Goa is home to great monsoon delights. The rainy days in Goa can best be spent outdoors through water activities or weekend getaways with trekkers onto high mountains to explore the flora and fauna on offer. Besides, the best waterfall sites at Dudhsagar and Harvalem leave you spellbound. We leave it up to you to enjoy Goa in the best possible way and go back with great memories.
Water Rafting in Mhadei River
For those who love the thrills and spills of water rafting, River Mhadei is located in Valpoi, Sattari (north Goa) is one of the coolest places to visit. The surrounding Vagheri hills and Chorla ghats are best suited for trekking and hiking as well.
Timing & Cost
The rafting begins at 8 am and ends at 5 pm. You can spend quality time for 2 hrs hurtling down the raging waters of Mhadei River.
Trips will cost Rs 2699 per person (children below 12 not allowed) which includes a pickup and drop off from the hotel in an AC vehicle, which will take you to Earthen Pot Restaurant, Sayed Nagar, Valpoi at 9:30 a.m. where your instructor will guide you further. Months of operation is from July to September.
Book River rafting from Goa Water Sports
Panjim Catamaran Cruise with Water Activities
Get onboard the Mandovi River Backwater Cruise and you will be serviced with a delightful journey down the backwaters in catamaran style cruise. Dive off the boat for a nice swim or enjoy music on the decks. There is an option to go kayaking or enjoy the bumper boat ride.
This backwater cruise operates twice a day with the morning trip beginning at 10 am and ending at 1 pm while the afternoon trip begins from 2.30pm and ends at 5.30pm. The reporting time for the morning trip is at 9:30 am at Narvekar Jetty located just below the Mandovi Bridge at Panjim. In the afternoon you need to be there by 2 pm. The trip will cost you Rs 1799 per person and does not include water activities like Bumper and Speed Boat Ride as they come at an extra cost. However, light snacks and chilled beer is also served beside a complimentary buffet lunch.
See Booking details on Goa Boat Cruise
Visit the Spice Gardens
The Sahakari Spice Farm located in Curti-Ponda is about 30 km from Panjim is a very well managed spice farm. Guides explain everything in detail and give you knowledge about different spices of India.
Timing & Cost
The visit to spice farm varies as per packages but should cost Rs 1500-2000 per pax. The trip starts with a pickup in the morning from your hotel in around Calangute/Panjim and surrounding suburbs with a visit to Spice garden for a guided tour of spices. Buffet lunch, optional spice shopping is at your own cost. The trip also includes a visit to Goa’s famous temple of Mangeshi or Old Goa Bom Jesus of Basilica Church and a drop back by 3 pm. Mouth-watering buffet lunch is served on plankton leaves.
See Details of Spice Plantation Tour by Private Car
The topography and contours of Goa are such that a ride by the sea or a climb towards hilly terrains can be best explored on ‘bicycle tours’ becoming popular among locals as well as visitors to this tiny state. With many groups now promoting drives to make Goa a cycle-friendly state, the tour packages come under three heads – Heritage, Nature trail and Food tours – each customized depending on what you prefer.
Various bicycle tours & costs
- Heritage Tours –This tour is meant to explore the capital city Panjim’s Portuguese heritage with its old Churches, sunny villas and cobbled streets which takes you back to a 500-year old history. Park by the flowing Mandovi riverside and enjoy the sunset and distinct scenery that surrounds on either side of the Mandovi Bridge. Tours begin at Rs 1850/pax for a distance of 11km spread over 2.5 hrs. Tours begin from 7.30am and end by 4 pm.
- Museum Hop – The ‘Museum Hop’ tour is mainly designed so that tourists appreciate Goa’s rich legacy. The tour allows you to literally hop through quite a few of historically-culturally rich Museums and acquaint you with things that you never imagined, and rates are as per request.
- Vintage Goa Tour – This ride takes you through the grandeur of Old Goa’s vintage beauty that is all soaked in rich history. The old Churches and Cathedrals that are heritage sties have stood the test of time but some have been reduced to ruins. Take a ride and know why Goa was once considered ‘Rome of the East.’ Slightly pricy, Vintage tours come at Rs 4500 per person and cover a distance of 35km during a 7-hr duration which starts from 7 in the morning.
Other tours include Dessert Crawl – for those with a sweet tooth and a fetish for authentic local desserts. The best way is to ride your way to sweetness and burn it out with a long ride. Island Hopping trip takes you to Goa’s scenic backwaters. Hop across islands and enjoy the day on ferry rides. Fort Knight takes you on a ride to various forts.
Note: Meeting Point for all the above tours is near Paryatan Bhavan, Patto Centre, Panjim and includes – Geared Bicycle, Two Hosts, Helmet, Water, Light Snacks.
More about Bicycle Tours Details
Trekking to Tambdi Surla Waterfall
Set inside the Bhagwan Mahavir National Park, Tambdi Surla is a trekker’s delight. Besides the unique waterfall, it houses a 12th-century Shaivaite temple of Lord Mahadev – noted as the oldest in Goa. The waterfall here is 90 minutes away from the temple.
