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How to Spend 3 Days in Goa

How to Spend 3 Days in Goa

Goa is a multifaceted state, with everything from beaches and parties to gorgeous interior jungles and waterfalls, not to mention Portuguese colonial architecture. With three days in the state, here’s what you can see and do.

Day 1: Portuguese Goa

Goa was a Portuguese colony until 1961, and the state retains much of its Portuguese heritage to this day. The two best places to see Goa’s Portuguese architectural legacy are Old Goa (Velha Goa), which was the capital of Goa until the bubonic plague caused the population to flee to Panaji (Panjim) to set up a new capital, and Panaji itself. Old Goa is best-known for its churches, notably the Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the patron saint of Goa, Francis Xavier, is interred. Nearby, St. Catherine’s Cathedral (Sé Cathedral) attracts visitors with centuries of art and religious artifacts. Not far from Old Goa, the capital city of Panaji has two noteworthy Portuguese neighborhoods: Fontainhas and Sao Tome, adjacent districts full of colorful old houses and public buildings.

Day 2: Quintessential Goa: Beaches and Nightlife

Beach time is on the itineraries of most visitors to Goa, and no wonder—this coastal state features mile upon mile of beautiful shoreline, from red sandy beaches up north to beaches that take on a whiter hue, such as Palolem, down south. Popular options include Anjuna, Morjim, and Arambol, all of which have more of a hippie vibe, while Candolim and Sinquerim are quiet and close to Calangute, the busy hub of touristy north Goa. When you’re ready for some activity, get out on the water with a cruise. Options include dolphin-spotting adventures, kayak river trips, and sunset river cruises complete with live music and dance performances. In the evening, to experience Goa’s famous nightlife, head to the popular nightclub Tito’s on Baga Beach for Bollywood sounds or clubs in the northern villages of Anjuna and Vagator for homegrown trance music.

Day 3: Day Trip to Dudhsagar Falls and a Spice Plantation

On your final day in Goa, experience the natural beauty of the state’s interior. First, head inland to Dudhsagar Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the country at 1,017 feet (310 meters). Its name means "sea of milk," appropriate given the opaque white hue of its waters, and many visitors opt to hike to the top for great views. Just remember to pack a swimsuit: The pool at the base of the falls is the perfect spot for cooling off. Most travelers visit the falls as part of a group tour, some of which also stop at a local spice plantation in the village of Ponda for lunch and spice shopping. Take a guided walk around the plantation to learn about the history of spices in India and see what kitchen favorites such as cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, and cinnamon actually look like when they're growing. Return to Panaji and end your trip with a traditional Goan or Portuguese dinner of fresh seafood at the local restaurant of your choice.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Day Trip to Mollem National Park Including Dudhsagar Falls and Jeep Safari from Goa

Day Trip to Mollem National Park Including Dudhsagar Falls and Jeep Safari from Goa

star-4.5
5
Travel through Mollem National Park for an exhilarating off-road adventure. This private day trip includes transport by Jeep to Dudhsagar Falls, one of India’s tallest waterfalls. Your personal guide leads the way across the rock-strewn rivers and forests of the Western Ghats. Refresh with a picnic and a swim plus panoramic views at the top of the 4-tiered cascade. Then learn about the cultivation of herbs, tropical fruits and spices at a local plantation. Feast on a buffet lunch of Goan cuisine before return hotel transport to Goa.
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  • 7 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$146.00
Price varies by group size
From
$146.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Portuguese Heritage Tour: Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Dona Paula Beach in Goa

Private Portuguese Heritage Tour: Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Dona Paula Beach in Goa

star-4.5
11
Uncover Portuguese history and influence on this private half-day Portuguese heritage tour from Goa. Gain a deeper understanding of the state’s colonial past on visits to Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Born Jesus—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This epic tour includes a visit to the city of Panaji, where you see the impact of the Portuguese in Fontainhas, the Latin Quarter. Catch incredible views of the Arabian Sea from the Dona Paula Jetty before enjoying a traditional lunch.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$87.00
Price varies by group size
From
$87.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Goa Kayaking Sal Backwaters Mangroves Magic!

Goa Kayaking Sal Backwaters Mangroves Magic!

star-5
59
Goa is one of India's top attractions, but getting to the most interesting sights takes local knowledge. During this off-the-beaten-track kayaking tour, you’ll get an insider’s peek at the laid-back beach state’s picturesque waterways and diverse wildlife as you glide through lotus ponds and mango groves. It’s also a popular migratory spot for birds, so keep an eye out for the famous Kingfisher.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$43.68
Price varies by group size
From
$43.68
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Goa at Night - Sightseeing, Cruise and Dinner in Local Restaurant

Goa at Night - Sightseeing, Cruise and Dinner in Local Restaurant

Get personalized attention on a private sightseeing tour of Goa, then embark on a cruise on the Mandovi River during this half-day tour. With a guide, you'll follow a curated itinerary to make sure you don't miss a single thing on your tour; stops include the Maruti Temple, Conception Church, and Altinho Hill. Step aboard the cruise to take in sights along shore and listen to musical entertainment, then finish up with an included dinner at a local restaurant.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$459.00
Price varies by group size
From
$459.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Goa Kayaking in Spike's River

Goa Kayaking in Spike's River

star-5
12
Experience the thrill and the beauty of kayaking in one of Goa's most popular outdoor destinations during this Spike's River Goa kayaking trip. Navigate the thick mangroves and keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, osprey and sea eagles. Cruise past rural villages, historical churches and ancient temples on this water sport adventure that blends equal parts history, nature and culture, too.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$50.00
From
$50.00

Panjim Heritage walk with professional guide and option of pickup and drop

Panjim Heritage walk with professional guide and option of pickup and drop

Take a heritage walk through Panaji with an expert archaeologist guide, who will teach you all about the historical and cultural significance of the churches, temples, and typical homes of the city. This part of India is culturally unique, and your local guide will explain this so you get a better understanding of Goa. This tour is best suited to active travelers, as a moderate amount of walking is involved.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures