God was in a good mood when she made Goa. Sunsets at the beach, a perfect winter season, sea food, the laid back culture & beaches that have captivated the senses of travellers across the globe.

Goa, is a beach paradise.

However, this little state is not only about its coast, if you are prepared to travel inland and away from the usual spots. The experiences are breathtaking ..

Further inland Goa becomes wilder, more verdant and relaxed. A world within the Goan world that you should see..

Set among lush paddy fields, deep gorges and thick forest are ancient temples, Portuguese churches, spice plantations and waterfalls.

As well as butterflies, there are birds of all kinds flitting between the trees, while cats and dogs laze happily in the grass. The river is lined with fishermen and crabbers, and the day is slow , relaxed and beautiful.

Take a journey with us to places you can spend a day at, chill, unwind and go deeper into yourself & nature.

Keri Beach

An exception to a norm of people covered beaches in Goa sits pretty at the northern most tip of Goa. Querim or Keri beach is quiet with long sandy stretches; fringed by Palms, Fir and Casuarinas trees.

How to Get there

Keri is easily accessible by road from the more popular northern Goa beaches of Arambol and Mandrem. You can ride or drive to the beach.

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Close to the Keri beach is an ancient fort on the Triacol river that is also (now) one of North Goa’s best kept stay secrets.

Originally built by the Marathas in the early 17th century, the Tiracol fort was captured by Portuguese viceroy Dom Pedro de Almeida in 1746 and rebuilt.

The Fort Tiracol Heritage hotel is a experience on its own , while also serving as a luxurious base to spend a few days exploring this side of North Goa.


Surrounded by a tree line of Palm, Fir and Casuarina trees , and a pristine beach . Keri is the ideal place to sink into, and watch the hours go by in peace, perhaps a small swim in the sea, or lay back with a book or beer to enjoy what Goa was like before the ‘North Goa tourist’ vibe.

While beaches are the conventional attraction of Goa; nine main rivers & multiple smaller tributaries, form navigable waterways that run just alongside Goan village life, lush green nature and fauna that is not waiting to be discovered. But, you can always go explore.

Goa’s Backwaters & River Islands

Divar & Chorão

One of Goa’s many (river) islands. Divar and Chorão make for a stunning back country circuit with low traffic and idyllic village-scapes.

How to Get there

The river islands can be reached from the Old Goa jetty which is a short distance from both Mapusa and Panjim. Ensure to arrange for transport on the island or bring your own.

view from the  forest  of an old Portuguese church in Goa

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Arriving at Divar island feels a little like going back in time in Goa. The little riverine has three main settlements and a network of single lane roads that zigzag across the island. The setting is ideal for a slow exploratory day. Historical remnants of the island’s culture (during & before the Portuguese rule) are still present across the island, adding a rich context to reasons for exploring Divar.


The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is located on Chorao island which means that the skies and marshes are a riot of colors and teeming with birdlife. The sanctuary was named after India’s best-known ornithologist, and was built to protect the bird life here, as well as, the mangroves that have grown in this marshland.

Forest Mangrove path on Chorao Island Goa India

Though bird life may not interest you , walking around in the sanctuary or taking a trip through the mangroves in a dug out canoe is a blissed out feeling..

Cumbarjua Canal

mugger crocodile sitting at goa backwater river bank . basking in the sun.

The Cumbarjua Canal holds something you would never expect in Goa – Wild crocodiles. The waterway is 15 km long and helps connect Goa’s two main rivers – Zuari and Mandovi. The ‘Mugger’ or marsh crocodiles in these waters are actually freshwater reptiles that have adapted to the saline backwaters in this ecosystem. The island itself has a war history and (it is believed that) about a 100 years ago, these crocodiles were introduced into the waters – by the Portuguese – as protection from enemies.

How to Get there

Old Goa Jetty is start point of this almost 2 hour boat journey that runs through the Cumbarjua Canal and ends at the Cortalim jetty further south.

