The Hidden Gems of Goa.

17 Oct 2021
The Hidden Gems of Goa.
Posted by: Princy Pereira

         Everyone has had this dream of visiting Goa in their teen days and the whole agenda to visit Goa was “Guys! Goa jayenge mast beach pe bhetke chilled beer piyenge, bas phir aur kya chaiye!” to everyone Goa has always been more than just a tourist destination it is a feeling. Although that is a different thing that being a teen our plans were never successful because our parents never permitted us. But now that we are all grown up and we love to visit Goa and not just to rent a bike and ride through the lanes of Goa or just sit at the shack and enjoy a cold beer enjoying the view of the waves crashing at the beach.

           I have visited Goa a couple of times, yet I am never tired of planning to go back to Goa and this time that I visit, my wish is to visit the unexplored places in Goa or the places that are lesser known to the tourists. Let me show you some of the places I plan to visit on my next trip to Goa. Places different from your regular Goa itinerary. Apart from all the beautiful beaches we shall get to know some of the offbeat, picturesque we can visit in Goa, so let us find out all those hidden gems of Goa!

     Galgibaga Beach.

It is known as one of the cleanest beaches in Goa. Due to its cleanliness and its lack of human movement the beach can host the nesting and hatching of the endangered species of sea turtles that is the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, this is a seasonal phenomena so if you are lucky you could encounter the hatching of the eggs and witness those baby sea turtles heading into the sea to begin their journey of life. Apart from it being one of the few hidden beaches in Goa you can enjoy the crystal-clear water and shimmering silver sand. You can enjoy some quiet and peace here as you will notice that the beach is not packed with people.
Where: South of Talpona river, South Goa
Best Time to Visit: Between November and March
How To Reach: The location of the beach is quite far away from both the nearest airport and railway station. Therefore, you must hire a private taxi or hire a cab to the beach. There is also an option of buses from the Canacona Bus Station to Mashem from where you have a take a ferry for the Galgibaga beach.

     Butterfly Beach.

It is a lesser-known beach set as an isolated cove Butterfly beach is a beautiful beach in the shape of a butterfly. Here you can enjoy the view and you can also enjoy your time here spotting dolphins, crabs, and a variety of butterflies as well. You can enjoy sitting and relaxing on the beach on the powdery white sand, translucent water, and the untouched beauty of the scenery, you can witness some peaceful sunset here. The bonus to this beach is that you can trek through its lush jungles surrounding the beach.

Where: Palolem, South Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How To Reach: The beach cannot be accessed by buses, cars, or bikes as it is surrounded by a dense forest. You can reach Butterfly beach by boat from Palolem or Agonda beaches. A boat ride costs around INR 1000-1200 (back and forth).

Places To Stay: The Nest, Crystal Goa Emerald Edition, Art Prive, Bamboo Yoga, Laguna Vista Beach Huts, Patnem Garden Resort.

     Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary & Mollem National Park.

Who knew there was a whole sanctuary for the wildlife in Goa? Yes, you wouldn’t believe me, but Goa has a wildlife sanctuary and a national park. Here amidst the lush green forest, you can enjoy the wildlife as the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary & Mollem National Park are a host to a variety of flora & fauna. You can see wildlife such as the leopards, gaurs, and sloth bear. You also enjoy hiking or trekking out here observing the wilderness and learning about the different reptile species you see along your journey as the Sanctuary is a haven for a variety of reptiles.

Where: NH 4A, Caranzol, South Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How To Reach: The national park and sanctuary is well-connected by road to other parts of Goa, and you will find plenty of private and government-operated buses and vehicles going to the park at frequent intervals. Panaji is around 70 km from the park, and you can book a private car directly from here.

     Butterfly Conservatory of Goa.

The variety of colours and patterns we see on these beautiful insect’s knowns as the Butterfly will never fail to make you happy and feel excited and to make that possible you can visit the beautiful Butterfly Conservatory in Goa. This conservatory was built with a purpose to save the native species of butterflies, helping these butterflies thrive in their natural habitat. The conservatory is currently a home to 133 species of butterflies, when visiting one is bound to encounter at least 25 – 30 different species of butterflies. Oh, and hey let me tell you about a secret for all those who love clicking pictures, the conservatory is a haven for all the photographer where they can capture beautiful pictures with the most beautiful butterflies, so when you visit don’t forget to carry your camera.

