For better or for worse, Baga and Calangute are the two most popular beaches of Goa. It’s especially a hit amongst local and international (read: cashed-up European package tourists) travellers, who wish to explore the side of Goa where all the fun began. Beaches, sand, sunbeds, inexpensive cocktails and beer, and a never-ending chain of beach shacks is what defines this part of Goa the best. The two beaches of Calangute and Baga flow next to one another with Candolim being the south end of Calangute beach.
Calangute also has one of the main bus depots of North Goa where some of the Volvo, AC, and non-AC coaches coming or going to Mumbai hault. Most local buses have a stopover at Calangute bus stand. It’s easy to find, just follow the sign boards or ask anybody.
Being the most popular tourist hub, there is no paucity of resorts, hotels, and even backpacker friendly guest houses. If you like living near the beach and do not wish to walk a great deal to reach the beach then you can choose to stay at one of the beach bungalows or hotels such as Little India Beach Cottages. However, if the parties and crowd and loudness overwhelm you, then book your stay a little away from the beach. Cavala Seaside Resort and The Baga Marina are good options.
Baga and Calangute also happen to be the place where all the adventure-seeking adrenaline-pumping crowd are at their happiest. Walk over to the beach and you will be surrounded by people offering you adventure sports such as Parasailing, Water Skiing, and Banana Boat Rides. Always negotiate the price. The trick is to reduce the offered price by at least 35 to 40% if not 50%.
If you are more into Yoga and Meditation, you may find centres offering drop-in classes as well as long-term courses. Ayurveda Natural Health Centre, located inland at Saligao (4.4 km from Baga) is a good option.
The two beaches of Goa, Calangute and Baga, happen to be so popular for a reason – because they have something for everyone – even our favourite shopaholics! Calangute’s daily market, Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar (Baga), and the larger Saturday Night Market (Calangute – Anjuna Road, Arpora) are a must in your list if you love shopping as much as we think you do! They are not just your regular markets with usual clothes and accessories and souvenir stalls, some of them (larger Saturday Night Market) also have entertainments such as live bands and concerts. Plus the food and the cheap booze – who can say no to that?
Lastly, for a proper clubbing-like party experience, check out Cafe Mambo and Tito’s. The former is a more sophisticated late-night club whereas the latter is still worth a visit.
Air: Dabolim Airport is Goa's only airport.
Train: Goa is connected by rail to most of the big cities in India. There are two main stations - Madgaon, and Thivim
Bus: Ac buses and Volvo coaches operate between Goa and nearby metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore.
Reaching Baga and Calangute once you are in Goa is the easiest task as due to its popularity, everybody knows the directions.