For sure, Baga Beach in north Goa may be touristy and busy but for those who like action, it’s one of the most happening beaches on the coast. You'll find everything from water sports to fine dining restaurants there, along with a pulsating nightlife.
Baga Beach is located in North Goa, 9 kilometers (6 miles) from Mapusa and 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Panaji, the state capital. It's bordered by Calangute Beach to the south, and Anjuna Beach to the north on the other side of the river. Baga Beach starts right where Calangute ends, although it's hard to pinpoint exactly where.
How to Get There:
The closest railway station to Baga is Thivim. Expect to pay around $5 in a taxi to get to Baga from the railway station. Alternatively, Goa's Dabolim airport is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) away, and the fare in a pre-paid taxi is around $15.
Cimate and Weather:
The weather at Baga is warm throughout the year. Temperatures rarely reach more than 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day or drop below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. Some winter nights can get a bit chilly from December to February though. Baga receives rain from the southwest monsoon from June to August. The beach huts close during this time, although many nightspots remain open. The tourist season kicks off in late October, and starts slowing down around March.
What to Do:
Water sports are a huge attraction. You can go para sailing, wake boarding, windsurfing, kite surfing, or take a ride on a jet ski. Dolphin spotting trips and island trips are other popular options. However, many people are simply content lazing on the sun lounges in front of the beach shacks all day and feasting on a steady supply of food, beer, and cocktails. Mackie's Saturday Night Bazaar is located by the river in Baga. The Wednesday flea market at Anjuna Beach and Saturday night market at Arpora are both close by as well, and will satisfy even the best shopaholics.
Where to Stay:
The Ronil Beach Resort has double rooms for $85 per night and is centrally located, five minutes walk from the beach. Colonia Santa Maria is a bit more upmarket and has cottages leading to the beach for $150. The new and popular 16 Degrees North is a boutique hotel by the river with rooms prices around $140. Baia Do Sol is another similarly priced boutique hotel with a wonderful location on the river front.
Where to Party:
Baga is well known for its nightlife, most of which can be found in and around Tito's Lane -- home to the infamous Club Tito and Cafe Mambo. Both hold regular events with interstate DJs. Many people don't think Tito's is worth the money though, despite the hype (expect to pay 2,000 rupees for single guys, and 1,500 rupees for a couple). Head to hip Cocktails and Dreams to try an astonishing variety of cocktails and shooters, and be dazzled by barmen with impressive flame juggling skills. Guys will love the Sports Cafe. For those who prefer live music, Cavala caters to an older crowd and has Rock n Roll every Saturday night.
Where to Eat:
Fiesta (opposite Club Titos) will take your breath away with its magical setting and scrumptious food. Britto's, a beach shack specializing in seafood, is a popular tourist place that serves delicious Goan cuisine which isn't too spicy for the western palate. Find it at the far northern end of the beach. You can dine on a table right on the beach. The Lila Cafe, with its offerings of freshly baked bread on the river bank, is recommended for breakfast and lunch. The spectacular garden setting of East Meets West is perfect for romantic night time dining, and there's live music nightly too.