FAQ: Should I Come to Goa in Monsoon?

I love rain. I grew up in Ohio where springtime meant rain for a month or more straight. A lot of people told me, “The Goa in monsoon season will be ten times more than what you’ve ever experienced,” but I have to say, it isn’t that bad. I hear it’s unbearable in Calcutta during the second monsoon. That’s why it’s important to understand the seasons of India before you visit.  Goa in monsoon season isn’t much worse than Ohio’s spring except it lasts longer and power outages occur.

Check here for the top new hotels and shops opening in Goa in 2018

Monsoon season in Goa is actually something that I look forward to. All through the winter we party and have fun at the beach, especially on holidays like New Years, but by April I’m ready for the tourists to leave. Then, May rolls around, and it’s so hot, you don’t want to step outside. You start to hope the monsoon season comes early. By the end of the month, the rain finally hits! Although it never cools things down as much as you think it will!

PS: For more tips on Goa check out my 170-page e-book, Insider’s Guide to Goa. After five years of living in Goa, I am confident this book is the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide to Goa plus it has all my secrets inside. Click here to buy it now.

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goa monsoonI think this photo shows that, yes, you should come to Goa in monsoon season!

goa monsoon

When is Monsoon?

It’ll rain end of May, through June, July, August, and September. By October I’m begging for the sun- my tan will have completely faded again, and I’ll be bored wishing the tourists would come back. Last year in October it rained on and off through the middle of the month.

Just because it’s monsoon season doesn’t mean you won’t get sun and beach time. It rains for hours straight sometimes, but then it can clear up and allow for a nice, hot day.

Many Indians prefer to come to Goa on vacation in monsoon season so you’ll still have a fairly large amount of tourists, although typically they chill around Baga, Calangute, and Candolim.

goa monsoon

Anjuna & Vagator are pretty empty and the guesthouses along the beach all close. The restaurants too!

The e-mail I always get:

“I’m going to be in India during monsoon and wonder if it’s worth coming down to Goa, but I’m afraid everything will be closed” –lovely Hippie in Heels reader

 What I answer is:

While I wouldn’t have my friends fly half-way across the world to see me and Goa during monsoon season, if you’re in the area you might as well come down since it’s one of the best places to visit in India! Domestic flights are pretty cheap, and you can check Kiwi for the absolutely cheapest options.

During monsoon season you won’t see the “psy” party scene which Goa is popular for. You definitely won’t get to try any of my top 5 Restaurants or most of the outdoor activities I mention in my Ultimate Guide to Goa.

It stays lively in the Baga area, which isn’t typically my scene. As a traveler, it is still worth checking out. There are fewer options for shopping than the high season due to no big markets being open in monsoon.

You’ll be able to try the local Goan fish curry rice, rent a bike on the cheap, and stay near the beach for 50% of the cost. You can swim in the ocean at this time, but make sure it’s a calm day because there have been drowning’s in Goa- although; I’m told most were drunk.

I made a list of all the restaurants I go to in monsoon season. All of them stay open!

goa monsoon

goa monsoonphoto credit Flickr

Things that are better in Goa during Monsoon

Hotels are Crazy Cheap

goa monsoon

Goa in monsoon season is the time to stay at the 4 and 5-star hotels at crazy low rates. There are two Taj’s (Exotica is better than Vivanta), a Park Hyatt, Leela (the best), and the Lalit (Intercontinental). I personally love the Alila Diwa in South Goa. There are so many monetary perks to traveling off-season in India and elsewhere in the world.

Check all hotels in Goa here

Because guesthouses close, you can’t just find a place in Lonely Planet and show up. You will need to call ahead to make sure the hotel is open, but as always when you show up you can negotiate lower, as they have no one staying in the monsoon! It’s a fine line to cross. I suggest calling to ask rates, not booking or holding a room, and showing up a couple days later knowing in the back of your head what they offered so you can negotiate better.

