Alleppey Houseboats

"Backwaters Trip in Alleppey Kerala"

Side of a houseboat in Alleppey, Kerala

This article was last updated on April 08, 2012
All information below is subject to change

Ready for some houseboat action?

The owner of Cherukara Nest, Tony, arranged the houseboat trip for us. Since Rough Guides recommended Cherukara, we decided to go for it. We were 8 people that day in February 2011.

Tony told us that it was a busy season. We originally wanted a punting boat because it's more environmental friendly. But they were fully booked. So we got ourselves an ordinary houseboat.

Price: Rs 6,500 per ride

The trip lasted from 11.30 to 17.00, and the price included food and drinks. Our 'contact' on the boat was Joseph.

How much you have to pay for a houseboat trip vary a lot and depends on the size of the boat, number of people, distance, time of year and where you book the trip.

How was the itinerary laid out?

Tony told us that the boat would take us to different parts of the lake, so we wouldn't see the same things the whole time. He was right - we went to various places during the trip.

Small boat in backwaters of Kerala

The deal was to get picked up at the guesthouse we were staying at. They were going to pick us up at 11.15, but they were late. They didn't arrive until 11.35. They drove us towards the Lake Side where several houseboats were parked.

When we saw 'our' houseboat we couldn't believe it. It was huge (two floors).

The living room on a houseboat in Alleppey Kerala

On the first floor there was kind of a living room with TV, two nice bedrooms with clean attached bathrooms and a kitchen. There's actually toilet paper in the toilets! :-P

Inside on a houseboat in Alleppey, Kerala
A bedroom on a houseboat in Alleppey in south India

Alleppey houseboats in Kerala

In the bathroom you can find Western toilet, shower, mirror and soap - everything you need!

Bathroom with shower on a houseboat in Alleppey
Bathroom with a western toilet in Alleppey

The second floor was where we spent most of the day. There were several 'couches' where you could lay down and relax, and loads of sitting places.

When the trip starts you will see many other houseboats in the backwaters, beautiful scenery, paddy fields and village life.

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Gorgeous houseboat in Vembanad lake in Kerala

In Vembanad Lake

Village people are taking a bath or washing their clothes. The sounds vary; sometimes from heavy crow fights or singing birds, to the sound of village people washing their clothes. It's very peaceful and awfully relaxing.

Local woman in a village working close to backwaters of Kerala

Observing local life from Alleppey houseboats

You can just lay on the couches and drift away. There's fresh breeze coming at you, and this kind of houseboat trip is a good alternative to get away from the sun and humidity.

We are relaxing on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala

For snacks, they served us fried bananas and tropical juice, which was really delicious. The plate was empty within the hour!

Served fried bananas on a houseboat in Alleppey in Kerala
Having lunch on a houseboat in Alleppey, Kerala

And later on we ate lunch.

It was nicely prepared and served by three people: you could choose from fish, chicken, sambala, rice and pappadam, and various curry sauces. I thought it was delicious!

For dessert we got fresh pineapple :-)

Later on they asked if we wanted to stop by a fish center where they obviously sold fish, shrimps, lobsters and so on. But we had no interest in that, so we said no.

Along the way, we saw several villages, different churches, resorts and homestays along the lake side.

On the other hand, observing the heavy pollution and waist in the backwaters didn't exactly give me a good conscious about taking an ordinary houseboat than a punting boat.

A church in the backwaters of Kerala, south India

It was uncomfortable to think that we were in a houseboat that pollutes a lot.

At the beginning of the journey there were plastic bottles everywhere, floating in the water. It's sad that it's not being taken care of.

Then they drove us back to the lake side. We paid after the trip was done, but it wasn't directly to Joseph. There was one kid who worked for Joseph who collected the money.


The houseboat trip itself was very successful. All of us were content and satisfied with the trip.

Most of us would do it again.

But next time, I personally would prefer a punting boat and try to book it early, especially in the high season (November to February/March). 

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