When it comes to Goa, all that possibly clouds our perceptions are the golden, pristine beaches-the sun and the sand. Goa, indeed, is all about getting tanned at Baga and Candolim, exploring its rural facets on a rented two-wheeler or partying your heart out at Mambos and Tito's. But if you look beyond what catches the eye, Goa is much, much more than those glitzy nightclubs and its beaches. To explore the unexplored corners of Goa, you've got to ditch the nightclubs and get rid of the cacophony of typical tourist destinations.
If you're planning to visit Goa during this the rain-washed seasons, let us tell you that the verdant landscapes turn into what can be called velvety. Goa's abundant natural beauty, coupled with breathtaking, unending patches of greenery, a laid-back way of life and the mouthwatering Goan cuisine-all of these get a bit extra adorable during the monsoons. Call it the "off-season", but it makes for a great time to avoid the throng of tourists and enjoy Goa at a much leisurely pace compared to the winter months.
Note: The best way to savour it all is by hopping into a car and heading out from Goa across the mesmerising Western Ghats.
So this monsoon, here is our curated collection of activities to experience the Goa monsoons like a local. Pack your bags, get wandering and discover the romance of this place in the rains.
You can thank us later.
1. Witness The Magnificence Of Dudhsagar Falls
Amongst the forty waterfalls that Goa is home to, Dudhsagar Falls is the most pristine one; it's at Dudhsagar that the river Mandovi plummets with full force. So in case you are in Goa when the Konkan monsoons are at their peak, then witnessing the magnificence of Dudhsagar Waterfalls can be one of the best things to do.
Do you know what's the cherry on top? The waterfall is located inside Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, which gives you a chance to trek through the wilderness in order to get to the base of the falls. You can also board a train that passes across the falls-now, that's one splendid sight to witness.
2. Raft Through The Mhadei River
Rivers in the south swell with water during the monsoons. And that makes it all the more ideal for river rafting. And rafting across the strong currents of the Mhadei river that passes through dense tropical forests is guaranteed to be one of the most adventurous and exciting things you'll ever experience. And if there's an unexpected shower or two, the feeling is pure bliss.
3. Explore The Spice Gardens
Visiting one of the many spice gardens in Goa is the best thing you can do. The intoxicating aromas of different spices linger in the cool breeze. You can learn more about spice cultivation and even buy some spices and oils in the name of souvenirs. Do not miss out on a welcome meal inside the gardens.
4. Drive Into Wilderness
Monsoons literally set up the stage to visit the many wildlife sanctuaries around Goa. Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Mollem National Park and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary are located merely at an hours' drive from Panaji. The drive through the forests usually takes you across deserted roads, and monsoon is the best time to sight wildlife, like bison, monkeys, herds of deer, etc. If you're lucky, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of lions in their habitat.
5. Go For A River Cruise
Indulging in a luxury cruise on the Mandovi river can be yet another relaxing thing to do in Goa during the monsoons. The 2-hour cruise, best enjoyed during the evening, feels spectacular once the cruise boat gets illuminated with dazzling lights. Activities that are held aboard include a casino, dance and musical performances, snacks, and what not.
There are very few destinations, not only in India but around the world, that can match up to the year-round charm that Goa possesses. If you're ready to explore beyond what stereotypical opinions have to say, a vacation in Goa during the heavy rains can be sheer bliss.
So stop waiting already. Plan your vacation to Goa and splash your way through the beach town this monsoon!
Experience any of these? Or got a suggestion or two that we haven't covered? Drop by the comments section below. Your experiences will help guide fellow travellers on their next trip.