited in timings, like the Kollam ferry (take this to go to Varkala), Kottayam ferry (take this to go to Munnar or to Thekkady), and the See Kuttanad ferry.
So with these Alleppey ferries, you’ll want a more planned out day.
But for the Fort Cochin ferry to get you across to Cherai, it will probably be pretty safe to wing it and get there at your own pace!
HAPPY FORT COCHIN TO CHERAI BEACH TRAVEL!
More bus travel 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! 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!