For all my where to stay in Goa guides:

The Lushness

The best part is the green lush tropical vibe. The rice paddies are incredible, although don’t go running through them or a snake might get you! It’s also fun to watch how they work in the fields using water buffalo.

goa monsoon

Everything is fresh, wet, and clean.

The streets get washed off like a fresh start each year. Near our house, the creeks that were dry and cracked dirt, become fast flowing rivers.

goa monsoon

The sunsets are even BETTER!

goa monsoon

You can tour Old Goa without all the crowds and heat.

Dudhsagar & Mangeli waterfalls are best during monsoon.

You can drive there yourself or hire a driver.

goa monsoon

goa monsoon

goa monsoon

Celebrate Sao-Jao in Goa

Last year, celebrating Sao-Joao in Goa was my favorite part of monsoon. It’s a Christian festival celebrating John the Baptist, due to Portuguese influence, there are many Christians in Goa. On this day we run around jumping in wells and splashing water! It takes place in June.

goa monsoon

Gambling boats in Panjim are still rocking.

This time, though, they’re filled with Indian tourists. I actually want to go on one this monsoon just to watch them party! Indians can make anything a party- even a “nature hike”

goa monsoon

Eco-tours are cheaper too.

As I said places are cheaper in monsoon. Two resorts I’m looking forward to checking out are Swa-swara and Wildernest, which are both “nature” places with eco-tourism and trekking. Supposedly they are both great for bird watchers.

The view from Fort Aguada in monsoon is amazing! Keep in mind it closes at 5.

goa monsoon

Visit the Spice Plantation Near Ponda.

Spice plantation near Ponda, which every driver knows of, stays open during monsoon. I would imagine playing with elephants in the rain would be way more fun that in blistering heat. You can rent a scooter and drive there yourself; check out my top 5 Goa tips.

goa monsoon

Nightlife is still fun.

As a tourist, you might find the nightlife interesting. It won’t be the awesome trance scene of season time, but instead loads of ABBA and Indian bands playing cover songs in crowded bars. It’s worth a night out to people-watch.

For me, I look at monsoon as a time to chill out, watch movies, get work done, take Huck on long pretty walks, and cook dinner with Ben! Not a shabby outdoor office:

goa monsoon

goa monsoon

An empty beach all to yourself.

meme

If you’d like to know more about visiting Goa, check out these tips!

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2018-07-26T16:03:33+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

63 Comments

  1. ryko May 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, Very nicely put to words what to expect during monsoon,
    guess need to wait for few more weeks for dudhsagar to be in full flow
    can you advice north or south Goa during Monsoon :-)
    Hippie, girlie nurse
    Good Luck with future endeavors !

    • Rachel Jones May 15, 2014 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      ahh I think you should rent a bike and do both. The south is much much quieter.

  2. Nick May 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Monsoon travel is now becoming a massive thing in the south. I’d love to get back down that way this monsoon!

  3. Emily May 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Yes! You have me completely falling in love with India. I think I will love it no matter the season but it really looks like there are a lot of perks instead of negatives to monsoon season visiting!

  4. Karyn @ Not Done Travelling May 15, 2014 at 4:04 am - Reply

    Very useful post! And I love that quote about how if your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it. Have totally stolen that pic, btw. :p

    • Rachel Jones May 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks :) I can’t remember who said the quote, but I love making memes

  5. Joella J in Beijing May 15, 2014 at 6:22 am - Reply

    I hated rain living in England but I do enjoy it when I travel to more tropical places! Rain when it’s warm is much nicer. I love places when they are all lush and green like in your photos! Beautiful scenery!

    • Rachel Jones May 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      It is just wonderful! I imagine the Philippines must be nice after a rain with all those rice fields, kind of like Goa

  6. Agness May 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Just because it’s monsoon doesn’t mean you won’t get sun and beach time – I love it about Goa! You can always have fun at the beach and get some tan even when it rains for hours straight sometimes! It’s always nice and hot unlike Dongguan these days :(.

