Outdoor Activities in Goa
By Viator, June 2014
1. Scuba Diving
Explore the world beneath the surface of Goa’s clear, turquoise waters by diving just off the coast. While Goa may not make the list of top dive spots in the world, the warm, shallow waters and abundant sea life make it a good spot for visitors new to scuba to get their feet wet. Visibility can reach up to 30 feet (10 meters).
Also, the state’s coastline has several coral gardens to dive, but perhaps the most interesting sites are the wrecks of ships lost by the Portuguese during their colonial period. Most of the dive sites are situated around Grand Island, but more advanced divers should consider day trips to Angria Bank, often carpeted in starfish, or Pigeon Island, where it’s common to spot sea turtles and barracuda.
The calm winds and consistent weather of southern Goa, particularly along Palolem Beach, make it an ideal spot for sailing. Rent a catamaran and head out to sea to escape the crowds on the sand for a relaxing morning or afternoon of gliding across the water. Several beaches offer catamaran rentals, and if you’re new to the sport, you can easily hire an instructor along with the boat.
3. Water Sports
The entire stretch of beach extending from Baga to Aguada is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. With nearly everything on offer you could dream up, jet skiing, wake boarding, water skiing and windsurfing are among the most popular on the menu, but more intrepid adventure seekers can take to the air with a parasail.
It may be difficult to tear yourself away from the idyllic waters, but heading inland for some trekking gives you a glimpse at a side of Goa many visitors overlook. One of the best hikes, especially if you’re visiting just after monsoon season from October to December, is at the impressive Dudhsagar Falls, where the water cascades down the four tiered fall from over 1,000 feet (305 meters) above.
5. Wildlife Spotting
The rivers and coastal waters around the state are filled with wildlife, and taking a boat expedition is a great way to spot some of these interesting critters. Along the Mandovi River, you may get lucky enough to see crocodiles or freshwater dolphins swimming near the estuary. For bird watching, pay a visit to the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, a 440-acre (178-hectacre) mangrove forest near the capital city of Panaji (Panjim).