For your Kerala House Boat Vacation, you have confusing choices of Hundreds of kilometres of lakes, rivers, canals and lagoons form the backwaters of Kerala.
It is too large to cover in one trip. But there are many possible options offered by Kettuvallom operators.
The back water trail I suggest covers two main stretches of waterways. Kochi - Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Alappuzha - Kollam. A total of 140 km, the route takes about five days to cover.
Kettuvalloms, the huge rice barges that were used as the main transport system for centuries in backwaters of Kerala. Today they are changed to comfortable houseboats with modern amenities. Still they retain the traditional Kerala feel.
Guests aboard a Kettuvallom will find it equipped with sun decks, attached toilets, clean linen, log books, tourist records and excellent local cuisine.
Kettuvallom can be hired for large groups or even for a couple. Even though Kettuvallom follows a specific route along the waterways, the guests have the freedom to stop over at any point.
You can make the boat stop for photographs, fishing, swimming, exploring waterside villages, visiting coir factory etc. All in all, the trip is a relaxing one, completely unhurried and offering guests the chance to see rural Kerala close and personal.
Most of the Kettuvalloms are equipped with outboard motors- hiring one of this kind help you to speed up the trip at some point of time in the trip. Thus your Kerala house boat vacation has more of what you want and less of cruising time.
Houseboats are made of dark oiled jack wood with canopies of plaited palm thatch and coir. Kettuvalloms are big business in Kerala. Almost every mid and up market backwater resort, guest house and homestay seems to have one.
Here is my recommended list of operators from which you may choose for your Kerala House Boat Vacation.
The following firms are all based in Alappuzha (Alleppey), which is close to the most of the backwater areas. Alappuzha is a preferable departure point to Kumarakom and Kollam.
Muthoot Backwater Cruises
A leading operator from hotel group.
Another important player and houseboat builder.
Lakes and Lagoons
The largest and most dependable operator. They have two dozen boats of various sizes. Definitely not the cheapest but you are guaranteed top service and conditions.
River Goddess Houseboats
Partly British run, this outfit offers excellent value. Their boats are tastefully styled. The staff is courteous and efficient.
High end trips on particularly lovely boats, with interiors decorated using natural materials.
For the backpackers
Solid eco-friendly budget choice
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