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Overview to Goa: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Back in the 60s and 70s, Goa was a major destination on the hippy trail. These days, the baton has very definitely been passed on to a new generation of backpackers attracted by the beaches and one of the most vigorous party scenes in Asia.
Throughout Goa, the two come together perfectly: beach by day, open-air party by night. The beaches of Vagator are stunning, and the nearby Chapora Fort makes an interesting excursion. To the south, Palolem and Anjuna Beach (with its flea market) are also popular.
Less busy spots can be found right along the coast, too. Facing out into the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Sea, the beaches are uniformly magnificent. And, naturally, there are countless opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling off the reefs.
Inland, the country is incredibly rich in natural resources, with the remarkable Dudhsagar Falls (to the east) standing out. As the home of a number of endangered species, Western Ghats is an area of enormous biodiversity; the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, meanwhile, is one of several National Parks.
Of the big towns, Panaji is the regional capital, although Vasco Da Gama is the larger city. Old Goa lays claim to a wealth of stunning churches, such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, while Margao (Madgaon) demonstrates the region’s pronounced Portuguese influence.
Gloriously ornate Hindu temples include Sree Saptakoteshwar, Sree Mangueshi in Old Goa and numerous impressive examples in Ponda. Forts also dot the coastline, and can frequently be seen peeking out of dense jungle.
But these are all really just diversions from the main attractions. In this most idyllic of settings, lazy days can be spent with no more distraction than the lapping of the surf on the beach. Then, after the sun sets, parties spring up that stop only with the coming of dawn…