Hopping onto a houseboat is a brilliant way to indulge in the charms of the backwaters. Various houseboat operators function in the area, and you can hire one suited to your budget and itinerary. Most come with a helper and ensure comfortable Kerala-style hospitality. The idea here is to relax while cruising gently on the waters, soak in the gorgeous setting and also click some amazing photos right at the front end of your houseboat!
Visiting a local village is another superb way of experiencing the backwaters. These villages are where life has remained same for years. Not many people realize that this area is not just a tourist spot but also a thriving settlement filled with locals going about their daily businesses. Walk through rice paddy fields, have tea with locals, and learn the art of coir wiring and boat making while you are touring the villages.
Diving into the waters ensures you aren’t just looking at the pristine canals and lagoons but also immersing yourself in the ecosystem. After all, what good is all that water if you can’t swim for a bit? Go ahead, let loose and cool off in the sometimes-chilly waters. Make sure not to venture too far from your boat or the coast. Swimming in the backwaters will make you feel like a true local!
Getting your camera out will be a natural reaction given the beautiful scenery that you will find yourself surrounded by in the backwaters. A holiday in the backwaters is a must if you are a photography enthusiast. Swaying palm trees standing tall against clear blue skies, ducks waddling in the waters, little children running at the edge of villages, and, not to forget, the gleaming sun—the setting that Kerala offers is a shutterbug’s delight!
Make some time to visit the various natural islands that have formed on the canals. Munroe Island is one of the prime attractions. Situated in the Kollam District, it is surrounded by the Kallada River, Ashtamudi Lake, and Sasthamkotta Lake. Take a picnic basket and enjoy at Pathiramanal, which is another island abounding with various bird species. The Kavvayi backwaters are also a group of islands that are a must-visit for those seeking nature.
The entire backwater region is essentially made up of lagoons—small bodies of water that are separated from larger water bodies—that are brackish in nature. These provide solitude to the peace-seeking traveler, adventure to those seeking thrill, varieties of flora and fauna to those wanting nature, and beautiful scenery for those who’d like to click some breathtaking pictures. It’s a unique ecosystem where fresh water rivers mingle with the saltwater from the Arabian Sea.
Going on a date with the birds will be a natural outcome as the backwaters are sprinkled with various avian species, given the thriving natural ecosystem of the region. Head to Pathiramanal; it is a haven for hundreds of migratory birds. Munroe Island is a collection of eight tiny islands and is home to birds like the Kingfisher, Woodpecker, egret, bee-eater, crow pheasant, and paddy birds. Of course, ducks and seagulls abound no matter where you go!
Embark on an eco-tour within the backwaters, where most boats aren’t run by engines. Learn about the self-sustaining lifestyle of the locals on such a tour by understanding how they rely on the backwaters for their livelihood. In the villages, you will be educated about how one food item like the coconut, can have so many uses. The eco-tours also include a short birding activity, during which you can see and photograph rare migratory birds.
You can indulge your wild side in the backwaters as this region is not just for those seeking a quiet holiday. With the backwaters stretching for hundreds of kilometers, the region naturally lends itself to various adrenaline-boosting activities. Whatever be your pick, from canoeing and kayaking to sailing, water-skiing, and windsurfing, you can do it here! There are several adventure tour operators functioning in the backwaters, and each area of the region is special for one specific activity.
Soak up the gorgeous Lake Vembanad—the largest of the backwater lakes. Owing to its sheer size, the lake is known by various names in each of the districts it spans. It is home to several islands like Vypin, Mulavukad, and Kochi Island. Many luxury hotels are located here, and you can either do a day-trip or check into one of them for a night or two. You can even tour it on a houseboat. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is another must-visit site here.
Peace, silence, adventure, nature: the backwaters have all of it and more! More importantly, you can head here to be one with yourself; to reclaim your identity; and to realize that you’re part of a beautiful world, one that is home to a gorgeous destination such as this. Book your vacation now, using the Cleartrip app for best deals on flights in and out of Kerala!