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Eco-Friendly Goa: A Sustainable Paradise of Responsible Tourism and Biodiversity

  • , August 18, 2023

Eco Friendly Goa

Goa, renowned for its immaculate beaches, lively culture, and lush surroundings, is currently moving toward a more sustainable future. E-friendliness has become increasingly crucial as worries about climate change and environmental damage increase. Examining Goa’s eco-friendly programs, behaviours, and attractions in this context not only provides insight but also serves as an example for other areas to emulate. Goa emerges as a model of sustainable practices, where the preservation of its natural beauty and cultural history takes primacy, as worries about the health of the globe grow more pressing. This article goes deep into Goa’s eco-friendly core, revealing the countless efforts, thoughtful decisions, and peaceful coexistence that are paving the way for future generations to lead greener, more responsible lives.

1. Sustainable Tourism Practices

Goa’s use of s ustainable tourism practices marks a significant change in how the area engages with its environment, culture, and visitors. This strategy aims to achieve a delicate balance between developing tourism and making sure Goa’s ecosystems and communities are sustained over the long term. Goa seeks to reduce negative effects on its natural and cultural resources while enhancing positive contributions through the introduction of sustainability concepts into the tourism industry .

  • Responsible visitor management: Responsible visitor management is essential for eco-friendly tourism in Goa to avoid overpopulation and the deterioration of sensitive ecosystems. Goa makes sure that its natural resources are preserved for future generations by actions including limiting access to popular sites, regulating tourism seasons, and promoting less-traveled regions.
  • Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Habitats: The preservation of Goa’s various ecosystems is a top priority for eco-friendly tourism. Visitors have the chance to both appreciate and help preserve the state’s abundant biodiversity through wildlife sanctuaries, mangrove conservation initiatives, and guided eco-tours.
  • Low-Impact Activities: The tourist activities in Goa are geared toward non-intrusive ways to take in the natural beauty of the island. Visitors can get a close-up look at the area while leaving the least amount of environmental impact by participating in guided nature walks, bike tours, and kayaking excursions.
  • Recycling and trash Reduction: Eco-friendly tourist activities include trash management tactics that reduce the use of plastic, support recycling, and coordinate routine beach clean-ups. The natural beaches and marine habitats of Goa are protected through these initiatives.

Goa’s Potential for Sustainable Tourism Practices

  • Ecotourism Haven: Goa is a haven for ecotourism thanks to its varied habitats, from the Western Ghats to its unspoiled coastline. The state can attract tourists while preserving its natural beauty by encouraging guided nature walks, animal viewing, and responsible hiking.
  • Community Engagement: The vibrant cultural legacy and tight-knit communities of Goa offer chances for really immersive cultural encounters. Participating in regional celebrations, customary crafts, and neighborhood-based projects can promote intercultural understanding and strengthen local economies.
  • Mobility Alternatives: Introducing green mobility options, including electric cars and cycle lanes, can lessen traffic congestion and carbon emissions while also improving the entire visitor experience.
  • Sustainable Festivals and Events: Working with festival and event organizers to ensure eco-friendly practices can reduce environmental consequences while providing tourists with distinctive experiences.
  • Eco-Friendly Accommodations: Goa may adopt sustainable lodging that reduces energy use, reduces waste, and prioritizes eco-friendly amenities, from boutique eco-resorts to homestays. Programs for certification can encourage businesses to follow green guidelines.

Goa’s adoption of sustainable tourism techniques not only demonstrates its dedication to protecting its natural and cultural resources but also serves as an example for other travel destinations throughout the world. A model for a cleaner and more sustainable travel business, responsible tourism works in concert with environmental protection, community involvement, and cultural preservation to guarantee that Goa’s appeal remains.

2. Green Accommodations

The astonishing evolution of Goa’s hospitality industry is at the core of the state’s transformation into an eco-friendly state. To redefine how visitors experience this coastal sanctuary while leaving a kinder ecological impact, the idea of “Green Accommodation” has gained traction. In addition to providing a comfortable place to stay, these eco-friendly lodgings support sustainable practices that align with the state’s dedication to environmental protection and ethical tourism.

  • Solar-Powered Retreats: Goa’s eco-friendly lodgings use the region’s plentiful sunshine to run their businesses. Rooftops are adorned with solar panels that transform sunshine into clean energy used to run heaters, lights, and appliances. This strategy not only lowers carbon emissions but also shows how we may live in harmony with the environment.
  • Harvesting rainwater: Given Goa’s tropical climate, water conservation is a top priority. Rainwater harvesting systems are now a common feature in eco-friendly lodgings. These systems capture and store rainwater for use in irrigation and toilet flushing, among other things. This method lessens dependency on local water supplies and mitigates water scarcity.
  • Energy-Efficient Infrastructure: In environmentally friendly lodgings, sustainable architecture takes center stage. The demand for air cooling and heating is reduced through energy-efficient designs, natural ventilation, and insulating materials, which lowers energy consumption and improves visitor comfort.
  • Initiatives for Responsible Trash Management: Goa’s eco-friendly hotels promote ethical trash management. They put a high priority on waste segregation, recycling, and composting to ensure that most of the trash produced is kept out of landfills. This dedication serves as an example for both visitors and the neighborhood.

Goa’s Potential for Green Accomodation

The potential for green lodging in the state is a game-changing chance to provide visitors with more than just a place to rest but also an immersive experience that is in line with sustainable values.

  • Integration of Renewable Energy: Goa’s plentiful sunshine can be used to generate solar electricity, while the coastal breezes can be used to generate wind energy. When it comes to implementing renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon impact, green lodging may set the bar high.
  •  Water Conservation: Using water-saving techniques like wastewater treatment, effective plumbing systems, and rainwater collection can drastically cut water usage and help with resource management.
  • Certification and Recognition: Goa’s green lodgings can apply for certifications from organizations like LEED or EarthCheck, giving ecologically aware tourists peace of mind and establishing standards for the sector.
  • Research and Innovation: Collaborating with research institutes and groups can result in the creation of cutting-edge sustainable practices and a mindset of constant improvement.

The growth of eco-friendly lodging in Goa is an example of a forward-thinking mentality that places environmental responsibility at the center of the hospitality sector. These accommodations present a concept where luxury, comfort, and sustainability converge, appealing to travelers who are looking for immersive and responsible experiences.

3. Biodiversity in Goa

The state has started ambitious measures to conserve biodiversity because it understands how important it is to preserve this natural wealth. The importance of Goa’s commitment to preserving its ecological resources grows as the demands of development and tourism increase. The state works to strike a healthy balance between development and preservation through several conservation initiatives, protected areas, and community involvement.

Goa’s various landscapes are woven together in an enthralling tapestry by its biodiversity. A global hotspot known as the Western Ghats is home to endemic vegetation and uncommon species like the Malabar Pied Hornbill. Its mangroves provide a sanctuary for animals like the Smooth Otter and Mangrove Pitta, and its coastal waters are teeming with colorful parrotfish and other marine life. Unique species like the Goa’s Torrent Frog flourish in the rivers and streams. Malabar Nut and Gotu Kola are abundant medicinal plants, and the Indian Pitta and Paradise Flycatcher are favorites of birdwatchers. The diversity of Goa includes amphibians and reptiles, including species like the Goan Wrinkled Frog and Shieldtail Snake.

  • Creating Wildlife Sanctuaries and Protected Areas: Goa is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and protected areas that serve as havens for various species. These protected areas, like Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, guarantee the conservation of threatened plant and animal species.
  • Protection of Endangered Species: Goa places a high priority on safeguarding local, endangered species. The goal of conservation activities is to protect endangered species like the Indian gaur, black panther, giant squirrel, and numerous bird species by securing their habitats and deterring poaching.
  • Mangrove and Wetland Conservation: Goa takes action to save these important habitats because it recognizes the biological importance of mangroves and wetlands. Additionally to preserving a variety of marine species, mangroves act as natural barriers against coastal erosion.
  • Research and Monitoring Programs for Biodiversity: These initiatives help determine the condition and status of Goa’s biodiversity. Conservationists can create focused strategies to handle new concerns by analyzing ecological changes and population trends.
  • Reforestation and Afforestation: Goa works on reforestation and afforestation programs to mitigate habitat loss and deforestation. These programs aid in restoring deteriorated habitats and establishing crucial animal circulation corridors.
  • Awareness and Education: It is essential to inform the general people and tourists about the value of conserving biodiversity. Environmental stewardship is encouraged by environmental awareness programs, outdoor education facilities, and protected area visits.

          Goa’s Potential for Biodiversity

  • Restoration of Degraded Habitats: Wetlands, mangroves, and woodlands are only a few examples of the Degraded Habitats that can be Restored in Goa. These habitats can be revitalized and can support a wide variety of plant and animal species by implementing restoration efforts.
  • Protected Areas Expansion: Goa can create safe havens for its distinctive flora and fauna by designating additional protected areas and efficiently managing those that already exist. Future generations can benefit from these ecosystems’ capacity to store biodiversity.
  • Management of Invading Species: It’s critical to address the threat posed by invading species. Goa can prevent the spread of non-native species that can disturb regional ecosystems by implementing invasive species management initiatives.
  • Wildlife Corridors: By creating greenways and wildlife corridors to connect fragmented habitats, species can migrate freely, promoting genetic variety and lowering the risk of population isolation.
  • Native Plant Promotion: Promote the use of native plants in landscaping and urban development to help local wildlife, from birds to pollinators, by creating habitats that will benefit them.

4. Waste Management and Recycling

Waste management and recycling are proving to be essential cornerstones of Goa’s sustainable growth as the city’s pulsating tourism and development scene intensifies. The state is dedicated to protecting its pristine environment with cutting-edge waste management techniques and a growing recycling culture. The state’s landscape is graced by both verdant hinterlands and stunning coastline scenery.

  • Effective Waste Collection and Segregation: Goa has made progress in ensuring that various forms of waste are segregated at the source of generation. The state creates the groundwork for efficient recycling by teaching citizens and visitors about responsible garbage disposal.
  • Promotion of Recycling Centers: Citizens are invited to take an active role in the recycling process at the recycling centers that dot the Goan landscape. These facilities serve as collection points for recyclable items like paper, plastic, glass, and metals, preventing them from ending up in landfills and fostering their reuse.
  • Incentives for Recycling: The introduction of incentives, such as deposit-refund programs for bottles and cans, motivates people to actively engage in recycling initiatives. These programs also instill a sense of accountability and provide financial incentives for waste minimization.
  • Public Awareness and Education: Public awareness initiatives and educational initiatives are essential for modifying attitudes and routines. Goa sows the seeds for a greener future by teaching the next generation through schools and community activities.

  Goa’s Potential for Waste Management and Recycling

Goa has the untapped potential to completely transform waste management and recycling techniques amidst its magnificent landscapes and vibrant culture.

  • Infrastructure for Advanced Recycling: Goa has the ability to remove huge volumes of waste from landfills by building cutting-edge recycling facilities suited to handle a variety of materials, from plastics to electronic waste.
  • Source Separation Programs: By putting in place efficient source separation programs at homes and businesses, you can increase recycling rates, lower contamination, and prevent recyclables from ending up in landfills.
  • Waste-to-Energy Conversion: Goa may want to look at waste-to-energy technology that may turn non-recyclable waste into clean energy. This will help the state with its energy demands while lowering landfill waste.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: By working together with private businesses and waste management specialists, it is possible to make use of resources and knowledge to develop comprehensive waste management solutions.

Goa’s enormous potential illuminates the way to lasting development. The state can not only protect its natural and cultural legacy but also set an example for sustainability on a global scale by embracing innovation, encouraging partnerships, and cultivating a shared vision for a greener future.

5. Community Involvement

Goa’s effort to become more environmentally friendly is driven by the potent force of citizen involvement. The state’s thriving communities are working together to create a future that is more ecologically sensitive and sustainable. Each community has its distinct cultural heritage, traditions, and goals. The people of Goa are playing a crucial part in establishing a peaceful coexistence between people and nature via cooperation, education, and shared responsibility.

  • Local leaders and initiatives: Communities in Goa are launching grass-roots campaigns to promote sustainable lifestyles. These committed people are igniting change from the ground up, from local clean-up campaigns to cooperative organic farming. Moreover,  Encourage local leaders to start neighborhood cleanliness programs and tree-planting efforts to demonstrate the power of group effort.
  • Environmental Education: Schools and community organizations in Goa are increasingly becoming hubs for environmental education. Young and old inhabitants are taught the value of eco-friendliness and their part in preserving the region’s natural beauty through workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns.
  • Cultural Celebrations for Sustainability: Goa’s diverse cultural heritage provides a venue for honoring environmentally responsible behaviors. Festivals and events are increasingly including sustainability themes, highlighting the relationship between custom and ethical behavior.
  • Online activism and social media: Digital platforms help groups communicate, exchange ideas, and organize for environmental causes. Online initiatives, informational drives, and virtual clean-up activities magnify neighborhood efforts and encourage wider participation.

Goa’s Potential for Community Involvement

  • Grassroots Initiatives: Goa’s local communities can launch neighborhood cleanup drives, tree-planting initiatives, and waste-reduction programs, showcasing the tremendous impact of group action on enhancing local ecosystems.
  • Community-based tourism: The people of Goa can provide visitors with genuine, immersive experiences that showcase local culture, customs, and sustainable lifestyles while bolstering the local economy.
  • Collaborative Restoration Projects: To improve local ecosystems, communities can work together to restore damaged landscapes, plant trees, clean up waterways, and restore wildlife habitats.
  • Advocacy and Policy Influence: Communities can voice their issues, offer answers, and influence legislation through collective lobbying to make sure environmentally friendly factors are incorporated into development plans.

Goa is a heartwarming example of how community involvement and environmental friendliness work together to develop a place. People are not only creating a greener Goa as they come together to conserve the area’s natural beauty, cultural legacy, and quality of life, but they are also providing a reassuring model for international sustainability initiatives.