Where: Rajnagar, Ponda, North Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How to Reach: You can reach by bus. At 26 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 25 km from Margao Railway Station and 4 km from Ponda Bus Stand.

     Savoi Spice Plantations.

The southern parts of India are blessed with natural fertility in its soils and its jungles and so we see a flourishing ecosystem and the beauty in its lush greenery. And to promote that ecosystem Savoi Spice Garden is making its efforts, as it is a paradise for organic plantation that bares rare herbs and a variety of fruit orchards, not just that but they also have managed to grow the peculiar look plants. They also promote the locally made alcohol that is Urak and Feni, as they make it themselves. Let’s not just focus on the parties and the beaches, this time lets explore the true beauty of Goa.

Where: Ponda, North Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How To Reach: Located in Ponda village, the place is easily accessible via cabs/taxis.

     Arvalem Caves.

Goa has a its hidden gems that lead to the history of Hindu epics that give us an insight into what exactly happened during that period. It helps us understand to story behind the civilization, the lifestyle of the people during that time. The Arvalem Caves date to the 6th century, they are also known as the Pandava Caves. According to the locals the caves were used by Pandavas due to the presence of a Shivling inside the caves. Others says that the caves have an influence of Buddha and that the caves are Buddhist as they contain a huge Buddha statue near the place. Irrespective of the religious orientation of the caves we can rest assure to experience the adventure, mystery in its aura and the history of the cave never fails to charm as these caves are rock-cut caves.

Where: Rudreshwar Colony, Sanquelim, North Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How to Reach: You can use buses to ply easilt. The caves are at 29 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 46 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway station and 9 km south of Bicholim.

     Lamgau Cave

The Lamgau caves are nestled away in Bicholim. These caves do not see as many visitors, but tourists that desire to explore and visit these caves are always left awestruck with the elaborate carvings and the mystical aura it has. The cave consists of a shrine the showcases its intricate designed structure like the pavilion, the beam, and ceilings. The caves courtyard is a surrounded by tulsi plant around the stone linga and the cave also has an image of nandi bull. The cave is an artistic impression of the history as it tells the story through its art in the cave.

Where: Bicholim, North Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How to Reach: To reach Lamgau caves, you can drive from Bicholim towards Mapusa and then Panaji. Or you can drive via Lamgau village where one needs to trek along the hill base to reach the caves.

     Harvalem Waterfall.

Harvalem waterfall is one of the most scenic, serene, and worth visiting places of Goa. This waterfall is not too known amongst the tourists. But you can be rest assured to have some fun time at this waterfall as the stream of water gushes off the hill creating a veil like effect. It is an ideal picnic spot for families and friends to enjoy a good picnic as you can spend 2 hrs out here exploring the beauty and the surrounding of the place. You can enjoy doing activities such as swimming or exploring the lush greenery around the waterfall, you can collect memories through pictures with the waterfall in the background.

Where: in the vicinity of Bicholim & Sequelim Town, North Goa.

Best Time to Visit: During the Monsoon.

How to Reach: It will take you around 1 hour to reach the destination from Panjim. You will pass through the Margao Highway Bypass Road. You can also save your money and opt for the cheaper bus rides from Panjim Kadamba bus depot. This is under the government transport facility. If you hire a private car, it will take around 32 minutes from Panjim to reach the waterfall site. The distance of Harvalem is just 24km from Panjim.

     Keri Bridge.

Keri is a village located in the Sattari taluka of Goa. It is a typical Goan village with the influence of a very simplistic living. This village is surrounded by huge mountains and tall coconut trees around it from the Portuguese era. The uniqueness of this village is the iconic Keri Bridge which is one of the most Instagramable places as it is overlooking the huge mountains and the tall coconut trees. And you what the best part about this bridge is that you can catch the most amazing view of a sunrise out here; yeah, you might have to wake up early for it but trust me it would be worth it!

Where: Keri, North Goa

Best Time to Visit: Between November and March

How to Reach: The bridge is at 35 kms from Mapusa Bus Stand. Easily located on google map.

            Just like these Goa has a huge treasure of such hidden gems you just need to find them. I hope this will help you become the explorer that you want to be instead of being just a tourist and doing the same thing as everyone else. I hope on your next trip to Goa you are going to explore these hidden gems along with discovering many more of such gems. Let’s promise ourselves that we are not going to limit ourselves to the Goa beaches and its shacks but also explore more than this.