From the moment people land in Goa, they are gung-ho about parties and beaches. It’s justifiable since these are the primary highlights of Goa, but the state has a lot more. No, we are not even talking about the famed churches in Goa or the numerous adventure sports you can try here. We are talking about something that is known to only a select few, those who know the state beyond its usual tourist attractions…waterfalls! Hidden away in the lush Western Ghats, there are several of these cascades of cool water in the state that would refresh any worn out soul. So, read ahead as we bring to you our list of the must-visit waterfalls in Goa:
1. Tambdi Surla Falls, Goa
Absolutely breathtaking and pristine, Tambdi Surla Falls is an incredible place for nature lovers. Not only is the waterfall a sight to behold, but the hike to it is also a worthy experience. As the cascade is within Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, which is one of the best places to visit in South Goa, you can expect to see a whole lot of animals. Remember to carry your camera along because the sight of colourful birds on the way is something you do not want to miss capturing in your lens.
- Distance from Panaji: 67.3 km
2. Hivre Falls, Goa
You might not find this spot in most lists of the popular places to visit in Goa, but this one is certainly among the best. Located amidst thick tropical forests near the town of Valpoi, Hivre Waterfalls is a trekker’s delight. Along the way, you pass numerous creeks, which would keep refreshing you for the hike ahead. The waterfall itself is not too high, but its picturesque location and silence more than make up for everything.
- Distance from Panaji: 55.3 km
Like going off the beaten path? Then, check out our blog on all the off-beat things to do in Goa.
3. Arvalem Falls, Goa
Think North Goa is just about beaches and parties? Well, think again, as this part of the state too is home to some amazing natural wonders, one of the most notable being Arvalem Waterfalls. While on a hike to the falls, you can also visit Arvalem rock-cut caves, which are believed to have been carved by Buddhist monks in the 12th century. Local legends mention this cave as having been used by the Pandavas for shelter during their exile from Indraprastha. Considering the popularity of the waterfalls, the Goa government has created a park nearby, which offers clear views of the falling water. Then, there is an old bridge nearby, where you can click photos.
- Distance from Panaji: 28.6 km
Want to know more about this part of the state? Then, read our blog on the popular places to visit in North Goa
4. Netravali Falls, Goa
The fact that Netravali Falls is surrounded by nothing but calming silence and endless greenery makes it a perfect spot to visit with your spouse or partner. The picturesque trek to the waterfall will provide you with ample time to have an intimate conversation, while the plunge pool of the cascade will offer you endless playful moments. You could sit on the rocks for hours, just gazing at the surroundings and talking.
- Distance from Panaji: 77.6 km
Here is our blog on the recommended things to do in Goa for couples that go beyond the beach
5. Kesarval Falls, Goa
If you are in Panaji and looking for places to visit in Goa in one day, then add Kesarval Falls to your plan. The waterfalls are so named, as the word, ‘Kesarval’ is derived from the regional word for eagles; it is believed that in earlier times, eagles made their nests on the surrounding cliffs. The waterfall might be small in size, but it doesn’t take away from its popularity among tourists, as its waters are said to have medicinal properties.
- Distance from Panaji: 19.2 km
6. Bamanbudo Falls, Goa
A well-maintained road makes Bamanbudo Falls among the easiest to reach in the state. This is why it is relatively more popular than some other waterfalls in Goa. A two or three-stepped cascade, depending on how you view it, it is a great spot to play in the cool water amidst lush greenery. Plus, its plunge pool is not too deep as the water doesn’t fall straight down. So, gather your group, and come here for a memorable outing with lots of fun.
- Distance from Panaji: 85 km
Here is our blog on the most fun things to do in Goa for youngsters
7. Kuskem Falls, Goa
Set within Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, this is yet another waterfall in Goa, the trek to which can potentially treat you to the sight of the rich regional wildlife. Now, this is a proper water-fall, as the water drops almost straight into the plunge pool from a significant height. So, if you want to take a natural shower, this is the one to visit. But, remember it is mostly a seasonal spectacle, so come here just when the time is right, preferably just after the rainy season.
- Distance from Panaji: 90.6 km
8. Sada Falls, Goa
Located at the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, Sada Falls is for those who want to enjoy some serious hiking. The almost 4-km trek to the spot would continuously take you up and down and across numerous seasonal streams. The water here falls from a height of roughly 200 feet, making it one of the taller waterfalls in Goa. The slightly tough but amply rewarding trek, the prospect of frolicking in the cool water and the chance to laze away amidst nature make it a worthwhile experience.
- Distance from Panaji: 58.2 km
Check out our blog on the must-do things for bachelors in Goa
9. Charavane Falls, Goa
Among the lesser-known waterfalls in Goa, this one is perfect for those who want to leave the city or even Goa’s tourist madness behind and just relax in solitude for a while. Charavane Falls again is within a protected territory (Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary), so the chances of coming across animals and birds are quite high. Charavane Falls makes its way through a series of steps, naturally carved by the flowing river on the cliff. If you want, you can even try your hand at climbing the rocks, but please be careful as these would be slippery.
- Distance from Panaji: 53.6 km
10. Karmalya Falls, Goa
Actually, this is the easiest waterfall to reach in Goa as it is situated right beside the road! Just make your way to the village of Apewal, and there, anyone will tell you the way to the waterfall, which lies merely 1 km away. Karmalya Falls is again a cascade rather than a waterfall, with the water flowing over small and big rocks.
- Distance from Panaji: 28 km
11. Dudhsagar Falls, Goa
We have kept the best for last…the famous Dudhsagar Falls. This is the one most people think of when talking of waterfalls in Goa. The sheer magnificence of this waterfall is the reason you should be visiting Goa in the rainy season! During the monsoon, the waterfall swells, and the water roars down looking sublimely white, hence the name Dudhsagar, meaning a sea of milk. The best way to come here is to book a train ticket to Dudh Sagar railway station and then embarking on a memorable trek.
- Distance from Panaji: 70.1 km
Here is our guide on the must-do Dudhsagar Falls Trek
So, once you are done with exploring the beaches, churches, restaurants and pubs in the state and are going to spend another day at your hotel or resort in Goa wondering what to do, take the beaten path and head out for unlimited fun.