This trip is tailor-made for adventure and nature lovers alike. Adventure activities like Flying Fox (Zip Lining) and Wall Climbing at Nature’s Nest Goa will definitely thrill you.
Price & Timing
From Madgaon, Tambdi Surla is about 56 km and can be reached in 1.5 hours. From the State’s capital Panaji, it will take you around 2 hrs as it is located at a 69km. From Valpoi, it’s just 22km. The best time to visit is between June to December. Treks are priced at Rs 1599 per pax from 8 am with a one-way distance spanning 90 min. Trekking gears are compulsory and the package includes breakfast and lunch,
Check out updated Cost on tripraja.com
Harvalem waterfall trip
The Arvalem waterfall is located in the Bicholim taluka in North Goa and is the second most popular of its kind. From Panjim, this place is located at 32km while from the Airport is 43 km away. Also known as Haravalem or Harvale by the locals, this stunning spot is also known for its caves famously known as Pandava Caves. The waterfall is just 9 km away from these Caves and cascades 50m down from the mountains. Next to the falls is Rudreshwar or Shiva temple, famous for performing Hindu rituals of the dead. The best time to visit Arvalem waterfall is during the monsoon when it is covered with greenery as it is known to be eco-friendly.
Cost & Time
Costs may differ depending on your tour operator. However, a trip from your hotel in Panjim and its adjoining suburbs of Calangute or Baga should cost you Rs 1700 per pax which includes a trip to Harvalem waterfall, the nearby Tambdi Surla, elephant ride and a visit to Old Goa church and a drop back. This may also cover the Spice farm at Ponda which offers authentic Goan cuisine.
Sunset River Cruise
The Sunset River Cruise is a nice way to enjoy an hour’s ride with friends and family on the River Mandovi in Panjim. The cruise boat takes off from the Captain of Ports Jetty, Panjim at 6:15 pm and cruise service are available every hour. The last cruise of the evening departs at 8:30 pm. This is a nice way to relax after a tiring day and even for romantic couples, the cruise is best suited to enter into the evening by gazing at the sunset together.
What the ride offers
The Cruise will sail down towards Miramar Beach and on the way you can see the Adil Shah’s Palace (Summer Palace) a beautifully-lit Panjim City, the floating Casinos, Panjim Ferry Point, Betim Ferry Point, Kegdavli Beach in Reis Magos, the Reis Magos Fort, Fort Aguada, and the Hotel Marriott all adding to the charm at night. Rides all through the year are on offer.
Ticket Cost: The evening cruise will cost Rs 350 per pax as prior booking is advisable to avoid any disappointment. This includes only the ride as refreshments and snacks are available on board for which you have to pay on the spot at the counter.
Check Booking Details of Sunset River Cruise
Dudhsagar Falls Trekking
Dudhsagar is one of the most breathtaking and magnificent waterfalls located on the Goa-Karnataka border and cascades from a height of 310m, making it an unbelievable experience for those who visit it during the monsoon, when rains are at its peak. The four-tiered waterfall resembles “white milk” pouring down the rocks and is located in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem national park.
Tourists are advised to visit this marvel during July-August in monsoon from Kulem on the Goa side and Castle Rock from the Karnataka side. Trekking is the only way to reach the falls in monsoon as ‘Jeep Safari’ is not in service during that period.
Physical fitness and stamina are essential factors to undertake the trekking expedition which is not more than 10km from the Kulem railway station. It will take you roughly 2.5 hrs to trek towards the waterfalls. Best time to start the day is by 9 am and return by 3 pm. Though the path is not steep, it’s tough as you have to walk on the railway track for 6km and wade through the challenging terrains and the forest route, though lonely, is not dangerous. You also have to counter the heavy rains that greet you. Ensure you have the right rainy ware as well as proper trekking shoes to ensure a safe trip. A local guide at the railway station may be a good assist and could charge you anywhere between Rs 400 to 500 to escort you to the fall.
How to reach
- Take a morning train from Margao to Kulem
- Take a train to Castle Rock station and get off in the nearest tunnel to the waterfalls.
- Take a train to Sonalium Railway Station, which is hardly a few kilometers from Dudhsagar.
More details on Dudhsagar Falls
How about flying at a height on water at great speed. Yes after Dubai, Bali, Pattaya and Thailand, this adventure sport is now available in Goa. Operating out of the Chopdem jetty in Chapora River, flyboarding has managed to drive the tourists crazy. Strapped to the feet of the user the board is connected to a jet ski by a hose. The power of the Jet Ski is what propels the water through the hose. And, the person leaps high before crash diving into the water beneath. Fly board allows the user to fly up to 30 to 35 ft above the water.
