Be a Goa Star and Discover 20 Things Nobody Will Tell You About Goa

When you think about Goa, what comes to mind? Movies, magazines, and shows have painted a vivid picture in our minds: vast blue seas, sandy beaches, thrilling watersports, amazing Goa weather, charming churches, refreshing drinks, and vibrant crowds. But have we ever stopped to wonder about the hidden treasures waiting to be discovered in this coastal paradise? Beyond the usual tourist spots lies a wealth of possibilities that are sure to surprise and delight you, and make you a Goa star.

Join me as we embark on a journey to explore the southwestern coast of India’s Konkan region, known as the state of Goa. Renowned for its pristine natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and lush spice farms, Goa offers much more than meets the eye. Whether you’re planning a budget trip with friends or family or seeking to uncover the lesser-known attractions of this vibrant state, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s dive into the essence of Goa, starting with its exquisite white sandy beaches that offer breathtaking views and endless relaxation.

Palolem Beach

Palolem Beach is crowned as the best Goa beach. In my own experience, I must say, it was the ideal beach for families and friends to enjoy together. Even though if you are living in Old Delhi, you have to travel up to 80 km, it was completely worth it. It is better than all the other beaches. It wasn’t as overcrowded as other beaches in Goa.

Goa beach photo top view
Aerial top view on tropical beach with green palm trees under sunlight Drone view in Goa

Not just that, the beach area even has a variety of general stores and restaurants where visitors can find food and other essentials. Also, there are boat rides to Butterfly Island, Honeymoon Beach, and Turtle Rock from Palolem Beach. As I went on a morning ride, I also got an opportunity to see dolphins and seagulls.

Goa Star Night

Winter in Goa, from November to March, is the ideal time to visit the tropical paradise and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. Known for its Goa beaches, and nightlife, Goa boasts a plethora of star nightclubs that are sure to captivate your attention and provide an unforgettable party experience. From iconic venues like Tito’s Bar and Club, Café Mambos, Shiva Valley, Silent Noise Club, to the legendary Hilltop, there’s no shortage of places to dance the night away.

During my visit to Goa, I had the pleasure of experiencing Hilltop Bar, a cult favorite among partygoers. The atmosphere at this Goa star club is both liberal and exotic, drawing crowds from diverse countries, nationalities, ages, and cultures. Hilltop Nightclub is renowned for its experimental trance music sessions featuring some of the most famous DJs in the genre, attracting enthusiasts from far and wide.

For a magical Goa star night, Hilltop is a must-visit destination. Here, you can enjoy unlimited drinks at average prices, complimentary drinking water, and a delectable array of hot meals, including grilling options. Whether you’re a seasoned party enthusiast or a first-time visitor to Goa, a night at Hilltop promises an unforgettable experience filled with music, camaraderie, and adventure. Don’t forget to add this to your list of fun things to do in Goa.

Baga Beach

Baga Beach is among the beaches that we call a ‘Hot Spot’; it is a busy beach as most crowds come to Baga Beach. Because of too many tourists, you may not find time to relax there; it is a bit of a hassle. But if you’re looking to have a few drinks and eat a delicious meal, it is the place for you. There are different pubs and shacks on the beach where you can have a nice time.

If you are looking for a quiet time, you might prefer to go there in the morning. In the morning, the beach is quite serene, and the Goa temperature is at its best. However, the beach offers a perfect area for entertainment, where I indulge in thrilling water sports during the day, like jet-skiing and parasailing, which are a bit expensive, but you can always bargain!

Agonda Beach

Agonda is situated in the Canacona region of South Goa district. This is one of the cleanest night Goa beaches. The beach is completely unspoiled and the surroundings are peaceful and relaxing. If you are looking for a relaxing time, you must visit this place! There are no crowds, no motorboats, and no fuel smells, just pure beauty. It is a joyous place to come with your family and friends, have a drink or two and enjoy a good walk on the crispy sand.

Goa, India. Gazebo Tents With Strawing Roof For Tourists On Beach With Tables And Sunbeds Inside
Goa, India. Gazebo Tents With Strawing Roof For Tourists On Beach With Tables And Sunbeds Inside

I stayed at a small resort on the beach for about 3 days, it was so serene and the sea looked astonishingly beautiful, where I enjoyed every single moment from sunrise to sunset. I can call it a harmonious beach!

Colva Beach

It is among the most popular beaches in South Goa for nightlife. It’s a perfect Goa star place where one can enjoy a range of activities, from sunbathing and water sports to other leisure activities. There is also Portuguese influence in this area, with numerous beach shacks, hotels, and small shops on the beach, along with several ruins of ancient Portuguese villas and houses.