    • Rachel Jones May 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      YEs some days it’s wonderful and sunny in monsoon! I don’t mind it much at all.

  7. Harneet June 5, 2014 at 2:59 am - Reply

    Love your website! How does traveling to Goa in mid-October look like?

    • Rachel Jones June 5, 2014 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Mid October is fabulous- everything is just opening up again for season but it’s stil nice and quiet. You might get a little rain but mostly nice days.

  8. Pavan Meshram July 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Rachel the pictures in the post are beautiful! I have been to Goa during the monsoon a couple of times and I must say, I’ve loved every bit of it. People are a little hesitant about going there during rains but honestly, I feel, there is never a bad time to visit Goa. In fact the monsoons are much more cheaper and much more relaxing!

    • Rachel Jones July 26, 2014 at 3:27 am - Reply

      Thank you for what you said about the photos! Goa is great in monsoon.. I think domestic tourists see that more than foreign but because they have less distance to travel it’s easier for them. Lots of Indian tourists now!

  9. Debbie September 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your website I enjoyed reading it. I’m going to patnem mid October and was a little concerned about the weather. So thank you you’ve put my mind at rest.

  10. Sigrid January 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Excellent article! I HAVE to check out Wildernest and Alila Diwa next monsoon! I used to be a tourguide in India and spent massive amounts of time in the subcontinent. After a break of 3 years, my feet are itching to go back, and that has something to do with your blog too ;-)
    Keep up the good work x

    • Rachel Jones January 19, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      How interesting. What company were you a guide for?

      • Sigrid January 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm - Reply

        I’m Belgian and I worked for a Belgian-Dutch company called Koning Aap ;-) It’s part of Kuoni now. It would be better for you to organise your own tours – you know the area better than most people who plan itineraries…

  11. Satty April 19, 2015 at 2:44 am - Reply

    Amazing post! I recently visited Goa with my family and absolutely loved it! Wondered why we hadn’t been there earlier… Plus, a big thanks for introducing me to J.R.R. Tolkien’s quote – “Not all those who wander are lost.”

    Keep up the good work!

  12. Fotios May 2, 2015 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Amazing post! How do you manage to stay in India for so long? I’m a Canadian and have been looking into staying in Indai for a year but the Visas only appear to be for short periods of time.
    What kind of Visa do you have?
    Love the post and Thanks for all the info (eh!)

  13. vijay May 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I’m planning to visit goa during this monsoon/June. Which place is better to enjoy. I love beaches but I heard its rainy. Is it possible for me to enjoy beached during monsoon?

  14. Ross May 12, 2015 at 1:10 am - Reply

    Hi
    My girlfriend and I are planning on visiting Goa in mid June, do you think the rain will be constant then? We are looking for a area that is beautiful but also has good night life. We also want to be traveling distance from great places to visit, like elephants, lakes, waterfalls maybe, and maybe some cool towns. Do you have any suggestions of areas to stay? I didn’t realise Goa had so many areas!

    Fantastic website, and what an amazing life you must live out there!

    Cheers
    Ross
    London

    • Rachel Jones May 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      it’ll be like every other day (is my guess) with some sun too – if you’re renting a car you can really stay anywhere and be ok. the waterfalls its nice to hire a driver so you find it well.

  15. cocosham July 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Just got back from an amazing monsoon vacay in north goa. Cant get over the lush greens, the birds chirping in the early mornings, nice showers every now and then to keep it clean and green, and the occasional downpour that you can keep watching for hours !
    Missing it all too much. I’m back to Dubai where i work now, at 47 deg C, and hating this weather.
    I might just do something like Rachel very soon – Make Goa my Home forever !
    The pleasures of a simple life I tell you….

    • Rachel Jones July 23, 2015 at 5:59 am - Reply

      wow that’s hot!! heck ya you should move to Goa lol!

