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$, $$, Family, 5 Days

Delve into the heart of Kerala in this relaxing trip through Kochi and its backwaters, where you and the family can float on a houseboat and enjoy the local cuisine on a budget.

Stop 1: Kochi

First, fly into Kochi and check in to your hotel. There are many affordable options along the water. Visit the Paradesi Synagogue, built in the 1500s for the local Jewish community, and see wildlife right in the city at the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary. For dinner, don’t miss the local fish curry. The kids will love Mattancherry Palace, featuring murals with portraits of the rajas of Kochi, and the island of Vypin, where you can explore beaches, a fishing harbor, a lighthouse and the remains of a 16th-century Portuguese fort.

Stop 2: Backwaters

Check out of your hotel and take a taxi to Alleppey, where you will board a houseboat that is your next night’s stay. Your captain will take you slowly through the backwaters to Kollam. On the journey, overnight guests can arrange to have freshly prepared local food and chilled beer on board. Stay a second night at a local homestay and learn to prepare regional favorites yourself, with your family.