6. Eco-Adventure and Recreation

Goa, which is tucked away between the scenic coastline and verdant hinterlands, attracts adventure seekers to discover its plethora of natural wonders through eco-friendly activities . Travellers are invited to interact with Goa’s breathtaking landscapes through eco-adventure and recreation, which encourages environmental awareness and conservation.

Eco-adventure and leisure act as a vibrant link between the natural world and the human experience. They give the following major advantages:

  • Environmental Awareness: Getting up close and personal with nature helps people appreciate Goa’s different ecosystems more. This knowledge fosters a sense of obligation to protect the environment.
  • Eco-adventure activities create tourism revenue while reducing adverse effects on the environment. This is known as sustainable tourism. By encouraging visitors to preserve and safeguard natural regions, this type of tourism ensures their continued existence.
  • Health and Well-Being: Spending time outdoors and engaging in physical activity can help to improve both mental and physical health. It provides a means of unwinding, decompressing, and reviving.
  • Cultural Exchange: As a result of interactions with local people during eco-adventure activities, tourists might learn about folklore, traditional ways of life, and indigenous knowledge.

Goa’s Potential in Eco-Adventure and Recreation

Goa’s diversified landscapes and rich cultural past make it an exceptional destination for eco-adventure and recreation :

  • Beach Activities: Goa is a mecca for water-based eco-adventures like kayaking, snorkelling, and stand-up paddleboarding thanks to its magnificent coastline. The beauty of its coastal ecosystems is highlighted by these activities, which support marine conservation.
  • Trekking: The Western Ghats feature routes that run through lush woods, waterfalls, and attractive villages, making them the perfect setting for hiking and trekking. These pursuits promote exploration while assisting neighbourhood organizations.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Birdwatching, animal photography, and escorted nature hikes are all possible in Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries. Diverse species can be observed by eco adventurers in their natural settings, aiding in conservation efforts.
  • Cycling and eco-tours: T ravelers can get a close-up look at local culture with cycling excursions across Goa’s picturesque countryside. These trips also assist rural economies and encourage sustainable transportation.
  • Adventure Sports: The terrain in Goa is ideal for activities like rock climbing, rappelling, and zip-lining, which offer an adrenaline rush while promoting environmental responsibility.

7. Culinary Sustainability

Goa invites food lovers to go out on a culinary adventure that extends beyond tastes and scents. An integral part of the state’s cultural tapestry, culinary sustainability weaves together regional customs, eco-friendly methods, and mouthwatering products to produce a dining experience that not only tempts the palate but also protects the environment.

Sustainability in food extends beyond the dinner table and provides a number of important benefits.

  • Preservation of Culinary Legacy: Using traditional cooking methods and locally available ingredients guarantees that Goa’s diverse culinary legacy will be preserved, protecting traditional recipes for coming generations.
  • Reduction of Food Waste: Sustainable culinary practices emphasize mindful eating and inventive ingredient use, which reduces food waste and has a good influence on the environment.
  • Support for Local Economy: Giving locally sourced food priority and working with small-scale farmers helps the local economy, builds up neighborhoods, and encourages sustainable farming.
  • Environmental protection: Reducing the use of single-use plastics and acquiring sustainable seafood are two eco-friendly actions that the food business may do to lessen its environmental impact.

Goa’s Potential for Sustainable Culinary Practices

Goa’s rich agricultural resources and diversified food culture make it an ideal location for sustainable food production:

  • Local Ingredients: A vast range of fruits, vegetables, and herbs may grow in Goa’s tropical climate. A unique and sustainable dining experience is made possible by using local resources in culinary creations.
  • Seafood Sourcing: Goa can prioritize sustainable fishing methods and ethical seafood sourcing thanks to its coastal position. This encourages marine conservation while providing seafood lovers with a delicious and moral option.
  • Farm-to-Table Movement: Fostering relationships between neighborhood farmers and eateries encourages the use of local, seasonal vegetables. Farm-to-table programs reduce the carbon emissions caused by moving food.
  • Traditional Cooking Workshops: Workshops that teach traditional cooking techniques and place a focus on locally accessible foods can be incorporated into tourism experiences to promote culinary sustainability.
  • Zero-Waste Restaurants:  Goa has the potential to adopt the zero-waste mentality, in which eateries prioritize minimizing food waste and put composting and recycling procedures into place.


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Eco Tourism

Bhagvan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park

Situated along the North East border of Goa at Molem, about one-and-a-half hours’ journey from Panaji (60 kms), the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary covers 240 sq.kms of thick forest clad slopes on the Western Ghats and its valleys and is the biggest of the three sanctuaries of Goa. Rich in wildlife, it is a paraside for bird watchers. Besides flora and fauna, there are many important geological and historical features in this sanctuary. Dushsagar falls, about an hour’s journey from Colem by train, is a feast for the eyes. The ‘Devil Canyon’ is another beautiful geological spot. The famous Lord Mahadeva Temple situated at Tambdi Surla is about 13 kms from Molem.

The Department of Tourism has built comfortable cottages and dormitories for tourists. Entry fee Rs.10/- per adult, Rs.5/- per child and Rs.3/- per student.

Bondla Forest

52 kms. from Panaji and 36 kms. from Margao, it is the smaller of the three wildlife sanctuaries of Goa. More then a sanctuary, it is an ideal jungle resort, a major attraction for school going children and nature lovers. Its mini zoological Park, Deer Safari Park, , Botanical gardens, Nature Education Centre, wildlife and nature trails, and archaeological exhibit attract people through the year.

Comfortable cottages are available here for tourists.

goa eco tourism

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

The second largest of the three wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, with an area of 105 sq. kms. is located about 76 kms. from Panaji, in Cancona Taluka in South Goa.. It is covered with dense forest and varied wildlife. The ancient Jeevottam Partagal Math, noted for its Vedic studies, lies in the vicinity of the sanctuary.

goa eco tourism

Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Spread over 1.78 Sq. kms. and located at the western tip of the island of Chorao along the river Mandovi near Panaji, it is fully covered with mangrove species. Varieties of local as well as migratory birds frequently visit the area. This sanctuary can be visited anytime of the year with the permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji – Goa. The Sanctuary is approachable on foot after crossing over by ferry from Ribandar to Chorao. There area some private parties who take tourists around in their canoes fitted with outboard motors.

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Home » Asia » India » 8 STUNNING Eco Resorts in Goa [2024 Edition]

8 STUNNING Eco Resorts in Goa [2024 Edition]

Located in the west of India, Goa offers a unique blend of traditional Indian culture with Portuguese influences. Goa is primarily lauded for its incredible postcard-worthy beaches and laid-back lifestyle. It’s also a popular spiritual retreat for those seeking yoga and meditation and offers a plethora of other holistic therapies.

Goa attracts a variety of travelers from around the world and offers a huge variety of accommodation options. From rustic, basic beach huts to ornately decorated resorts, unique accommodation in Goa is plentiful.

To help you decide where to stay, we’ve put together this guide on the best eco-resorts in Goa. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or looking for a Goa yoga retreat, this little state has something for you.

So let’s dive right in!

In a Hurry? Here’s Where to Stay in Goa for One Night

Goan Farmhouse Getaway

Goan Farmhouse Getaway

This beautiful resort is ideal if you’re visiting India on a budget. The Goan Farmhouse Getaway is the peaceful getaway to a simpler way of living. The small, fully-equipped house is located among lush gardens in a quiet location.

Is this amazing Goa Eco-Resort  booked for your dates?  We’ve got your back with our other favorite properties below!

goa eco tourism

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Why Stay in an Eco-Resort in Goa?

Top 8 eco-resorts in goa, final thoughts on goa’s eco-resorts.

where to stay in Goa

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If you try to do your bit for the environment in your day-to-day life, there’s no reason why this can’t continue into your travels. Gone are the days when roughing it was the only way to enjoy an eco-friendly vacation. These days, you can enjoy an eco-friendly holiday without sacrificing any of the comfort and relaxation you’d get from a regular trip. 

Staying in an eco-resort in Goa will offer you peace of mind that you’re traveling sustainably and your stay isn’t harming the environment unnecessarily. What’s more, you’ll get to stay close to nature and enjoy a unique and memorable experience. 

What is an Eco-Resort?

An eco-resort in India is any resort committed to minimizing its impact on the environment through sustainable practices. These could range from recycling and composting initiatives to making use of greywater treatment and solar power. Some may be in the form of stand-alone properties, while other eco-listings might be top Goan Airbnbs .

In addition to striving for environmental sustainability , these resorts also practice social responsibility. They provide employment opportunities for local communities, purchase products from local artisans and producers, and offer opportunities to tourists to discover the local culture. 

While the prices are significantly more than typical Goan hostels , the value of these unique eco nature resorts makes the prices worth it.

  • > Eco-friendly house on a working farm
  • > Laid-back pace of life

Red Crab Eco Resort

Red Crab Eco Resort

  • > Cliffside eco-cabins
  • > Pared-back comfort and exceptional views

goa eco tourism

Radhika Eco Resort

  • > Rustic wooden cabins
  • > Energy and water-efficient resort

Beach Street Eco Resort and Spa

Beach Street Eco-Resort and Spa

  • > Airy and authentic beach huts
  • > Close to nature, overlooking the ocean

Bhakti Kutir

Bhakti Kutir

  • > Peaceful jungle retreat
  • > Bamboo and local stone double-story huts

Jungle Cabana

Jungle Cabana

  • > Situated 200m from the beach in the jungle
  • > Lush and peaceful setting

goa eco tourism

Jamboree Cottages

  • > Beautiful swimming pool
  • > Lush and peaceful garden

We’ve carefully selected this list of the best eco-resorts in Goa to show the variety and scope of options available to suit your budget, travel style, and requirements. The properties all offer a comfortable and well-managed stay while protecting the environment and local communities. 

Best Value Eco-Resort in Goa –  Goan Farmhouse Getaway

Goan Farmhouse Getaway

This beautiful resort is ideal if you’re visiting India on a budget . The Goan Farmhouse Getaway is the peaceful getaway to a simpler way of living. The small, fully-equipped house is located among lush gardens in a quiet location . 

Guests will experience traditional local culture and warm Goan hospitality here. If you wish to cook your own meals, you can get fresh produce from the farm along with fresh eggs and milk . All the waste from the farm is sorted and recycled or composted, which gives you a great introduction into organic farming .

Visiting the farm animals is a real treat, not to mention the friendly resident dogs that come to say hello occasionally. A scooter and bicycle are available to help you make the most of your Goa itinerary . A kayak and life jacket are also provided for you to use during your stay.

Best Eco-Resort for Couples – Red Crab Eco Resort

Red Crab Eco Resort

Red Crab Eco Resort offers a comfortable stay in well-equipped wooden cabins . Built to hug the steep coastline, all the rooms offer exceptional ocean and mountain views from their terrace. The rooms are simply decorated and offer all the essentials needed for a comfortable stay. 

The cabins have been built into seaside cliffs , and the epic ocean view really makes this one of the best beach resorts in Goa . They are immersed in nature and blend effortlessly into the surroundings. This eco resort also has an in house restaurant that’s highly rated by guests. Those wishing to do some shopping can explore the local markets and do some sightseeing around Goa .

Located in South Goa , the area is known for its exceptional snorkeling and cycling opportunities . Those wanting to spend lazy days by the ocean have their choice of exceptional sandy shores at nearby Agonda Beach , Cola Beach, and Butterfly Beach. Or catch a sunset in your wooden cabin surrounded by swaying palm trees .

Most Ecological Eco-Resort – Radhika Eco Resort

goa eco tourism

Radhika Eco Resort comprises rustic yet well-equipped wooden cottages built around a large communal pool. Each cabin offers guests all the essentials for a comfortable stay, including a private bathroom in their deluxe rooms and a small deck overlooking the outdoor swimming pool and gardens. There’s also air conditioning and room service for all guests!

This eco retreat makes use of energy-saving light bulbs and water-efficient showers and toilets . Most food at the resort is sourced from local organic farmers, and any unavoidable carbon emissions are offset . 

The eco-resort is ideally located close to a host of natural features, including top beaches , rivers, lakes, and mountains. It’s the luxury Goa villa experience for less!

Best Eco-Resort for Families Visiting Goa – Beach Street Eco-Resort and Spa

Beach Street Eco Resort and Spa

These authentic woven beach huts with thatched rooves and wooden accents make for a unique and memorable stay. The cabins are simple yet comfortable and have very easy access to the beachfront. While Goa can be expensive , this eco retreat isn’t!

Each hut is made from locally sourced materials and built in a traditional style. They feature excellent ventilation to capitalize on the cool sea breeze and provide fans if more cooling is provided. Located in North Goa , this beach resort is the ideal place for a peaceful getaway.

Guests at the resort can spend the day beside the outdoor swimming pool or head down to the nearby Mandrem Beach. The onsite Ayurvedic spa offers relaxing massages and yoga classes to indulge in. The resort also offers DVDs, books, and music for children’s entertainment.

Best Eco-Resort for Backpackers – Bhakti Kutir

Bhakti Kutir

Bhakti Kutir is the ideal eco retreat in Goa for backpackers. It’s located in a peaceful tropical jungle setting and is within easy reach of local beaches and shops. Plus it offers a lot for the price. You’ll get way more space and luxuries than you would in a Goa hostel , but the space still has a backpacker-esque vibe.

The double-story bamboo and timber huts are built from all-natural materials and blend in seamlessly with the lush greenery . The huts are naturally cool and airy due to the cooling properties of bamboo which saves the need for any A/C. Bhakti Kutir is one of the most established resorts in the area, and you won’t find better than this.

Enjoy daily yoga and meditation or visit the naturopathic clinic for your choice of massage and therapies. If you wish to explore further, Palolem Beach is only a short walk away.

