Goa: The Winter Party Capital Of World!!

Planning for Goa Holidays? Well, You are at the right place!

In this post, I have shared my personal experience in Goa, what to do, what to avoid and how to stay clear of fraudsters!!

Let\’s get started with a safe and fun Goa trip plan… 

Table of Contents

Goa Is Fully Open for Tourists now!!

With the covid restrictions eased and elections over, tourists are flowing into Goa.

The weather around this time of year is getting hot and humid. The weather starts to cool down around 4pm and nights are pleasant.

Note: Do check out election times, there will be restrictions imposed in the area where elections are planned.

Best Time to visit Goa

The tourist season in Goa is from October to February, with December being the peak tourist season.
Due to its proximity to the sea, you can expect humidity throughout the year and the weather changes as per the season.
During rains, many tourists do not visit as rains spoil their plans so this could be your time if you are someone who does not like crowds.

MonthWeatherComments
Oct-FebCool, less humidThe best time to visit, December is the Peak tourist season, Everything is costly
March-JuneHot and HumidFewer tourists, rates are on the lower side
July-SeptemberRainsVery fewer tourists, and rates are the cheapest

Goa Visiting Places

Goa Guide

Goa is famous for its beaches and Portuguese architecture apart from the nightlife. Broadly you can divide Goa into three parts, North Goa, Central Goa, and South Goa.

North Goa:

North Goa is the place where all the party happens and nightlife is the attraction.
The hotel stay is more costly as compared to the other two parts of Goa.

Get yourself a room for as little as Rs.1000

Central Goa:

This is the place to enjoy the actual Goa culture. You will not find it crowded and cost-wise it is cheaper to stay. 

South Goa:

South Goa is peaceful, beaches are clean. Hotel rent is cheaper.
You will find a lot of casinos in this part of Goa.

Get yourself a room for as little as Rs.1000

Goa Beaches

You will love the Goa coastline that is spread across 100km and you will find many small and big beaches there.
There are many famous beaches in Goa, around 35 known for tourists and many small beaches.
Arambol is the beach on the north part of Goa and Polem is the southmost beach. Between this patch, you will find beaches like  

  • Baga beach, 
  • Candolim beach
  • Calangute beach
  • Anjuna

Check out the whole list of Beaches in Goa

Goa Water sports and Dolphin

Water sports and sighting dolphin is one of the most popular activities in Goa.
You can book a tour from many tour providers or plan it yourself.
The tour providers will charge you anywhere between Rs.2500- Rs.3000 for a full-day tour.
The tour includes:

  • Breakfast
  • Banana ride
  • Parasailing
  • Water ski
  • Scuba diving
  • Dolphin sighting
  • Dinner
  • Pickup and drop from the agreed location

Fraud Alert:

You will find tour packages are priced differently at different beaches, You will find it cheaper in Baga beach.
Parasailing has two parts, one is to keep you in the air for a few minutes and the other is only to dip you in water.

The package guys will ask for more money to keep you in the air saying only dip is part of the package.
They will also try to cust short Scuba diving time, better ask before booking the trip about the duration. In case it\’s less, immediately contact the person with whom you booked the tour and he will make it happen.

Make sure you get these details at the time of booking itself. If you feel you are not happy, immediately call the tour contact person and he may help sort these things.

Goa Waterfalls

You can also plan to visit waterfalls, there is a total of 11 waterfalls in Goa, DudhSagar fall is the most visited. It\’s a full day trip, it starts early morning and ends the late at night.

Many waterfalls originate only during rains and Goa is all green during this time.

Dudh Sagar Waterfall Experience

We booked a package through a travel agent for Dudhsagar waterfall. The bargain started with Rs.2000/ per person and we settled for Rs.1500/ per person.

The pickup vehicle arrived at around 6am and after picking a few more travelers, we reached Dudhsagar base point around 10am.

At base, you can have your breakfast (not included in the package).

From there you will have to walk for 10-15min (the path is good) to reach the place where Jeep will pick you up to take you to the waterfall.

Each Jeep can take only 7 passengers. Jeep will take you through the jungle and drop you at a point from where you will have to trek a rocky patch to reach the waterfall.

Alert: The Jeep has a restriction of returning back with all the passengers in 3 hours.