Cost of activity
Flyboarding operates from the Chopdem Jetty in Chapora River and the accompanying charges are Rs. 800 per person who are allowed to do the following activities: Speed Boat Cruising,
Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Swimming, and Sunbathing. Tourists must carry their own swimwear, T-Shirt, nylon shorts, sunscreen lotion, a hat and sunglasses, and a towel. There will be a briefing session by professional instructors
who will also supervise flyboarding. The activity is best enjoyed from October to May.
Check Flyboarding Rate on tripraja.com
- Watersports Combo Package
If you want to make your monsoon tour of Goa special then engage yourself in the best of watersports combo which caters to all-round activities. As the tour sets off from the Northern village of Candolim, a full day’s trip will take you to Tsunami Island in South Goa. Trips are operational in the months of June, July, August, and September.
- Activities: Kayaking, Sup Board Sailing, Bumper Ride / Ringo Ride, Speed Boat ride, Fishing Activity, and Crab Catching. The packages come as – Grand Island Boat Trip plus Advance Water Sports Package; Grande Island Boat Trip plus a Dudhsagar Waterfall Trip.
- Cost: The combo package comes at Rs 1800 per person. Seasonal rates may even touch Rs 3900.
Other Activities & Things to Do
Ho Ho bus tour (Goa Darshan)
This is a unique sightseeing experience started by the GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) and takes you on a tour to North Goa and Central South Goa places. A novel concept that is fast gaining popularity among tourists.
The North Goa tour comes at a price of Rs 400 per pax and covers
Beaches at Vagator, Anjuna, Baga, Calangute and Fort Aguada – Sinquerim. South Central Tour from Panjim city covers, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Old Goa Museum along with Mangueshi Temple and drives en route Panjim Church,Goa Science Center and Planetarium – Miramar, Dona Paula Beach, Miramar Beach, Kala Academy – Campal, Bhagwan Mahavir Bal Vihar Garden – Campal,Casino Point, River Cruise Point and passes Raibandar Patto road. This tour is also priced at Rs 400/person.
Booking details – Ho Ho Bus Tour Goa
A trip to Old Goa is inevitable if you visit this state. Old Goa is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with most buildings and landmarks preserved superbly.
Must-visit sites here are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Ruins of St. Augustine, and Church of St. Cajetan besides the Archaeological Museum.
Bondla Zoo & Cotigao
The Bondla wildlife sanctuary is the only zoological park in Goa and is located near Ponda. Though its zoo is not the only attraction, the deer safari park is as interesting as the botanical garden. The place also houses a rose garden, Nature Education Centre and Eco-Tourism cottages, thus making it a student or a college-goer’s favourite. One can visit the Bondla zoo from November to February. If you are in Panjim this place can be reached en route Ponda – Usgao – Ganjem – Bondla. This 52 km road trip is quite fascinating but might take around 1 .5 hrs.
Bondla Zoo Entry Fee
A very popular concept in Goa, eco trekking is done by a group of trekkers who are dedicated to protecting the environment and ecology of Goa. Treks explore high altitude natural spots, waterfalls and river sources in the regions of Virdi, Vagheri, Tambddi Surla, Morpirla-Dhabem, Cabo de Rama, Bhirondem Farm in Goa. Across borders, trekkers have managed to reach Chorla Ghat, Amboli, Redi, Malwan and other destinations such as Pratapgarh, Raigarh, Mahableshwar and Panchgani in Maharashtra.
Top 5 trekking groups in Goa: Goa Hiking Association, Youth Hostels Association of India (Goa branch), Trekking Adventures of Goa (TAG) and the Goa Eco Trek.
Amboli is a hill station situated in south Maharashtra at an altitude of 690 m (2,260 ft). The breathtaking waterfalls here is located in the western Sahyadri Hills and is counted as one of the eco spots of the world. From Goa, Amboli can be approached in 3 h 15 min (119.1 km) via Banda and Sawantwadi.
Article: List of Waterfalls in Goa
North Goa Road trip
Can be completed over a 3-day itinerary: Thane – Anjuna, Britto’s, Mapusa Market, Harvelam falls, Rudreshwar Temple and Harvalem caves located some 30-40 km from Mapusa, Aguada Fort, Sinquerium Beach, Indian Naval Aviation Museum, 3 Kings Chapel, Shanta Durga Temple, Mangueshi Temple and Arambol Beach, Reis Magos Fort, Fontainhas (Latin Quarter) and Old Goa.
South Goa tour
South Goa can be best enjoyed in an altogether different way. Swim off the beach at Colva & Palolem. If you are in Margao, The Seven Gables (built: 1790) one of Goa’s grandest residences, with a blood-red Rococo- style façade and exquisite oyster-shell windows, should not be missed.
Bogmalo and Benaulim can be tried out for their cuisine at beachside restaurants.
Around 7 km north-east of Chaudi in Canacona is the Mallikarjuna Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is also a must-see before you can cool off by sailing, skiing or surfing off Cavelossim and Colva beaches.