When you think of the Goa, the image of a palm tree on a beach with the sun setting over the ocean rushes to your mind. The beaches of Goa are undeniably its biggest draw and when you get there and see them, you will understand why this is so. Besides lazing on the beaches, there are a number of more adventurous activities that you can indulge in when visiting Goa. Here are a few of your options.
Dolphin Rides, Fishing and Diving
There are motor boats available for hire at the beach that will offer to take you dolphin spotting for an hour. You can also hire a boat to go fishing for half a day (four hours) and a full day (eight hours). Lunch will not be included so make sure you pack one for yourself.
There are some professional scuba diving operations in Goa as well. If you are serious about diving head for the institute at Panaji called Barracuda Diving located at the Goa Marriot Resort.
- Location: There are boats for hire at Baga, Candolim, Calangute, and Aguada at the beaches.
There are two and four-stroke engine Go Karts available here. It is the latest craze to hit Goa and locals and foreigners alike race to their heart’s content. The tracks are built for speed and have guardrails as a precautionary measure. Many tournaments are also held here on a regular basis. The Goan teens love the place.
- Location: Nuvem on the Panaji and Margao highway.
The GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) offers an hour-long cruise on the Mandovi River on the Santa Monica. There are live dances and music on board to give you a feel of the local Goan culture. The boat departs from the jetty near the Mandovi Bridge and you can pick up your tickets here as well.
There are two cruises daily. The dusk cruise leaves at 18:00 and the sundown cruise at 19:15. It is better to go for the dusk cruise as you get to see the city in the daylight while sailing out and flooded with lights as you return.
- Location: At the Mandovi River near Santa Monica Jetty at Panaji
Swimming and the Beach
This is the main pastime for majority of the tourist who head for the beaches of Goa. There are beachcombers, sunbathers, volleyball players and all sorts here. The beaches are also lined with shacks from where you can pick up the meal of the day and relax in the shade.
Sandcastles, and seashell collecting is done by enthusiastic children. Wave hopping is a favourite activity as is getting an oil massage. All in all, the beach is a great place to be.
- Location: Along the western coast of Goa you have innumerable beaches.
Water and Amusement Parks
Simple beach life is the most popular amusement in Goa so there are no major amusement parks located nearby. There is an initiative to build one in progress, but it is far from completed as of now. Blue Whale Water Park is a small theme park. Good for a change from the beach, it has a limited number of slides and is quite small as compared to regular water parks.
- Location: At Arpora near Baga in Bardez.
Once you have done the mandatory sightseeing and peered through the telescopes, you can head down to the water. There are water scooters, boat rides, water-skiing and sailing on offer here. You can pick whatever takes your fancy. No problem if you are unsure of what to do, as helpers will guide you all along and tell you what is expected of you.
Para sailing is offered on the beach with a motorboat pulling you so you can get in the airborne and land again without getting wet. Prices are not fixed so you can haggle a bit.
- Location: At Donna Paula, Calangute, and Candolim on the beaches. Just look around for the signs on the shacks or the equipment in the water and head for them.