Best Eco-Resort for a Weekend in Goa – Jungle Cabana

Jungle Cabana Eco Resort Goa

This eco-resort is perfect if you’re only staying in Goa for a couple of days. The Jungle Cabana is part of one of the oldest eco-resorts in South Goa. Made entirely from locally sourced bamboo and timber, the unique cabins open fully along the sides to welcome in the cool breeze. 

The resort is tucked beneath the foliage of the jungle and blends into its surroundings. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes made from locally grown produce. 

There’s an ayurvedic center on the premises where guests can enjoy a range of wellness therapies and massages, and daily yoga is offered. Palolem beach is within easy walking distance of the cabana. 

Best Goa Eco Resort For Yoga – Jamboree Cottages

goa eco tourism

Jamboree Creek Cottages is the best eco resort in Goa for yogis! The stunning resort is located on Mandrem Beach, a true hidden gem of the small state. You’ll stay in a lovely wooden cottage that will give you all the jungle vibes. Enjoy their beautiful outdoor swimming pool and in house restaurant serves up delicious organic eats. The entire property is an eco farm homestay, and operates with sustainable practices.

The swaying palm trees and ocean waves make this an incredibly peaceful place for yoga. Classes are given 6 days a week in various different styles. Relax by the pool, or spend some time at Ashvem Beach, another unspoiled stretch of sand near the resort.

Best Luxury Eco Resort in Goa – Stone Water Eco Resort

goa eco tourism

Stone Water Eco Resort is one of the most established resorts in Goa, and is definitely your most luxurious option for your trip! Located on Santrem Beach in Central Goa. You’ll also be close to Bogalo Beach, among others.

You’ll be staying in a comfortable wooden cottage, which will have either a view of the Arabian Sea. You’ll also get to enjoy the comforts of a flat screen satellite TV, a fridge and room service. Bicycle rental is available, as is 24 hour reception for your ultimate convenience.

Don’t Forget Your Goa Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

goa eco tourism

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

A stay in Goa is one of reconnecting – with both yourself and with nature. And what better way than to experience closeness with nature than at one of the best eco-resorts in Goa? Each of the unique accommodations featured here will offer you a remarkable stay in this beautiful paradise. 

Whether you’re looking for simplicity or something more luxurious, you’re sure to find somewhere in Goa that meets your needs and shares your commitment to protecting your surroundings.

Once you’ve decided which eco-resort in Goa is best for you, you may also want to explore some travel insurance. This means you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be covered should anything not go to plan. 

8 Days Surfing, Yin Yoga, and Meditation in Goa

Updated November 2022 by Samantha Shea

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Eco-Tourism in Goa: Discover Wonders of Nature

Eco-tourism in Goa is a growing trend that offers visitors the chance to explore the region’s natural beauty while also promoting conservation and sustainable tourism practices. From birdwatching and nature walks to dolphin watching tours and trekking in the Western Ghats, there are plenty of opportunities to experience Goa’s wildlife and ecosystems up close.

Here are some popular eco-tourism activities to do in Goa:

Bird Watching in Goa – The Jewel of the Goan Hinterland

Goa is home to a wide variety of birds, including many rare and endangered species. Bird watching tours are a popular way to experience the region’s natural beauty and learn more about its avian inhabitants. Some popular bird watching destinations in Goa include the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, and the Chorao Island Bird Sanctuary.

bird watching in goa

Dolphin Watching in Goa

Dolphins are a common sight off the coast of Goa, and many tour operators offer boat trips to spot them in the wild. These tours typically take visitors out into the Arabian Sea to observe the playful creatures in their natural habitat.

best dolphin spotting trip in goa

Trekking Options in Goa

Goa’s Western Ghats are a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts, with numerous trails that offer breathtaking views of the region’s mountainous landscapes. Some popular trekking routes in Goa include the Tambdi Surla trek, the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary trek, and the Dudhsagar trek.

goa eco tourism

Cycling – Peaceful Eco-Tourism Activity in Goa

Cycling is a great way to explore Goa’s scenic countryside and coastal areas. There are many cycling tours available in the region, including guided tours that take visitors through rural villages, past historic sites, and along scenic coastal routes.

cycling places in Goa

Nature Walks – Peaceful Eco-Tourism Activity in Goa

Guided nature walks are a great way to learn more about Goa’s flora and fauna. These walks typically take visitors through a blissful scenic nature trails. Walks in the nature also provide opportunities to spot wildlife and observe the region’s unique ecosystems up close.

most instagrammable place of goa

Spice Plantation Tours – Boosting Eco-Tourism in Goa

Goa is home to a number of spice plantations that offer guided tours to visitors. These tours typically include a walk through the plantation. You can see how spices such as cardamom, pepper, and nutmeg are grown, harvested, and processed.

company for cheap spice plantation package goa

Kayaking is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Goa’s waterways, including its rivers, estuaries, and backwaters. Visitors can rent kayaks or sign up for guided tours that provide an opportunity to observe the region’s diverse wildlife from the water.

cheapest kayaking in goa

One of the key objectives of eco-tourism in Goa is to promote sustainable tourism practices that minimize the impact on the environment and local communities. This includes supporting local conservation efforts, using eco-friendly accommodation options, and respecting the natural habitats of the region’s wildlife.

Read our article on Things to do beyond beaches in Goa . Don’t forget to follow us on  Instagram  to watch few amazing videos of unseen Goa.

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Ecotourism in Goa

Posted by Trella Rodrigues on 11 May 2021

Ecotourism helps preserve and foster respect for some of the most beautiful environments on earth. It encourages travellers to help protect the environment and contribute to local communities on a much deeper level than the tourists just passing through.

This hands-on approach plays a vital part in educating travellers about some of the hardships these environments face, which can only be a good thing. The more knowledge we have about the world, the better we can protect it – both from ourselves and climate change.

Overtourism is a huge problem for a number of reasons. It can put a strain on a destination’s resources and inhabitants, and it can prevent them from safeguarding their most fragile assets effectively. No one wants to visit a beach that’s covered in plastic. Ecotourism-focused attractions put the welfare of the environment first to ensure that they can provide an excellent service long term.

People who engage in ecotourism need to abide by certain guidelines. The principles of ecotourism are beneficial for the world as a whole, given the constantly deteriorating climatic conditions. Given below are the benefits of ecotourism:

Ecotourism focuses on unadulterated, pristine natural environments; It builds cultural and environmental awareness; It encourages positive experience for visitors as well as hosts; It minimizes the impact if tourism on the environment; It boosts employment and financial opportunities for local people; It encourages conservation by providing financial benefits in its favour.

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Eco Tourism In Goa

Amruta khemkalyani.

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Spice Farm in Goa

The best part of our trip was visiting Sahakari Spice Farm in Ponda. Being Indians we love using spices in our food, but never knew much about spice farming. So it was a great delight to take an educational tour to know more about spices. I didn’t even know that Indian bay leaf comes from a cinnamon tree. One of the big attraction for my son in spice farm was elephants. They have kept few elephants, you can also bath them in the stream which flows through the farm. At the end of our spice farm tour, we had one of tastiest spicy meal in Goa!

I would highly recommend a visit to this spice farm, it’s educational and fun. Their trained staff tell us a lot of interesting facts about spices. You can get up close with these fresh spices and learn so much. Otherwise, you won’t even recognize them on a tree.

Goa, Sun, Sand & Much More

Rest of our days we relaxed on beaches, played in the sand, collected lots of shells and soaked in waters. Saw lots of interesting insects, fishes, starfishes and what not. When you don’t have to worry about time, it’s so much fun to observe small insects with your kids and go behind them.

To add some thrill, one day we decided to walk to the end of Baga beach and explore the other side of the small stream meeting sea water.

goa eco tourism

As we came near the stream, we saw a lot of fishes were lying dead on the beach. Obviously, they were sweet water fish from the stream. As soon as they enter salt water of the sea, they don’t know how to survive and once they are dead they are washed on shore. We also saw tiny fish in stream swimming in the opposite direction of the water at the mouth of a stream. They were struggling hard to save their life but were not moving much. We crossed the stream through knee-high water, there was little force of water. It was fun and bit of thrill, we felt great when we reached another side of the stream. We walked the hill till we reach a point where we did not find it safe to walk with our son in arms. So we returned back. But seeing the busy beach from this peaceful and secluded side was interesting.

Don’t Miss When in Goa

  • Beautiful churches in Goa
  • Massage on Beach Shacks
  • Buy fresh fruits from hackers on the beach and have them, a great way to rehydrate
  • Best and freshest Pina Colada on Goa beaches
  • Fresh seafood on beach shacks
  • Buy local produce to take home cashews, spices, cashew Feni
  • Handcrafts and wooden carvings
  • Take walks and explore on foot

Goa is definitely a fun place, but there are so many interesting things there which are still to be explored. So this time, we are going to stay on a farm, not exactly in Goa but very close to it. I promise this time I won’t take a year to write about it ;-).

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Is ecotourism always a good thing? Goa under the spotlight

Is ecotourism always a good thing? Goa under the spotlight

Is the growth of ecotourism projects in Goan hinterlands—the dense forest cover of Western Ghats—a good thing for the native community and wildlife? Or is it harmful? According to locals and experts, it’s both.

Visiting Goa—long synonymous with the ultimate Indian coastal vacation—is like stepping into an episode of a travel show.

You can snorkel in scenic bays, thaw under the sun inches away from the shore, and hike around, discovering crescent coves. In another part of the state, nature flourishes to bring about stretches of the misty deciduous forests of the hinterland. It’s here where a cluster of national parks mingle with the biodiverse UNESCO-awarded Western Ghats of India. Home to some of Asia’s rarest endemic species, the state is also widely considered a tourism success at a time when many destinations are reeling from the pandemic.

But a recent announcement to introduce ecotourism in the hinterlands revealed a different side of Goa, one that’s firmly entrenched in the plague of ecotourism that threatens the travel industry. In a place so heavily dependent on tourism, and where travel singlehandedly contributes to about 16 percent of the state gross domestic product, many in Goa welcomed the initiative.

But an overwhelming number of locals and environmentalists from across the country did not.

A beach in Goa with small boats, white sand and turquoise water.

And here’s why: Goa is the smallest state on which a major part of the Western Ghats—an inland mountain range notable for being a global biodiversity hotspot—is critically positioned. This means that active land fragmentation can disrupt the continuity of the declared Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA).

If the forest cover is thinned or fragmented, it will no longer share an important corridor with neighboring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. That would leave open the possibility of a negative impact on approximately 10,000 species of flora and fauna.

“Camping and trails inside such establishments mean changing the habitat to accommodate an activity, not the wildlife. It’s not natural for a leopard or elephant to be in an environment where people are clamoring all day.” - Arvind Gowali, conservationist

The pandemic highlighted the unending impact of years of uncontrollable tourism, from land erosion to ever-increasing beach pollution and depleting forest cover. In doing so, it has sparked a nervous debate on how shaping forest reserves and sanctuaries to bring in more tourism will negatively affect both the state and the eco-sensitive regions. In this debate, the unchecked political system and a long history of unethical practices have forced the people to question the intention of such campaigns.

So for a destination facing an unending battle with overtourism, can an ecotourism strategy destroy the very same place it is trying to protect?

Tourists and shacks line the shore of a beach.

It was my seventh day in Panaji, Goa’s cosmopolitan capital on the Mandovi River. After spending a week reveling in the beach scene, I drifted inland on a ferry, riding through the estuarine mangrove habitat to reach Ilhas de Goa before walking past mangrove forest that surrounds the path to the Island of Chorão. The largest among the 17 islands in the northern region, it is the only place remaining in North Goa where you can be among the rural communities and see the only stretch of uncommercialized mangroves.

To give a better idea of figures, in 2020, incoming domestic and international travel accounted for over 3.3 million visitors, but post-pandemic, those figures steadily rose —Goa recorded more than 1.9 million tourists between March and May in 2022. And on average, the annual count can be more than eight million.

The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is one of seven places in Goa named as part of an eco-tourism project announced by state minister Vishwajit Rane. The proposal detailed a “thrust” to develop eco-tourism within the forest to “create a new ecosystem” to ensure more people can access the wildlife inside these parks.

We began to make way towards the sanctuary—named after Dr. Salim Moizuddin Ali, a prominent Indian ornithologist—to learn about why the smallest of all sanctuaries in the state is considered the one in most danger of succumbing to overtourism. With hundreds of tourists passing us by every 10 minutes, often forming a beeline to compensate for space and not tumble over, we slowly began to realize why this is a prevailing issue.

Trees cover mountains and valleys as far as the eye can see.

We continued for another mile as the path turned to a part-paved, part-dirt road, but without the densely packed forest around us. When we finally reached the gate of the protected sanctuary, the throngs of people I encountered became an appropriate preface for the story unfolding before me.

Inside there’s a confluence of sounds that shift easy from an eerie silence to the rumbling chaos of overlapping conversations. While some visitors were only peeking at the animals through the lens of their Instagram stories, most found themselves entranced by the wildlife. I found myself massaging my neck after a long day of craning at trees when a forest worker spotted me and offered to help me up a three-storied tower to sneak in a panoramic (and relaxing) view of the sanctuary before sundown.

“Because a large yacht has a bigger footprint than a smaller boat, but multiple small boats may have a bigger footprint than one large yacht, how do you decide what is ecotourism and what is not?” - Puja Mitra, Terra Conscious

It’s ironic I was taking in the view from the top of watchtower that almost collapsed due to overtourism. In 2018, the sanctuary has to close, after the then-rusted and underfunded structure almost collapsed with tourists on board, endangering the lives of half-a-dozen visitors and forest offices.

Just like the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, the most protected reserves due for development are in landscapes high in biodiversity. Eastern Goa, a geographic region that forms most of the Western Ghats, has already seen systematic and unethical destruction of forestland to prioritize infrastructure—the same infrastructure that the government is planning for the upcoming ecotourism plan.

