Read time – 2 minutes

The golden globe of the sun hides behind a haze of midday heat, causing everything to slow down to a drift. Going with the flow is part of all life here.

Kerala Backwaters

The wide waterways of Kerala lazily list around corners in sweeping bends, emerald green waves sploshing half-heartedly against the wooden hull of the boats.

These canals were once a hive of merchant activity, holding sole responsibility for enabling trade for local producers of rice, spices and other goods with the outside world.

Now roads and railways have taken over the transportation, and these traditional boats have cruised into the modern world as a unique way to see the backwaters of Southern India.

Traditional Houseboats

Held together with coir rope and lengths of bamboo, not a single nail was used during construction, the boats have surprisingly modern twists: air conditioning in the rooms and a communal bar so you can sip Kingfisher beer as the sun sets below the palm trees.

Dinner on board is a delight; the deck is transformed into a floating restaurant serving home-cooked curries. Each small group of four or five have a boat to themselves, where you feast on surprisingly light dishes cooked with coconut milk and locally grown spices, watching riverside life unfold along the banks.

One Night In: A Houseboat in Kerala, IndiaKerala backwaters boat trip

As darkness draws in and the chatter falls down to a respectful murmur, people fade back to their bedrooms, peeking through windows to the see the shadows shimmering on the water, as the water laps against the keel and lulls you to sleep.

One Night In: A Houseboat in Kerala, IndiaSunset on the waterways 

Browse our tours to Kerala below and plan your trip.