Goa is a hot tourist destination for both international and domestic tourists alike because of its white sand beaches, nightlife, places of worship and world heritage-listed architecture. Goa was conquered by Portugal in the 16th century and their influence stayed for about 450 years. Goa’s distinct architectural style still reveals that it was formerly a Portuguese colony. Though the state is known mostly for its marvelous beaches and spectacular night life, it has much more to offer. It has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot. Goa still enjoys tremendous amounts of natural beauty and is a great destination for reconnecting with nature. I recommend y’ll to check out this article if you want to explore Goa more deeply and get away from the touristy places like Titos or Baga beach.
1. Dudhsagar Falls
Dudhsagar Falls is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River and is known for its cascading appearance. The area around the waterfall is inside the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary and one can spot numerous animals in the area.
You can visit the falls either by car or by foot. Even getting to the waterfall through a car is an adventure in itself, as the car crosses 3-4 rivers on its way to the falls. Also, the area has numerous monkeys, so I advise you to not carry any food items when visiting the place if you are scared of monkeys like me.
2. Palolem Beach
Palolem beach is a stretch of white sand bay in South Goa. It has been ranked as the fifth best beach in India and the 20th best in Asia. The butterfly island aka butterfly beach is a super beautiful beach cove which is only accessible through a boat.
You must take the 2-hour dolphin tour when you visit to explore the breathtaking nature view and and catch the alluring sunset. The place offers the opportunity to kayak in the sea, and I advise all adventurous people to try it. This was the highlight of my trip and recommend you to visit this beach.
3. Divar Island
Divar island lies in the Mandovi river and it can only be reached through a ferry. The island was a famous Hindu pilgrimage in the 14th century but the temples were destroyed by Portuguese activist during the Christianization of Goa.
Visiting the island is an ideal experience for people who want to step into unexplored territories. Though it does not have any significant attractions apart from the church, it is a great place to admire the beautiful Mandovi river. And one thing which I found really interesting about this experience was taking our own car to the island through a ferry.
4. Benaulim Beach
Benaulim Beach is a serene beach in South Goa and is mainly a fishing beach known for its calm and relaxed nature. This white-sand beach is less crowded and is great for enjoying sunsets by the beach. This beach is pristine, as it is relatively undeveloped.
You can visit this beach if you want to get away from north Goa’s hustle-bustle and enjoy some quality time in nature. An interesting fact, due to reduced human movement during the COVID-19 lockdown, five adult Olive Ridley turtles washed up on Benaulim beach after decades, in June 2020.
5. Costas Montage
Costa’s Montage is a residential area near Benaulim Beach and it is designed in an Indo-Portuguese architectural style. The villas are only a few minutes away from the beach and are perfect for those who want a calm and relaxing holiday.
I stayed at one of By The Beach Goa’s properties in this society and had an amazing time. If you are interested in visiting this place, keep an eye out for my future post on the property.