      • Coco Sham July 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

        Rachel, have you ever thought of buying a place in goa or have u already done it ?
        What are you thoughts on it ?

        • Rachel Jones July 28, 2015 at 2:40 am - Reply

          No, foreigners cannot buy land in India which is a bummer for me

          • Vishal August 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

            Don’t they? Really?

            I read somewhere that there are many Russians getting settled down in Goa! Don’t they own land?

            Btw, Hi Rachel,

            I quite like your blog, have read many posts here to gather info about Goa as i’ll be visiting it with my friends (4 couple/8-10 persons) in next week!

            Hoping to go for goarafting , kayaking, dudhsagar or arvalem waterfalls, and any river boat/cruise tour if available.

            Any Suggestions?

            Thanks & Regards
            Vishal
            :)

          • Rachel Jones August 14, 2015 at 8:42 pm

            Hi, the russians only come in peak season, they don’t live here. very few do actually. mostly english people live here and they rent. all the activities you have planned sound good, enjoy!

  16. Abhishek July 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    Good Day!

    Thanks for such a nice write up. I am planning to visit Goa and this would be my first trip. I have option of coming to Goa in August or September. Which month is better? Will I able to go to beaches and take ferry/cruise ride? How about water sports? will they be closed?

    Cheers!
    Abhishek

    • Rachel Jones July 28, 2015 at 2:39 am - Reply

      Yes, water sports will be closed both months.. monsoon will last through to october

  17. Neeraj Kumar February 5, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Hi rachel.. What a nice and informative article this is.After reading this I could not stop myself to visit goa this monsoon.I am an indian living in capital Delhi.I love rains and monsoon and just want to be there this monsoon.I am visiting goa in second week of july 2016.I hope you will be there that time and It would make my visit more special if I could see you.Please reply if I may meet you during my visit.Thanks.Take care..

  18. Tina February 9, 2016 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Last time I was in Goa was 20yrs ago. We r planning to come September we won’t to come for 3 months hotel for first month then try and rent a aparment. Is north Goa cheaper to rent ? I do like south Goa eny advice please :-)

    • Rachel Jones February 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      I don’t spent much time in South Goa, but based on my travels there I would assume rent is cheaper down there.

  19. Sanchoy Roy March 13, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Great post. Nothing better than a washed up sun and glistening greens.

    Will be in Goa this August with a few friends. Could you suggest a couple of things:

    1) Any local festivals worth visiting during that time?

    2) Pet friendly place to stay in North Goa. (We are not looking for plush hotels though they are cheap that time of the year. Kills the charm of Goa)

  20. surya May 6, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    hi rachel,

    it was very nice reading you blog. I am a solo traveller and travelling to goa on 1st time. My travel date is June 21-25. I will be staying in for 4 nights. I want to know which is the best place to stay and chill during june. Awaiting for your reply.

    regards
    surya

  21. Rajiv May 9, 2016 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Hello Rachel , This is the first time am visiting Goa and was skeptical on my idea to visit it during Monsoon. Now that its all planned and has blocked my calendar.. I was wondering if I could meet Rachel the travel writer to draw some inspiration and direction on writing skills . Looking forward to your response

    Cheer!
    Rajiv

  22. Rushabh Shah June 16, 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Hey Rachel, great read. Have been looking to get more information on monsoons in Goa. I am travelling to North goa between 22nd and 26th June. Have read a lot about the Sao Joao Festival on 24th June. Would you have any idea as what are the best places to this festival.

    • Rachel Jones June 19, 2016 at 5:01 am - Reply

      I usually just celebrate in my village but I think Siolim down on the river they do a festival.

  23. Adarsh July 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    I stayed in Anjuna last monsoon. It was a drab isolated jaunt to be honest. I’m looking at hotels around Baga this time. Anyway,I’ll keep brevity since I assume you’ve got my point
    Any places (hotels if you may know) that could gather any bit of crowd?

