Kerala homestay tour, India

Two-week, tailor made Kerala homestay tour offering a relaxed introduction to life in one of India’s most beguiling regions. Stay with welcoming local hosts – as well as two nights aboard a houseboat in the backwaters – and explore the culture of Kerala, its heritage and cuisine.
Enjoy a selection of superb Kerala homestays Hosts provide a range of optional activities Two memorable nights aboard a houseboat in Kerala backwaters (bedroom AC) Sunset harbour cruise in Fort Kochi Performance of Kathakali – classical Indian dance Enjoy a tasty cookery lesson Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Kalaripayattu (Indian martial art) performance Munnar Kodikulam
£2270including UK flights
16 Days
Tailor made
More info
Price per person based on 2 adults including accommodation, flights, car transfers, trains, activities shown, current taxes and local assistance.
Valid from 1 Oct 2022 - 30 Sept 2023.
During peak season (approx Dec to Feb) the price will be higher.
Make enquiry

Description of Kerala homestay tour, India

“Perhaps the best holiday ever,” says Andy Belfield, who enjoyed a Kerala homestay tour in 2019. “Great people, lovely places to stay and visit, really thoughtful travel agents who couldn't do enough to help.”

As for Andy’s recommendation to others taking this trip? “Say yes.” Yes to the food, yes to the activities (some included, some perhaps offered by your hosts), and yes to any opportunity to get to know the local community, of which there will be many. There’s no better way to experience the warmth of Kerala people than by staying in their homes and getting to know them.

Across two memorable weeks you’ll stay at six residences, as well as enjoying two nights in a houseboat on the Kerala backwaters, considered by many to be a must-do on any holiday here. Every homestay varies. In some cases you’ll be staying in the same building as your hosts, in others you’ll be staying in a separate building on the grounds.

But what they all have in common is that they’ll make you feel extraordinarily welcome, and they’ll provide you with a sublime crash-course in Keralan cuisine. In fact, in Cochin, your host will even give you a cookery lesson so you can impress friends with your talents back home!

Other stand-out moments from your homestay tour of Kerala are sure to include a few nights at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, during which you might see leopards, monkeys, elephants and, if you’re extremely lucky, a rare white tiger.

A handful of other activities are included, such as performances of Kathakali (classical Indian dance) and Kalaripayattu (an Indian martial art), while your homestay hosts may also offer other activities in the surrounding area that you can try as you wish.

For those interested in exploring the culture of Kerala and getting to know its people, this holiday will be difficult to beat. And you can also be confident that at every step of the way it directly benefits local people, through the activities you do, the restaurants you eat at and the places you stay. All the more reason then, as Andy recommends, to “say yes”.


Price information

£2270including UK flights
Price per person based on 2 adults including accommodation, flights, car transfers, trains, activities shown, current taxes and local assistance.
Valid from 1 Oct 2022 - 30 Sept 2023.
During peak season (approx Dec to Feb) the price will be higher.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made to suit your dates, budget and requirements

Travel guides

Kerala is like opening up a lucky bag of surprises. The first thing most people pick out is the western coastline that unfurls along the Arabian Sea. ...
South India

Holiday information

Tailor made tour:
All our holidays are tailor made which means we can create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. We offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible we use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of our trips. We are licenced to sell flights from the UK.
Our top tip:
Be prepared to tip, but don’t 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).


21 Reviews of Kerala homestay tour, India

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2023 by

Perfect Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2022 by

5 ***** Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2022 by

Most memorable... Meeting the wonderful hosts and hostesses, also the lovely accommodations and varied locations which gave us such an experience of the different parts of Kerala. Read full review

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

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet and 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).

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