Best monsoon experiences in Goa
Visit waterfalls and national parks
The mighty Dudhsagar waterfall is at its thunderous best during the monsoons and is a sight to behold. The falls, located in the Goa-Karnataka border, cascades down the slopes of the Western Ghats and is something straight out of a picture postcard. Dudhsagar is in the midst of Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, both of which attract wildlife enthusiasts all year round. If you’re lucky, you could spot a Bengal tiger in North Goa’s Valpoi, home to Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, or you could gape in awe at the many waterfalls in the region, such as Vazra Sakla and Vidri. Monsoons unfurl the true character of Goa’s national parks, and this is when you get to see the region’s rich biodiversity in all its splendour.
Go on a plantation trail
Goa’s many spice plantations beckon during the monsoons, and it makes perfect sense to skip the tumultuous sea and head to these green canopies instead. These plantations – most of which are located around Ponda, about 30 km southeast of Panjim, the capital – spring to life with cardamom, nutmeg, cashews, vanilla, cloves and the like, this time of the year. Guided tours are conducted, and some of them, like Savoi Plantations, feature a distillery where one can catch a glimpse of how feni is extracted from cashew. With in-house restaurants, shopping and accommodation options, these plantations are mini vacations in themselves.
Join the festivities
The onset of monsoons also marks the beginning of the festive season in Goa. Sao Joao or the Feast of St. John the Baptist in Siolim is among the most prominent ones, and dates back over 150 years. Held on June 24, the festival has men jumping into wells and rivers to retrieve gifts, and this is accompanied by much dancing and revelry. There’s also the Sangodd Festival (June 29), which is essentially celebrated by the fishing community. If you love quirky, partake in the Ponsachem Fest or Jackfruit Festival in Socorro, for all things jackfruit. Who said monsoons are not for partying?