Boutique Kerala for Families

Cochin – Kanam Estate – The Backwaters – Lake Vembanad


This 11-Day family-friendly holiday takes in some of Southern India’s most magical sights and includes some of Kerala’s finest accommodation. Kerala is a wonderful introduction to India for families and this family-friendly holiday is an excellent opportunity for children to experience new cultures, customs and –of course – curries!

  • Stroll the streets of historical Fort Cochin, an ancient trading port and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to age-old churches, colourful palaces and the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth.
  • Help the fishermen haul in their catch of the day using the enormous, cantilevered cheenavalas (Chinese Fishing nets), go shopping for antiques, stock up on spices and enjoy some of India’s tastiest curries at a breezy waterfront restaurant.
  • Take a sunset cruise around Fort Cochin’s harbour – watch the ferries criss-cross across to the mainland and keep an eye out for the friendly resident dolphins.
  • Take a guided walk through the spice and rubber plantations and learn how they are grown and cultivated and then take a ride on the back of a bullock cart.
  • Experience the rural lifestyle of the backwaters as you glide along on your houseboat past villages, temples, churches, buffalos wading, people bathing and fishermen hauling in their catch.
  • Spend the day with Lakshmi, the friendly elephant, and help feed and bathe her before climbing on board for a ride.
  • Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot some of the incredible birdlife that lives in the backwaters including kingfishers, darters and cormorants.  You’ll see an amazing variety of butterflies and dragonflies too.
  • Navigate the narrow channels of the backwaters during a family cruise on an electric propelled wooden country boat and then cast your rod over the side and try to catch dinner.


This holiday has been designed for families with children of all ages with a range of activities offered to keep all family members amused. Younger globetotters might find life on the houseboat rather slow, however it’s a fantastic experience and most kids revel in sleeping on a ‘floating hotel’. Houseboats by their very nature have a lot of open space however this Deluxe Houseboat blends the traditional hull of a wooden rice barge with contemporary tropical architecture to create an air-conditioned suite downstairs. The upstairs sundeck is the perfect place to watch life on the backwaters drift by. The houseboat is fully staffed, however if you’re travelling with little kids and toddlers then you will need to be on your guard.


This holiday traditionally starts and ends in Cochin, Kerala however it can be fully customised to suit your family’s requirements. See sample itinerary below:

Day 1-2: Fort Cochin
Overnight: Two-night stay at one of Cochin’s best boutique hotels.

Day 3-6: Kanam Estate
Car: 1hr 15 mins
Overnight: Four-night stay at a private villa hotel.

Day 7: The Backwaters
Car: 1hr 30 mins
Overnight: Deluxe Houseboat.

Day 8-10: Lake Vembanad
Your houseboat will drop you off at your final port of call, this exquisite boutique hotel on the banks of Lake Vembanad.
Overnight: Three-night stay at boutique lakeside hotel.


The best time to enjoy this tour is between October and April when daytime temperatures hover around 32C and nighttime temperatures around 20C. This is also the peak tourist season however. If you plan to visit over this period then make sure to book well in advance and be prepared to pay more for hotels, particularly over Christmas and New Year. The monsoon rains fall between July and September. The ten-day Onam festival is held in August, this is Kerala’s biggest cultural carnival held to celebrate the mythical King Mahabali. Discounted rates are available between May and September.


Houseboats tend to drop anchor around 6pm so bring even distractions for the kids. Bring your binoculars and a copy of Salim Ali’s Birds of Kerala to help you identify the multi-coloured birdlife of the backwaters and make sure to pack Arundhati Roy’s beautiful Booker Prize-winning book The God of Small Things set on the backwaters of Kerala. Don’t forget globetotting’s pocket-sized Family Guide to Cochin and Cochin-themed kids’ activity booklets!


This tour starts from US$    for two adults and one child below 12 years. Our partner agent will be happy to give you an exact quote based on your requirements.

This holiday is organised by our Kerala-based partner agent who has prepared this holiday specifically for families.

Complete operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, will be given to you upon completing an enquiry.

Make an enquiry for Boutique Kerala for Families

6 + 12 =

Your enquiry will be sent directly to our partner agent responsible for this holiday. Remember, you never pay more making an enquiry through globetotting than by booking directly with any of our partner agents.

My Family Adventure – Lazy Kerala Backwaters

One of the nicest ways to experience Kerala’s ‘backwaters’ – the long chain of lagoons and inland lakes parallel to the Arabian Sea – is to take a journey on a traditional Keralan houseboat. Read more…

Anu, New Delhi

More family holidays in India and Sri Lanka

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.


  1. Gina Zammit

    That pool is calling my name right now! Love your blog – such a cool, clean layout!


Tell us what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.