Goa is India’s beachside paradise, located in the far southern part of the country. It’s recommended that you visit in December, since that’s when it has the best weather but be forewarned, the crowds might just be there as well. And if you think you’ve seen crowds before, brace yourself for an Indian crowd.
But Goa is still a wonderful place for a beach vacation, and the golden sands and endless blue waters of Mirimar beach will relax and untangle your nerves. At Mirimar, the sound you hear at night is coming from boats that dock just off shore to serve drinks and play loud music. If you’re camping, like many people, you might want to camp out of range of their loud music.
For a day-trip, a visit to the Tambdi Surla Temple, built in honor of Lord Shiva, is a great idea. It’s an ornate and ancient place reached by narrow, winding roads. Let someone else drive if you’re nervous–you should be. A hike to Nandran will take you through some of India’s deepest and darkest forests…be prepared to hear nothing and for many, it’s hard to adjust to. But let yourself unplug and enjoy the quiet, that’s rare to find in busy bustling India.
Another hiking destination is Dudh Sagar, again through the deep forest. About nine km more hiking and you’ll reach Kuveshi and the next destination, the famous Majorda beach. Nearby is the Devil’s Canyon, which is a lush pool surrounded by rocks. It may look innocent, but in the water is a dangerous current, that could easily swirl and suck you down into rocks and caves below the water. So don’t go in…unless you’re a very strong swimmer.
Another Goa tradition is parasailing. You just let yourself be taken along, and go higher and higher until you’re looking down at the pretty blue ocean and sparkling beach from a new perspective. To some it’s scary but for others, it’s something they cannot resist. But you can go parasailing with a friend, that makes it less scary. Sancole beach is another of Goa’s many enjoyable places to cool off, along with Donna Paula beach. You see, Goa is all about beaches, and you can take your pick to find the one that’s perfect for you.
If the idea of camping and trekking in Goa is not what you’re after, try finding a small guest house. At the luxury end of the spectrum, the Taj Exotica Goa gets fantastic reviews from guests on TripAdvisor. One couple said that even their tiny infant got the royal treatment from the staff, they’re totally prepared to care for a newborn baby, unlike many hotels. They even make their own special baby food to make the littlest guests feel at home. Most of the reviews are quite positive about this property.
The Goa area is truly India’s premier beach resort center. In Old Goa, the beautiful Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a fine example of baroque architecture. If you visit during Christmas you can experience both the Christian traditions but in the context of a totally new set of eastern values…and that’s something you’ll remember for a long time!