Things to do in
Kochi

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Our most recommended things to do in Kochi

From Kochi: 2-Day Alappuzha Backwaters Houseboat Cruise

1. 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.

Cochin: Alleppey Backwater Private Day Cruise by Houseboat

2. 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.

Kochi: Kathalki Theatre and Dinner Experience

3. 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.

Ayurveda Treatment and Rejuvenation

4. Ayurveda Treatment and Rejuvenation

At Vedic Village, we design Ayurvedic treatment packages that specifically address each individual’s health challenges. The therapists at Vedic Village believe that Ayurveda needs to be practiced in its original form, in order to get the true benefits from it. At our spa, it is practiced with the kind of dedication that it requires, following the distinctive traditions of Kerala. When practiced in the right setting, Ayurveda ensures holistic wellness of body, mind and soul. Before the Ayurveda, join us for a tour of the backwaters of Kerala, a beautiful chain of lagoons just off the Arabian sea coast. The cool, unpolluted, and refreshing breeze is sure to awaken you and prepare you for your relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment, the true highlight of a holiday at Vedic Village Back home you’ll continue to relive the experience of well-being long after you’ve left us, and you’ll certainly feel happy with the experience of a lifestyle free of fatigue, stress and tension.

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.

Kochi: Kathakali Evening Dance Show w/ Dinner & Transfer

6. Kochi: Kathakali Evening Dance Show w/ Dinner & Transfer

Have a chance to appreciate the extraordinary classical dance form of Kerala. The act begins with the Kelikutto. It is the call for the audience to shift their attention as the act is about to get started. Kelikutto will be followed by Todayam. In this part, two allotted characters evoke the blessing of the divine. This will be consecutively followed by an entertaining dance piece called Purapaddu. Once the dance piece ends, the musicians will take the stage and transport the audience on a breathtaking musical journey. This particular section of the act is called Melappada. Pakka or the Minukku will not have the opportunity to do a debut on the stage. All the other characters will perform a debut in the Tiranokku section. This marks the beginning of the performance or the scene to be narrated. After the cultural icons of the Kerala majestic dance show, you will be taken back to the hotel restaurant where you will enjoy dinner. After dinner, drop back to hotel.

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

7. 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.

Alleppey / Alappuzha Backwater Canoe (Shikara) Cruise

8. 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. 

House Boat Kerala: Vembanad Lake

9. 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: Full-Day Mein Schiff Special Shore Excursion

10. Kochi: Full-Day Mein Schiff Special Shore Excursion

Board a traditional houseboat on Kerala’s backwaters, and savor an on-board buffet lunch as you sail by palm groves, villages and fields. Afterward, tour colonial era Fort Kochi, seeing the Chinese nets, St. Francis Church and more. Meet your guide at the portside. Then, travel by comfortable, air-conditioned coach through Kerala’s countryside to Alleppey (Alappuzha), the main gateway to the area’s inland rivers and canals. After roughly an hour and 45 minutes on the road, arrive at a waterway where your charming wooden and bamboo houseboat awaits you. Step aboard the traditionally built craft, find a spot on deck and drink in the scenery as you cruise the placid waters past paddy fields, coconut groves and rustic villages. Savor a delicious Keralan buffet lunch as you sail, enjoying dishes like fish, chicken, vegetables and rice against the rolling backdrop of the greenery. After about 2.5-hours on the water, disembark and return to Kochi for a tour of Fort Kochi, the city’s waterfront colonial era quarter. View the Chinese nets as you discover their exotic history, admire St. Francis Church, India’s oldest European church, and the impressive 19th century Santa Cruz Basilica, standing on the site of the original Portuguese built cathedral. Your shore excursion then finish with a port drop-off at about 17:00.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kochi

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What people are saying about Kochi

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 184 reviews

We were in a group of 12. This is a good size. Chance to meet fellow travellers and manageable for guide. Our guide's name was Jude and he was excellent. He had great english, was very knowledgeable and had a good sense of humour. I would be delighted to use same tour company when i visit Cochin again.

Enjoyed this houseboat tour. Be prepared for a 2 hour ride each way. Interesting to see the communities. It is a long ride but worth it

Very knowledgable guide, Jude who lived locally. Lots of history explained in humourous banter. Very enjoyable, educational day.

We had a great afternoon, really enjoyed the walking tour and everything we’ve learned along the way. Thanks a lot!

Driver waiting at airport was on time, helpful and clearly signed as arranged.