OT Travel Itinerary: Your Three-Day Monsoon Guide To Goa

Goa is gorgeous during the rainy season as waterfalls and landscapes are coloured a deeper shade. Here are the best places you should visit on a three-day trip to the state
Monsoon Guide To Goa
Goa in monsoonsShutterstock

People tend to think of Goa only as a summer holiday destination where the sun shines on the sandy beaches and blue waters of the Arabian Sea. While this visual is accurate, a lot of people do not know that the state also makes for an excellent monsoonal getaway from June to September. There are secluded waterfalls, gorgeous islands, a range of traditional and cultural festivals held during this time, and of course, fewer crowds at the beaches, and budget-friendly accommodations. Lots of nightclubs host rain dance parties and adventurous experiences like whitewater rafting and kayaking are aplenty.

If you’re thinking of a holiday soon, consider going on a three-day trip to Goa to visit some of these amazing places in the state.

Day 1


The Dudhsagar Falls in the monsoon
The Dudhsagar Falls in the monsoonnomadographer/Shutterstock

Your first day will begin with a drive to the Sahakari Spice Farm in Ponda. Spice plantations burst with lush greenery during the monsoon season and the smells intermingle with petrichor to provide a sensual experience. The spice plantation at the Sahakari Spice Farm occupies 24 hectares out of a 52 hectare forest. The area is exclusively devoted to the cultivation of spices (like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, to name a few), fruits, medicinal trees and herbs. Visitors are taken on a guided tour of the spice farm after which they sit down to eat a variety of local dishes. You can also purchase high-grade spices from the gift shop.

Next, head to the iconic Dudhsagar Falls. This four-tiered waterfall plunges 310m and you can choose to see its magnificence either via a trek or by car. The trek passes through rocky terrain and thick forests. The best time to see the falls is during the monsoon season as the water rushes down with great force, creating a thunderous roar that reverberates through the surroundings. The sheer power and beauty of the falls leaves visitors in awe. Spend as much time as you want here.


The flame-throated bulbul is the state bird of Goa
The flame-throated bulbul is the state bird of Goaakshada_risbud/Instagram

The Dudhsagar Falls are part of a 240-square-kilometre nature preserve called the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa due to its rich biodiversity; the forest has predominantly semi-evergreen and evergreen trees, and is home to animals like tigers, leopards, sloth bears, gaur, sambar, barking deer, flame-throated bulbuls, golden orioles, emerald doves, and paradise flycatchers, as well as a variety of butterflies like the blue Mormon, the common mime, the common wanderer and crimson rose. There are plenty of hiking trails here which you go on with a guide. The foremost attractions of the wildlife sanctuary are Devil’s Canyon, a canyon carved out of solid rock by the path of the Mandovi River, the Tambdi Surla Temple which is notable for its stonework and lotus carvings in the Ashokan style, the Tambdi Surla Falls, an eco-tourism building called the Nature Interpretation Centre which has an invaluable amount of data and collectables on the flora and fauna of the place, and the amazing Sunset Point, where you can gaze at commanding views of the hills and valleys.


The Shangri-La Jungle Resort
The Shangri-La Jungle Resortshangrilajungleresort.com/Website

Spend the evening at the wildlife preserve and let the rains and living environment relax you. Choose from dormitories, campgrounds or rooms at the Shangri-La Jungle Resort, Nature’s Nest Goa, the Dudhsagar Spa Resort and Jungle Book Resort. Make the most of this opportunity to reconnect with the more-than-human world.

Day 2


The Salaulim Dam is situated on the Guleli River
The Salaulim Dam is situated on the Guleli River Be_Creative/Shutterstock

Head to the Rivona Buddhist Caves in South Goa. Also known as the Pandava Caves, these out-of-the-way rock-cut caves ostensibly date back to the 7th century. Look out for strips of red cloth hung auspiciously from an old tamarind tree nearby. The caves are a short way up a dirt track which ends at a tiny temple.

