Snorkelling is swimming underwater with a snorkel fitted into the swimming gear. The snorkel allows you to breathe fresh outside air given that it is projected outside of the water. This sport allows you to experience underwater activity for extended periods of time.
Snorkelling is not an adventure sport; it is more of a leisure activity. Although no special training is required, you must know swimming. One wears pressure vests that let you descend further into the waters or stay close to the surface. You are provided an initial training on how to snorkel safely before beginning the activity.
Kayaking in Sal Backwaters
Goa is well-known for its beaches, bays, backwaters and rivers. The Sal Backwaters are an ideal location to go kayaking and witness the impressive flora and fauna on the fringes. The beautiful waterways meander into the villages. On the banks of the river you witness the region’s abundant bird population. The best time to visit the backwaters is from October to May.
Goa has an abundance of fishing villages and fishing in the river is a common activity. On a kayaking expedition you can see plenty of fishing and do so yourself if you have time. The waterways also wander into many regions that would normally remain inaccessible. These regions are typically the natural habitats of migratory and resident birds. Those who have knowledge of and interest in birds, could spot and recognise some rare species here.
Kayaking is an easy and enjoyable activity but you need to wear safety equipment. No prior experience is required.
Visit Dudhsagar Falls
Dudhsagar Falls is a four-tiered cascade is on the Mandovi River. Around 60 km from Goa’s capital city, it is nestled in the Mollem National Park and considered to be one of the most beautiful in this region. The fifth tallest in the country with a height of 310 metres, the waterfall abounds with water during all seasons. During the monsoon, the water levels become voluminous adding to its breath-taking beauty.
You can also trek in the regions surrounding the Dudhsagar Falls as part of Goa holiday packages. The Castle Rock Route takes you through a scenic escapade of railway tunnels, hills, creeks and verdant greenery. The Kulem Route is yet another scenic trekking trail that passes through amazing sightseeing attractions. The views from this trekking route are captivating. You can take plenty of treasured snaps to capture the memories.
The Dudhsagar Falls is like an artistic expression of the divine on Earth. Get mesmerised by the magnificence of these cascading waters when here.
Banana Boat Ride
You can experience this exciting activity at numerous Goa beaches such as Baga Beach, Candolim Beach, and Colva Beach to name a few. The Banana Boat is essentially a tub shaped in the form of a yellow-coloured banana. It is long and cylindrical and is pulled by a motor boat on the sea. The challenge is to stay atop this unstable boat. If you are thrown off it, you have to start all over again.
This is considered a safer activity compared to other water sports. Alternatively known as a water sled, banana boating is becoming popular by the day. When attempting this activity, safety precautions are taken like wearing life jackets. The driver of the motor boat, who is navigating the banana boat, tries his best to turn it upside down. The people atop must ensure that this does not happen by using their counter-balancing skills.
In Goa, it is not unusual to see parasailing being the main activity at any beach. The beaches here are the haven for this enjoyable water sport. Parasailing is an activity that lets you feel how it is to be in the sky. Up in the sky, you get an amazing panoramic view of the coastline. The Baga Beach, Calangunte Beach, and Vagator Beach are some of the popular destinations for this adventure sport. You can try this adventure activity at all times of the year except during monsoons.
Parasailing is conducted with ample safety precautions like wearing a wet suit and life jacket. The harness, cord and gear that support you are checked rigorously to ensure everything is proper. It is best to do this activity through an adventure company that specialises in providing parasailing activities. Although the duration is around 10 minutes, the experience is surreal and could last you a lifetime.
Walking Around Goa
Goa was under colonial rule for hundreds of years. The Old Goa region was the capital during these times. Over here you can see numerous churches and convents. Visit the Archaeological Museum to view artifacts that pertain to the Catholic faith. The interiors of the museum are finely crafted. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is where you celebrate and worship infant Jesus. St Francis Xavier’s tomb is here. It is believed that the saint’s body has not been embalmed, yet the body has not decayed.
The Museum of Christian Art is another museum in Old Goa that houses numerous artifacts belonging to the Christian religion. There are excellent paintings here that are worth seeing. Some silverware housed in the museum date back to the medieval period. This place was the first nunnery in this part of the world and stayed so for many centuries.
See the brilliant architecture of the Sé (St Catherine's) Cathedral. This church was built based on the command issues by the King of Portugal.
Visit Mollem National Park
Nestled in the Western Ghats, this wildlife sanctuary is spread over 240 sq km. Situated in the Sanguem region of Goa, the Mollem National Park is where many temples belonging to the Kadamba Empire are present. Alternatively called the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, this place is known to house multiple species of snakes. You can see the majestic King Cobra here. Take an expedition to see the gigantic Indian python in its natural habitat.
The park is also home to numerous species of birds such as the fairy bluebird, golden oriole, and kingfisher. The park is a colourful wildlife sanctuary given that there are various species of butterflies here as well. One such splendid butterfly species is the Blue Mormon. You can see plenty of Blue Mormons here that leave you amazed with their natural splendour. This place also has numerous trekking trails. These expeditions allow you to ply deep into the intriguing forest and see wildlife on your feet.
Experience the splendor of the Goan landscape at night on the Mandovi River cruise. It allows you to see wildlife and bird activity on the shores of the river. On this tour, you are plied in a jetty along serene waters. The salubrious breeze that inundates you is refreshing. Many resorts and adventure companies offer dinner cruises. You can have dinner on a private boat whilst gliding through the placid river.
