Kerala homestay tours

“Go truly local with homestays in the land Indians call God's Own Country – from the historic port of Cochin to the backwater hamlets of Allepey and Kumarakom.”


Experience local culture through homestays | The richly atmospheric historic port of Cochin | Kathakali dance | Overnight houseboat cruise | Village life – and wildlife - in Allepey, the 'Venice of the East' | Kumarakom on Vembanadu Lake

Description of Kerala homestay tours

Kerala has much to enchant both families and individual travellers, and this trip offers a more personal experience of the region through staying with locals and discovering local tradition, cuisine and community through their eyes.

Kick off in the delightful historic trading and fishing port city of Cochin on the Arabian Sea, visiting ancient churches and forts, the Mattancherry palace and picture-perfect Chinese beach fishing nets, before enjoying an evening of Kerala's traditional Kathakali dance.

Transferring to the village of Alleppey, meet your homestay hosts in a village whose waterways have earned it the title 'Venice of the East'. Its lush paddy fields are the rice bowl of Kerala, and the village is also famous for diverse animal and bird life, local beaches, seafood and marine products – as well as boat racing. You'll take to the water yourself in a more relaxed way with an overnight stay on a houseboat as it cruises along tranquil backwaters past ancient temples and coconut groves.

Stepping back ashore, move on to Kumarakom – a tiny backwater hamlet perched on the western banks of the Vembanadu Lake. Take to the water again by canoe, motor boat or houseboat, explore the local countryside on foot or just relax with your hosts at another local homestay for one final night enjoying the region Indians call God's Own Country.

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

Departures can be tailor made to suit your 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.

This particular trip is unique as the homestays which we have selected are all owned by the local Kerelan families who are doing excellent work by maintaining some of the old buildings. They are kept in very good condition and generate revenue for the families livelihood. For the last few years this region is fast gaining popularity all over the globe and now a lot of revenue is generated by way of jobs in homestays, local guides, transport etc. We only use those home stays which are fully owned by the local community.

These old/new houses have now been converted into homestays and are helping the locals get good jobs. All the accommodation which we are using has a local staff. All our accommodations are eco friendly and have used local materials & handicrafts. Our accommodations are equipped with energy saving lights.

With the passage of time many have totally vanished but thanks to tourism serious efforts are now being made to preserve these magnificent old houses which not only help the local economy but also generate a huge amount of jobs.

We not only help the local people to keep their properties in good condition by generating business for them but we also make a point that they should give employment to the local people so that the local economy can benefit from tourism.

We will be using local guides throughout this trip who are trained in their field and will certainly make a difference.

3 Reviews of Kerala homestay tours

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Getting in touch with local people. We were very well taken care of at Keits homestay and the food there was really good. The staff showed us around in
the village and spent time with us and showed us how people lived there.
Visiting the museum in Aleppey. The stay on the houseboat and the ride in the smaller boat in the canals. The Katakali at the culture center in Cochin. The food at restaurant Oceanos in Cochin. The visit at the bird sanctuary in Kumarakom. The ayurveda massage in Kumarakom. The driver took well care of us and drove very well and safe

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be openminded and try different activities. Enjoy the company of locals. Take the oportunity to learn about the culture. Try the food.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we went shopping in the shops of the village were Keits homestay is situated and in Cohin. We went for ride in tuk tuk, rented a boat for birdwatching in the morning, hired a local guide for birdwatching in sancturary, went to local ayurveda massage parlours, went by local transport in goverment ferry, etc etc

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great but here are two things that made me rate 4 instead of 5. The pool in Cochin was under repair when we visited. They said that they had started the renovation job because it was low season? We didn´t get any sleep in Kumarakom because of the temple festival next door. The entertainment and music was extremely loud. I know that it was going on for a whole week, but perhaps we could have stayed somewhere else not so close to the festival?

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Overnight trip on rice barge and canoe trip through villages.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make use of the tour operator’s helpline phone number if you have any queries or problems - they resolved any issues really quickly and efficiently.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefited local people as used local driver and small guesthouses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic - everything went much more smoothly than we anticipated. Very easy way to see a little bit of India with no hassle!

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The stay in Kumily. It was my first 2 days. Having spent the last 2 weeks in Madurai and Chennai, it was nice to find somewhere cool, clean and tranquil. There are lots of things to do there and it makes a good starting point from which to explore Kerala

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check out the prices with the hotel directly. The travel agent made very significant mark up on the cost of the accommodation. This left a bad taste in the mouth and certainly soured my holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

A little but not that much. I think my direct action of local purchases made more impact than the holiday itself.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Kerala is a beautiful state in India and well worth visiting. I hope to return again over the next few years. Unfortunately the cost through the agents made this prohibitive and I will be booking it this myself in future.

Read the operator's response here:

1. All the tours are finalized after the confirmation from the guests. When the guest is satisfied then only we ask for payment. We assume that the guest is satisfied about the cost before booking.

2. It is not possible to refund the money if the guest does not avail any service mentioned in the tour as we have to pay in advance to all the service providers.

3. In the tour there was one rail journey which the guest cancelled when he arrived in India, which Peter wanted to have the refund so really it was very difficult for us to explain to him that all these changes and refund is not possible once you have booked the services.

4. However we have taken all his feedback in a positive manner & really feel bad that we could not deliver things as he wanted.

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