Things to do in Kochi

Our most recommended things to do in Kochi

Cochin:Half-Day Backwater Village Eco Boat Cruise with Lunch

1. Cochin:Half-Day Backwater Village Eco Boat Cruise with Lunch

Discover the famous backwater canals of Kerala on a half-day tour from Fort Cochin, and immerse yourself in a quiet way of life, far from the pressures of big city life. The tour starts with a pickup from a meeting point in Fort Cochin at 8:30 AM. Drive to a village just outside Cochin City to board a traditional covered country boat. The boats have a capacity for about 20 people, allowing for an intimate experience while enjoying the serenity of the landscape. Your guide will paddle you through the sumptuous vegetation, stopping at a village to see coconut palm weaving and coir making. Then, savor a vegetarian lunch and later, a transfer to Fort Cochin. Arrive back at the meeting point at around 3:00 PM.

From Kochi: 2-Day Alappuzha Backwaters Houseboat Cruise

2. From Kochi: 2-Day Alappuzha Backwaters Houseboat Cruise

Alappuzha, also known as the "Venice of the East", is an important tourist destination in India and the backwaters of Alappuzha are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise on these backwaters is a delightful experience. Alappuzha is a landmark between the broad Arabian Sea and the web of rivers flowing into it. It is a town in the Alappuzha District in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of the Indian Empire, made a visit to Alappuzha in the early 20th century. Fascinated by the scenic beauty of the place he said “here nature has spent up on the land her richest bounties”. Detailed itinerary: Day 1: After the pick-up from Cochin Port or at your hotel at 10:15, you will transfer to Alappuzha to board the houseboat around 12:00. Once aboard the houseboat you will slowly cruise through the backwaters and village area of Alappuzha, passing paddy fields and coconut palm. Main meals will be served on board before staying overnight on the houseboat. Day 2: The cruise will finish around 9:00. You will then transfer back to Cochin Port or your hotel, arriving by 11:00.

Alleppey / Alappuzha Backwater Canoe (Shikara) Cruise

3. Alleppey / Alappuzha Backwater Canoe (Shikara) Cruise

Alleppey also called " Venice of the East" is an important tourist destination in India. The Backwaters of Alleppey are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. Alappuzha is a landmark between the broad Arabian sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. It is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. In the early first decade of the 20th century the then Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon made a visit in the State to Alleppey, now Alappuzha. Fascinated by the scenic beauty of the place, in joy and amazement, he said, here nature has spent up on the land her richest bounties. In his exhilaration, he exclaimed, Alleppey, the Venice of the East. Itinerary : Pick-from Cochin Port or your hotel is at 9.00 am before the transfer to Aleppey (approximately 1.30 hours) to board the boat at 10:30 am. The boat will cruise slowly through the backwaters and village area of Aleppey with the main attraction during the cruise being the view of backwaters, paddy fields, coconut palms, and the villager's daily life. The cruise will finish around 1.30 pm and you get back to Cochin Port between 3.00 and 3.15 pm. 

