Kerala backwaters tailor made holiday

“Become part of Keralan life, staying in homestays, cooking and cycling with your host family, enjoying time in Kochi and Periyar Nature Reserve, too.”


Kochi | organic farmstead homestay | village walks | ayurveda massage | help your host with cooking | picnics | Periyar Nature Reserve | spend time with the Mannan tribe | hiking | Kumily | Kerala backwaters | cycling | market visits | bird watching

Description of Kerala backwaters tailor made holiday

This Kerala backwaters tailor made holiday takes you to mountains and beaches, too, and the beautiful city of Kochi. The unique and authentic thing about this holiday is that you’ll be accommodated in homestays that are part of local people’s farms and houses. Often, the entire family and some of the villagers, too, will help get delicious meals ready for you and will happily take you out walking, swimming or shopping in the village.

The emphasis is on authenticity and not luxury. The beaches near Arakkal homestay, for instance, aren’t immaculate or private, but this is a chance to become part of Keralan life, joining fishermen and their families for 10 days, perhaps even sleeping under the porch, listening to the waves crash on the beach. There are plenty of activities to enjoy, too. Hike in Periyar Nature Reserve, pop to the chai shop or jump on a bike and enjoy a fantastically chaotic cycle ride, with half the village in tow. Throughout, you'll enjoy the unforgettable hospitality of your homestay family. This is the real Kerala.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made at a time to suit you and adapted to suit your budget and requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

In terms of transport – you’ll see from the itinerary that we’re keen to cut the driving and encourage guests to stay several days in any one place with a local guide (rather than continuously driving from one place to another), guests will participate in lifestyles that are themselves sustainable – you'll eat locally produced food (often growing in the fields adjacent to you), use local transport, cook dinner with your host, and visit local environmental projects.

The Impacts of this Trip

Rough Guide to India described our tours as “The most original, hands-on and ethical itineraries on the market” – we’re proud of this and like to think that the quote sums up our ethos neatly. When you take a tour with us, around 70% of your money stays in India – supporting the social/environmental work of our partners and the projects they support.

We feel particularly strong that guides should be local, giving you the opportunity to spend time with people local to the country, supporting their livelihoods and assimilating the local culture. All tour partners, tour guides and hosts come from the host country. In most cases, your guide is from the specific village in which you are staying. This may mean that your host has imperfect English – in some cases they are specifically recruited and trained from the local village – but we like to think that the benefits are worthwhile.

An example is the guides at Periyar Reserve. Not long ago most of these guides were poachers. Now, with the security of income offered, they have become the forest protectors.

We choose locally owned hotels rather than international chains. Many of our guest houses – such as Spice Plantations, Emerald Isle and Arakkal - are extensions of peoples’ homes and farms. In such places the whole family – and many of the villagers - are involved in caring for you.


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