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An almost intimate way to experience the hidden backwater life of Goa; on the boat trip, you pass by fishermen & villagers going about their daily – boat based- routines, and a trove of avian wildlife: pied-kingfisher, the black-capped kingfisher, stork bellied kingfishers, the white-bellied sea eagle, ospreys, pariah kites, brahminy kites, the common sandpiper, egrets, terns, and cormorants.

And of course the Crocs that are locally known to be non-aggressive and used to human contact. So, its not a risk being around them.


A boat tour takes you into the vibrant mangrove habitat of these parts, full of bird life, who feed on the fish, prawns and mollusk living in the meandering waterway. There are options for boat tours on traditional or modern vessels & we suggest coupling this trip with a visit to the nearby islands of Chorao & Divar.

The Sahyadris are a bio-diversity hotspot and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. This is a chance to witness a slice of its magic first hand.

waterfall view from Chorla Ghat Goa India

Tambdi Surla Waterfall

The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest of Goa’s protected forest areas, home to rarely spotted  Jungle cats, Malayan giant squirrels, Gaurs, Sambars, Leopards, Chitals (spotted deer), Slender loris, Malayan pythons and Cobras.

It is also home to the beautiful Tambdi Surla waterfall & the 12th century -Shaivaite – Tambdi Surla temple of Lord Mahadev (one of the principal deities of Hinduism). 

How to Get there

The entrance to Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible from Molem or Colem, which are small villages on National Highway 4 (near the border with Karnataka). The trip is about a two hour drive from Panjim.

waterfall view from Chorla Ghat Goa India

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The Tambdi Surla temple is Goa’s oldest, and was constructed during the Kadamba Dynasty rule. The temple is built from basalt in the Hemadpanthi style, and there are intricate carvings of the Hindu deities : Shiva, Vishnu & Bhrama that adorn the interior & the sides of the temple. 

You can even hear the Surla river flowing nearby, and sounds of the lush forest all around. The hike to the Tambdi Surla waterfall is through thick forest, and takes about 90 minutes of walking through easy paths (and some steep ascents) to reach the falls itself. Once you’re there though, the cascading falls are sight to soak in. And all around the forest is alive with chirping birds, insect sounds, and fresh flowing water. The perfect place to just chill & spend a day in nature.

Tambdi Surla Waterfall Western Ghats Goa India


A trip to the waterfall is recommended with a local guide or person familiar with the area. Though you wont come across any large or dangerous animals there will be reptiles and insects (small and big). Therefore, it’s best to wear shoes, proper clothing and take the help of locals.

Netravali, Savri or Savari Waterfall

The Netravali wildlife sanctuary is another bio-diverse area of inland Goa, plus a vital wildlife corridor of the Western Ghat region. It is also home to rarely spotted  Jungle cats, Malayan giant squirrels, Gaurs, Sambars, Leopards, Chitals (spotted deer), Slender loris, Malayan pythons and Cobras.

The sanctuary is also home to the Savri or Savari Waterfall, that is a little easier to get as compared the Tambdi Surla waterfall.

How to Get there

When looking for the waterfall’s location on Google; search directly for Netravali National park . Once you get to the national park gate you need to register and pay a small fee to enter.

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Taking a trip here is a one day affair that involves a trek to the base of the falls, deep into the sanctuary, and is not as strenuous or restrictive as some of the other waterfall treks in this region.

This makes it an ideal place to go chill & soak in the calm of nature; skipping a trip to the beach & heading instead to inland Goa ..

Note that it is a forest trek so make sure to wear suitable shoes as it is a bit challenging; but the setting and the cool water is so worth it! 

Butterfly Beach

While Agonda beach in South Goa is a picture postcard stretch of sand, surf and coconut palms; complemented by sundowners or a relaxing massage. Located nearby is a paradise cove that could be straight out of Alex Garland ‘s famous novel (about a young backpacker’s search for paradise).

hidden beach south goa. Butterfly beach near Agonda

Butterfly beach is a hidden spot for adventure, some stunning views and aquatic life.