Kerala: 4-Day Tour with Tree House Stay & Houseboat Ride

4. Kerala: 4-Day Tour with Tree House Stay & Houseboat Ride

Day 1: Arrive Cochin – Munnar by Road [135 kms / 4 hours] On your arrival in Cochin your driver will pick you up from Cochin airport or your other pre-arranged meeting point. Take a scenic drive to Hill Station in Munnar where you will enjoy your tree house stay. Check-in at the treehouse and take in the beautiful forest scenery. In the afternoon you will have the chance to do some sightseeing at major tourist hotspots such as: Eravikulam National park, Tea Museum, Mettupatty and Echo Point. You will have the evening to do your own exploring before you spend the night in your treehouse room which is fitted with modern amenities.  Day 2: Munnar – Thekkady by Road [95 kms / approx. 3 hours] After a delicious breakfast, head towards Thekkady in an air-conditioned car with your driver. You will be taken to your accomodation upon reaching the destination. From your accomodation you will be taken to some of the most important sightseeing locations in the area, such as: Thekkady Lake, Periyar Tiger reserve, Vandanmedu, Plantations (tea, coffee, etc), Pullumadu, etc. Enjoy a relaxing evening as you ride a boat in the tranquility of Periyar Lake. After this you will be directed back to the hotel in Thekkady for an overnight stay. Day 3: Thekkady – Alleppey by Road [135 kms / approx. 4 hours] After breakfast you will be ready to leave for Alleppey, taken by your chauffeur in an air-conditioned car. You will be taken to your houseboat upon reaching Alleppey. Board your houseboat fitted with all modern facilities and enjoy an overnight ride gliding along the backwater toward your next destination, Kumarkom. All meals will be cooked and served on board. Enjoy an amazing meal and relax onboard for the rest of the evening.  Day 4: Kumarakom – Cochin [55 kms / approx. 1 ½ hours] – Departure Wake up to a delicious breakfast on board in Kumarkom. Kumarkom is where you will deboard the houseboat. Your driver will be present to receive and take you to Cochin city. Cochin also called Kochi, is a major port city of Kerala with a surreal mix of English, Dutch and Portuguese architectures. Enjoy the day sightseeing and visiting: Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Marine Drive, Bolgatty Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue and Chinese Fishing Nets. Your tour will finish after the city tour of Cochin and you will be safely dropped at the Cochin airport or other pre-arranged drop-off point.

Munnar Private Day Trip

5. Munnar Private Day Trip

After an early morning pick-up from your Kochi hotel, travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for about 4 hours to Munnar. En route to Munnar, stop to see the Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls, and take a break for breakfast. Your local guide will meet you in Munnar to start the tour. Munnar is a hill station that is known for its vast tea plantations and natural beauty. It was once a favorite summer retreat for British colonials. Start your tour by visiting Mattupetty Dam and a tea museum, then take a short walk through the tea plantations. There will be a break for lunch before heading back to your hotel in Kochi, with a stop at a spice plantation along the way.

Cochin: Alleppey Backwater Private Day Cruise by Houseboat

6. Cochin: Alleppey Backwater Private Day Cruise by Houseboat

Explore the famous Kerala backwaters of Alleppey on board a traditional houseboat. Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is located between the Arabian Sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. In the early 20th century, the then Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon was so mesmerized by the scenic beauty he declared that Alleppey was “The Venice of the East.” Following a pickup from Cochin Cruise Port or from Cochin Hotels, transfer to Aleppey to board your houseboat. Cruise slowly through the backwaters and village areas to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and more. There’s no guide on board but there will be 3 staff members to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as you could wish for. Enjoy a lunch of Keralan cusine as you gently cruise, before later transferring back to Cochin Port or your hotel.

House Boat Kerala: Vembanad Lake

7. House Boat Kerala: Vembanad Lake

The sounds of birds and monkeys echo around you. As you gaze out across the vast Vembanad Lake, you feel at one with nature and slowly relax into your day out here cruising around the lake on your house or motor boat. Your day trip begins as your guide picks you up from your hotel and you set sail through the canals that connect the lake together. You will arrive in Alleppey, about 43 miles (70 km) south of the city, where we begin our sail. Here you can relax on one of our exquisite house boats, which move along the banks of Vembanad to give you a real sense of the style and luxury that has dated back centuries. Imagine yourself a maharaja or English royal sailing through these canals 100 years ago as you enjoy lunch on board. The trip returns to Cochin approximately 4 hours after setting sail.

Kochi: Private Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise with Transfers

8. Kochi: Private Backwater Houseboat Day Cruise with Transfers

Head to Alleppey or Kumarakom on this seven-hour excursion. See coconut palms, Chinese fishing nets, and the extensive rice fields. On the west side of Alleppey, take in views of the Arabian Sea. Board a houseboat that was originally a vessel used to carry rice from underwater farms. Start the cruise on the Alleppey Punnamada Lake. Enjoy the comfort of the boat and experience the natural beauty of the area as the boat crosses backwater channels around Alleppey. During the three to four-hour cruise you’ll be served lunch and tea. In the late afternoon, you’ll be transferred to the airport or your hotel.