A blue and orange bird.

The idea of ecotourism as a catalyst to capitalize on untapped nature is not a new one, but Goa is determined to take it to the next level. By inviting people to walk through ecologically-sacred grounds—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the world’s 10 hottest biodiversity hotspots—they’re not only profiting from it but sensationalizing sensitive places to gain more profits than they from promoting other areas.

At Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary—a relatively new protected area more than 30 miles from Panaji—I meet Arvind Gowali, a forest officer and conservationist. “It’s important to remember that ecotourism in this context is a business,” he tells me. “If you change the context to conservation, then the ecotourism strategy will limit contact with wildlife, limit the number of people who can visit the biodiverse regions, and only cater to non-invasive tourism.”

It’s something we don’t always consider when we read ‘eco-tourism’. “Camping and trails inside such establishments mean changing the habitat to accommodate an activity, not the wildlife,” he says. “It’s not natural for a leopard or elephant to be in an environment where people are clamoring all day.”

A house in marshlands.

In the age of hyper-conscious travel where a holistic approach is becoming key to tourism, governments are walking the moral and ethical tight rope. Ecotourism, a positive approach aimed to promote responsible travel to natural areas and curb the unfortunate consequences can quickly become a double-edged sword. Without transparency and rigorous checks, even the most ambitious and virtuous form of travel, we now know, it can become the most destructive action we can take.

Puja Mitra, a social impact entrepreneur and founder of Terra Conscious —an award-winning, socially responsible conservation enterprise—often observes this conflict of revenue vs conservation on the frontlines.

“The scientific community is scared but loud, and so are the conservationists who failed to get their voice heard, and people like me who grew up here.” - Varun Gopal, lguide/fisherman

“When commercial trawling started replacing small-scale fishing, many fishers turned towards dolphin/crocodile watching, or recreational fishing to make ends meet. Over time, with growing demand, the space today has commercial investors, migrant labour who may not be from coastal areas and has grown into an industry which has all types of vessels from yachts managed by corporates to small 10-seater boats owned by a local owner offering dolphin watching as an experience,” Mitra explain.

“Because a large yacht has a bigger footprint than a smaller boat, but multiple small boats may have a bigger footprint than one large yacht, how do you decide what is ecotourism and what is not?,” she asks. “The advantage of applying an ecotourism lens is to investigate these issues. The disadvantage is that unless you understand all the drivers of tourism in the state and factor all of that in when you are developing an agenda for ecotourism, it may become greenwashing.”

A boat at sunset in the Mandovi River, Goa.

Many people have expressed concerns over the potential human-wildlife conflict, but there’s also acknowledgment that ecotourism can open the door to opportunities: People will get to learn about  one of the world’s ten “hottest biodiversity hotspots”. There will be more funding to support the region. This  may bring in more employment for the adjacent villages. It will bring about a platform to highlight a Goa unknown to the world.

But there’s another side to it as well. Gerard de Souza, a state correspondent for newspaper Hindustan Times, helped me understand the political aspect. During our conversation, he explained, “explained this through a socio-political lens.

“What the minister hasn’t said upfront is that several politically connected people have invested or are making plans for venturing into eco-tourism-related projects,” he tells me. “Abhijat Parrikar, son of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, saw his plans for an eco-tourism project in Netravali while Pratapsingh Rane, father to the minister, has also sought permission to set up wooden cottages at the Querim village atop a hill known as Vagheri, a known tiger stomping ground in Goa.”

The history of Goa amply demonstrates that political morals and governing ethics have contributed to the rising public distrust when it comes to eco-tourism programs. The state authorities in Goa have a history of passing unvetted regulations that destroyed acres of green cover in the past. Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has shown marked reluctance in abiding by independent scrutiny of its forests. Goa minister Vishwajeet Rane’s apparent mocking of environmentalists has naturally stirred a public uneasiness.

Looking down over the roofs of houses of a town.

When I returned to Panaji, the headquarters of the North Goa district—a destination at the crossroads of all sanctuaries making it a perfect place to learn about the interplay between hinterland and tourism—I started getting up early to explore and learn about the nature around the surrounding Campal Forest Department on the Mandovi River. One day, on an expedition to learn the name of the sweet-smelling trees inside the encampment, I met Jivan, a 49-year-old forest officer who’s been working here for the past 11 years.

Jivan can recall the scientific name of all the unique flora and fauna that are found in Goa. “The depletion of forestland is nothing new,” he tells me, “but if ecotourism can start the conversation about sustainability and evoke a sense of responsibility among people, it is worth a shot.”

I thought about our conversation on my way back to the homestay I’d rented near Miramar Beach, a gently arching beach that forms the longest stretch of coastline in Goa. It’s one of the most idyllic, palm-lined strips, and home to many people who work and live in the surrounding protected habitats. But when I stepped onto the beach, I could see a white line of plastic formed where the bluest of waves reach the limit.

I’d arranged to take part in a beach clean-up with a group and the next morning, met Varun Gopal, a 43-year-old local guide and fisherman. Following a summer of political unrest sparked by the unethical cutting of trees in Mollem National Park , he decided to gather willing tourists for beach cleaning projects across Goa. It was both a personal mission and a demonstration of protest, something Mr Gopal, who grew up playing in the forests, hoped to model for the young generation. While the nine of us met as strangers, our discussions on modern travel and shared ideas about climate-friendly tourism brought us closer,  so much so that we decided to merge our itineraries. In an odd reversal of events at the beach, which is often the end goal for those who are travelling here, became our beginning.

Mr Gopal handed us all a ‘grabber’, a tool specifically designed to pick up litter in and under the sand, and introduced us to the task at hand: Walk six feet away from the beach and stop plastic waste at the source—basically, pick up anything and everything that can pollute the waters. “I don’t think we can control the outcome or influence it, but we can be responsible even in a thick fog of unknown,” he told us. “The scientific community is scared but loud, and so are the conservationists who failed to get their voice heard, and people like me who grew up here.”

A man in a face mask kayaks in front of some mangroves.

I asked myself if I’d have understood the true significance of the hinterland if I weren’t allowed to go in and explore myself. I can see how camping among wildlife or trekking inside lush forest will result in an uptick in footfall. It also seems to be a fiscally responsible idea—unlocking a different part of Goa to people while simultaneously monetizing the existing hotspots—to explore undeveloped territories which can benefit regional tourism.

Inspiring the crowd to learn more about the Western Ghats will also alleviate pressure from beaches, allowing the government to act on impending issues such as marine pollution. As defined by the International Ecotourism Society, “responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” can be a powerful force. But the challenge is to build a system free of commercial and conservation bias, a system that is currently unsustainable in India.

As we begin the clean-up, Varun reminds us If, “This is not just to save the marine ecosystem. It’s to ensure that the ‘eco’ in eco-tourism doesn’t become a myth.” And it’s exactly that—preserving the eco credentials of any project, no matter who’s involved or high up it goes—that should be at the heart of any initiatives in Goa, or anywhere.

***  strives to be a low-emissions publication, and we are working to reduce our carbon emissions where possible. Emissions generated by the movements of our staff and contributors are carbon offset through our parent company, Intrepid. You can visit our  sustainability page  and read our  Contributor Impact Guidelines  for more information. While we take our commitment to people and planet seriously, we acknowledge that we still have plenty of work to do, and we welcome all feedback and suggestions from our readers. You can contact us any time at  [email protected] . Please allow up to one week for a response. 

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Sneha Chakraborty

Sneha Chakraborty is a multimedia journalist and photographer based between India and the Netherlands with a focus on ethical explorations, culinary jaunts, and stories at the intersection of sustainability and adventure tourism. Her work has appeared in Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveller, Vogue and other publications.

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Embracing Eco-Tourism in Goa: Explore Goa’s Natural Beauty

  • March 31, 2023
  • - 1 Comment

Eco-Tourism in Goa: Explore Goa’s Natural Beauty

Hello and welcome to our blog post about traveling to Goa! Thank you for taking the time to read our article. Goa is a beautiful state located on the west coast of India, known for its stunning beaches, lush greenery, and vibrant culture. It is a popular destination for travelers from all around the world, who come to experience its warm hospitality, rich history , and diverse natural landscapes. From thrilling adventure tours to romantic getaways and safari holidays, Goa has something for everyone.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the best travel experiences that Goa has to offer, including eco-tourism, scuba diving, adventure tours, and safari holidays . We will also explore some of the most romantic getaways in the state, perfect for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Additionally, we will highlight the importance of travel insurance and its benefits for travelers visiting Goa.

So sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey through Goa’s best attractions and experiences. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, we are sure that you will find something of interest in this article. So, let’s dive in and explore the magic of Goa together!

Eco-Tourism in Goa -

Eco-tourism in Goa:

For travelers interested in sustainable and eco-friendly activities, Goa is a paradise. The state is blessed with natural beauty and has a lot to offer for eco-tourism enthusiasts. Here are some eco-friendly activities that you should try out:

  • Visit the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: This sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers, with over 400 species of birds and other wildlife.
  • Explore the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is home to a variety of animals, including tigers, leopards, and bison.
  • Take a plantation tour: Goa is famous for its spice plantations, and taking a tour of one of these plantations is a great way to learn about the different spices and herbs that grow in the region.

Eco-Tourism in Goa -

Romantic getaways in Goa:

Goa is a perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Here are some activities that you can enjoy with your partner:

  • Take a sunset cruise: Watching the sun go down over the Arabian Sea is a magical experience that you and your partner will never forget.
  • Visit the Dudhsagar Falls: These majestic waterfalls are a popular spot for couples, with their stunning beauty and peaceful surroundings.
  • Stay in a beachside resort: Goa has a wide range of resorts that offer private beach access and romantic rooms with stunning views of the sea.

Eco-Tourism in Goa -

Safari holidays:

Goa offers an opportunity to experience an exciting and unique wildlife safari. Here are some safari options:

  • Go on a jeep safari: You can explore the jungles of Goa in a jeep and spot animals like elephants, leopards, and bison.
  • Take an elephant safari: Riding an elephant through the jungle is a unique and unforgettable experience.

Eco-Tourism in Goa -

Scuba diving vacations:

Goa has some of the best scuba diving spots in India, with clear waters and diverse marine life. Here are some places you can explore:

  • Grande Island: This is one of the most popular scuba diving spots in Goa, with a variety of coral and fish species.
  • Pigeon Island: This island is home to a shipwreck that is a popular spot for divers.

Eco-Tourism in Goa -

Adventure tours and activities in Goa:

For adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers, Goa has a lot to offer. Here are some adventure tours and activities:

  • Try parasailing: Soar through the sky and get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful beaches of Goa.
  • Go kayaking: Explore the backwaters of Goa by kayak and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
  • Experience zip lining: Fly through the air on a zip line and enjoy the thrill of speed and height.

Eco-Tourism in Goa -

Travel insurance:

It is always advisable to have travel insurance when visiting Goa. This will protect you against any unforeseen events, such as medical emergencies or lost baggage. Make sure to research and purchase travel insurance before your trip.

Some of the key benefits of having travel insurance for your Goa trip include:

  • Emergency medical expenses coverage: If you or a member of your traveling party requires medical attention due to an injury or illness, travel insurance can cover the cost of emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, and even medical evacuation.
  • Trip cancellation or interruption coverage: In case you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a sudden illness or a natural disaster, travel insurance can help you recover the costs of your pre-paid, non-refundable expenses.
  • Protection against lost or stolen baggage: Losing your luggage or having it stolen can be stressful, but travel insurance can help you recover the cost of your lost or stolen baggage and any personal belongings that were inside.
  • Assistance services: Some travel insurance providers offer 24/7 assistance services, which can be a great help in case of an emergency or if you need help with travel arrangements, such as finding a new flight or hotel.
  • Peace of mind: Having travel insurance can give you peace of mind, knowing that you are financially protected against unforeseen events and emergencies that could occur during your trip.

In short, travel insurance can help you have a worry-free and enjoyable trip to Goa, ensuring that you are covered against any unexpected events that may arise.

write conclusion and say please read other blog post also

In conclusion, Goa is a truly remarkable destination that offers travelers a diverse range of experiences and attractions. Whether you are seeking adventure, romance, or simply a chance to unwind and relax, this state has something for everyone. From its pristine beaches to its lush green forests, from its exciting water sports to its serene backwaters, Goa is a paradise waiting to be explored.

We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insights into the best travel experiences that Goa has to offer. We also hope that we have conveyed the importance of having travel insurance for your trip to Goa, as it can provide much-needed financial protection in case of any unforeseen events.

Thank you once again for reading our Urbanchats blog post, and we encourage you to check out our other articles for more travel inspiration and tips. Whether you are planning your next trip or simply looking to learn more about the world, we are confident that you will find something of interest in our blog. So keep exploring, and happy travels!

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Sanctuary and National Parks make the Eco-Tourism in Goa

Goa has always left everyone spell bounded with its magnificent beauty and ravishing flora and fauna  Eco-Tourism in Goa  has always been an exquisite treat for the eyes.  The wildlife sanctuary in Goa is the presence of birds and animals around us! They must live well among us. They want to visit us.

Incredible bird life and ebullient animals define the living subsistence in Goa. Interestingly, only about 20% of the total land area of Goa is under wildlife conservation. Sanguem and Sattari are the wildlife hubs in Goa. For a perfect wildlife refuge, there are some ecological wildlife parks as well as sanctuaries located in Goa. Mentioned below are some of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks of Goa. Let’s explore Eco-tourism in Goa.

Explore  Eco-Tourism in Goa 

Goa is gifted with abundant natural beauty as it a part of the Western Ghats. The Ghats are known as Sahyadri which means, goodness. They run through India on the Western boundary of the Indian Peninsula. In Goa, they form an outline of 600 kms.