The caves are 16km from the Salaulim Dam which is where you should go next. Situated on the Guleli River it irrigates the region’s fields and supplies drinking water to residents. The vast expanse of water runs down a semi-circular outlet, creating a swirling mist over the dam. It’s quite pretty to see in the monsoon; keep your eyes peeled for cormorants and pied kingfishers flying by.   


The Japanese Gardens at Vasco da Gama
The Japanese Gardens at Vasco da Gamamuralird2008/Shutterstock

Next, make a quick stopover at the Monte Hills Viewpoint, a hidden gem that attracts few crowds. A nearby church adds to the scenic views of Madgaon which you can see from here.

Alternatively, you can stopover at Betalbatim Beach, which radiates pastoral vibes in sharp contrast to overcrowded beaches like Colva, just a few metres south. Betalbatim itself consists of several smaller strips of beaches like “Lovers’ Beach,” which is deserted enough for couples to frequent. If the waters are not too choppy, you can take an afternoon swim or just relax on the white sands. Check with lifeguards first on whether the former activity is appropriate to do so.

One of the best places in Goa is the Japanese Gardens in Vasco da Gama. Located on top of a hill, the idyllic trail to reach it takes visitors through vast stretches of grasslands and tall trees. Soak in the spectacle of rowing boats and sailing ships on the blue sea from here. Rejuvenate your senses by sitting next to the peaceful koi pond or gazing at the loveliness of the Zen garden. Have a picnic and watch out for the majestic sunset. If you wish, you can also check out the ruins of the 17th-century Mormugão Fort nearby.


The Kesarval Falls are at their most resplendent during the monsoon season
The Kesarval Falls are at their most resplendent during the monsoon seasonraptap.in/Instagram

Wrap up your second Goan evening with a short trek to the beautiful Kesarval Falls, which is at its most resplendent during the monsoon season. The falls and spring are renowned for their medicinal properties; the waters are purported to even heal bodily ailments. The minerals in the water come from the hard rock face that it pounds through, making the lake a great natural spa. After a busy day of sightseeing, a dip in the Kesarval Falls will wash away all weariness and leave you light and full of delight.

Day 3


A lingam at the Arvalem Caves
A lingam at the Arvalem CavesHitesh Jawahirani/Shutterstock

Start your next morning with a trip to the Arvalem Waterfalls. It roars its pleasure during the monsoon season when the rains swell its waters. It is part of a complex which encompasses the Arvalem Caves, which date back to the 6th century. Legend has it that the five Pandava brothers and Draupadi from the Hindu epic of “Mahabharata” lived here during their time in exile. It is believed that Buddhist monks carved out the caves from a single laterite rock, constructing a sanctuary at the north and a vihara at the south. This mysterious place is suitable for culture and history lovers.


Mangroves on the Chapora River
Mangroves on the Chapora RiverPavel Laputskov/Shutterstock

One of the best places to visit in Goa is Chorão Island. Take a tour through its backwaters and lush green mangroves where you will witness not only its natural beauty but also the Portuguese-style homes of Chorão residents and their whitewashed churches. The area is also home to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary where it is commonplace to find striated herons, western reef herons, little bitterns and jack snipes.

Next, time for a hands-on activity. The monsoon is the best time to go kayaking on the Chapora River, whose mangrove plantations burst with colour. The air is cool and each stroke will calm you into a meditative state as you move through the smooth waters. Let the spray hit your face as you revel in this magical monsoon experience and reconnect with the living world.


Aguada Fort in Candolim Beach
Aguada Fort in Candolim BeachIngvar Kuznetsov/Shutterstock

Time to hit the beach. Choose from Morjim, Anjuna or Candolim to view the lapping waves of the Arabian Sea. Morjim Beach is popular as a breeding ground for olive ridley turtles, Anjuna Beach is known for its flea markets and cafés, and Candolim Beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water activities like jet skiing and parasailing. The sunset from any of these three places is worth staying for as you wrap up your Goa trip.

Getting There

Land at Manohar International Airport (GOX) in Mopa, Dabolim Airport (GOI) in Panjim or take the train to Karmali railway station (KRMI). There are bus and taxi connections from Bengaluru, Kolhapur, Mangaluru, Mumbai, Mysuru and Pune to Panjim.

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