Kerala homestay tour, India

“Unique because of its home from home feel with two weeks staying in southern Kerala homestays, with two or three nights in each, so that you donít feel like anonymous hotel guests.”


Western Ghat Mountains | Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary | Houseboat on Kerala backwaters | Cochin | Hill Station | Farm at Kodikulam

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made to suit your dates, budget and requirements
Our top tip:
Be prepared to tip, but donít expect a thank you. It isn't part of the culture. The idea is that the pleasure is in the giving, not the receiving.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Solo travellers welcome, but surcharge applicable.
Homestay, some within family home, some in separate guest accommodation. Two nights on houseboat.
Accomm., transfers, chauffeur driven transport throughout in private vehicle with A/C.
All breakfasts, 8 nights full board (depending on chosen itinerary).
Holiday type

Tailor made holiday

The tour operator offering this holiday is a British company with an intimate knowledge of the destination. All their holidays are tailor made which means that they can create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. They offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible they use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips. They are licenced to sell flights from the UK and will search for the best airfare for your dates. If you book flights with them, then the whole holiday will be protected by ATOL. This tour operator is also a member of ABTA Ė this means that all their holidays adhere to the ABTA Code of Conduct, their finances, insurances etc are checked regularly and if you have a complaint that cannot be resolved there is an arbitration scheme available to you.

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.

By using homestays and small guesthouses on this tour, you are supporting the host families, their staff and the local community. With small numbers of individuals staying in small properties the impact on the environment is reduced, as waste, lighting etc will be minimal. This tour includes a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a protected area, is committed to conserving the numbers of tigers and elephants within the reserve and practices community based ecotourism.

Francis Residence is the delightful home of Mr and Mrs Francis. They have six guest rooms. Lessons on cooking traditional Kerala meals are available for those interested. Francis Residence is centrally located and guest can walk (or take a rickshaw) to places of interest, restaurants, shops etc.
Nelpura - delightful riverside home more than 150 years old. The guest rooms are in the adjacent granary.

The houseboat is locally made using traditional methods and natural materials and owned by a local company. All our houseboats adhere to stringent environmental rules and regulations that are in force on the Kerala backwaters.

Periyar Villa - delightful homestay in central location and very spacious guest rooms.

Royal Mist this friendly and popular guesthouse is situated just outside the town of Munnar and walking in the area is a popular activity. There are three guest rooms with great views on the top floor of this family home.

Dewalokam is a working farm in the foothills of the Western Ghats of Kerala. It is set on the banks of a river and the host family ared delightful. This retreat has eleven guest bedrooms. The ten acre farm includes spices and fruits as well as an Ayurvedic herbal garden. On the opposite side of the scenic river is pristine tropical forest that provides ideal terrain for forest treks and nature walks. Other activities include rafting and river swimming. Food is a highlight (cookery demonstrations may be offered) and Ayurveda and yoga are available.

The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work). Tailor-made holidays cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals.

All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks. We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).

23 Reviews of Kerala homestay tour, India

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2020 by

Excellent. Great organisation by the operator, wonderful driver and all flights on time. India is such an interesting country but the three things I have mentioned play such a big part in overall enjoyment. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2020 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was my stay in Goa and Kerala Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Jan 2020 by

A great holiday, allowing us to meet local people and learn about the culture Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jul 2019 by

Perhaps the best holiday ever. Great people, lovely places to stay and visit, really thoughtful travel agents who couldn't do enough to help. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Jan 2019 by

Most memorable was: Our stay at the organic farm, Dewalokum. It is just beautiful. In general the food was a major highlight - it was fantastic everywhere. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Dec 2018 by

The most memorable moments were seeing a tiger! Staying with a lovely Indian family... We had a brilliant holiday. Different experiences, met interesting people, ate delicious food and experienced new cultures. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Dec 2018 by

Most memorable was meeting and talking with hosts and their families and staff... One of the best organised and most relaxing holiday we've had. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2018 by

The backwaters cruise and birding at Thattekad was the most memorable. Excellent. Our tour operator was very helpful. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2018 by

We have many happy memories , the most memorable part was the 2 night stay on the Houseboat and the fantastic scenery/river activity, plus our stay at Dewalokum Retreat, Kodikulam. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Dec 2017 by

Our driver, Sanil, was always abreast of our itinerary, enormously helpful, punctual and friendly. He made an enormous difference to our holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2017 by

We really enjoyed the spice farm tour, snake boat race in backwaters and houseboat. Also had a lovely yoga lesson at Marari beach and particularly enjoyed visiting a village school in backwaters village. So many memorable parts! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Mar 2017 by

The houseboat on the 'backwaters' was the most memorable. Excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2016 by

It is hard to pick out just one memorable monet but we loved the tea plantations - the rolling hills, the vast sea of green, the windy roads, the spices nearby and the history of the sector. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2016 by

I thought it was very well organised and have no complaints about your company at all. I would certainly consider using you again, and recommend you to other people. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2015 by

Excellent! Best bits: The two days in Mumbai at the beginning and the experience of the Indian roads! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2015 by

Excellent! Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jan 2014 by

This certainly would be rated up amongst one of the best holidays we have had...Getting off of the beaten track and being introduced to the real India Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2013 by

This was a tremendous experience...drifting peacefully through the backwaters on our own private rice barge was one of the most memorable experiences. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Dec 2012 by

Really enjoyable. The homestays exceeded our expectations. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Apr 2012 by

The most memorable parts were the wonderful scenery and the friendliness of the people. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Apr 2012 by

The most memorable parts were the houseboat trip on the backwaters and meeting and interacting with the local people. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Jan 2012 by

We came across some elephants being washed in a river being prepared for a temple festival. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2012 by

Our stay at Dewalokam Farm Retreat was the most pleasant part of the trip, no effort was spared to make us feel welcome and enjoy every aspect of this beautiful retreat. Read full review

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