How to Get there

The easiest way to Butterfly beach is by a boat from Palolem or Agonda beach. But, to get there & be able to chill at your own pace , trek through the forest surrounding this semi- circle shaped piece of paradise.


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The beach is special because it is secluded and not accessible by road. Therefore you won’t be subject to the average tourist trappings.. In fact there is nothing on the beach itself. What you will experience though, is numerous butterflies hovering over the hill top blossoms, dolphins in the water doing their bit of aqua acrobatics, and during low tide, the shore widens to reveal crabs, redfish , sea urchins, and goldfish .

All in all, a trip here is like going back in time. When all of Goa was completely wild and unspoiled. This beach is a feast for the senses, that is not easily accessible or tourist friendly , making it all the more special in our minds.


Apart from trekking through the forest to reach the beach, you can also contact a local provider for canoeing, rock climbing or taking a boat ride to the beach (from close by Agonda or Palolem). Note that the trek to the beach is challenging, so go prepared and get local help if possible.

canoeing butterfly beach goa

Forest treks in Chorla Ghat and the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

The Chorla Ghat lies at point where the borders of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka meet. Unassumingly, it is also where the ecology that makes this region special; remains untouched, nestled in the Sahyadris.

During and just after the monsoons, it is a carpet of lush green forest, breathtaking waterfalls and small jungle streams cutting through the landscape.

If bliss has a monsoon home, it is here..

lush forest and waterfalls at chorla ghat

How to Get there

Chorla ghat is easily accessible by road and even the journey to the Ghat is enjoyable; as you pass by villages, forests, paddy fields and the occasional mini waterfall (if you’re travelling during or just after the monsoons). The more commercial approach route is from Mapusa but we recommend going through the lesser known Aldona route to really enjoy the journey.


The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is Goa’s youngest sanctuary (being declared as a wildlife preserve in 1999), and making Goa the only state in India that has protected all of the Western Ghat regions within it’s boundaries. It is within these environs, that you can take a one day trip deep into nature with relative ease. Below are a few places we recommend visiting..

Anjumen Dam is located approximately ten kilometres from Sanquelim town (going toward Belgaum), and lies close to one of the highest peaks in Goa. Close to the dam are two natural lakes that you can take a dip in.

Soaking in, not just the cool waters, but the lush forest around you.

A trek to Vazra Falls is a more complete trekking experience in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary area. The source of this 143 metre high watrfall is the Valvanti river that originates in the Chorla forest, and this journey takes you deep into the Western Ghats; for a first hand experience of just how spectacular these Eco-systems are.

vazra falls in western ghats india

The cliff and rock faces surrounding the falls are home to the critically endangered Long Billed Vultures who nest here.

A trek to the Twin Vajra Waterfalls is another experience that allows you to spend the day just chilling and relaxing in the forest. These falls flow down into Mahadaye River in Karnataka. So you will end up crossing the Goan border into Karnataka, and then the trek begins somewhere around the drive from Kankumbi towards Chapoli. Taking you into the Jamboti forest range, it’s a six hour trek. You have to start early and go with a plan and guide. In the high- Monsoon the trek will be tricky and challenging so keep that in mind when planning.

twin vajra falls in western ghats india

There are few more places like: Amthane Dam (near Bicholim,easily found on Google), Virdi falls (near Virdi village, a drive of about an hour and a half from Ponda) and The Peak of Lasni Temb (817 metres).

Now that you know about these places, how about some additional inspiration with a list of Five Motorcycle Routes in the Western Ghats of India ?

If you’re thinking of.. or already planning to travel. We’ve curated a perfect short trip plan in these parts. ⠀

Options to choose available, simply ask us for more details.⠀

Or, have a look at our curated options for motorcycle touring in India . Message us for any travel questions you have. Happy to share our knowledge and expertise.  The road never ends ..