Also, the coastal areas are tropical. Several plants and trees unique to Goa and some introduced by the Portuguese comprise a congenial mood for birds. This ‘easy change’ is of immense importance related to unique biophysical and ecological processes for Eco-tourism to happen. Goa is rich with over 1512 documented species of plants, over 48 genera of animals, over 275 genera of birds, over 48 genera of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles.

Let’s see a checklist for Eco-tourism in Goa

1.  dr salim ali bird sanctuary – wildlife sanctuary in goa.

To start with, let me tell you a fantastic fact. Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary comprises water current meeting the tide. It seems animals understand the flow of water and come to it. Also, it is an excellent space for migratory birds in the mangrove habitat. Indeed, Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists. Another key point is, this is the only bird sanctuary in Goa. A variety of local and migratory birds visit this island.

This Sanctuary is located in The Island of Chorão along the Mandovi River. Not to mention that it has its name after  the eminent Indian ornithologist Salim Ali.  Ribander and Chorão are two places that connect the island with ferry service. They spread across 440 acres. If it interests you, the sands here are changing, perhaps in texture. Ever heard of mud-skippers, fiddler crabs? Most of us haven’t. People come from across the world to study Eco-tourism in Goa. They are not only our richness. They give us heritage.

2. The  Cotigao  –  Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa

It is founded in 1968 amid of Canacona Taluka, South Goa District. Cotigao is the southernmost National Park of Goa. It covers an area of 86 square kilometres on the border with the neighbouring state of Karnataka. Cotigao stands on banks of the rivers — Talpona and Galjibaga. Imagine 30 meters of high trees. You practically need to look higher towards the skies to cover the tree’s height! You get 18 meters moving stairways to reach the top for watching breathtakingly beautiful sights.

As the forest vegetation is thick quite in Cotigao, Sunlight doesn’t reach the grounds in the forest quickly. If you understand technology, there are the deciduous- shedding leaves easily; semi-evergreen- leaves drop early, and new leave arrives immediately. At present, the Department is capable of providing elementary facilities like snake-proof camping sites, canvas tents, reference material and loads of goodwill. For those who want to rough it out, there is no end of possibilities here.

To summarize, Indian fauna visible here are ‘Muridae Deer,’ ‘Giant Indian Flying Squirrel,’ ‘Four-Horn Antelope,’ ‘Lesser Grey Nuthatch,’ ‘Gaur (Indian Bison),’ ‘Bison,’ ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Porcupine,’ ‘Leopard’ and many other animals. In fact, some would say it is not as lively as described. But, as Natural beings don’t wait for you. You are fortunate enough to sight them or not.

3. Bondla Forest –  Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa

It is the smallest forest in Goa. The Bondla wildlife sanctuary is about 50 Kilometers from Panaji and 38 Kilometers from Margao. Also, Bondla is 20 Kilometers East of Ponda. At the present time, it is the smallest of the three Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa . Since, Bondla is more of an ideal jungle resort, a major attraction for school going children and nature lovers. It also hosts a deer park in natural habitat, botanical and rose gardens. With this intention, The Forest Department run site for jungle resort with tourist cottages.

Bondla also provides sanctuary to injured leopards, circus bears, and cobras. These are the animals who get hurt in their dealing with their trainers and other people. They are given treatment here, and their endangered life gets rehabilitation here. Bondla zoo is known for its successful breeding of gaur. As it is the only zoo in Goa, many visit the zoo. The zoo provides an excellent environment to breed and do research on animals.

Gaur which the state animal is a frequent visitor in and around this area. You may spot here the sambar deer, Indian bison, Malabar giant squirrel, and the Indian peafowl. Also, over a hundred species of birds are residents of Bondla forest. In fact, the State Bird (Ruby Throated Yellow Bulbul) is widely seen. Also, the Common Grey Hornbill and Golden Backed Woodpecker are few of the daily visitors here.

4. The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa

The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa

Along the north from Panaji on the road to Belgaum, is Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife sanctuary in Goa . As it is located in Goa town of Mollem with a total area of 240 sq km, it attracts many tourists. Since, it is surrounded by the North of Panaji on the road to Belgaum on the eastern border of Goa, with Karnataka 53 km away and 54 km away from Margao it is a popular place to for Eco-tourism in Goa.

To sum up, Thick forest-clad slopes of the Western Ghats are rich in wildlife. Also, it is a paradise for bird watchers. Gaur, Sambar, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Slender Toris, Jungle Cats, Malayan Giant Squirrels, Pythons, and Cobras are the species habiting this Sanctuary.

Also, there are significant geographical and historical features in this sanctuary. Jeeps are privately arranged to explore the interior of the forest. The Department of Goa Tourism has built comfortable cottages and dormitories for tourists.

Entry Fee:  Rs.10/- for an adult, Rs.5/- for a child and Rs.3/- for a student.

In short, Eco-tourism in Goa is exceptional and incredible! Birds and animals, migrate to Goa for natural reasons because it has sustenance and the promise to the fauna that they can survive here.

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goa eco tourism

India’s first state to launch ​Regenerative Tourism

Sustainable tourism and Regenerative tourism share the overarching goal of ​minimizing the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, local communities, ​and cultures.

However, they differ in their specific approaches and ultimate objectives.

Key distinctions between

S ustainable tourism & Regenerative tourism

Philosophy ​and ​Approach

Sustainable Tourism

Regenerative Tourism

This approach seeks to ​maintain the status quo by ​balancing economic, social, ​and environmental ​considerations. It aims to meet ​the needs of the present ​without compromising the ​ability of future generations to ​meet their own needs. ​Sustainable tourism focuses ​on minimizing negative ​impacts and often involves ​conservation, responsible ​resource use, and community ​engagement.

In contrast, regenerative tourism ​goes beyond sustainability by ​actively seeking to improve and ​restore ecosystems, ​communities, and cultures. The ​regenerative approach aims to ​leave a positive impact, ​contributing to the well-being of ​destinations and fostering ​resilience. It emphasizes the ​restoration and revitalization of ​natural and cultural assets.

Local ​Community ​Engagement

Sustainable tourism typically ​involves community ​engagement and benefit-​sharing, ensuring that local ​communities benefit ​economically and socially from ​tourism. However, the focus ​may be on maintaining a ​balance rather than actively ​contributing to community ​empowerment and ​regeneration.

Regenerative tourism places a ​strong emphasis on community ​empowerment and participation. ​It seeks to involve local ​communities in decision-making ​processes, encourages ​entrepreneurship, and aims to ​leave a lasting positive impact on ​the social fabric of destinations.

Environmental ​Conservation

Sustainable tourism aims to ​minimize the environmental ​impact of travel and tourism ​activities. This may include ​practices such as responsible ​waste management, energy ​conservation, and biodiversity ​protection.

Regenerative tourism not only ​minimizes negative impacts but ​actively works towards restoring ​and enhancing ecosystems. This ​approach may involve ​reforestation projects, habitat ​restoration, and other initiatives ​aimed at improving the overall ​health of natural environments.

Cultural ​Preservation

Sustainable tourism ​recognizes the importance of ​preserving local cultures and ​traditions. Efforts are made to ​ensure that tourism activities ​do not lead to cultural erosion ​or exploitation.

Regenerative tourism takes ​cultural preservation a step ​further by actively contributing to ​the revitalization of local cultures. ​This may involve supporting ​traditional arts and crafts, ​promoting cultural exchanges, ​and actively engaging tourists in ​meaningful interactions with local ​communities.

Long-Term ​Impact

Sustainable tourism seeks to ​maintain a balance over the ​long term, ensuring that the ​impacts of tourism do not ​compromise the well-being of ​future generations.

Regenerative tourism goes ​beyond maintaining a balance; it ​strives to leave destinations ​better off than before. The ​ultimate goal is to contribute ​positively to the regeneration of ​ecosystems, communities, and ​cultures, creating a lasting and ​positive legacy.

Tourism has long been a double-edged sword, contributing to economic development ​while often causing environmental degradation and cultural erosion. In recent years, a ​paradigm shift towards more sustainable practices has emerged, and one such ​approach gaining prominence is regenerative tourism. Unlike conventional tourism, ​which may exploit natural resources and local cultures, regenerative tourism seeks to ​restore and revitalize destinations, leaving them better off than before.

Principles of Regenerative Tourism

Community ​Empowerment

Regenerative tourism prioritizes local ​communities by involving them in ​decision-making processes and ​ensuring they benefit economically ​and socially from tourism. This ​approach fosters a sense of ownership ​among residents, leading to more ​responsible tourism practices.

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Preservation of Natural ​Resources

Instead of depleting natural resources, ​regenerative tourism aims to enhance ​and protect them. Sustainable ​practices, such as responsible waste ​management, energy conservation, ​and biodiversity preservation, help ​minimize the environmental footprint of ​tourism activities.

Cultural Respect and ​Preservation

Regenerative tourism values and ​respects local cultures, seeking to ​preserve traditions and heritage. ​Engaging with communities in a ​meaningful way, promoting cultural ​exchanges, and supporting local ​artisans are integral to this approach.

Holistic Planning and ​Development

Regenerative tourism involves ​comprehensive planning that ​considers the long-term impact of ​tourism on all aspects of a destination​—environmental, social, and ​economic. Sustainable infrastructure ​development and land-use planning ​are crucial components.

Beach Sunset

of Regenerative Tourism

beach in Maldives

Economic Resilience

By involving local communities in ​tourism initiatives, regenerative ​tourism contributes to economic ​resilience. Income generated from ​tourism is more evenly distributed, ​creating a more stable and ​sustainable economic foundation for ​communities.

Beach Paradise Landscape

Environmental Conservation

Through sustainable practices and a ​commitment to conservation, ​regenerative tourism helps protect ​ecosystems and biodiversity. This ​ensures that the natural attractions ​that draw tourists remain intact for ​future generations.

Beautiful Beach View

Cultural Enrichment

Regenerative tourism supports ​cultural preservation, fostering pride ​and a sense of identity among local ​communities. This not only benefits ​residents but also provides a richer ​and more authentic experience for ​tourists.

People on Beach

Social Inclusivity

This approach encourages inclusive ​and responsible tourism, making ​destinations accessible to a broader ​range of travellers. By breaking down ​barriers, regenerative tourism ​promotes diversity and inclusivity ​within the tourism industry.

Challenges and Future Prospects

While regenerative tourism presents a promising path towards sustainable travel, ​challenges such as resistance to change, lack of awareness, and the need for ​coordinated efforts among stakeholders remain. Governments, businesses, and ​tourists alike must actively participate in fostering a regenerative approach to tourism. ​The future of travel lies in our ability to prioritize regenerative practices, creating a ​harmonious balance between economic development and environmental and cultural ​preservation.

Five priorities of the Goa Tourism Roadmap ​that are woven into regenerative tourism.

Green ​tourism

Greening the ​tourism sector ​for a ​sustainable, ​responsible ​and resilient ​tourism sector


Harnessing the power ​of digitalization to ​promote ​competitiveness, ​inclusion and ​sustainability in the ​tourism sector

Empowering ​youth with ​skills for jobs ​and ​entrepreneurs​hip in the ​tourism sector

Tourism ​MSMEs

Nurturing ​tourism MSMEs, ​startups and the ​private sector to ​unleash ​innovation and ​dynamism in the ​tourism sector

Destination ​management

Rethinking the ​strategic ​management of ​destinations ​towards a holistic ​approach that ​delivers on the ​SDGs.

Beach chairs with umbrella and sand beach in summer.

To help framing the relationship between ​tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals ​(SDGs) in the development of the current ​Roadmap, a survey among G20 members and ​guest countries was conducted. The answers ​helped to identify the SDGs which tourism was ​considered to impact the most:


SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth;

SDG 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure;

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities;

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production;

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.

A set of ten cross-cutting key enablers have been identified by the Goa Tourism ​Roadmap based on a systems level analysis of recommendations from reports, surveys, ​case studies and best practices shared by practitioners across the tourism sector.

1. Working towards climate action and environmental ​protection and related international cooperation;

2. Equitable economic models to promote inclusive ​tourism and empower vulnerable groups, such as youth, ​women, Indigenous Peoples and persons with ​disabilities;

3. Sustained public-private-community partnerships, ​including employers’ and workers’ organizations, to ​develop more innovative and sustainable tourism ​initiatives;

4. Visitors as key stakeholders to help transform the ​sector towards sustainability;

5. Holistic destination management to help the sector ​adapt to today’s challenges;

6. Upskilling, reskilling and new skilling tourism actors, ​focussing on vulnerable groups (such as youth, women, ​Indigenous Peoples and persons with disabilities), as ​well as MSMEs, to reduce inequalities, foster inclusion ​and social justice;

7. Strengthening measurement, monitoring, and ​reporting to better understand and manage the impact ​and interdependences of tourism on its three dimensions ​– economic, social and environmental;

8. Consistent knowledge sharing between traditional and ​non-traditional actors to bridge knowledge gaps and ​accelerate progress within the sector;

9. Innovative approaches to meet the SDGs; and

10. Long-term forward planning to foster tourism ​resilience.

Composition of Diwali Festival Decorations

Spiritual tourism intersects with regenerative ​tourism and substantially contributes to it. ​Spiritual tourism can play a significant role in ​regenerative tourism by promoting a holistic ​approach to travel that focuses on the well-being ​of individuals, communities, and the ​environment.

Cultural Exchange and ​Understanding

Spiritual tourism often involves visiting ​sacred sites, participating in rituals, ​and engaging with local communities. ​This fosters cultural exchange, ​understanding, and respect between ​travellers and host communities, ​promoting a sense of unity and ​shared humanity.

goa eco tourism

Community Empowerment

Many spiritual tourism destinations ​are in rural or less economically ​developed areas. By attracting ​visitors, these areas can experience ​economic benefits. Responsible ​spiritual tourism initiatives prioritize ​community engagement and ​empowerment, ensuring that local ​residents have an active role in ​tourism activities and can benefit from ​the economic opportunities it brings.