Each side journey is around 45min (90 min for a return journey).

There is a changing facility but it\’s very crowded and you will end up spending your 30min in the queue, each time that leaves only 30min with you to enjoy the dip in the waterfall!

Tip: Get adventurous and make your own temporary changing room 😉, it will add 1 hour to your dip in the water.

On the return journey from Dudhsagar, a lunch buffet was provided (both veg and non-veg) along with a guided tour of the spice garden.

We were back at our hotel around 6pm, fully exhausted!

Note: There is a restriction on the number of tourists that are allowed at Dudhsagar waterfall per day. This is to ensure the ecological balance is not disturbed

During weekdays it’s 1190  tourists (170 jeeps) and on weekends it’s 1575 (225 jeeps).

Also, water bottles and chips packets are allowed but a count of each is kept and while retuning you will have to show the water bottle and empty chips packet!

This is to ensure the spot is not littered. Be prepared to pay a hefty fine if any of your plastics are missing!!

Goa Casinos

You can also enjoy casinos in Goa. You will find these casinos on the ships as well as on the land.

You will have to buy tickets for entry in these casinos, the entry fee includes unlimited food, drink and chips of some value for playing in casinos.

These entries are normally valid for 24hrs (6am).

There are many members-only casinos as well exclusive for people who have opted to the club membership program.

Note: You will need an Id proof to enter the casino. It’s advisable to keep some Government provided Id always on you while traveling.

Big Daddy Casino, Goa

You can either book the entry online or on the spot. There are different packages available, details in the table below:

Note: On weekends i.e Friday to Sunday, Rs.1000/- is charged extra per person i.e couples will be charged Rs.2000/- extra.

This includes unlimited food and drink (brand of drinks vary as per the ticket you bought), access to the entertainment floor, to and fro ferry ride (to Big Daddy), and chip worth Rs.1000/- per person to be used in the casino.

All packages give you access to unlimited food and drinks till 1AM (2PM on weekends). Your ticket is valid till 6am the next day.

Note: These prices may vary depending on the season, better check on Big Daddy Website to get the latest price.

PackageSingleCouplesComments
RegularRs.2500Rs.4500Indian liquor provided
PremiumRs3500-Rs6500Premium brand liquor included, ship deck access allowed
VIPRs5000Rs9000Imported drinks included, Ship deck access allowed

The cheapest one is the first to finish as most of the tourists visit just to get casino experience and may not want to spend more.

Note: You cannot en-cash these chips, you will have to use these to play and if you win, you will get different chips that can be en-cashed.

Also, these “free chips” cannot be used in Roulette, you can play other games.

No ticket for kids below 7 years, 8 years to 18 years entry fee is Rs.1000/-, 18 years to 21years Rs.1500/-

Alert: Goa Police are very strict on Drink and Drive, so make sure the driver is sober!

Anyone under 21 years is not allowed in gambling areas, you can leave them in Kid’s play area or entertainment zone.

No dress code for ladies, but guys will have to be dressed properly. Only shoes, full pants/jeans, no sleeveless shirts.

Sightseeing in Goa

You can rent a cab or a bike in Goa, Bike & scooty is the most liked mode of transportation in Goa!

You can reach out to any rental service and negotiate prices with them.

Normally, they will keep your original Aadhar card and some deposit for the vehicle for safety.

The amount of deposit varies depending on the number of days you need it, but you can bargain on this.

We rented Scooty for 3 days. Price negotiation started with Rs.500/ per day with a deposit of Rs.2500/ and settled on Rs.350/ per day and a deposit of Rs.1500/-

Note: Wearing helmet is mandatory for the rider, it\’s not compulsory for the pillion riders. If caught without a helmet, you will be fined Rs.100/ and a ticket will be given to you.

Helmet will be provided by the rental agency.

Fraud Alert: The rental agency may try to give you a white plate vehicle at a lower rate, beware- this is not legal. Insist on a yellow plate (tourist vehicle) else you will end up paying a heavy fine!

Hotels in Goa

Expect high rates during peak time. Other options are shacks that are normally cheap but during peak season nothing is cheap, except booz!!

Get yourself a room for as little as Rs.1000

Goa Tourism

Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has everything covered for you.

