Quad biking through Ponda’s forest:
Looking for an adrenaline riding, high-octane and exciting sport? Then quad biking is the best option for you! Get to experience the untouched Goa through the forests as you create your own way through the muddy terrain and navigate through green fields. The four wheeler monster which can be hired is a dream of ever tourist to experience it once. Again, this is one of those experiences in Goa which will appeal the thrill seeker in you.
En route to Goa’s local streams and backwater through the various waterways that goes across the state. You can enjoy pleasant yet refreshing boat rides across the Mandovi River, Zuari River, Nerul River, and Sal Backwaters. On the tour, you will get a sight of the Goa that remains tucked away from the nightlife and beaches.
Apart from the backwaters, you can also enjoy kayaking at the Palolem beach. Kayaking in the silent aura of ocean or backwater one of the blissful experiences in Goa.
Trek till the top of Chapora Fort and enjoy sunset
The famous Dil Chahta fort has its own charm. Located between Morjim and Vagator beach, Chapora fort offers you boutiful views of both these beaches. Stare at the ships coming back to shore as the Sun gently slides towards the horizon. Compared to Aguada fort of other famous attractions, Chapora fort is devoid of tourist hordes and hence it becomes a lovely spot to visit. The best time to visit here is during Sunset as you can trek right up to the nose of the mountain and settle on a spot, waiting for the Sun to set.
There are a plenty other sunset points in Goa. Apart from Chapora fort, my other favorite spot is near Palolem Beach. In evening, you can start walking towards the right end of Palolem beach. There you would see a stretch of backwaters. Cross it and you will reach a bar. You need to walk even further and climb some boulders to find a flat surface. You can just sit there and enjoy the awesome sight of the sunset as the boats return back to Palolem beach.
Apart from these two, Dona Paula also offers a good sunset view. Enjoying sunset at these spots is one of the top most experiences in Goa.
Visiting the Butterfly Conservatory:
The Butterfly Conservatory is situated in Ponda which is also known as the Mystic Meadows Conservatory. This conservatory is spread over an area of 4000 square meters. The park is designed in such a way to allow tourist to take a nature walk across the park. Many people tend to misinterpret with the first impression that this place must be a typical tropical forest. There are over 133 types of butterflies that blossom in this park. While you are at a nature walk here, you can easily spot at least 25 for an average. To have a perfect experience one can take a guide along with them. Not only butterflies, there are prevalent plants which are found in this conservatory.
Here you may also get to learn many new medicinal and also culinary benefits of the plants. Mainly these plants contribute to the exclusive ecosystem of this place. These features also help in creating opportunities for the reproduction of new butterfly species and nourishment of the existing ones. This true-to-life heaven, the butterfly conservatory at Ponda is a major tourist destination in Goa. I would only recommend this activity out of all the experiences in Goa only if you are keen about butterflies. If not, you might not find this experience worth.
Cooking Classes in Goa:
Goa offers numerous experiences that will involve you in interesting thrills. Cooking classes are amongst them which lets you discover your cooking instincts. The cooking styles of this area have a strong influence from various areas of the world. Hence learning to cook Goan dishes is on of the best and offbeat experience which you get in Goa. Cookery classes are hosted at many places here. Few of the popular places to learn to cook local food are at Benaulim and Silom Beach. Also, enjoy stirring hot vessels of the tasty food at the Siolim cooking school where you are helped by expert cooks in cooking delicious dishes.
At these places, you are taught how to utilize essential ingredients like coconut milk and vinegar which helps in influencing the flavor of dishes. At the end of these cooking sessions, you will come to know how to cook chicken, pork, fish, beans and capsicum based dishes. The Benaulim Beach has various Goan restaurants which also host cooking classes. At these places, you get to know how to mix and match striking spices to create mouth-watering Goan cooking satisfactions. Mainly seafood cooking is taught in these sessions at a large scale. One would learn how to cook shark, pomfret and tuna dishes. This is a good option to include for your culinary experience in Goa.
Bird Watching in Goa:
Goa is an everlasting dwelling for the varied range of exotic birds. Bird watching is assumed to be one of the main offbeat experiences in Goa. The varied environment of this area is accompanied by the decent temperate weather. This environment creates ornithological attractions that are pervasive by their presence. Here you can find over than 400 species of birds. Along the river side, one can get to see the habitats of egrets, waders, sandpipers, herons, and ducks. The mangrove jungles in this area are home to the vague but beautiful collared kingfishers. The local fresh backwaters are also a place to spot birds such as pipits, jacanas, and moorhens.
The Sahyadri sector of Goa is represented by swarming deciduous jungles which are also covered with bamboo and cane trees. In these areas, you can also find bird species like raptors, hornbills and bulbuls. These are few of the rare birds which thrive only in appropriate environments. Apart from this one can also see forest birds in Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries like Mollem, Bondla, Cotigao and much more.
