The backwaters of Kerala are the thing we dreamed of as looked forward to our India trip, and they’re the thing we look back on with smiles and a warm glow of memories that we’ll keep with us forever. We’ve posted about our Kerala itinerary, but here’s a simple feast for the eyes – a little peek into backwater life. It’s a place to truly switch off.
Where we stayed in the backwaters
Both of these options offered different perspectives of the Kerala backwaters. Going on a houseboat is a purely touristic activity. It’s also a choice that needs to be considered carefully as the large number of houseboats in the area are causing a lot of pollution and therefore problems for the people living in the backwaters. Staying at a homestay is a much more environmentally-friendly choice. It also gives you a more authentic experience of village life in the backwaters, and it was definitely one of the highlights of our stay in Kerala. Some of the people we met at Greenpalms had opted to stay at the homestay rather than take a houseboat trip. This is a good option as you get to see the same things as those on houseboats, but in more detail as you’re actually living with local people. You can also take boat trips down some of the canals that are too small for the houseboats.
However, it is a dream for many people visiting Kerala to experience a houseboat trip. This was the case for us and we tried to make sure to choose a company that valued sustainability and had a green palm certificate (the Government’s seal of sustainability) . In truth, this doesn’t mean a lot as even the boats with certificates are contributing to the pollution of the waterways. Although our houseboat trip was an undoubtable highlight of our time in India, its impact on the environment felt uncomfortable and I’m not sure I would repeat it. It’s definitely something I would advise thinking about before you book your trip.