Goan Food

Goa being a sea shore, fish is the staple food here. You will find locals cook food with a lot of coconut in it.
You will think fish will be cheap at this sea shore state, but its not! Reasons being the tourists and the export of the fish.

Goa Airport

Goa International airport is located near the historic city of Vasco Da Gama in Dabolim.
Another option for international travelers is to take a flight to Mumbai and reach Goa by road.

Goa from Mumbai

Goa is well connected with Mumbai by Air, sea, road and railways.
You can visit Goa from Mumbai :

  • Gao By Train: By far the cheapest option, train tickets will cost anywhere between Rs.300 to Rs.2000/-
  • Goa By Cruise: The most costly option but it has its own charm. This will cost you around Rs.45,000 to Rs,2 lakh.
  • Goa By Flight: All the major airlines operate here. You will be spending anywhere around Rs.1500/- to Rs.7000/- for this.
  • Goa By Road: You can drive your own car or rent a car of reach Goa by bus. Depending on what your mode is, it will cost you between Rs.1000/- to Rs.5000/-

Click to Get Best Bus rates To Goa

You will have to book tickets in advance for Air and railways. For a road trip, you can easily get a cab or drive your own car.

Goa Festivals

Goa has a strong Portuguese influence and many of its festivals, and architecture are inspired by the Portuguese.

The same goes with the festivals of Goa, its a replica of the Portuguese carnivals.

Viva Carnnaval (Carnival)

This is the annual festival of Goa, starting on 26 February till 1st March.

The capital city Panaji is the center of attraction while this festival is also celebrated across the state.
Viva carnival features parades of floats in the street, dance, lights, food & drinks…

Things Not To Do in Goa

Do remember, Goa is a very happening place that attracts a lot of tourists. Like any other tourist place around the world, you need to be cautious of any miscreants or frauds or drug peddlers. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors (yes, don’t fall for foreigners)!

Alcohol is very cheap in Goa but do not try to take it out of the state as it is a criminal offense.

Is Goa safe for the family?

Yes, Goa is safe for family and everyone else. Goa is one of the party capital of India with tourists coming from all over the world. Just avoid shady places and odd hours.

Can we take alcohol from Goa to other states?

No, you can not take alcohol outside Goa, it’s an offense and you can be prosecuted for it.

Conclusion:

With the pandemic situation so dynamic, only time will tell what decision is taken on Goa tourists. Be prepared for the worst to avoid disappointment.

Read more articles on Places to Visit in India

Online Mumbai local tickets and passes

Keep reading to know the restrictions in Goa during covid times.

Goa Travel Rule and Guidelines during covid restrictions (Not applicable now)

The Goa government will have to do a balancing act to ensure tourism is not completely shut down in this main earning season and the new wave does not engulf Goa the way the second wave did.

Currently, there are two different sets of rules for anyone entering Goa, one for International visitors other for Domestic visitors.

NoteThese rules may change with time, do refer the latest advisory before traveling

Goa Travel Rule for International Visitors covid restrictions

Anyone visiting from International destinations will have to:

  • Fill a self declaration form
  • Negative RtPCR test report

Those arriving from high risk countries like UK, SA, Brazil, China, Mauritius, New Zeland, Zimbabwe, Singapore and Hong Kong have following additional protocols to follow:

  • Get Covid-19 test done at airport on arrival. Cost to be borne by the traveler.
  • Cannot leave airport till the test result is negative.
  • Even with negative covid report, 7 days home quarantine is mandatory.
  • Another Covid-19 test on 8th day and monitoring for additional 7 days.

In case anyone is tested positive, they will be taken to isolation facility and treated as per standard protocol of the state.

Goa is the place to be in the month of December. It\’s not only due to Christmas and new year, but also the yearly festivals that attract a lot of tourists from cold countries to visit Goa.

Goa Travel Rule for Domestic Visitors covid restrictions

Domestic visitors will have to:

  • carry negative Covid-19 test report taken no longer than 72hrs of arriving in Goa.
  • Any test recognized by ICMR will be accepted.
  • Anyone traveling from Kerala will have to undergo 5 days of quarantine
  • On the 5th day, another Covid test will be done.
  • Fully vaccinated asymptomatic passengers are exempted from quarantine.

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