If you want to avoid the tourists and crowds then the best time to visit is the Summer season. During the months of March to May, it will be hot in Alleppey but the houseboat prices will be less and you will also be able to enjoy clear skies while lazing around on the houseboat.
Avoid planning a trip to Alleppey during the monsoon season as the houseboat rides are usually shut down during this period. So, you won't be able to enjoy a stay on the houseboat and will have to make do with just exploring Alleppey.
How to Find a Houseboat in Alleppey
Now, let's discuss one of the most important things about planning a trip to Alleppey. You will need to find a houseboat for your stay which suits your budget and is perfect for number of people who are traveling with you.
If you are traveling solo like me then don't even bother going to the jetty area or contacting the houseboat owners in person. They will quote an exorbitant amount and will only offer you the option of hiring the entire houseboat. In such case, it would be better to book a room in the houseboat via an online website like booking.com. I was able to find another solo traveler with whom I shared a room and paid just 1,300 INR for the entire houseboat stay.
However, if you are traveling with a group of people then you can go to the shore where the houseboats are anchored and take your pick. Most houseboats will cost about 5,000 - 10,000 for a night and will include all your meals and ammenities.
Houseboat Experience in Alleppey
Ideally, your houseboat experience will last for 24 hours (if you have chosen to stay just for one night) and will include your meals as well.
Depending on the starting point of your houseboat, you will need to reach before the check-in time which is around 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Once everyone is on-board, the driver starts the houseboat and your relaxed experience on the Alleppey backwater begins. The houseboat keeps on moving around the backwaters till 5 p.m. and you are served lunch and snacks during this time.
The lunch usually consists of authentic kerala meal including fish, rice, veggies, etc. As for the snacks, you could be served pakoras, french fries, tea, and so on.