By Paramita Chatterjee
If you think Monsoons are a drab time to do Goa, think again. Well, shacks may be closed, street shopping may be a tad difficult, but breathtaking views of the sea during the high tide and fragrance of the rain soaked earth will compensate for everything. What’s more – Goa during the rains seems greener than ever!
Apart from the beaches, you can do the picturesque wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls and spice plantation in Savoi. Read on to figure out WHY AND WHAT you should plan. Trust Us, You Won’t Regret It!
1. You get heavy discounts in large hotels which otherwise can be very expensive in peak season. Check hotels like Taj Exotica, Taj Aguada, Taj Holiday Village, Leela Goa Beach Resort, Grand Hyatt, and others in that category for offseason discounts. If you are lucky, you can get a 5 day package with all meals included for around Rs 50,000. This is a steal given that room tariffs in most of these chains go up to as high as Rs 90,000 per night in peak season especially during Christmas and New Year.
2. Choose the location that you want to stay in very judiciously depending on what your plans are. If you want to go around the city then my recommendation is stay in North Goa – near beaches like Baga, Calangute. There are lots of hotels in North Goa where you can get accommodation at pretty cheap rates. If you want to stay a big hotel chain, then you can go in for South Goa. It’s quieter and definitely a better side to stay in if you primarily want to be indoors.
3. You can do some soul searching in the lap of lush green landscape. Refreshingly cool breeze in the backdrop of the colourful setting sun will transport you to a different world altogether. And, of course, an additional advantage: you can feel rain drops on your face with clouds watching over you as your dreams come alive.
4. Yes, you may have to give water sports a skip. But it is during the rains that nature flourishes in this city. So if you want to experience romance and refreshment in a traditional Goan flavour, plan a trip in the monsoons.
5. Try and take a room with a balcony. You can sip your morning tea while hearing birds chirping. Carry lots of books to give you company. If you have kids, take indoor games. I carried a ludo and was glued on to it for 5 days that I spent there. Stack up your bar – if you don’t want to pay extra for your booze in the hotel, buy them whenever you go out and enjoy the evenings in style.
6. Peak season starts from Oct, 1 and gradually the city gets ready to host tourists during its most busy time – Christmas and New Year. So if you want to cash in on hotel discounts, see shops/shacks set in, and enjoy waterfalls, you can plan in the last 2 weeks of September. You literally get to see the best of both seasons.
7. In a bid to experience the sea, we often tend to skip Goa’s picturesque wildlife sanctuaries. You can visit Mollem National Park and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary – they are open round the year. You can also do Bondla – it has a mini zoo and deer safari park – it’s a great place to do if you have kids. Also, Dudhsagar Falls near Mollem National Park, is a must visit. Yes, I agree it can get a little messy during monsoons, but the beauty of water raging down from a huge height is worth the trip.
8. You can check out spice plantation in Savoi. To reach it, you can drive through the dense jungles in Ponda. Don’t miss out on an evening boat cruise in Mandovi River. If time permits, try fishing in any of the Goan rivers.
9. What’s a holiday without good food! Yes, a lot of shacks may be closed but the ones open will not let you miss anything. Must try – Lloyd’s in Calangute for home cooked Goan cuisine. What’s more – it’s open all through the night so you can park yourself there in a stormy monsoon evening. In Calangute, you can also try Souza Lobo – the prawn vindaloo and Goan fish curry there are a must try! You can also visit age-old Britto’s on Baga Beach. La Plage in Morjim is the latest one doing the rounds. Pl note, for La Plage, you have to book in advance.
10. Well, monsoon or no monsoon, night life in Goa is something you CANNOT, CANNOT miss. Must try – Mambo’s and Tito’s at Baga Beach – both rock all year round, you could also try Cavala – that is also near Baga Beach.
Know more about Goa
Goa: Off The Grid This Time –> http://goo.gl/BPlec7
Soak In Sunburn Goa 2014–>http://goo.gl/6KgxbQ
Paramita Chatterjee: Co-Founder, http://www.triponomics.com
A journalist for over 11 years in various publications, Paramita is responsible for the overall strategy, execution and growth of Triponomics. Her last job was with The Economic Times where she wrote on a gamut of sectors including private equity, venture capital, M&A and insurance. Prior to that, she worked for India Today and The Indian Express. She is also a guest faculty at The Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal.