The Goodearth houseboat takes paradise-seeking tourists through the stunning backwater landscape of lagoons, canals, and rivers in Kerala, Southern India. In a network of waterways bustling with houseboats of all kinds, the Goodearth has tried to do something different from the standard luxury services by appealing to eco-tourism. It has built a more cooperative tour service created by residents from four villages south of Kochi that tries to lessen its eco-footprint. The houseboat takes visitors on trips along a route less travelled through beautiful and calming scenery, all the while making sure not to add pollution and trash to the surrounding waters.

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Constructed by local fisherman, the Goodearth was launched as an enterprise with grant and loan support from ecotourism specialist Village Ways. The same locals work as the crew and guides, manning the boat while others provide services for the visitors such as laundry and tips are shared equally all the workers involved.

As the Goodearth is small, it has a small environmental footprint. It does run on an engine, but it forgoes less sustainable add-ons like air-conditioning. The team has made sure that all used water and toilet waste stays held in tanks until it can be properly disposed of on shore. It certainly sounds like a sustainable way of visiting this South Indian paradise.

Prices for trips range from around £550 to £1,100, but for more detailed information about the visits go to the Village Ways website.

+ Village Ways

Images courtesy of Village Ways