Modern Goa has evolved into a comfortable and crowded vacation destination complete with five star hotels and resorts. In other places, Goa’s beautiful Portuguese architecture, sleepy fishing villages and undiscovered and deserted beaches, remain unchanged are just as alluring as ever.
When you arrive in Goa at Palolem Airport you are going to need a pre-paid taxi.
Avoid the prepaid counter just before the airport exit, it’s run by a private operator and charges about a third more than the government approved prepaid counter located outside, opposite the arrivals hall.
Step up to the counter, name your destination and the clerk inside will write the price and the lucky taxi winner on a small slip, pay the clerk, give the taxi driver your slip and you’ll be on your way.
You can score an even cheaper ride with the taxi hustlers waiting outside the airport gate but be prepared to bargain hard, and watch out: these guys deal with tourists for a living.
IN A TRANCE
If you’re coming to Goa for the trance parties head up north to Anjuna.
This is where it all got started and where underground parties are still going on — because of a blanket ban throughout Goa on outdoor music past 10:00 pm, the only parties worth going to are unadvertised and under the radar.
In Anjuna ask around for the hilltop trance parties, these semi-secret parties embody the free spirit of the Goa dance scene. Think wild fluorescents and body paint and trance music under the stars.
Head south for your languid lounging beach escape.
AVOID TOURIST TRAPS
You want to avoid overdeveloped Calangute Beach where the tourist industrial complex caters to the masses. Leave the giant beach resorts behind and go south to quite and idyllic Agonada.
Rent a secluded beach shack and get some serious sun time on the as yet undiscovered and pristine beaches.
In Agonda, Om Sai Beach Huts rents secluded temporary huts from November through March.
You can rent a beach hut from between $13 to $21 Agonda Beach Huts, Agonda Village (agondagoa.com)
Palolem is another southern beach that is fast becoming popular. Check out, Ordo Sounsar, another place to rent huts that is known for it’s relaxed and carefree vibe. Palolem Beach Goa is the best place to rent. (ordosounsar.com)