From Kochi Port: Backwater Canoe and Fort Kochi Tour

9. From Kochi Port: Backwater Canoe and Fort Kochi Tour

Marvel at the breathtaking scenery of the Allepey region from the comfort of a traditional riverboat on this shore excursion. After getting picked up from the cruise ship docks at Kochi Port, begin the 1.5-hour journey to Alleppey where you will board your Shikara (motorized canoe). Then, begin your journey, cruising slowly through the vast network of backwaters.  Discover for yourself why Alleppey has often been described as the Venice of the East. Venture through village areas and the landscape of the Alappuzha to marvel at lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and much more.  Once back on dry land, sit down to a delicious vegetarian lunch which showcases the best of Keralan cuisine before journeying to the serene Fort Kochi area. Marvel at the Cheena Vala (Chinese fishing nets) in the Arabian Sea, and see other attractions of the region. At the end of your tour, get dropped off back at the port in time for your cruise ship departure. Choose to depart in the morning or afternoon. The morning departure option includes lunch and the afternoon departure option includes snacks with tea or coffee (lunch is not included in this option).

Kochi: Kathalki Theatre and Dinner Experience

10. Kochi: Kathalki Theatre and Dinner Experience

After being collected from your hotel lobby at around 5:30PM, you will be taken to the Cochin Cultural Center to watch the enchanting dance form of Kerala, Kathakali. The duration of this dance ballet will be approximately 1 hour (6:30PM-7:30PM). The performing artists will be decked out in heavy costumes of myriad colors and resplendent makeup, capped by a huge crown. The artist display an amazing array of expressions on their faces to narrate the tale along with nifty footwork. The dance drama is mostly inspired by ancient Hindu epics such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharat and the Purana, punctuated by rhythmic music in the background. The colors on the faces of the artists help in understanding the nature of the character. For example, Red (Tati) symbolizes an evil character such as Ravana or Dushasana, whereas green (pacca) is reserved for the protagonists or fighters, with red color dots and lines on their cheeks portraying the evil present inside them. The color black is basically for hunters or dwellers, and yellow is for monks. Shiny yellow, orange and saffron stand for the purity of woman’s spirit. At the end of the dance, the musicians give a thrilling musical experience in the concluding segment. After the Kathakali, you are bound to come out from the theater having been thoroughly entertained, and with your heart in your mouth. Following the riveting dance performance, you will be taken to a hotel or a restaurant for an enjoyable dinner to complete a memorable evening.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kochi

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What people are saying about Kochi

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 186 reviews

My wife and I were in Kochi for only a few days and we are so glad that we were able to do this tour! A taxi picked us up from our hotel in Fort Kochi and brought us south to where the boat launched from. During the boat cruise we learned about the local economy, life in the villages, and how the boats work. We even got to try our hand at rowing the boat with a huge bamboo stick. The team also cut down two coconuts, chopped them open, and gave us straws to drink the fresh juice. The morning finished off with a very good and authentic meal in a village home and then the driver took us back to our hotel. Can't recommend this tour enough!

The moment I stepped into the boat, I could feel my heart rate slow down. It was the most peaceful experience I’ve had. I had the boat all to myself with three staff - a driver, a server and a cook. I was a woman, traveling alone from the US and I felt safe and protected. The food was amazing and the crew wonderful. I would highly recommend this trip down the serene backwaters of Alleppey.

We had a lovely time cruising in Allepey. The food was amazing and the crew very friendly and always available to accommodate our needs. The boat was very comfortable and the scenery breathtaking. Definitely recommended

This was an incredible way of exploring the backwaters of Karela In a slow, relaxing and authentic way. Great guides and people running this, had a great experience!

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