Renting a houseboat designed like a Kettuvallam,(rice barge), could be one of your most expensive experiences in India, but it’s worth every darned rupee. Drifting through quiet canals, lined with coconut palms, eating deliciously authentic Keralan food, meeting local villagers and sleeping on the water under a galaxy of stars – it’s a world away from the clamour of India.
Houseboats cater for groups (with up to eight bunks) or couples (one or two double bedrooms), food ( and an onboard chef to cook it) is generally included in the quoted cost. The houseboats can be chartered through a multiple of Govt. and private operators.
This is the biggest business in Kerala and some operators are unscrupulous. The boats come in a range of qualities, from veritable rust buckets to floating palaces- try to lay eyes on the boat you’ll be travelling in before agreeing on a price. Make sure that everything (eg food) has been included in your price.