While Goa is, quite rightly, best known for its amazing, palm-fringed beaches, that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to this corner of southern India. In fact, some of the state’s other attractions are its lakes and waterfalls, which are well worth seeking out during a stay here.
To make the most of you cheap holiday in Goa, it’s worth doing a little exploring away from the state’s coast. Here are some of the top waterfalls and lakes you can include in your itinerary.
This manmade lake is a top attraction with tourists and locals alike. The water is surrounded by wooded hills, providing a picturesque backdrop for a picnic or a lakeside stroll. One of the best ways to experience Mayem Lake, however, is by boat and you’ll find a host of small vessels are available to hire, allowing you to paddle your way around the area.
Keep your eyes open for some of the local birdlife as you drift along at a leisurely pace, as the forest and lake have attracted numerous species to the area, including the orange-breasted green pigeon and the crested serpent eagle.
Near Mayem Lake is the Arvalem Waterfall, which drops for around 50 m in among the trees. The best time to visit here is just after the monsoon rains, when an impressive torrent flows down the mountainside and into a pool below. Another attraction of this waterfall is its proximity to the Arvalem Caves, which are home to carvings dating back to the 7th century.
The Dudhsagar Waterfall is one of the most famous – and most beautiful – in Goa. It is located near the state’s border with Karnataka and the best way to reach it is by rail. The line runs past the waterfall at one point, providing you with an excellent view of the torrents of water as they cascade down the mountain.
You can board a train at either Vasco or Margao to make the journey, while the last stop before the Dudhsagar falls is Collem, so it’s possible to buy a ticket and just take this final leg of the journey by rail.
Once you reach the falls, you’ll be amazed by the sight of the white water plummeting for around 600 m, creating foam and spray as it hits the bottom. There are some calm pools where you can bathe if you need to cool off in the hot Indian sun. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can go for a hike in the nearby Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary.
If you’d like to spend some time on your holiday in Goa indulging in a spot of bird watching, Carambolim Lake is the place to come. Like Mayem Lake, it is artificial, but that hasn’t stopped it attracting a large variety of winged creatures, including coots, moorhens, egrets, jacanas and teals.
There are several observation towers located at various points around the lake, so you can get an excellent view of the water – and hopefully spot a few more birds in the process!
Situated around 22 km from Panaji, Kesarval Spring is definitely worth a visit if you’re staying in the city. The waters here are said to possess healing properties – perfect if you’ve got any aches or pains you’d like to try and soothe away!
The spring itself is surrounded by dense forest, adding to its exotic appeal. Make sure you pack your swimwear so you can take a dip in the curative waters and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.