What are the Must-Visit Places in South Goa?

Is Goa only for those wild, free-spirited hippies looking to party all night, enjoy loud music, and dance to Goa trance?

No! There are two faces to Goa: North Goa and South Goa. While North Goa is all about crowded warm beaches, booze, party, and the vogue markets, South Goa is for those who want to escape noise and crowd

North Goa houses exotic beaches such as Calangute, Candolim, Baga, and Chapora. You can enjoy exotic cuisines and drinks, revel in voguish shopping, party harder, and de-stress on extravagant beaches.

I’m personally a massive fangirl of South Goa, where I can unwind, relax, and connect with nature. The calm and serene beauty of the rustic landscapes of raw Goa without any sugar-coating allures me the most. South Goa is a heaven for solo travellers looking for some soul-searching experience. And if you are one of them, read on to know the best places to visit in South Goa to unwind and relax.

Must visit places in South Goa

South Goa is a jewel of unexplored destinations which will take your breath away. The historic forts, villages, ancient churches, and tranquil islands teleport you to a different era in Goan history. Let me make this simple by listing the places you must never miss in South Goa.

1. Pequeno Island

Pequeno Island, also known as Bat Island, is a small stretch of the rocky, lush green island—a perfect destination for snorkellers. About 1 Km from Baina Beach, rich vegetation with varied underwater life and corals awaits your exploration. If you find the underwater world amusing, you should include Pequeno Island in your itinerary. 

The adrenaline rush provided by the snorkelling experience and the ensuing calmness while you watch different creatures under the ocean is unparalleled! Indulge in the snorkelling experience at least once in your lifetime. And this is the right place for first-timers! 

2. Dudhsagar Falls

The mesmerising waterfall lives up to its name Dudhsagar, which translates into “ocean of milk .” The beauty of the waterfalls, especially during the monsoon season, is a treat for the eyes of its visitors. It looks like a stream of milk pouring down the mountain into the valley, forming white foam at the bottom of the falls. 

You can also trek up to the waterfall if you are an adventure junkie. The valley is surrounded by lush tropical greenery, transporting you to a trance state!

3. Se Cathedral Church

I love any place which has a history. This historic church built by the Portuguese in the 16th century to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Mughals is a must-visit for architecture lovers. Dedicated to St. Catherine, the grand Iberian façade, intricate carvings on the interior, one-of-its-kind massive golden bell tower among the five bells, and its splendid altars awe its visitors. The convent-turned Archaeological Museum behind Se Cathedral is a treasure for history lovers and is open to the public. 

4. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

If you are a birdwatcher, the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is bliss on earth. The sanctuary, spread over a 240 sq-km thick forest, lies on the Goa-Karnataka border and is a house to exotic birds, jungle cats, giant squirrels, and many more. 

You can do a jeep safari to ride through the deep forest to see animals in their dwelling. Make sure to obtain the required permission from the forest range officials. Early mornings and the late evenings are the best time to get a glimpse of wild animals.

5. Beaches in South Goa

Do you want to spend a sunny evening on the less-crowded sandy beaches? South Goa is home to some exotic Indian beaches. You can do various activities on these beaches like taking a stroll on the shore, indulging in adventure water sports, snacking on local Goan food, and partying. Palolem beach, Varca beach, Butterfly beach, Arossim beach, and Betul beach are the best if you are looking for beaches in South Goa. After witnessing the heavenly sunset, you can hit a shack and munch on some drool-worthy gourmet seafood.

6. Tambdi Surla Temple and Waterfalls

If you are in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, you must visit this 12th-century Shiva temple without fail. The 12th-century Kadamba dynasty temple is located inside the sanctuary near the Goa-Karnataka border. The temple is not just for spiritual people but also for history and architecture lovers since it is one of the oldest Goan temples with a rich history. It is the only surviving structure of the Kadamba Yadava dynasty in the world!  

The Tambdi Surla Waterfalls is a 90-minute trek away from the temple. The trek is moderately difficult as the forest is steep, so you must wear appropriate clothing. You might spot snakes like the common krait, russell’s viper, vine snakes, and other reptiles in the forest. The best part is you will only hear the river flowing and the birds chirping while you trek. And trust me—all that effort is worth it once you come closer to nature’s raw beauty!

7. Rivona Caves

If you are intrigued by caves and the folklore behind them, you must visit the Rivona Caves. It is located about 5 km northeast of Ponda, in a sparsely populated village called Rivona. The village itself is known for its vibrant beauty. On the outskirts of the village, into the forest, lies these 6th-century rock-cut caves, believed to be carved out and inhabited by Buddhist monks. Don’t judge the cave by the look of its small, narrow entrance! You will be astonished by the intricate carvings on the inside.

Inside the cave, you will find the “pitha” (the teacher’s seat) and a Hindu god’s statue, Lord Hanuman. These caves are also called the Pandava Caves, and you will find carvings depicting events from Hindu epics—Mahabharata and Ramayana. You will spot pieces of red cloth tied to trees by spiritual visitors. Ultimately, you will get to visit places from your history books!

What are your favourite places in South Goa?

places to visit in south goa

Goa has something to offer everyone within their budget. I hope this blog helped you plan your itinerary for your trip to South Goa. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and relish yourself amid nature. What are your favourites of South Goa? Let me know in the comments below.

To know all the offbeat/hidden locations in South Goa, check out my article, Exploring South Goa on Solo Travel Journey

If you’re travelling solo to Goa for the first time, consider reading my blog post on the ultimate itinerary for five days in Goa.


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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