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.
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.
More Goa Travel Guides
- What I’ve Been Wearing in Goa
- One Week Itinerary for Goa
- How Travel Goa with Kids
- How to Experience a Yoga Retreat in Goa
- Solo Female Travel in Goa (and tips for solo female travel in India as a whole)
- 50 Things to Do in Goa
I think this photo shows that, yes, you should come to Goa in monsoon season!
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.
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!
photo credit Flickr
Things that are better in Goa during Monsoon
Hotels are Crazy Cheap
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.
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:
- Should I go to North or South Goa?
- What’s the Best Place to Stay in Goa?
- Best 5 Star Hotels in Goa
- 14 of the Best Budget Hotels in Goa for Backpackers
- The Cutest Luxury & Budget Airbnbs in Goa
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.
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.
The sunsets are even BETTER!
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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:
An empty beach all to yourself.
If you’d like to know more about visiting Goa, check out these tips!
- You need a visa to visit India, no matter where you go. I use iVisa, and you can easily check the costs and what you need right on the site.
- To check cheap flights for Goa, check out Kiwi and how I use them here.
- Since monsoon season can be unpredictable, you always want to be safe with some travel insurance. I use World Nomads.
- Wondering what to pack? I have a few posts on packing in India:
- Here’s a 3-day itinerary if you’re short on time.
- If your phone doesn’t come unlocked and you can’t get a SIM card for India, check out Trabug.
- Looking to travel in a group or want some tour options? Check out G Adventures for full itineraries or Viator for smaller trips.
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