A recommend spot for bird watching is Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary on Chorao Island.
Spice Plantation Tour:
Spices are considered to be an essential part day to day life. Goa is a land of plentitude in natural resources and while you are on a spice plantation tour you are treated to a visual spread of plenteous spice plants that offer amusing smells. At such tours, you will also get to know how spices are developed and cultivated. A single trip to such amazing areas will charm you with the lively aromas of the fresh spices that overwhelm your senses. A visit to the spice plantation is among the offbeat experiences in Goa.
Most of the spice plantations here are privately owned but for them, you are surely honored guests. At these spice plantations tours, you don’t only roam around the plantations but you are also served extravagant Goan food. The sumptuous food will make you surely fall in love with the local Goan dishes. A variety of spice based delicacies is served in a small amount on a banana leaf. One can also spend a blissful time walking through the tracks that take you across these huge spice plantations. This spice plantation walk is one of the culinary experiences in Goa.
Underwater Sea Walks:
Walking underwater and viewing the entire aquatic life below is a fascinating experience. The underwater sea walk is hosted at the Baina Beach in Goa. This is one of the most mind blowing experiences in Goa. The underwater sea walk takes place for nearly about 25 minutes. Swimmers and non-swimmers can actively take part in this activity. This beach gives an opportunity to explore the colorful marine life. The water at the Baina Beach is highly pure and clear. Considering the water, this activity is safe at this beach. The underwater sea walk is conducted by a specialist with years of experience assisting the visitors to enjoy this exciting inclusion in the list of experience in Goa.
Holiday at the backwaters of Goa:
Not many people are aware of the backwaters apart from that of Kerala. But Goa also offers a peaceful and fascinating backwater cruise experience. Many of the cruise boats and houseboats here include pubs too. Get overwhelmed with the good music, food, wine and picturesque eye sights. These charming floating cruises are finished of lightweight wood and furnished with all the modern facilities. Glide along the Chapora river in Siolim that will take you across enthralling routes and also offers a view of the local life.
Those who wish to experience a unique holiday at the backwaters are also offered with a pick-up and drop service. While you are on board, you shall be treated with the superb Goan style delicacies and drinks. One can also perform other activities like swimming, fishing, and indoor games like ludo and chess. Holiday at the backwaters gives you a combination of fun and unique experiences in Goa.
Sail in a ferry from Ribandar to Chorao Island
Ferries are an important part of the Goan culture. Locals cross the Mandovi river to reach various islands. Take a ferry from Ribandar and visit Chorao Island to discover the untouched beauty of nature and quaint villages. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is also located on Chorao island. As the humming of the ferry engine creates your background score, you will feel captivated by the swaying winds and gentle waves of Mandovi river. If you happen to visit Goa in monsoon, you should definitely take this ferry to revel in what I think is one of the most peaceful experiences in Goa.
Jump in a well during Sao Jao festival
Every monsoon, this tradition continues to lure youth in celebrations of Sao Jao festival. Organized in the town of Siolim along with some other towns as well, locals jump in their family well or a common waterbody to celebrate the festival. This festival is also known as the festival of fertility.
Dine with your loved ones by riverside or the seaside
Adjacent to the cruise entrances, on the banks of Mandovi, you will find a lot of restaurants which offer great cuisine along with the experience to enjoy the calm river winds. These are not necessarily expensive restaurants. My personal favorite is Gene’s restaurant which offers affordable food with an experience to truly revel in.
If you are a bigger fan of the ocean than rivers, you can visit plenty of seaside restaurants in Goa who excel at seafood along with many other cuisines.
Dining by a waterbody is indeed one of the most laidback experiences in Goa.
Attend the Tripurari Purnima Boat festival
Organized near Sanquelim, Tripurari Purnima Boat festival takes place 15 days after Diwali. It is organized on the Full moon day in the month of Karthik, which is essentially exactly 15 days after Diwali, celebrated on New moon day. Boats are decorated and a display of pomp and festivities enthuse the spectators. A race takes place between them and with the backdrop of cheers, an ambiance of ecstasy takes over. Participating in this boat festival can a unique experience out of all the experiences in Goa.
Visit Lower Aguada Fort at night
At night, when more than half of the town is asleep, sneak to the lower Aguada fort, located behind Taj Vivanta. Very close to Sinquerim beach, this part of Aguada fort is different from the main fort which shuts at 5 pm. The floodlights installed by Taj Vivanta will offer you good visibility. Stand at the watchtower of lower Aguada fort and let the water bounce up and splash against you due to high tide. The sheer sound of the ocean roaring in its glory is thrilling. One of the lesser known experiences in Goa, a visit to lower Aguada will be totally worth it.