ExoticGringo brings you THE ultimate, exhaustive list of things to do differently in Goa. First published in 2010, i’ve now updated it for the 2018-2019 season, so you can be sure you’re not missing out anything new!
Browse at leisure here, and please feel free to share your own ideas in the Comments below!
🎷 1. Catch a live band
🐬 2. Spot dolphins off Palolem
Even if you don’t land up spotting dolphins, the ride will be worth it.
Please don’t hassle locals or make them go to off-chart places.
🌊 3. Enjoy some water sports!
Best locations: Baga / Colva / Palolem beach.
Tip: Water sports always come with precaution and responsibility.
Have fun responsibly, and you’ll make memories you’re proud to share.
🎒 4. Pack a picnic
… and spend the day at Chapora Fort / Vagator hilltop
Tip: PLEASE don’t leave any garbage behind. Enjoy, but always keep the beautiful area here clean for others. Leave it the way you expect it to be!
🧘 5. Master T’ai Chi
… or take a yoga class in Arambol / Ashvem / Agonda
🎤 6. Karaoke the sunset away
… at shacks on Baga beach.
Personal favorite: St. Anthony’s, Baga Beach
🎰 7. Try your luck at a Casino
Where: On board a ship along the Mandovi / around Baga
🤪 8. Go paragliding
Where: Anjuna / Arambol beach
🦋 9. Get your first tattoo!
You know you’ve always wanted it. (Henna tattoo for the safe players).
🐶 10. Walk stray dogs
🐢 11. Watch Olive Ridley turtles hatch
Where: Morjim / Galgibaga beach (Dec-Feb)
Tip: Please enjoy responsibly and do not camp / tent on this beach or leave garbage behind. This is a eco-sensitive zone and it stays beautiful because you and i keep it that way!
🎡 12. Visit the Flea Market
Where: Anjuna (Wednesdays) / Arpora (Saturday night)
Tip: Arpora has multiple Saturday nite markets. My personal favorite is the Saturday Nite Market next to the Arpora GoKarting track.
🗿 13. Pose by the Shiva rock carving
Where: Vagator (Ozran / Vajrant beach)
💆 14. Get a relaxing massage / spa treatment
🎅 15. Attend a local festival
- Carnaval: Feb
- Shigmo + Holi: March
- Chikal Kalo / Sao Joao festivals
- Ganeshotsav: September
- Christmas: December
🛍️ 16. Shop at a local market (mandai)
Where & What: cashew nuts, feni and bebinca at Mapusa or Panaji
🏄♂️ 17. Learn to surf / paddleboard
Personal favorite: Vaayu Waterman’s Village & Surf School, Ashvem
🧝 18. Experiment with your looks!
Get your hair braided or get dread locks or get a new hair colour – heck, you’re in Goa… experiment with yourself while you’re young and cray!
🌅 19. Witness a spectacular sunset
Personal favorite spots: Palolem, Agonda, Vagator and Arambol beaches
😃 20. Get a dental / skin makeover
Baga and Calangute markets are full of specialty clinics which are world renowned for medical tourism, especially in the dentistry space.
🏊♀️ 21. Take scuba diving lessons
Though Goa is not the best place in India when it comes to scuba diving, you can still get certified and take beginner lessons in Dona Paula / Baga.
🎣 22. Go fishing!
🚶🏽♀️ 23. Take a hike!
Personal favorite: The Arambol to Keri (Querim) stretch is a fun trek which offers great vistas. Palolem-Agonda is another great route.
🌿 24. Visit a spice plantation
Where: Ponda has some great options, where you can learn about different spices, try a local meal and check out some platations.
Please say NO to elephant rides.
Be kind to animals. Most captive animals are not treated well.
🏞️ 25. Bathe in a grand waterfall
Dudhsagar waterfall is a fun day trip adventure, which you could also combine with a spice plantation visit.
🎈 26. Go up in a hot air balloon!
Soak in some aerial views of Goa and rediscover the state like you’ve never seen it before.
🏰 27. Explore the forts of Goa
Whether or not you’re a history / architecture buff, they offer some of the most spectacular views… so do it for the Gram! 😉
🚣 28. Rent a Kayak / Sailboat
Where: Palolem beach
🤹♂️ 29. Learn to juggle / poi
Where: Arambol / Mandrem beach (InJuCo happens in Jan/Feb every year)
🚢 30. Take a river cruise… or a yacht!
Where: Mandovi (commercial, group entertainment cruises) / Chapora (yacht rentals for groups / couples)
⛪ 31. Visit charming ‘Old Goa’
Whether you take the local bus or a hop-on-hop-off bus or drive their yourself, the route from Panjim to Old Goa is scenic enough!
🎨 32. Spot / create some urban graffiti
🐦 33. Go bird watching!
Where: Cotigao and Bondla sanctuary / Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Chorao
🚴♀️ 34. Rent a motorbike / bicycle
… and go beach combing, or just bumming around.
(Always wear a helmet, and enjoy responsibly).
🚶🏽 35. Attend a photowalk / go Geocaching
Personal favorite: Ramchandra’s walking tours in Fontainhas, Panjim
🏞️ 36. Walk the picturesque coastline
Agonda – Palolem – Patnem – Talpona – Galgibagh can be a fun, all-day walking trail for anyone who loves to walk… a lot!
📽️ 37. Catch a movie with your meal
Where: Multiple beach shacks at Anjuna / Vagator /Baga / Palolem
🖼️ 38. Go museum hopping!
👙 39. Sun bathe with a book for company
Where: Arambol / Agonda / Ashvem / Morjim / Mandrem / Palolem beaches
🍷 40. Go spirit trailing!
Beer / Whiskey / Wine or even better… go feni trailing.
Personal favorite: Visit the cashew plantation & feni cellar by Cazulo.
The experience is not listed on the website yet, but write to Hansel and give him my reference and he should be able to accommodate you (paid tour).
🙌 41. Mingle with the stars
Meet the advertising fraternity at GoaFest, film folks at IFFI or artsy folks at Serendipity Art Festival
🏊🏽♀️ 42. Swim in a sweet water lake
Where: Dolphin Beach, Arambol
💃🏽 43. Dance to Bollywood tunes
Where: Clubs along the Baga & Candolim stretch are the most famous ones (and the ones i usually avoid for exactly that! But if you want it, you got it.)
🛥️ 44. Beach hop… using the sea route!
🔭 45. Go star gazing
Where: Chapora Fort / Vagator hill / lying down at the beach.
Ensure you stay safe and don’t leave anything behind.
🌅 46. Witness morning life in Goa
Wake up early for a beach stroll and pick up the fresh catch of local fishermen. In Panjim / Mapusa / Margao, check out the markets and how life begins for locals as the day breaks. Always a rewarding experience!
⛱️ 47. Stay in a natural beach hut
Where: Arambol / Mandrem / Palolem / Agonda beaches. Expect spartan arrangements, but the experience will be unforgettable, guaranteed!
🦐 48. Try some authentic local delicacies
… like bebinca, sorpotel, goan sausages, balchao, dodol and xacuti!
My favorites: Bebinca by Costa (packs available in stores) or Confeitaria 31 de Janeiro, dodol from Cafe Morango, serradura from Kokni Kanteen / Venite
👩 49. Discover tribal life in Goa
Very recently, i found out about the Ambaulim Gowda tribe in South Goa, which retains its traditions, handicrafts and a harmonious way of living with nature – oh, and they have some of the most unique and delish food i’ve ever tried.
🏖️ 50. Relax. Do NOTHING … Enjoy Goa!
Missed something terrific? Drop in your thoughts here, anytime!