Aarti ceremony flowers with fire in Varanasi

Spiritual tourism often involves visits ​to natural and serene environments. ​Sustainable and regenerative tourism ​practices associated with spiritual ​travel can help preserve these ​ecosystems. Conservation efforts and ​responsible tourism practices are ​integral to maintaining the spiritual ​and natural integrity of these ​destinations.


Well-being and Mindfulness

Spiritual tourism often emphasizes ​personal well-being, mindfulness, and ​self-discovery. Travelers seeking ​spiritual experiences are more likely ​to appreciate and respect the ​environment they are in. This ​mindfulness can translate into ​responsible tourism practices, such ​as reducing waste, conserving ​resources, and supporting sustainable ​initiatives.

Young woman practicing yoga for meditation and well-being, beach

Local Traditions and Crafts

Spiritual tourism encourages ​travellers to engage with local ​traditions, arts, and crafts. This helps ​in preserving and promoting the ​unique cultural heritage of the ​destination. Travelers may also ​contribute to local economies by ​purchasing handmade products, ​supporting local artisans, and ​participating in cultural workshops.

Traditional Homemade Ceramic Pots on Traditional Crafts Fair

Educational Opportunities

Spiritual tourism often involves ​learning about ancient philosophies, ​religious practices, and cultural ​traditions. This educational aspect ​can lead to a greater understanding of ​the interconnectedness of all things ​and foster a sense of responsibility ​towards the environment and local ​communities.

Young woman in spiritual pose holding the light

Mindful Tourism Practices

Spiritual tourism often attracts ​individuals seeking more meaningful ​and mindful travel experiences. This ​can translate into a lower ​environmental impact, as travellers ​are more likely to choose eco-friendly ​accommodations, adopt responsible ​travel behaviours, and support ​businesses that prioritize ​sustainability.

Achieving spirituality and mindfulness with Yoga exercises!

Promotion of Responsible ​Tourism

Spiritual tourism can act as a catalyst ​for responsible tourism practices. As ​travellers seek deeper connections ​and experiences, there is a growing ​awareness of the need to protect and ​regenerate the places they visit. This ​can lead to a shift in tourism trends ​towards more sustainable and ​regenerative models.

Crystal clear. Spiritual beach sunset

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goa eco tourism

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Sustainable Tourism in Goa: Eco-friendly Initiatives and Responsible Travel

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Home » Sustainable Tourism in Goa: Eco-friendly Initiatives and Responsible Travel

Goa , known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history, has long been a top tourist destination in India. However, the rapid growth of tourism has raised concerns about its impact on the environment and local communities.

In response, Goa has embarked on a journey towards sustainable tourism, focusing on eco-friendly initiatives and responsible travel practices. In this article, we will explore the efforts being made in Goa to promote sustainable tourism and how travelers can contribute to this noble cause.

1. Goa’s Ecological Diversity: A Precious Heritage

Goa’s lush greenery, pristine beaches, and diverse ecosystems are among its greatest treasures. Recognizing the importance of preserving this natural beauty, various stakeholders, including government authorities, local communities, and environmental organizations, have joined hands to protect the state’s ecological diversity.

Some of the conservation efforts that have been undertaken in Goa include:

  • Setting up wildlife sanctuaries and protected areas, such as Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. These havens are home to a variety of endangered species.
  • Promoting sustainable tourism practices, such as responsible visitor management and conservation efforts.
  • Raising awareness about the importance of environmental protection among the local population.

These efforts have been successful in conserving Goa’s natural beauty for future generations. However, there is still more work to be done. The state government and other stakeholders need to continue to work together to protect Goa’s environment.

2. Eco-friendly Accommodations: Where Comfort Meets Sustainability

Green Hospitality is a significant aspect of sustainable tourism. Goa now offers a range of eco-friendly lodging options. Many resorts and hotels have adopted eco-conscious practices, such as water and energy conservation, waste reduction, and the use of renewable energy sources. These practices help to reduce the environmental impact of tourism and promote a more sustainable way of life.

Beachside Eco-resorts are a great way to experience the natural beauty of Goa while also reducing your impact on the environment. These resorts are built using sustainable construction methods and eco-friendly design principles. They blend harmoniously with their natural surroundings, providing guests with a unique opportunity to connect with nature while minimizing their carbon footprint.

Some of the benefits of staying at a beachside eco-resort include:

  • Reduced environmental impact: Eco-resorts are designed to minimize their impact on the environment. They use sustainable construction methods, eco-friendly materials, and renewable energy sources.
  • Increased connection with nature: Eco-resorts are built in natural settings, and they often have features that encourage guests to connect with nature, such as nature trails, swimming pools, and gardens.
  • Sense of community: Eco-resorts often have a strong sense of community. Guests can meet other like-minded people and learn about sustainable living.
  • Peace and tranquility: Eco-resorts are often located in quiet, peaceful settings. Guests can relax and rejuvenate in the natural surroundings.

If you are looking for a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to experience Goa, then a beachside eco-resort is the perfect choice.

goa eco tourism

A sign by CleanGoa urging locals and tourists alike to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Source: CleanGoa

3. Responsible Travel Practices: The Key to Sustainable Tourism

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

  • Reduce the amount of waste you produce by bringing your own reusable water bottle and bags, and avoiding single-use items like straws and utensils.
  • Reuse items whenever possible, such as bringing your own coffee mug or buying products with less packaging.
  • Recycle everything else, including paper, plastic, metal, and glass.

Respect Local Culture

  • Dress modestly in accordance with local customs.
  • Learn a few local phrases to show that you are making an effort to understand the culture.
  • Participate in cultural events, such as festivals or religious ceremonies, to learn more about the local way of life.

Additionally, responsible travelers should also:

  • Be aware of their impact on the environment and take steps to minimize it.
  • Support local businesses and economies.
  • Be respectful of the local people and their culture.
  • Leave no trace of their visit.

4. Community Engagement: Empowering Local Residents

Community-based tourism is a type of tourism that involves the local community in the planning and development of tourism activities. This can include things like providing accommodation, food, and activities for tourists, as well as working with tour operators to ensure that tourism benefits the local community.

There are many benefits to community-based tourism. It can help to:

  • Provide economic opportunities for the local community
  • Preserve traditional cultures and practices
  • Promote cross-cultural understanding
  • Protect the environment

Cultural experiences are a great way to learn about a new culture and connect with the local community. There are many different cultural experiences that tourists can participate in, such as:

  • Pottery workshops
  • Traditional dance performances
  • Village tours
  • Cooking classes
  • Language lessons

Cultural experiences can be a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime. They can also help to promote cross-cultural understanding and respect.

goa eco tourism

Touring Goa on a cycle helps reduce your carbon footprint. Source: Canva

5. Green Transportation: Reducing Carbon Footprints

Public transport and bicycles.

Encouraging the use of public transport and bicycles helps reduce the carbon footprint of tourists. Goa has introduced eco-friendly transportation options, including electric buses and bike-sharing programs, making it easier for travelers to explore the state in an environmentally responsible way.

Public transport or services such as Hop On, Hop Off are a great way to see the city and meet locals. It is also a much cheaper option than renting a car or taking taxis. The state’s new Kadamba Electric buses are a great way to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. They are also much quieter than traditional buses, which can be a nuisance in crowded cities.

Bike-sharing programs are a great way to get around town quickly and easily. They are also a great way to get some exercise. Many bike-sharing programs by companies like B-Live offer memberships that allow you to use bikes for a set period of time each day or month.

Car Rentals with a Difference

Tourists can also choose car rental companies that prioritize sustainability. Some operators offer electric or hybrid vehicles, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional cars.

Electric cars are powered by batteries and do not produce any emissions. They are also much quieter than traditional cars, which can be a nuisance in crowded cities. Hybrid cars use a combination of gasoline and electricity, which reduces their emissions.

Car rental companies that prioritize sustainability are also likely to offer other eco-friendly options, such as car sharing and ride-sharing services. These services can help reduce the number of cars on the road and the amount of pollution they produce.

By choosing eco-friendly transportation options, tourists can help reduce their impact on the environment and enjoy a more sustainable vacation.

6. Marine Conservation: Protecting Coastal Ecosystems

One of the biggest threats to marine life in Goa is pollution. This can come from a variety of sources, including sewage, industrial waste, and plastic pollution. Pollution can harm marine life in a number of ways, including by killing them, damaging their habitats, and disrupting their food chains.

Another threat to marine life in Goa is irresponsible practices, such as littering, fishing in prohibited areas, and damaging coral reefs. These practices can harm marine life by directly killing them or by damaging their habitats.

Sustainable tourism initiatives are designed to protect the environment and promote responsible tourism practices. These initiatives can help to preserve marine life by reducing pollution, supporting conservation projects, and promoting responsible water sports activities.

Travelers seeking adventure in the water can choose water sports operators committed to responsible practices. These operators adhere to safety guidelines and protect the marine environment by avoiding activities that harm fragile coral reefs and marine habitats.

By following these guidelines, travelers can help to preserve the marine life and ecosystems of Goa.

goa eco tourism

Restrictions on beachside construction help preserve the beach and marine ecology such as the breeding of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtle. Source: Gomantak Times

7. Government Initiatives: Policies for Sustainable Tourism

Goa’s government has introduced policies and regulations to promote sustainable tourism. These include:

  • Waste management initiatives: These initiatives aim to reduce the amount of waste produced by tourists and to ensure that waste is disposed of in a sustainable manner. This includes measures such as providing recycling bins and composting facilities, and educating tourists about the importance of waste management.
  • Restrictions on beachside construction: These restrictions aim to protect the coastline from development and to preserve its natural beauty. They also aim to reduce the impact of construction on the environment, such as by preventing the destruction of mangroves and other coastal habitats.
  • Guidelines for eco-sensitive zones: These guidelines aim to protect areas of high environmental sensitivity, such as forests and wetlands. They restrict activities that could have a negative impact on the environment, such as logging and mining.

These measures aim to strike a balance between tourism development and environmental protection. They help to ensure that tourism does not damage the environment and that it benefits the local community.

In addition to these policies and regulations, the government also sponsors campaigns and educational programs to raise awareness about sustainable tourism among both locals and tourists. These initiatives highlight the importance of responsible travel practices and encourage everyone to play their part in preserving Goa’s natural and cultural heritage.

Some of the responsible travel practices that are promoted include:

  • Choosing sustainable accommodation: This includes staying in hotels and resorts that have a commitment to sustainability.
  • Reducing your carbon footprint: This can be done by choosing to travel by public transport or by carpooling, and by avoiding activities that generate a lot of carbon emissions, such as flying.
  • Respecting local culture and customs: This includes learning about the local culture before you travel, and behaving in a way that is respectful of local people and their traditions.
  • Supporting local businesses: This can be done by buying local products and services, and by patronizing local restaurants and shops.

By following these practices, tourists can help to ensure that their travel has a positive impact on Goa and its people.

Sustainable tourism in Goa is not just a buzzword; it’s a commitment to preserving the state’s unique natural beauty, cultural heritage, and ecological diversity. Travelers can be active participants in this journey by choosing eco-friendly accommodations, adopting responsible travel practices, engaging with local communities, and supporting initiatives that protect Goa’s environment. By working together, Goa and its visitors can ensure that this stunning destination continues to thrive for generations to come, proving that sustainable tourism is not just an option but an imperative for the future.

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The Shooting Star

My Alternative Travel Guide to Goa.

goa eco tourism

Beyond the beaches, crowds and cut-copy-paste lists, my unique guide to offbeat Goa, featuring responsible travel experiences discovered over the years!

Ever since I gave up my home to embrace a life of travel , Goa has become my ‘digital nomad refuge’ in the monsoon.

That liberating feeling of driving a scooter along the endless rice paddies and palm-fringed interiors. Working out of quaint cafes with decent Wifi. Indulging my taste buds in authentic Goan curries  and at organic cafes. Calling charming old Portuguese houses (and other offbeat stays in Goa) ‘home’ for a few weeks.

This offbeat Goa, a Goa that few end up discovering, is everything I need to recharge my batteries, catch up on work and retreat into susagade (contentment) mode.

Also read: Inspiring Places to Live, Work and Explore as a Digital Nomad

saligao rice paddies, saligao monsoon

Beyond the beaches, an offbeat Goa

Away from the grey beaches and boisterous crowds, this is my guide to lesser-known, offbeat places in Goa. Where peacocks dance in open meadows in the rains and locals gather at neighborhood churches to pray and socialize. Where long-term dwellers embrace an organic way of life, and creative types find abundant inspiration.

Slow down, stay a while and discover offbeat Goa through responsible travel and sustainable living experiences.

Also read: The Perfect 3-Day Goa Itinerary for Slow Travel

  • Soulful family-run homestays

Experiential eco-friendly B&Bs

Minimalist hipster airbnbs, boutique hotels, volunteer for free accommodation (offbeat stays in goa in exchange for work).

  • Royal Fantacy (Ponda)
  • Nostalgia by Chef Fernando (Salcete)

Voltaire (Bardez)

Goan thalis, other authentic goan restaurants, bean me up (anjuna).

  • Saraya (Saligao)
  • Ruta’s Roadhouse (Assagao)

Café Bodega (Panjim)

Sunday mornings at museum of goa, have a beach to yourself in the rains (easier than trying to find offbeat beaches in goa), kayak on the backwaters, go on a sunrise heritage walk, show up for a jazz night, attend a talk on sustainability at 6 assagao, find goa offbeat places as you drive your bike on the inner roads, shop at a unique fair trade clothing boutique, automatic bikes / scooters, self drive cars, see the goa responsible tourism collective for offbeat hotels in goa (and other lesser known ideas), live and buy local, say no to plastic bags and bottles, be mindful of your surroundings, best time to visit goa, phone connectivity in goa, must pack for goa, what’s up goa, goan food critic, odette mascarenhas, hippie in heels, global gallivanting, noticeboards in cafes, what are your favorite offbeat places in goa got any questions for responsible travel in goa, offbeat places to stay in goa.

Secret Garden Goa, Goa homestays, Goa where to stay, Goa travel tips

Soulfu l family-run homestay s

To be honest, I had never really experienced offbeat Goa until I stayed at Cancio’s House with the Amaral family in a quintessential Goan village.

Their 500+ year old Portuguese era home is full of untold stories and their drinking water still comes from an ancient well. In the outhouse cottage surrounded by old jackfruit trees, there is plenty of privacy. Yet chances are, you won’t leave without feeling like a part of the 3 generations of this family.

Helene and Derek refurbished their 150+ year old ancestral home – The Secret Garden – so beautifully that it’s hard not to fall in love the moment you enter its little blue gate.

This Portuguese-style home is nestled in one of Saligao’s villages with cobbled streets, home to stunning rice paddies. I felt totally pampered by Helene’s famous breakfasts – home-baked sourdough bread, hummus, vegan sourdough pancakes and Goan savories. And those late night dips in a mostly naturally cleaned pool under a moonlit sky were something else!

Bungalow 598 is an old Goan home turned into a cluster of chic, minimally designed rooms and common living spaces. Glass walls overlook the green Assagao neighborhood in this low-energy, low-waste, hipster space. I loved the creativity of the space and the easy access it offers to North Goa’s best hangout spots. But I sorely missed being able to open my windows to the salty breeze and natural elements.

If you’re not on Airbnb yet, sign up with my referral to get 40$ off your first booking.

It takes a while to manoeuvre through the long list of characterless hotels to find offbeat hotels in Goa. But a little bit of research could land you amid the sunny courtyards of the uniquely designed Alila Diwa and its infinity pool overlooking endless rice paddies. Its restaurant Spice Studio serves delicious curries and offers a ‘Dine in the Dark’ experience every month.

When you browse through hotels in Goa, the trick is to focus as much on the Goan authenticity as on your budget.

The rustic eco-huts and vegan-friendly cafe at Saraya operate on a cool concept. You work for a few hours daily, managing the cafe or working in the organic garden, and get food and lodging in exchange. A pretty sweet deal!

Also read: Offbeat, Incredible and Sustainable: Travel Companies Changing the Way We Experience India

Goa homestays, Cancios house Goa, Goa where to stay, Goa travel blog

Offbeat places in Goa for authentic Goan food

Restaurants like Britto’s and Susa Lobo were once considered food institutions in Goa. But now serve average, ‘nothing like real Goan’ food.

Ditch those, and head to small, lesser-known, family-run restaurants for an authentic taste of Goa.

Goa vegetarian, Goa vegan, Goan food, Goan cuisine, Goa travel tips, goan thali

Royal Fantacy  (Ponda)

On a desperate afternoon of quiet hunger, while driving from North Goa towards a spice plantation stay near Dudhsagar, we decided to take our chances and stop for lunch at the decrepit Royal Fantacy (yes, fantasy with a “c”). Oh what seredipity it was!

Given its vicinity to the spice plantations, my slow-cooked mushroom xacuti was made with aromatic, freshly-ground spices, lending it a flavor so delicious that I still salivate at the thought of it. Totally worth a detour.

Nostalgia by Chef Fernando  (Salcete)

Hugely popular among locals, Nostalgia by Chef Fernando , is set in an old Portuguese house full of character. They’ve dug out Goan recipes that are obsolete or otherwise hard to find in other restaurants.

The big vegetarian (also vegan, since there’s no dairy in traditional Goan food) section is a delight for plant-based eaters. I love their seasonal Goan curries with sana (a small round bread with a tinge of sweetness), along with a refreshing glass of urrak (a local cashew-based alcohol, lighter than feni) mixed with Limca.

Also Read: Most Amazing Vegan Restaurants to try in Goa

Right across the Mandovi River, Voltaire focusses on Hindu-influenced Goan cuisine. It’s the only haunt I’ve found yet that can do a vegetarian / vegan version of udamethi and tonak – both deliciously flavorful curries, served up with une , a local bread similar to pao.

As a vegan traveller , I’ve watched friends relish their fish thalis at Ritz Classic with an empty plate. So imagine my delight when my hosts at The Secret Garden first recommended a neighborhood joint for a vegetarian/vegan thali. Thus began my long, on-going search for Goa’s best thalis!

Some of my current favorites are Wood’s Inn in Porvorim, Manisha’s Home Food and Kokni Canteen in Panjim. The Goan thali experience begins with squeezing alongside locals into a hole-in-the-wall space. A typical vegan thali consists of a mound of rice, seasonal veggies, Goan curries, coconut-flavored daal, grated papad-coconut mix and a spicy kokum to round up the meal. Go hungry!

I’ve written in greater detail about my favorite Goan food restaurants over the years. The food at Andron  in Nachinola is still among the best I’ve had in Goa yet, but call Anthony in advance if you want to eat vegetarian/vegan.

Goan food, vegetarian Goa, authentic goan food, Goa travel tips, voltaire goa

Best cafes for an offbeat Goa itinerary

All the cafes I’ve included in my Goa travel guide are vegan/vegetarian friendly, offer free wifi and remain open even during the monsoon months:

Goa cafes, Goa things to do, digital nomad India, Goa travel blog, Ruta's roadhouse Goa

It took me forever to try the food at Bean Me Up , because I typically land up in Goa during the rainy season when it used to be closed. But I finally got beaned up in 2019 – both during a spring trip and their decision to open part of the resto during monsoon.

I now know what the hype is all about – for Bean Me Up serves up an incredibly diverse plant-based menu. I love their ‘taste of the middle east’, Buddha Bowl and tofulafel wrap. Oh and it would be a travesty to leave without trying their insanely good chocolate mousse cake!

Saraya  (Saligao)

I’m almost embarrassed by how often I’ve shown up at Saraya over the years – thanks to their farm-to-table food from their own organic garden!

My favorites are the Summertime Sandwich with minced mushrooms and vegan cashew cheese, the homemade hummus and toasted pita bread, and the wood-fired vegan pizza (served only at night). Don’t miss the lemongrass and mint iced tea!

Ruta’s Roadhouse  (Assagao)

Ruta’s Roadhouse is one of my favorite cafes to work from in Goa. I can see myself sitting by the dome shaped windows overlooking the wilderness on a rainy day, while indulging in homemade hummus and Moroccan style chickpea curry and couscous.

While running errands around Panjim, I make it a point to grab an eggplant-hummus sandwich at Café Bodega . Built around a sunny, green courtyard, it offers respite from the city and would’ve been my hangout of choice if they had more vegan options.

saraya cafe, saraya vegan food

Offbeat things to do in Goa

Something we would’ve never known had our hostess at Secret Garden not tipped us off. Every Sunday morning, locals and expats meet up at Museum of Goa (MOG) in Bardez for a talk / discussion by Goans doing something unique. We saw a short play by a theatre startup, followed by an interesting discussion on Konkan vs international theatre. The following week was a documentary screening by a local artist. I think it’s a great way to connect with the creative side of Goa.

Truth be told, the grey beaches of Goa don’t do much for me. But I’d take the coast in the monsoon over the December crowds anyday – with grey skies, roaring waves and beaches like Little Vagator and Ashwem almost entirely to myself.

Back in the day, I had no idea Goa even had backwaters, let along kayaking on them. Scratching the surface slowly, I learnt from my hosts at Cancio’s House about discovering Goa’s secret mangroves on kayak. So on a rainy July afternoon, we set out rowing into the untouched backwaters of northern Goa. Amid the mangroves, we heard peacock cries and spotted eagles on barren trees – all while getting drenched in the rain. What an experience!

I’m not a morning person, but I made a vow to be awake for more sunrises, and managed it on my last day in Goa this monsoon. I’m glad I did, because seeing those rice paddies shrouded in mist is totally worth it. You can do it yourself, or join a heritage walk (complete with offbeat locations and quirky stories) with Subodh Kerkar, the founder of MOG.

It’s one thing to hit the discotheques in Goa with other travellers, quite another to dance with locals to jazz music at a neighborhood joint (Cantare in Saligao for example) till the wee hours of the morning – it’s not my thing, but it could become yours!

Typically every Monday, the outdoor space of the popular Gunpowder restaurant at 6 Assagao transforms into a space for talks and screenings on a wide range of subjects. I’ve attended multiple talks by environmentalists and NGOs on India’s – and Goa’s – impending water crisis and ecological challenges. It was here that I watched a rare screening of the Konkani film on life in a typical Goan village – an eye-opener for an outsider like me.

If these are subjects that interest you, this is a great opportunity to meet like-minded locals too.

For me, one of the biggest charms of Goa is driving a scooter along the palm-fringed inner roads and the vast rice paddies, through truly susegade Goan villages, away from the traffic and the crowds. The point is not to get anywhere, but to just let my hair down, set my thoughts free, and experience that ‘Goa is a state of mind’ feeling!

No Nasties is the newest kid on Goa’s shopping block. And even for someone like me, who hardly ever shops, I was sold by their organic, fair-trade, vegan clothing. They use no harmful chemicals or animal dyes in their entire supply chain. The clothes range from trendy dresses to cotton t-shirts with trendy slogans. My “who invited the vegan?” t-shirt from No Nasties always draws eyeballs!

See  12 mind-blowing experiences I’ve discovered in Goa over the years. These include visiting one of Goa’s last remaining traditional bakeries and joining a local festival that involves jumping in old irrigation wells!

Goa things to do, Goa places to visit, sunrise Goa, Goa travel tips, goa travel guide

How to get around

Seriously, rent an automatic scooter and feel the wind in your hair as you whizz around Goa! Look for inner routes on Google maps so you can ditch the crowded highways and main roads.

I love Honda’s new 125cc bikes, but the more easily available Activa is good enough too. Ask your hosts to get you a good deal – usually INR 300 a day for short term rentals, and INR 250 a day for longer stays.

A convenient option to get around on rainy days, or when you need to go a long distance, like from north to south Goa. A basic car like Maruti or Indigo costs around INR 1200 a day.

My least preferred option, but for rides to/from the airport or if you’re not too keen to drive yourself, go with a Goan driver who can also share stories of living there. Ask your host to arrange a local driver for you.

Also read: Things to do in Kasaragod to Refresh Your Connection With Nature

rice paddies, saligao

Responsible travel and ecotourism in Goa

Time and again, I’ve heard Goans lament about (and seen for myself) how mass tourism is slowly destroying the beauty of Goa. As travellers, it is upon us to make more informed travel choices and be more aware of our surroundings.

monsoon beach

My recommendations in this offbeat Goa guide are all based on responsible travel elements. We can further do our bit to travel responsibly in Goa in these simple ways:

The Goa Responsible Tourism Collective is a collection of accommodations, restaurants, tour providers and adventure outfits with a common vision to protect the environment while offering incredible experiences. It has seriously grown my Goa travel wishlist, especially offbeat things to do in South Goa.

While deciding where to stay and what to eat, choose places owned or run by Goans, that are mindful of the environment. These tend to be more authentic experiences, ensure that tourism money goes back to the locals and are kinder to the beauty of the state.

I picked up a nifty cloth bag that folds into the size of a fist, at the boutique shop at Gunpowder . Although plastic bags are banned in Goa, many small shops still give them freely, and you just have to say no – better still, remind them about the ban. And like anywhere else, carry your own water bottle to refill fresh spring/well water and save money (and trash) on plastic mineral water bottles. Every time you see trash lining the beaches and hillsides, you’ll remember why.

It’s quite awful to see beaches, forts or stretches of rice paddies made popular by Bollywood movies overrun by Instagrammers or groups of boisterous drunk tourists. Be mindful that you’re in someone else’s home. Perhaps drink at home, and go to Goa to savor its natural beauty and unique culture instead?

Also read: 15 Responsible Travel Tips for Authentic, Meaningful Experiences on the Road

Goa essentials

Goa monsoon, Goa rain, Goa travel blog, Goa feeling

The winter months (October to March) are the most popular time to visit Goa, but if you ask me, there is nothing like Goa in the rains .

The cloudy weather makes it much more pleasant to be outdoors than the otherwise hot sun, the rice paddies paint the countryside lush green, and everywhere is relatively less crowded. The perfect time to discover offbeat Goa.

Airtel and Vodafone tend to work well (with 3G/4G) in North Goa, but I remember Airtel giving me trouble the one time I stayed at Agonda in South Goa.

I love that you can walk into a fancy resto or a street market in flip-flops, a casual dress, harem pants or anything you fancy – without being judged. Pack for tropical weather; carry sunscreen, shades and a cap.

Also read: What the Village Folk of Kumaon Taught Me About Life

Other resource for Goa: Offbeat places to visit and stay

aldona, aldona backwaters

Their events calendar is a handy way to find out what’s happening in Goa while you’re around.

I’ve discovered many of my favorite eats in Goa, thanks to Odette’s candid food reviews in Goa !

A travel blog written by Rachel, who moved to Goa from the US a while ago. Her list of places to  volunteer in Goa  is especially helpful.

Run by travel blogger Anna, who quit her job in the UK and is now based out of Goa. Her recommendations of books on Goa’s hippie past have expanded my reading list.

There is always something happening in Goa – yoga classes, discussions, movie screenings, live music. Look out for event posters in cafes like Saraya.

goa travel guide, goa travel tips, offbeat goa, responsible travel goa

Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

The Shooting Star Academy

goa eco tourism

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Enticing as always …. Cheers 🙂

I like your section Responsible Travel. Go local and do never, for any reason, contribute to unnecessary waste. That’s true everywhere. Enjoy your stay in Goa!

I agree, true everywhere!

Thanks Shivya. Gr8 read as usual. Love the inclusion of local resources links too. I get lost in the reading (in a good way) before i even get a chance to get lost in Goa! lol. Safe travels friend. Greg

That’s a good place to get lost, Greg 😉 Hope it’ll be in person in Goa soon!

