Things to do

Things to do in Goa

  • Carnival. Held in mid February, just before Lent, the four-day event features lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars, graceful dances and non-stop festivity.
  • Diving — the season is between mid October to mid May. Diving is not possible during the monsoons in India (June till mid October). The water temperature is 27-30⁰ C. The local diving consists of dive sites around Grande Island, just off the coast near Vasco da Gama. The dive sites are mostly 12-16m deep, visibility varies through the season with an average of around 5-6m. Marine life is abundant, with many species of reef fish, hard and soft coral, and several shipwrecks to dive. Several dive centres conduct PADI courses, and organize dive trips to Pigeon Island (also known locally as Netrani Island) in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.
  • Jet-ski — also banana ride and paragliding. Goa has one of the cheapest beach adventure sports rates. Head to Anjuna or Baga beach during daytime and you will find many small group of vendors offering these. If in a small group, with adequate bargaining and luck, you can bargain to around ₹800-1,000 (off season) for a 10min jet-ski ride, 15 min banana ride and a 15min paragliding session, for each person. These activities are also available on less popular beaches and you could get a bargain there as compared to popular beaches where demand exceeds supply.
  • Kitesurfing — not the best place in the world to try kite surfing, but it still has something to offer. Check Morjim, Arambol and Aswem beaches in North Goa. You can find instructors in Morjim, that take ₹8,000-12,000 for beginners course. Season starts in January, you can expect 1-2 windy days a week during January and February, and 2-3 days a week during March. Most people use 10-14m² kites. Water is choppy most of the time, don't expect wave riding.
  • Paragliding — check Arambol beach in North Goa for tandem paragliders.
  • Relax at the beaches — Goa has an almost unbroken 70 km coastline of beaches. Don't forget to carry suntan, towels and chappals along when hitting the beach. Beachbeds can be hired for ₹100 per hour, bargain for a free beach bed if you are ordering snacks from the shack.
  • Trekking and camping — October to December is the perfect time to go trekking in Goa. The Goa Hiking Association in Panaji organizes a major trekking program in October each year. The Goa Branch of the Youth Hostel Association of India also runs Trekking expeditions and Family camping trips in Goa every December. Some recommended places to trek and hike to include the Sahyadri Hills, Devils Canyon and the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Mollem, the Chandrasurya Temple in Netravali (2h south of Panaji), and the Kuveshi Falls to Castle Rock just over the border in Karnataka state.


Be aware

Indian Visa regulations insist that you now can only volunteer with an Employment Visa (ie; not on a Tourist Visa), even if you contract to provide totally unpaid work. Depending on your country, this can be expensive.

  • Volunteer - Educators Trust IndiaGod’s Gift House, Pinto’s Vaddo, Canca (just off the road from Mapusa to Calangute, take left hand road just before Canca village starts, Leading Light school on the left), +91 922 6041812. 9AM-6PM. Educational and welfare projects for children in Goa. Work relies on charitable donations and is supported by a dedicated team of global volunteers. They provide a non-denominational education through three schools and outreach project; preparing children for registration to the local state schools. The children are from families of migrant workers who flock here from other parts of India, looking for work and opportunities that they think Goa will offer them. ETI aims to break the cycle of illiteracy and child labour, which keeps these children and their families in poverty.
  • Volunteering Goabased in Porvorim (on the main Panjim-Mapusa highway (NH17)), +91 860 5458574, e-mail: . You can experience the real Goa while helping in projects in orphanages, nature centres, animal rescue and charity shops.


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