Kerala homestay tour, India
During peak season (approx Dec to Feb) the price will be higher.
Description of Kerala homestay tour, India
“Perhaps the best vacation ever,” says Andy Belfield, who enjoyed a Kerala homestay tour in 2019. “Great people, lovely places to stay and visit, really thoughtful travel agents who couldn't do enough to help.”
As for Andy’s recommendation to others taking this trip? “Say yes.” Yes to the food, yes to the activities (some included, some perhaps offered by your hosts), and yes to any opportunity to get to know the local community, of which there will be many. There’s no better way to experience the warmth of Kerala people than by staying in their homes and getting to know them.
Across two memorable weeks you’ll stay at six residences, as well as enjoying two nights in a houseboat on the Kerala backwaters, considered by many to be a must-do on any vacation here. Every homestay varies. In some cases you’ll be staying in the same building as your hosts, in others you’ll be staying in a separate building on the grounds.
But what they all have in common is that they’ll make you feel extraordinarily welcome, and they’ll provide you with a sublime crash-course in Keralan cuisine. In fact, in Cochin, your host will even give you a cookery lesson so you can impress friends with your talents back home!
Other stand-out moments from your homestay tour of Kerala are sure to include a few nights at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, during which you might see leopards, monkeys, elephants and, if you’re extremely lucky, a rare white tiger.
A handful of other activities are included, such as performances of Kathakali (classical Indian dance) and Kalaripayattu (an Indian martial art), while your homestay hosts may also offer other activities in the surrounding area that you can try as you wish.
For those interested in exploring the culture of Kerala and getting to know its people, this vacation will be difficult to beat. And you can also be confident that at every step of the way it directly benefits local people, through the activities you do, the restaurants you eat at and the places you stay. All the more reason then, as Andy recommends, to “say yes”.
21 Reviews of Kerala homestay tour, India
Reviewed on 23 Oct 2022 by David Alexander5 ***** Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Oct 2022 by Steve BlakeMost memorable... Meeting the wonderful hosts and hostesses, also the lovely accommodations and varied locations which gave us such an experience of the different parts of Kerala. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Mar 2020 by Mark HandyExcellent. Great organisation by the operator, wonderful driver and all flights on time. India is such an interesting country but the three things I have mentioned play such a big part in overall enjoyment. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Feb 2020 by Quentin MacfarlaneThe most memorable part of the vacation was my stay in Goa and Kerala Read full review
Reviewed on 31 Jan 2020 by William FosterA great vacation, allowing us to meet local people and learn about the culture Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Jul 2019 by Andy BelfieldPerhaps the best vacation ever. Great people, lovely places to stay and visit, really thoughtful travel agents who couldn't do enough to help. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Jan 2019 by Lindsey KrausMost memorable was: Our stay at the organic farm, Dewalokum. It is just beautiful. In general the food was a major highlight - it was fantastic everywhere. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Dec 2018 by Diane HeronThe most memorable moments were seeing a tiger! Staying with a lovely Indian family... We had a brilliant vacation. Different experiences, met interesting people, ate delicious food and experienced new cultures. Read full review
Reviewed on 04 Dec 2018 by John HoldenMost memorable was meeting and talking with hosts and their families and staff... One of the best organised and most relaxing vacation we've had. Read full review
Reviewed on 19 Feb 2018 by Richard GreenwoodThe backwaters cruise and birding at Thattekad was the most memorable. Excellent. Our tour operator was very helpful. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Jan 2018 by Lee MullinsWe have many happy memories , the most memorable part was the 2 night stay on the Houseboat and the fantastic scenery/river activity, plus our stay at Dewalokum Retreat, Kodikulam. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Dec 2017 by Bridget TaylorOur driver, Sanil, was always abreast of our itinerary, enormously helpful, punctual and friendly. He made an enormous difference to our vacation. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Mar 2017 by Jane BayWe really enjoyed the spice farm tour, snake boat race in backwaters and houseboat. Also had a lovely yoga lesson at Marari beach and particularly enjoyed visiting a village school in backwaters village. So many memorable parts! Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Mar 2017 by John RayThe houseboat on the 'backwaters' was the most memorable. Excellent. Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Feb 2016 by Anthony Blin-StoyleIt is hard to pick out just one memorable monet but we loved the tea plantations - the rolling hills, the vast sea of green, the windy roads, the spices nearby and the history of the sector. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Feb 2016 by David ArmesI thought it was very well organised and have no complaints about your company at all. I would certainly consider using you again, and recommend you to other people. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Mar 2015 by William AveryExcellent! Best bits: The two days in Mumbai at the beginning and the experience of the Indian roads! Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Mar 2015 by Roger HumphreysExcellent! Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Jan 2014 by Sylvia ShilliamThis certainly would be rated up amongst one of the best vacations we have had...Getting off of the beaten track and being introduced to the real India Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Feb 2013 by Daphne DonkinThis was a tremendous experience...drifting peacefully through the backwaters on our own private rice barge was one of the most memorable experiences. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Dec 2012 by Rosanna reynardReally enjoyable. The homestays exceeded our expectations. Read full review
Planet and peopleBy using homestays and small guesthouses on this tour, you are supporting the host families, their staff and the local community. With small numbers of individuals staying in small properties the impact on the environment is reduced, as waste, lighting etc will be minimal. This tour includes a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a protected area, is committed to conserving the numbers of tigers and elephants within the reserve and practices community based ecotourism.
Francis Residence is the delightful home of Mr and Mrs Francis. They have six guest rooms. Lessons on cooking traditional Kerala meals are available for those interested. Francis Residence is centrally located and guest can walk (or take a rickshaw) to places of interest, restaurants, shops etc.
Nelpura - delightful riverside home more than 150 years old. The guest rooms are in the adjacent granary.
The houseboat is locally made using traditional methods and natural materials and owned by a local company. All our houseboats adhere to stringent environmental rules and regulations that are in force on the Kerala backwaters.
Periyar Villa - delightful homestay in central location and very spacious guest rooms.
Royal Mist this friendly and popular guesthouse is situated just outside the town of Munnar and walking in the area is a popular activity. There are three guest rooms with great views on the top floor of this family home.
Dewalokam is a working farm in the foothills of the Western Ghats of Kerala. It is set on the banks of a river and the host family ared delightful. This retreat has eleven guest bedrooms. The ten acre farm includes spices and fruits as well as an Ayurvedic herbal garden. On the opposite side of the scenic river is pristine tropical forest that provides ideal terrain for forest treks and nature walks. Other activities include rafting and river swimming. Food is a highlight (cookery demonstrations may be offered) and Ayurveda and yoga are available.
The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work). Tailor-made vacations cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals.
All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their vacation. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks. We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).