Goa….my love. rather i have decided to get settled there . Inner roads & small bars are awesome. Fish curry & Uman..mouth watering test! step in to Ravi bar in Ponda

Good read, makes me long to travel again.

Hi, I’ve been following your posts for a month now and it’s truly inspiring. Was wondering you to share few thoughts about communication when you reach a place with totally unaware of it’s language and culture. Did that ever happened?

I try not to let that happen, but even if it does, it’s just about getting on google and reading a little bit about the culture and learning some basic phrases (hello, thank you go a long way). Talk to bilingual local and ask what you need it. If you have a local host, even better. Observe and don’t judge 🙂

Thanks for giving us a view of a different side of Goa. I really enjoyed Panjim, especially the food there, and the beaches are okay, but they are a nice break after Mumbai!

I like Panjim for a city, but I really prefer the lush, quiet interiors over the beaches 😉

  • Pingback: My Alternative Travel Guide to Goa. — The Shooting Star – kesuvulu

Hey this was a very informative and beautifully writtten..Thank you:)

That is a nice and comprehensive guide for one of my favourite destinations 😉 Thank you!

This is excellent! Any tips for South Goa?

Only the couple of interesting restos I came across – Nostalgia and Royal Fantasy. I tried staying in South Goa for a bit this time, but realized I prefer the interiors of the north much more.

A perfect guide to visit original goa which is not only discos & nigh out parties.

I too visited Goa during monsoon and its best during that season. I fall in love with its lush green environment & prefer to travel at less crowded destinations so off season is best time to visit Goa.

Brilliant Shivya….i can’t help but agree…Goa or for that matter whole of Konkan / Western Ghats / Malabar is enchanting in Monsoons…. very well written….grrrrrrrt info….wud surely luv to take good use in next yr or so…..more power to u..ur thoughts, lens nd Pen….Khush Raho.

Also visit Arvalem Caves and waterfall during monsoon. The drive through North Goa to Arvalem is breath taking.

I visited there a while back and found it to be an interesting part of North Goa! It’s on my offbeat, mind-blowing experiences in Goa list, so didn’t include it here again 😉

Thank you lots for this post 🙂 Gave me an idea of the other side of Goa.. Something that was required :))

Thanks again for the post 🙂

I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been to Goa in the off/ rainy season once and it was very enjoyable. You should do more of such alternate guides, very useful and thoughtful!

Cheers for your further travels. Love.x

Thanks Pragya; glad you found it useful. I’ll try to do more such guides on places I’ve spent plenty of time in!

Twice in Goa this year. Will surely try the alternative guide next time there. Thanks @Shivya.

Hi Shivya, Lovely post, Goa is my favorite place to be, especially during the rains. Loved your insights and recommendations will try them out when I visit again.

I too have written a similar post last year, take a look

Regards Malita

Good one, Shivya. Especially touching the aspects of being a responsible tourist/traveler. I guess that has a cardinal impact on the future of the destination especially a place like Goa.

Absolutely, and it’s upon each one of us to make more responsible choices!

WOW – where do I start? What a great blog. I was going to book some hotel on the beach and then I read your blog. I so want to stay at Secret Garden and will ask if they have space Will I need a car to get around What else can I do thanks again for your super recommendation

I’m so glad to hear that Jackie! I absolutely loved my time there.

You can hire an automatic scooter to get around, and locals taxis are available too. Your hosts will be able to guide you with that and more things to do 🙂

thank you for all of your help and useful information…..

I have been to Goa more than 10 times till now still I feel I have one more place to explore as soon as I come back. Loved your great detailed writing and awesome documentation.

Nice Blog !!! After reading your blog i am very excited to visit Goa.

You blog is a good lesson for me .I am just with you .

Nice work! I would love to travel the world too someday. X

That is exciting! I’d love to do something like this. There’s so much to see!

Good to meet someone who loves goa for its rustic charm. Travel wide and spread the awesomeness !!

I’m just staring at this looking like the heart-eye emoji. I love your blog so much!

Aww thank you, love that expression, haha!

Thank you for these beautiful and realistic photos! And love the tips. We are preparing for a round the world trip with our boys and really want to go to India. I have been in the North but, thought a lot about Goa.

I hope you make it to Goa! India has so much to offer beyond the tourist-y places 🙂 All the best for your RTW!

the real feel of a trip is only felt wen we try to experience it like a traveller and not a tourist.

This sounds like an absolutely AMAZING lifestyle! I look forward to reading even more of your fabulous adventures. xx

Hi Shivya , you are simply superrrrb , living a fabulous life inspirational to so many including me . Hats off to you dear . Enjoy your travelling .

woww.. have been to Goa 2 times already..I m surely gonna steal ur itenary 😀 ,it is so cool

To do for Simple and reminiscing trip..Goa is sexy and from your words, sexier 😍

What wonderful information here! Thank you. As we continue our travels around the world, I will be referring back to this.

this is really good..its been a long time since i went to goa, thinking of revisiting it after reading your post 🙂

I’m glad you are! There’s so much to discover in that little state beyond the beaches 🙂

As always you create a great Go guide which never fails! Love the post which unearths a new side of Goa Shivya!

Very nice description

Amazing natural pictures, feeling good to see this locations, generally we think GOA means only beaches but this change my mind. Thank your for sharing.

Great ! Love how detailed and informative it is 🙂

Could this get better? It was amazing 🙂 I have been to Goa 5 times but then this just gave me a whole new perspective of travelling

Its amazing the way you can express your feelings and the beauty of the place. totally loved it.

Reblogged this on Eat N Travel to Live .

Wonderfully written! I’m going to travel solo to Goa this coming December. Would love to connect and find out the offbeat stuff I can do other than usual riding around on a scooter to explore! Wish you many memorable trips around the world!

Beautiful Place , beautifully explained by a beautiful Girl 🙂

How to check that i am not overcharged in food as i am going in quite busy months of january ?

You’ve mentioned to stay at places that are run by the locals, how do you find them? I know one way viz to ask around once I get there, but how do I book my stay from a remote location?

Outstanding post for any traveler. This post just motivated me to go to Goa Again. I am a traveler myself and I’ve always preferred road trips as it has always given me the ultimate pleasure of sight seeing. I still remember my road trip from Bangalore to Goa. I went with my friends and we made a road trip as usual. We rented six bikes from Wheelstreet bike rentals and trust me that was one of the best trips I ever had. recently we have a plan to go to Mumbai. And this post is really motivating me to take another road trip to Goa but this time it is gonna be from Mumbai. Thanks a lot for such amazing post and the pictures look beautiful.

Great experiences. And thanks for sharing the information. It will be very helpful.

hi shivya, as soon as i get confirmed train tickets, i open this page. i read it long time ago and very determined to visit goa in rainy season. i print helpful notes from above page and i will be there in coming days. keep posting your travel experience, so we can enjoy the same place with your help.

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I so want to pack my bags and travel to goa right now. Awesome blog.

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Goa govt to develop eco-tourism in forest areas

Taking to twitter on friday, state minister vishwajit rane said that discussions were held with officials of the forest department for the development of eco-tourism and to improve infrastructure in wildlife sanctuaries in the state..

goa eco tourism

The Goa government will develop eco-tourism in the forest areas and parks of the coastal state, state Minister Vishwajit Rane said.

Taking to Twitter on Friday, Rane said that discussions were held with officials of the forest department for the development of eco-tourism and to improve infrastructure in wildlife sanctuaries in the state.

goa eco tourism

“Following discussions with forest dept officers, we have decided to give thrust to development of forest eco-tourism within forest areas and forest parks. We will improve infrastructure of Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, build camping areas, jungle trails etc,” the state forest minister tweeted.

“We will carry out these activities with guidance from experts in order to ensure that people are more interested in and visit forest parks. Camping areas and jungle trails will be prioritised. We will create an entirely new ecosystem so that we can see the animals within the park,” he said.

A tourist hub known for its beaches and nightlife, Goa has six wildlife sanctuaries and a national park, most of which are situated in the north-eastern or southern part of the state.

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goa eco tourism

From houseboats to spice gardens, there’s far more to Goa than its beautiful beaches

Tucked into the western coast of India, Goa is renowned for its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Once a Portuguese colony, this small coastal state has a blend of Indian and European influences, evident in its architecture and cuisine.

The beaches of Goa are its most famous attraction, drawing visitors with their golden sands, azure waters, and thrilling water sports.

From the sandy shores of Calangute and Baga to the secluded coves of Agonda and Palolem, each beach has its own unique vibe.

Beyond its beaches, Goa has a wealth of cultural and historical treasures. The state's capital, Panaji, features Portuguese colonial architecture, winding streets, and spice-filled markets.

Goa is also known for its lively festivals, including Carnival and Shigmo, which showcase traditional music, dance, and cuisine.

Goa is focusing on spiritual and eco-tourism

After a dip in visitors due to the impact of COVID-19, Goa's Department of Tourism has increased its focus on spiritual tourism, cultural tourism, eco-tourism, and conference tourism. A new airport is opening, and more luxury hotels are also pegged to open.

According to Sanjeev Ahuja, IAS Secretary (Tourism), the department wants to target “high-quality tourists” and encourage them to stay longer.

"We want them [tourists] to experience waterfalls, spice gardens, the temples and the festivals,” Ahuja adds.

Along with sand rakes, beaches, and lush landscapes, Goa has plenty to offer curious visitors. Here are our top picks for unmissable experiences.

Houseboats: Cruising the backwaters of Goa

Houseboat experiences in Goa offer a unique opportunity to explore the region's picturesque backwaters and float past natural beauty.

These traditional wooden boats, known locally as ‘kettuvallams’, have been a part of Goa's cultural heritage for centuries and provide a peaceful retreat away from the busy tourist area.

Step aboard a wooden boat and glide by Goa's lush mangrove forests and small fishing villages, and spot local wildlife .

The Mandovi River, in particular, is a popular destination for houseboat cruises. These cruises offer panoramic views of Goa's verdant landscapes and riverside vistas.

Choose from day cruises, sunset cruises, overnight stays, or multi-day excursions to explore remote and lesser-known areas of the backwaters.

Temples and churches: Discover spiritual sites in Goa

Explore Goa's ancient temples, each a testament to the region's rich cultural tapestry, to learn more about its spiritual legacy.

Visit the UNESCO -listed Bom Jesus Basilica, a 16th-century marvel renowned for its exquisite Baroque architecture and housing the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, a prominent Jesuit missionary.

One of the most revered temples in Goa is the Shree Mangesh temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated in the village of Mangeshi in Ponda taluka, this temple is renowned for its exquisite architecture, intricate carvings, and spiritual significance.

Another must-visit temple in Goa is the Shanta Durga Temple, dedicated to Goddess Shantadurga, the goddess of peace and harmony. Located in the village of Kavalem, this temple is an architectural marvel, with its towering spires, ornate pillars, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

The deity is depicted seated on a lotus flower, flanked by two lions, symbolising strength and courage.

Goa's most beautiful beaches: Stretch out on sandy shorelines

Goa is well known for its laid-back beaches and secluded coves where you can sunbathe, swim, hop on a jet ski, and rip along the waves.

Calangute Beach, often called the ‘Queen of Beaches’, is one of the most popular beaches in Goa.

Stretching for miles along the Arabian Sea, the beach is dotted with shacks, cafes, and water sports operators offering various activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boat rides.

Adjacent to Calangute Beach lies Baga Beach , famous for its golden sands, colourful fishing boats and energetic vibe.

It's a hotspot of Goan nightlife and is lined with beachfront clubs, bars, and restaurants where you can feast on traditional cuisine and hit the dancefloor as dusk falls.

Agonda Beach and Palolem Beach are ideal for a more serene beach setting. Located in South Goa, these beaches are renowned for their pristine beauty, soft golden sands, and crystal-clear waters.

World Heritage Sites: Discover Goa's rich history

UNESCO has honoured some of the magnificent monuments in Old Goa with world heritage status.

These impressive sites, recognised for their outstanding universal value, spotlight Goa's enduring cultural significance.

Constructed in the late 16th century, the Basilica of Bom Jesus showcases exquisite Baroque architecture, with intricately carved wooden altars and frescoes depicting scenes from St. Francis Xavier's life.

Adjacent to the basilica stand the Ruins of the Church of St. Augustine, another UNESCO World Heritage Site that echoes the region's colonial past.

Built by Augustinian friars in the 16th century, the church was one of the largest in Goa until it fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned in the 19th century.

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi and Convent, situated in Old Goa, is another architectural gem that forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ensemble.

Built by Franciscan friars in the 17th century, the church features a striking façade adorned with intricately carved statues and reliefs depicting scenes from St. Francis of Assisi's life.

Spice gardens offer a fragrant journey through Goa

Goa is famous for its exotic spice plantation farms. India is a world leader in the production and export of spices, and spice farms offer insight into agricultural heritage and spice cultivation practices.

Tropical Spice Plantation provides a sensory journey through its sprawling grounds. Spanning over 100 acres, this plantation is home to diverse spices, herbs, and tropical fruits cultivated using organic and sustainable farming methods.

Guided tours are led by knowledgeable hosts who provide insights into cultivating, harvesting, and processing spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg.

The Sahakari Spice Farm, located in the picturesque village of Curti in Ponda, is another renowned spice destination in Goa. Spread across acres of fertile land, this family-owned farm has cultivated spices for generations, preserving age-old traditions and techniques passed down through the ages.

Guided tours of the farm offer visitors a holistic experience, encompassing spice plantations, herbal gardens, and traditional Goan architecture.

Goa is looking to attract more ‘high-quality tourists’ with a new airport and luxury hotels.

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2% sustainability fee defeats purpose of GST: Tourism sector

2% sustainability fee defeats purpose of GST: Tourism sector


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