Tourists from all over the world come to these Kerala backwater destinations to see their scenic attractions. The backwaters have a unique ecosystem where freshwater from the rivers meet the seawater from the Arabian Sea. In some areas, such as the Vembanad lake, a barrage has been built to prevent salt water from the sea entering deep inside. Such fresh water is extensively used for irrigation purposes.

Many unique species of aquatic life including crabs, frogs and mud-skippers, water birds such as terns , kingfishers, darters etc and animals such as otters and turtles live in and alongside the backwaters. Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape.

Kerala has interconnected waterways, rivers, lakes and inlets. These all make up the Kerala backwaters. Kerala provides backwater cruises to tourists through the mixture of historic and modern towns. Tourists from all over the world come to Kerala backwater destinations.

The lake Vembanad is largest stretch of backwaters in Kerala measuring 83 kms length, and crosses three zones before reaching the sea with the port of Kochi. The lake Ashtamudi, significance, having eight arm, are the larger second stretch and are the passage to the backwaters.