    Nice blog. Also followed your facebook.
    Thank.

  24. Kita July 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel!
    What an absolutely fun blog you have!
    Do you know if any of the Banjara tribal women are around in Goa in August selling tribal jewelry? I really am dying to pick up some.

    • Rachel Jones July 11, 2016 at 12:14 am - Reply

      Hi Kita, not sure but I think it would be hard to find as many vendors move seasonally or just take holiday for monsoon

  25. Shan November 30, 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Great thankful! that you did this for us your guide to goa website Got more info from the site, if any clarification will mail you

  26. Rahul December 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Me and my gf wants to visit goa during July and she wants to try bikini.but she won’t try if she don’t find others trying

  27. jackeeoverseas May 13, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel… I’ll be in Goa for the monsoon months and had been planning to rent a scooter to get around locally but was recently advised it would be unsafe to use during monsoon because of wet roads etc. Do you have any thoughts on this? Do you use your bike to get around during monsoon? I’m not sure I’m up for braving Indian roads in a car.

    • Rachel Jones May 14, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      Hi! I have a car, but all my friends who do have bikes continue to ride them in the monsoon – I think moreso than safety, it is just annoying to be on a scooter in the rain and it will pretty much rain every day

  28. Carrie May 30, 2017 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    That’s a very informative blog.. I am travelling to Goa in July, 2017 any places you recommend for psy and other party scene? Is Hilltop open in July?

  29. Fahad July 4, 2017 at 5:32 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel, i am now in Goa july it seems dead city every party sites are close and one club is only open but not much people, rains runs everything exept in Pattya

  30. Shilpa July 26, 2017 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Hello Rachel! so helpful this article! i am coming down from Munich toPune. and we will travel 3 days in goa. planning to stay at the taj during 16th Aug. (hello heavy rain)
    SInce its his first time in India ( so extra pressure of showing him something good), we thought to cover some time on the beach, the spice plantation and the waterfall hike.
    COuld you suggest how is it usually during mid august? Thanks so much!

    • Rachel Jones July 27, 2017 at 1:01 am - Reply

      The beach isn’t very nice, but the spice plantation is so lush and waterfalls are the best in monsoon (dudsagara or mangeli across the border). you can also try rafting.

  31. Steve May 16, 2018 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Brilliant. I set out from Mumbai on the 29th May, cycling down the coast to Trivandrum, through Goa obviously.

    I’m cycling around the world in support of my local children’s charity and have had my concerns about my India section.

    Just hoping for a few hours a day of drying weather and estimated it will take me 6 weeks.

    Your write up has made me excited about it. The green landscape, less tourists, cheaper digs. All sounds good to me. Cheers

  32. VijVij June 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel it’s so nice reading ur post on monsoon & little upset too..

    Dint think abt anything & booked tickets for goa in August 1st week.. Will it be raining all day in August Plz advise? So that i ll cancel the holidays :(: i don’t want to waste my holidays getting wet & sick.

    Plz help!! Thanks in advance

  33. Stephen Peel June 10, 2018 at 10:42 am - Reply

    I’m in north Goa right now. Don’t do it, or at least stay in south Goa or the capital. North Goa is really bad. Constant rain now for 5 days and it is really the time for local people here. I have seen one other European in 5 days. Power cuts, bad or no internet, and I’m out of here early to head to Thailand.

  34. gerre June 23, 2018 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel, nice post, nice pics! But I am pretty concerned…randomly booked a ticket to Goa, 20/7 to 20/8. Traveling with a kid of 3 and my partner. But now I started reading on the area I get scared of ‘was this a good decision?’ We thought beach, yoga, touring around on motorcycle and trainrides. But now it all seems impossible. Where can we travel to, to escape monsoon? Easy to do 1week goa and fly somewhere else for example? Please help! :/

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