The state of Goa, located on India’s west coast, was once a Portuguese colony and has a rich and fascinating history. This region is very different from the rest of India, with strong influences from the 451-year period of Portuguese rule. Many people visit this peaceful Indian state in order to enjoy the diverse and multifaceted culture and to soak up the warm sunshine. The locals live mostly in small and welcoming villages where the pace of life is easy-going and a bit slower than the rush of city life.
In the past, the shops, hotels and restaurants would close during the offseason and only open again when peak time came around. However, recently establishments have been staying open year-round as tourists have discovered the advantages to travelling offseason.
There are many advantages to visiting Goa during the monsoon season, as this is when the scenery is at its most green and lush. You will see gushing waterfalls, emerald green forests and peaceful verdant landscapes. The rains wash away the dust and dirt, leaving the atmosphere clean and fresh. Don’t worry about being stuck inside your hotel room the entire time; just because it’s monsoon season doesn’t mean that it will be raining constantly. Usually the rains come for a few hours in the day, and then sunshine prevails to give you plenty of time to explore beneath gorgeous skies and arcing rainbows.
Offseason is also the best time to travel cheaply in Goa, as the hotels will generally have special prices due to a lower demand. Bus tickets, train tickets and air travel will also be cheaper. Additionally, there will be fewer tourists around, so you won’t have to deal with crowds or overbooking, which can make a holiday stressful. You will get more of a glimpse into what living in Goa is like for the locals.
Ideas for Offseason Activities
If you will be visiting Goa during the monsoon season, what is there to do?
- Go on a wildlife adventure at one of the many sanctuaries around Goa that are open year-round, such as Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.
- Take a walk to Dudhsagar Falls, on the outskirts of Mollem National Park. This gorgeous waterfall is most impressive during monsoon season as the water rages down at high volume.
- Drive through the lush hills and jungles from Ponda to reach the spice plantation in Savoi. There, you can see how a wide variety of spices are grown.
- Take a late-afternoon boat cruise up the Mandovi River, starting in Panaji. You can watch the sunset while gliding down the river and admiring your surroundings at a relaxing pace.
- Attend an exciting monsoon season festival. For example, the Sao-Joao Festival takes place in the latter half of June and involves the tradition of local men diving into the village well and fishing out a bottle of alcohol. Also in late June, the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul involves people performing plays and songs while floating down the river on rafts.
- Chat with the locals. During this time of year, locals will be less overwhelmed by the busy influx of tourists and more inclined to share a meal and chat with you.
Remember to be careful when swimming in the ocean as the monsoons increase the water level and this can create strong undercurrents that can pull you out to sea. Be sure to check with a local or a lifeguard before swimming. Also, scuba diving is not safe during the monsoon season.
If you are looking for cheap deals, natural beauty and a chance to experience Goa the way the locals do, plan your trip for the monsoon season and have a fantastic time exploring this beautiful region of India.
About the Author: Elise Rogers is a freelance travel writer who has just returned from a one-month adventure around India. She loved her travels in Goa in particular and can’t wait until her next opportunity to get on Expedia to find hotels in Goa and go back again.