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One of the best tourist destinations for tourists from not only other countries but from other states of India as well is Goa. Famous for its silent, beautiful, and long golden sand beaches, Goa has become a reputed tourist destination since the 60s. Almost every tropical whim such as the backpacker Arambol or Bolder and the Brasher Baga is catered around here. Another unique feature of Goa that makes it stand out in India is the colonial architecture and buildings by the Portuguese. The beautiful whitewashed Churches, colorful catholic ceremonies, and the dazzling cathedrals of old Goa still show the remnants of the Portuguese and are great places to visit in Goa.
Apart from these, Goa is also the recipient of a bountiful from mother nature. It is a prime Western Ghat habitat (whatever is not urbanized), and hosts some of the most pristine wildlife reserves in India. Amongst the bird watchers, it is a favourite destination for Western Ghat birds. Broadly speaking, all the coastline and surrounding belts have been commercialized, but the interior parts of Goa are dotted with Western Ghat forests which are also wildlife reserves.
Location: State of Goa, India
Nearest Airport: Dabolim airport
How to reach: All places in Goa are less than 2-3 hours from Dabolim airport
Famous for: Beaches,
Best time to visit: November to March
WHAT TO SEE
Famous beaches:Vagator Beach, Calangute Beach, Candolim Beach, Anjuna Beach, Arambol Beach, Morjim Beach, Miramar Beach, Ashwem Beach, Dona Paula Beach, Kalacha Beach, Mandrem Beach, Sinquerim Beach
Wildlife reserves: Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary
Places to see:
Calangute Beach: The largest beach in North Goa, stretching from Candolim to Baga, Calangute Beach is a hub for tourists and backpackers on a Goa Vacation.
Basilica of Bom Jesus: A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best places to visit in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus coincides with the beginning of Christianity in the country.
Fort Aguada: The ramparts of this fort stand on the Sinquerim Beach and have a great view of the confluence of the Arabian sea and the Mandovi River.
Anjuna Beach: A long stretch of 2 km of golden coastline, the Anjuna Beach is filled with nightclubs, water sports, beach shacks, and flea markets.
Dudhsagar falls: Located inside the Mollem National Park, the Dudhsagar Falls is one of the tallest falls in the country with a splendid sight.
Dona Paula: The small beach is very famous and is widely known as the Lover’s Paradise. A highlight here is the statue called Image of India that depicts mother India.
Chapora Fort: Widely known as the Dil Chahta Hai Fort in India, the fort is renowned throughout the country because of the movie scenes shooted at the site.
Butterfly Beach: One of the most secluded beaches of Goa, the Butterfly Beach is also known as the Honeymoon Beach and is only accessible through a ferry ride.
Palolem Beach: Another one of the beautiful beaches of Goa, this one is often filled with a large number of tourists.
Spa and Massages:
Arguably one of the most enjoyed activities at a beach would be a spa or a massage and Goa beaches are filled with places for such activities.
Things to do:
Water sports in Goa: For tourists seeking adventure and thrill on a tour of Goa, water sports are the perfect options. Kneeboarding, kite surfing, kayaking, and many other sports are enjoyed at many beaches around Goa.
Cruise: A boat cruise is a correct way to explore all the serenity and the beauty on aGoa vacation. Goa offers various cruises ranging from a romantic dinner cruise to a casino cruise.
Colva Beach: Many activities such as shopping and the beautiful nightlife can be carried out at the Cova beach. The beach also provides many eating joints and shacks.
Brittos: One of the best shacks on the Baga beach, where you can just sit back and relax accompanied by the golden sand and a beer. A multi-cuisine can also be enjoyed at the shack.
Chapora River: This is one of the beautiful rivers of Goa which has just the right amount of water current and rapids required for white river rafting and other water sports such as Kayaking
Birdwatching in Goa:
An undiscovered side of the beautiful Goa is the abundance of wildlife present in the Western Ghats. The exploration of theGoa birdsof Ghats and the Mangroves astride the Zuari River and the shores of Goa is very fruitful.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: This wildlife reserve is home to many rare bird species. Situated in the southern part of Goa, the sanctuary houses exotic migrants such as the Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar trogon, and the white-bellied woodpecker among many others.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary: Although this is one of the smallest reserves in Goa, the sanctuary houses many different and interesting species of Goa birds. A variety of birds such as the Malabar grey hornbill, the hair crested drongo, and the blue-faced malkoha can be found in the sanctuary.
Cotigao: Known for its tall trees that may reach up to a height of 100 feet, this is one of the famous sanctuaries of the state. Watchtowers are positioned 80 feet above the watering holes so that wildlife enthusiasts can spot different species of birds such as the white-bellied woodpecker, velvet fronted nuthatch, heart spotted woodpecker, rufous woodpecker, Malabar crested Eagle, and the white-eyed eagle. Other species such as the Malayan Night Heron and the Flycatcher can be spotted for several months only.
Carambolim Lake: This lake and the forests surrounding it have been declared as a protected habitat by the state because of its vast number of aquatic and herbivorous birds. The best sighting out here is the purple swamphen, the northern pintail, and the oriental darter amongst many more.
Cuisine of Goa:
Food is one of the most salient features of not only Goa but the entire country. Each state has its own unique cuisine and Goa is no less. The classic fish curry rice, the mouth-watering bhaji pau, a vindaloo with the infusion of wine vinegar and garlic or a spicy sauce, and many other dishes are the famous cuisines from the state. A visit to a backcountry spice farm will enlighten the tourists as to why the Portuguese were so keen about Goa.