If you want, you can always partake in a host of water and beach sports on Colva Beach while basking under the sun and enjoying the pleasant sea breeze. Colva Beach is located about 27 kilometres from Panjim. You can either drive or take a taxi to reach Colva Beach from Panjim. Nearby, there are beautiful resorts to stay in, including Williams Beach Resort, Silver Sand Beach Resort, Baywatch Resort Goa, and Longuinhos Beach Resort.

Apart from these well-known beaches of Goa, there are some other hidden beauties that you need to know about, which will make you feel like, ‘No way, this is in India!

Butterfly Beach

goa beach photo
goa beach photo

This relatively unexploited beach is becoming a buzzing destination in North Goa. The place occupies a tiny semicircular bay on the high northern end of Palolem Beach, and the most astounding feature is that you can spot millions of butterflies flying over the hilltop blossoms. The golden sands against the warm blue water create a postcard-perfect location with palm trees and scores of butterflies.

Not only this, there are other essential places to visit near Butterfly Beach, such as Goa Jungle Adventure, Himalayan Therapeutic Studio, Samson’s Kiosk, Agonda Beach, and Palolem Beach. One thing to know is there is no direct path to reach Butterfly Beach, so you need to go to Palolem Beach first; afterwards, you must board a ferryboat that will take you to Butterfly Beach.

Galgibaga Beach

With silvery sands, clear water, and rows after rows of coconut and pine trees, Galgibaga is perfectly defined as an ideally serene shoreline. The beach is known for being one of the serene nesting places of the famous olive ridley turtle. The ocean is their riches, and they offer their sincere prayers in love of the sea gods they believe in. Galgibaga Beach is one of the most tranquil locations in Goa and offers a perfect space for solitary visitors.

Kalacha Beach

Kalacha is known for its pleasant freshwater tidal pond and casual, bohemian vibe. This Goa beach stands out among the most picturesque beaches in North Goa. It is situated to the south of Querim Beach and is known for its sweet water lagoon. If you are fortunate, you can even spot some of the tropical foliage around the lake, including exotic birds and monkeys. The beach is about 42 km away from Panaji.

Cola Beach

When discussing hidden gems or places in Goa, Cola Beach cannot be overlooked. It offers a serene escape from the crowded and noisy suburbs of the town, making it ideal for those seeking peace and tranquility. With its lovely coconut palm groves, charming beach huts, Rajasthani-style tents, tranquil surroundings, and a picturesque lagoon, Cola Beach presents a wonderful sight to behold.

Hollant Beach

The shoreline of this beautiful Goa beach looks even more enchanting during high tide when the ocean water rises to merge into the fresh waters of a nearby stream. The curvy bay, lined with rustic boats, the clean, golden sand, the colorful shacks on one side, and the mesmerizing views of the sunset make this beach an absolute favorite for all photographers. Hollant Beach is also a great place for swimming, as it remains relatively calm without any dangerous currents. Kayaking is the best water sport to try here.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim, Goa, India
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim, Goa, India

But do you think beaches are the only wonders you need to visit in Goa? Then you couldn’t be more wrong! This is a place where you can capture everything from pristine beaches to historic churches and Hindu temples, mouthwatering cuisine to high-energy nightlife. There’s no doubt that Goa secures the top vacation spot for both domestic and international travelers. There are many exquisite caves, forts, and churches, which are old Portuguese architectural ruins of India that everyone needs to visit.

Cabo De Rama Fort

This fort is one of the most relaxing secret places in Goa, offering splendid views of the Cabo De Rama beach. It is located off the Mumbai-Cochin highway in South Goa. If you have enthusiasm for history and historical monuments and are intrigued to know about its history and time, you can always hire a tour guide who will guide you through the entire location. This fort served as a strategic defense against the Marathas and the British. The present structure showcases remnants of the Portuguese era, including walls, moats, ramparts, turrets, and cannons.

Arvalem Caves

The captivating Arvalem Caves, also known as the Pandava Caves, are nestled in the lush green forests of Sanquelim, Goa. These ancient rock-cut caves are situated in the Bicholim town of North Goa. There, you will also get to hear ancient stories about the caves, about how they were built by the Pandavas, the heroic figures from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. During their exile, the Pandavas sought refuge within these ancient walls. These caves also feature a huge statue of Buddha, hinting at possible Buddhist origins.

Rivona Caves

The Rivona caves are among the best places to visit in Goa, boasting a rich Buddhist history. Legend has it that the laterite rock inside served as a seat for a Buddhist monk who once meditated there. Visitors can also admire beautifully carved sculptures and paintings of Buddha adorning the walls. The Rivona caves stand as one of the most fascinating hidden gems in Goa.

