Goa, the ultimate party destination of India is renowned for its serene beaches, amazing nightlife and delectable seafood. Be it the bustling beaches of North Goa, the night clubs of Anjuna or Morjim, the quaint cafes serving the most delicious food you’ll ever have (I am not even kidding!), or the secluded beaches of South Goa, this state is always lit up, giving out the coolest and most peaceful vibe in the country!
But, did you know there’s more to Goa than what we already know? No, I am not even talking about the famed churches or the numerous adventure sports you can try here. Well, if you are a curious traveller just like me, who wants to explore more than just the commercial spots, you will be happy to know that this tiny state is blessed with deep tropical forests, lofty mountains, deep valleys and gurgling rivers, making it a merry playground for some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Goa.
Here are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Goa!
Let’s start with the most famous one! Initiating from the mighty peaks of the Western Ghats, Doodhsagar Waterfalls are are divided into four tiers in the Mondovi river making it the fifth highest waterfalls in the country and also, among the highest 100 in the world. The sheer magnificence of this waterfall is the reason you should be visiting Goa during the monsoons. The waterfall sparkles and the water roars down looking sublimely white, hence the name Dudhsagar, meaning a sea of milk. It is open to visitors from 6:30 AM until 5:00 PM.
How to reach: If you are opting for railways, Kulem is the nearest station which is 8 KM from the falls. Bikes on rent are available at Kulem. You need to take the road off NH 4A from Kulem to reach the waterfall.
Best time to visit: November-February & June-September
Think North Goa is just about beaches and parties? Well, think again, as this part of the state too is home to magnificent waterfall, Arvalem. Also known as Haravalem or Harvale by the locals, the nearby Rudreshwar Temple and the Arvalem rock cut caves, add to the beauty of the place. Local legends mention this cave was used by the Pandavas for shelter during their exile from Indraprastha. Considering the popularity of the waterfalls, the Goan government has created a park nearby, which offers clear views of the falling water and is also a perfect picnic spot if you’d like to spend the day amidst lush greenery.
How to reach: You can hire a taxi from Panaji or from Sanquelim to reach the place.
Best time to visit: July-September
Admire the majesty and grace of Netravali waterfall located in Sanguem Taluka, in the Madei Wildlife Sanctuary and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, which spreads over 211 square kilometres. It’s a short 3 km hike to the waterfall where you pass through he lush green forest while enjoying the natural biodiversity of Goa. Once you reach the fall, you can climb to the peak and soak in the wonderful view around. Also, there are about 5 more falls in the vicinity of Netravali falls and although they aren’t amazingly tall, an amazing time is guaranteed.
How to reach: 2 hours’ drive from Margao will take to Netravali fall in Goa. Margao is also the nearest railhead of the destination.
Best time to visit: October-February
If you are a nature lover then Hivre Waterfall located in Valpoi, the northernmost region of Goa, is a must-visit. Valpoi is a beautiful town filled with cascading waterfalls and natural springs nearby. One needs to pass through Hivre village and then walk through a forest stretch to get there. The trails to this place haven’t been marked and therefore requires a guide to take you up the hill. The waterfall itself is not too high, but its picturesque location and the calmness around the area make up for a good experience.
How To Reach: Situated 14 kms from Valpoi City, one needs to travel through Thane village to reach Hivre falls.
Best time to visit: June-November
The undiscovered jewel of Sada village of Karnataka is for those who enjoy some serious hiking. The most amazing feature of Sada Falls is its shape and view, as it flows between two hills and then widens into an awe-inspiring cascade. The almost 4-km trek to the spot would continuously take you up and down and across numerous seasonal streams. As you walk around the area, you will be able to hear the gushing sound of the waterfall. It’s one of the most beautiful waterfall in Goa offering a serene and pretty atomsphere, ideal for peace seeking travellers.
How to reach: Reach Sada Village on the Goa-Karnataka border and trek for 8 kms to reach the destination.
Best time to visit: Year round
Charavne is another beautiful waterfall located in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, so the chances of coming across animals and birds are quite high. The falls are located amidst lush green surroundings and the roaring sound of the waters can be heard from quite a distance. To reach the falls you need to take a 1.5-2 kilometre trek through small streams, rocks and lush greenery. The fall provides a panoramic view of the surrounding lush green forest and the gushing flow of the Mhadei river. Trekking here is especially fun; as you navigate through deep jungle trails, meandering streams and huge boulder rocks. It is about 20km away from Panaji.
How to reach: Charavane Village is roughly 12 kms from Valpoi city. Thivim at a distance of 45 kms is the nearest railhea
Best time to visit: Year round
Tucked away in the Verna Plateau, Kesarval Falls, also known as Kesarval Spring is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Goa and a wonderful place to spend some time away from the bustling beaches, swimming and admiring the stunning beauty. Encircled by betel palm plantations and tropical woodlands, this waterfall is said to have medicinal properties and healing powers; a dip here is believed to cure one of all ailments.
How to reach: The waterfall is located off the Panaji Margao highway. It is located 22 kms from Panaji.
Best time to visit: June-September
Tambdi Surla Waterfall
This gorgeous waterfall is 90 minutes walking distance from the famous 13th century Tambdi Surla Temple (also known as Mahadev Temple). You cannot miss this waterfall if you are an avid trekker and nature lover. Not only is the waterfall a sight to behold, but the hike to it is also a worthy experience. The dense jungle encircling the cascade, mystic beauty, and heritage temple at the bottom are the elements of charm of the sight. The waterfall is at its best in the monsoons, when water cascades from a high hill and roars down in spectacular beauty.
How to reach: Arrive at Carnazol, off NH 4A and trek through the sanctuary to reach up to the falls.
Best time to visit: July-September
The best part about visiting these waterfalls is that you also get to explore the villages and wildlife sanctuaries nearby. This serves as the perfect opportunity for you to explore the culture of the state as well as its hidden beauties, which trust me, is way better than the commercial spots here. Being in the lap of nature, taking in the fresh air, the lush greenery, taking a dip in the natural pools and enjoying the musical sound of the gushing waterfalls will definitely lift up your spirits with excitement and calmness at the same time. So, who’s ready to explore the other side of Goa beyond the beaches and nightlife?