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Whenever people plan a trip to someplace they will often make a bucket list of things to do. They make sure not to miss the important things, the major tourist attractions and the things which are a must to try. Many people will do a lot of research on these things to do, places to visit and many more things, just to make sure that they don’t miss any of the popular things that tourists are supposed to do.
During their vast research, people will make sure to gather information from all possible sources, including friends, internet, books, blogs, etc.
One of the most loved tourist destinations in India is Kerala, popularly known as “God’s own country”. This place is truly a gem and although there are a wide range of things to do in Kerala, there is one thing which the majority of the people make sure not to miss.
The thing we are talking about, which makes way into the bucket list of virtually every tourist who is travelling to this region is spending time in a houseboat in the backwaters.
Of course when you talk about going on the houseboats it’s important to know whether they are safe to travel on or not.
The houseboats in Kerala are 100% safe for you and your family to take a trip on. Just like boats anywhere there are some safety precautions that you should do while on the water but in general they are definitely safe.
One thing you do have to be careful of when booking a houseboat is what time of the year it is. During monsoon season you would not want to book a houseboat as most of the waterways will be flooded making the trip less enjoyable and more dangerous as well.
Travelling in the houseboats in the backwaters in Kerala is one of the most soothing as well as the most rejuvenating experiences that a person can ever have. However it is important to be well informed before booking a houseboat in the backwaters.
Here, we will provide you a complete guide for booking a houseboat in Kerala.
Important things to consider when booking houseboat in Kerala
There are many things that you should consider when booking a houseboat anywhere but especially when in Kerala.
The routes available for a houseboat cruise
There are three major routes which can be enjoyed by tourists in Kerala.
The first route amongst these is Alleppey to Kuttanad. This route is extremely popular because of the narrow backwaters which are covered in Paddy fields as well as rich village life.
Another popular route is Alleppey to Kumarakom. This is one of the most luxurious routes in Kerala. On this route, there are various things for you to enjoy, including wide canals, birdwatching spots as well as large areas for tourists to explore.
The third most popular tourist destination is from Alleppey to Alumkadavu. This route is famous for overnight cruises as well as long trips where you will discover exotic beauties of nature.
The best route to enjoy in a houseboat
The most popular route to enjoy in the state of Kerala is in Kumarakom. The best part about this route is that the canals are much wider here as compared to other routes. In addition to wider canals, you will also get to enjoy coconut grooves as well as paddy fields and a lot more. With the cruise, you will also get to enjoy the culture of this region. Kumarakom is a secluded route because the main local transpiration route is in Alleppey.
Best time to hire houseboats
The best time to visit this region is during the winter. The months of October to March are the best time of the year to visit this region and enjoy the houseboats there. There is also the option of a day cruise as well as overnight cruise here.
You can choose from these two depending upon your planned budget as well as the type of vacation that you are planning to have. If you are on a honeymoon and want to spend some quality time alone in this paradise, then you should choose the overnight cruise. The boats get anchored in the backwaters during the night.
Safety of houseboats in Kerala
The houseboats in this locale are traditionally crafted wooden boats that are made from the planks of an Anjili tree. Anjili is one of the local trees found in this region. The government of the state takes every single measure to ensure that the houseboats remain as safe as possible. The government even conducts regular audits as well as inspections on board to make sure that the tourists, as well as the local people, remain safe.
It is made sure by the government that only those boatmen who are skilled as well as experienced enough should get the responsibility to drive these houseboats. If there is an emergency, then for those situations, there are alarm buttons on these houseboats as well and if you press these alarm buttons, then help will reach you soon. It is very obvious when you think about it that houseboats in Kerala are safe.
Activities included with a houseboat cruise
There is a wide range of activities which are normally included with the houseboat tours. The type and the number of these activities completely depend upon the type of package that you have chosen for yourself.
The various kinds of activities that you can enjoy in these houseboats includes swimming, tasting the traditional cuisine of Kerala, trying toddy drink, fishing and many more.
Booking a houseboat
One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that you should always book your houseboat for your trip in advance. The booking can be done with the help of websites of various private tour operators. There is also the option of on the spot booking but the issue with on the spot booking is that you might end up getting a boat which is not of very good quality or you might end up paying a higher price than what is the normal price for the booking.
If it is the extremely busy time of the year you might not get to rent a houseboat at all!
This happens because of the demand for a houseboat during the tourist season. The benefit of booking the houseboat online through a website is that you will learn all about the amenities as well as facilities that are provided on the boat along with the itinerary and other things before confirming your booking and making the payment.
Duration of the booking
The usual check-in, as well as check out time for the houseboats, is noon. The government has made the rule that all the houseboats should be mandatorily anchored by 5:30 pm. If you are choosing a day trip on a houseboat then you can rent them from 10:30 am to 5 p.m. You can also choose a package in which you get to spend the entire day inside the houseboat.
These are some of the major things which you should know before renting a houseboat in Kerala. The experience is sure to leave you spellbound and mesmerized as well. It is one of the most recommended things to do in Kerala and all that you need to do is plan everything beforehand.