Savoi Spice Plantations

If you’re looking for a one-day adventure trip that includes a forest tour, then Savoi Spice Plantation is a must-visit destination. During my time in Goa, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this place. Savoi Spice Gardens is an organic paradise that offers a journey through lush plantations filled with rare herbs, vibrant fruit orchards, unique plants, and the traditional Goan urak and feni.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Old Goa, a Goa star place
Basilica of Bom Jesus, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Old Goa, a Goa star place

Exploring the roots of spices and herbs used in our food and beverages was truly enlightening, as the knowledgeable guides explained their nurturing and growth process. After the tour, we enjoyed a delicious meal at their buffet, offering an authentic taste of Goan cuisine. Savoi Spice Plantation ranks among my top places to visit in Goa!

Cumbarjua Backwater Canal

The Cumbarjua canal is another perfect destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts in Goa. During my visit, I embarked on a Backwater Cruise ride through the dense mangrove trees and marshes of the canal. Along the way, I had the exciting opportunity to spot crocodiles lazily sunbathing on the banks. This narrow creek and the vibrant village of Cumbarjua are among the most enriching hidden gems of Goa, offering a unique and memorable experience for visitors.

Netravali: A Bubbling Lake

If you’re seeking an extraordinary experience in Goa, venture to the bubbling lake of Netravali. Curious about what a bubbling lake entails? So was I! This hidden gem, still undiscovered by hordes of tourists, features a small muddy pond with a fascinating phenomenon. Natural gases, such as methane and hydrogen sulphide, present beneath the lake’s surface cause continuous bubbles to form on the water’s surface, creating an amusing spectacle. Besides observing the bubbles, visitors can also dip their feet in the clean water and enjoy a complimentary spa experience.

To reach Netravali, you can take a path from Margao railway station, located approximately 45 km away. Nearby, you’ll find various secluded and charming accommodations, such as Drishti Yoga International Riverside, Turiya Villa & Spa, and FOUR SEASONS FARM.

Chorla Ghats

If you’re eager to explore the glittering suburbs of Goa, then Chorla Ghats should be on your list. Nestled snugly in the Western Ghats on the Goa-Karnataka-Maharashtra border, this offbeat gem often goes unnoticed by many, including those who take a Delhi to Goa flight. With lush valleys and tropical jungles, this hill station offers one of the most surreal experiences in Goa for a weekend getaway with family and friends. Visitors can indulge in activities such as bird watching, butterfly spotting, trekking, hiking, or simply basking in the abundant natural beauty. Along the journey, travelers can enjoy a scenic car or bike ride, passing through numerous bridges, paddy fields, and offering picturesque views of the Sahyadri mountains.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

In Goa’s second-largest wildlife reserve, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, you may not encounter as many animals as in the state’s other two sanctuaries. However, what you will find are vivid displays of flora and a serene atmosphere perfect for recreation and hiking. Tall trees, rare plants, rocks, marshes, and ponds create a setting that allows you to connect with nature in its most peaceful form. During my visit, I was fortunate enough to spot cute animals such as Sloth Bears, Laughing Hyenas, Indian Bisons, monkeys, and the majestic Malabar Crested Eagle.

Bamanbudo Waterfalls

Aerial top view on tropical beach with green palm trees under sunlight Drone view in Goa
Aerial top view on tropical beach with green palm trees under sunlight Drone view in Goa

If you wish to escape the bustling crowds of this hippie town, Bamanbudo waterfall offers a charming retreat for those seeking peace and exploration in Goa. Although easily accessible and providing a refreshing spot for a rejuvenating dip, many tourists still overlook it. Don’t miss an excursion to this hidden gem in Goa’s tourism landscape.

Harvalem Falls

Harvalem is among the most stunning waterfalls in Goa, with milky white water cascading down scenic boulders that caught my eye. The waterfall is secluded, offering visitors complete privacy. While here, one can also visit the Rudreshwar temple and the Arvalem caves nearby.

In this beautiful world, only a few wonders remain untouched. Some locations have been marred by overpopulation, heat, or cluttered surroundings. Yet, a handful of places are still waiting to be discovered, beyond the reach of the general population. Only true wanderlusts can venture into the deep trenches of the ocean and earth to seek out these hidden gems. If you also yearn to escape the constant traffic in your mind, these wonders of Goa are a must-visit, leaving you awestruck and rejuvenated.

Kavya Goswami

Kavya Goswami is an upcoming writer and content editor who believes in the art of words and prose. She is pursuing her Bachelor in Business Administration from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is focusing on her preparations for higher education. She started writing poetries and short stories two years ago when her world revolved around books. She loves reading books of various genres. It is her second year of college, and she has participated in various poetry writing contests and got her name published in a few of them. Currently, she is working on her writing and editing skills to overcome her ambitions. She aims to travel around the world and explore their culture and history

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