Spending a night on an Alleppey houseboat is an absolute must when you’re in Kerala. The Kerala backwaters are famous as being one of the most beautiful places to take a water cruise in the world.
They are lush.
Huge green palms, wildlife along the banks and birds flying over ahead – the boat follows the beauty. If you’re visiting Kerala, a night on a houseboat absolutely cannot be missed.
– Post in collaboration with the Kerala Tourist Board
Find out more about Alleppey houseboats, from the Kerala tourist board
Choosing your boathouse in Kerala
If you want to compare the different Alleppey houseboats then I’d definitely recommend you have a look around online first. I was in Alleppey at the end of a four-month trip around Asia and so had come to the end of my organisational skills by then.
Instead of comparing houseboats in Alleppey online, my two friends and I went to the water’s edge and just asked around. It was really easy and actually cost less than we thought. All the pricing of the Alleppey houseboats is regulated by the government so you can’t get ripped off.
At least it is when you book on arrival anyway.
Alleppey houseboat rates
This was a few years ago now but for 1000 rupees each (£10) between three, we got a one-bed houseboat, three meals and a few hours of cruising through the backwaters too.
I did have to sleep on the floor – which seems strange now but perfectly acceptable at the time – while my friends got the double bed. I had blankets, and pillows, I was alright.
If you want to make sure of the price and quality of the houseboat in Alleppey you end up on, then I’d definitely recommend you book before. But, if you’re free and easy, and backpacking for a while, and don’t mind the comfort levels, then you can just turn up and pick one out.
Evening on the Alleppey boat house
It’d been really hot and sweaty in the day of our Kerala waters houseboat trip and so that night it stormed. It’s not like being out at sea, the Alleppey backwaters are pretty chill and so this storm actually made it all the cooler.
We cosied up on board and ate our Keralan fish curry, expertly cooked by the chef on board with his boat cooker. Amazing to think something so delicious could come from that tiny kitchen. We’d also made a stop earlier in the evening to buy some prawns from a guy selling them at the waters edge. The chef on the boat tandooried them and they were absolutely delicious.
We had a lovely evening and meal, and the three guys working as chef, waiter and captain couldn’t do enough for us, until they reached their limit.
We were all for staying up and enjoying the bottle of rum we had on us. Unfortunately the boat crew wanted to go to sleep at about 10 so we had to vacate the living room so they could sleep in there. Even after trying to bribe them with said bottle of rum, it was still a no. They took it, and then ushered us out so they could go to sleep.
So that was that.
The next day we were grateful for the early night as breakfast was served at 7am, and we got off the boat at 8am, as instructed.
How long to spend on an Alleppey house boat
You only really need to spend one night on a Kerala houseboat to enjoy the experience, unless you have an extra special interest of course.
Our Alleppey houseboat itinerary:
– Got on the boat at around 2pm
– Had lunch
– Relaxed on board
– Had dinner
– Went to bed
– Breakfast the next day before getting off.
We left a tip, and they’d had our bottle of rum too.
Where to stay in Alleppey
After being on the boat we got a taxi to the beautiful Marari Beach Resort and chilled there for the day, by the pool. It was so nice. We did a cooking class, looked around their vegetable garden, enjoyed the chai walla there and just relaxed, enjoying the excellent service.
Unfortunately we also went in the sea for a refreshing dip. My expensive prescription Ray Bans were ripped from my face by huge waves.
That was sad.
Don’t turn your back on the sea folks, it’s a wonderful but ferocious beast!
And if you do happen to go to Alleppey, let me know if they turn up.
Tips for the Alleppey houseboats
I think we were pretty lucky with our boat, especially as we hadn’t done any research. We had a great time and the hospitality of the boat crew just made it that bit extra special. Kerala is a really magical state in India, and our time in Alleppey was among my favourite.
– This post is sponsored by Kerala Tourism, although all travel to and around Kerala was paid for by me. –
More on travel in Kerala
6 Days in Kerala