There are numerous Goa holiday packages offering night cruises. For instance, this package could include a ride to the Daula Paula Bay. On the way you pass by the Adil Shah Palace. You can also view the Mae de Deus Church of Saligao and photograph its stunning appearance at night. On the ride you can enjoy tasty Goan food prepared on the boat.
Here revel in the dances and performances arranged on the mini-ship’s deck. Wine and dine in the most exotic locations in the world. Night cruises are one of the most popular activities with international tourists.
Visit Old Temples and Churches of Goa
The best place to see ancient sites of religious interest is North Goa. Some of the temples in this region are Mangeshi, Mahalakshmi, and Nagesh temples. Visiting these temples is a welcome change for visitors and completes your trip to this picturesque state. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is the popular church. It was the first church in the country to be given the stature of a minor basilica just before India’s Independence.
There are many churches that were built during the medieval period by the Portuguese. The designs of these revered structures bear a strong influence of Portuguese architecture. Church of St Francis of Assisi is a 17th century church that is known for its beautifully decorated and designed tabernacle. Se Cathedral Church in Goa was once a church visited by the wealthy Portuguese colonialists.
Today, this place of worship is open to all and is visited by people of all faiths. These temples and churches in Goa add to the rich cultural fabric of the state.
Enjoy Goan Cultural show
The culture of Goa has strong influences from the Western world. It is not surprising given that this region was under the rule of Portugal for a long time, which has left a lasting impression here. Every aspect of Goa has an essence of Portuguese culture. Be it the dances, cuisines, or dress code, there is an element of Western influence in them.
People here are said to have a deep affinity for music and football. Almost every other home in Goa has a musician in it and everyone here loves to play football, let alone watch it. There has never been an incident of communal disharmony here and Goa celebrates festivals pertaining to all religions. Mando is the traditional dance of Goa. Dulpod is another popular dance form. Western social dancing is common in parties and celebrations.
Goa has its own form of theatre. Called Tiatr, the performance is a mix of music and drama. The language used in the theatrical displays is Konkani and English.
Anjuna is a historic town founded in the year 1595 built in remembrance of S. Miguel. Every year feasts are held in honour of this saint and Nossa Senhora Advogada. There are three large churches here. Once upon a time, this region was under the rule of the Portuguese.
The beach at this place is called Anjuna Beach and is where many trance parties are held. You can also witness the flea market in Anjuna when in town. Use this opportunity to purchase household items such as clothes and electronic appliances.
Elephant Wash & Ride
There are specialised elephant washing tours that let you wash elephants in the company of mahouts. Feel what it is like to scrub the hard skin of these pachyderms that are known for being water lovers. You can sedate elephants into a beautiful trance-like state with water. Mahouts will guide you on how to wash an elephant. These elephant trainers give you company and explain the nuances of elephant washing.
After this activity, it is time embark upon an elephant ride. This whole experience is a joyful one especially if you have made friends with these adorable animals while washing them. As you ride an elephant on a jungle safari, feel like a maharaja. The experience of riding on a huge animal is intimidating at first. But after a point of time, you become part of the proceedings.
The Arabian Sea is a treasure trove of marine life when on Goa holiday packages. When you venture into the deeper regions of the sea you can spot the enduring dolphins. A professional guide accompanies you explaining the behaviour and lifestyle of these delightful creatures. If you are an experienced swimmer, you can swim with the dolphins.
There are many terms and conditions to this exercise and it has to be approved by the respective authorities. Swimming activities in deep sea are based on weather conditions.
The dolphins are excited to see human beings and you can see them pop out of the sea frequently and also do somersaults. There is no shortage of acrobatics that they can perform. Watching dolphins is a surreal experience. These beautiful creatures are usually harmless. Normally, when there are dolphins around, you know that the waters are safe.
Visit Calangute Beach
Spice Plantation tour
There are numerous resorts and adventure clubs offering spice plantations tours. Many villages in Goa offer salubrious surroundings for you to experience the best of naturalistic elements. You can either take them on foot or on elephants. You could also get nutritious food served on a plantain leaf here.
These regions are also home to some rare and exotic species of birds. As you walk through the trails of the spice plantation, accompanying you will be a guide who explains the various medicinal implications of the spices present here. You are informed on how these plants are reared. Around the vicinity you can also view tropical fruit trees laden with custard apples, jackfruits, bananas, and papayas. Be welcomed monkeys on these trees. It is a relaxing experience to see these frolicking animals swinging from one tree to another.
The Candolim Beach is around 15 km from Goa’s capital city. Located in North Goa, this beach originates from Fort Aguada. The ending point is the Calangunte Beach which is one of the longest beaches in Goa. Situated in Bardez of Goa, the ambience is always calm and composed. The dunes are scrub covered. The combination of sands and sea is a sight to behold on the holiday packages for Goa. The road to the destination is packed with establishments.
There are numerous shops and restaurants on this road. Called the Candolim Calangute Road, this commercial centre provides you enough shopping avenues. The area around the Candolim Beach is pretty non-cluttered. There are not many resorts and economical inns here. Fascinating feature of this place is the deserted ship called River Princess that been at this beach for many years.