This post is all about Calangute beach is second most popular beach in North Goa. The most popular Baga beach is always too crowded for comfort, so those looking for a bit of quiet while still staying near all happening spots prefer Calangute. It is the biggest beach in North Goa and voted as queen of beaches by several travel magazines.
How To Reach Calangute?
Dabolim Airport To Calangute Beach
Calangute beach is approximately 45 kilometers from airport and most convenient way to take a prepaid taxi (Rs 1218 or USD 18) or ask your hotel to arrange for pick up. There is a nightly surcharge of 35% is added for rides between 11 pm and 5 am.
Hourly bus service from airport to Calangute for Rs 150 (US$ 2) however, expect some delay, as there is construction going on at the highway (2018)
Reaching Calangute By Train
Most trains from south India stop at Madgaon station which is 50 kilometers and Rs 2000 away (US$30) from Calangute. There is no direct bus service. Those taking bus needs to get to Panjim, the capital of Goa. There are regular non air-condition bus from Panjim to Calangute.
Thivim is the nearest train station where trains from Mumbai make scheduled stop. Government approved prepaid taxi fare is Rs 600. There are regular buses from Thivim to Dhuler bus stop in Mapusa town where one can get tuk-tuk or bus to Calangute beach.
Getting Around In Calangute
Public transport (read bus) are limited to few rickety old buses. They are hot, uncomfortable, irregular but insanely cheap. Most easy way is to rent a electric bike (Rs 350, US$5/day) or compact car for Rs 1500 (US$20) per day. It is possible to get weekly or monthly discount.
Cars usually have 3rd party liability insurance which means any damage to car will be paid by the renter. Indians drive to left side of the road. Thats right! Left is right and right is wrong.
Three person on electric bike without helmet is illegal although tolerated by local law enforcement which tends to put higher emphasis on tourist dollars over commuter’s safety.
Best Time To Visit Calangute Beach
Most of the Goa beaches are fun during the winter that is months of December to February. Weather is dry and sunny with temperature around 25 to 30 degree celsius (75 to 85 F). Sea is generally calm during this time of the year.
However, if you like to swim or indulge in other water sports, it is better to go early morning when the beach is less crowded. Although this is not the time for high swell and rough sea but following local tide forecast and life guard’s flag advisory. Swimming after sunset is prohibited as per local regulations.
Water Sports & Facilities
There are several water sports companies in Calangute beach area offering Parasailing ,Jet-Ski , Banana Boat Ride, Bumper Ride and Boat Ride. However, the prices are fixed and same for all companies. It is displayed at the booking kiosk. The rides are need to be paid in cash and a receipt is provided. Although there is no need for negotiation but it may be cheaper to buy a package of rides. Surf height is generally between 1 to 2 feet (0.5 meters) so do not expect same experience of Hikkaduwa or Mirissa in Sri Lanka. Surf boards are available on rent for Rs 1500/day ($20)
There is a pay toilet and changing room facility at the beach which is maintained by the government. Although most restaurants will let you use their toilet and outdoor shower if you order a beer or some food.
Sun beds are also free if you order food from the restaurant however, it is better to clarify the same otherwise they may slap an additional fee for using it.
Restaurants & Cafe In Calangute
There are several beach shacks (over 20) in Calangute beach and all offer somewhat similar menu offerings of Continental, Indian and Seafood cuisines. Sea food items does not have price so ask to see the fish/lobster/crab and its price before ordering.
Beachfront establishments tend to have slow service and some legendary places like Sauza Lobo tends to be hit or miss in terms of total experience. Food portions, quality and service is greatly improved once you are in first parallel road from the beach. We have found Redonda and Fiori (same management) offering consistently great service and meal quality.
Good, Bad & Ugly Side Of Calangute
Off late, Calangute has been victim of its own popularity. It’s easy access and great infrastructure has attracted hoards of tourists. The curse of popularity consigns it to fate similar to now infamous Baga beach.
Gone are the hidden nooks and crannies where tourists can find solace. The cafes and shacks springing like wild mushrooms. The gentle songs of waves are replaced with music blaring from beach shacks those compete with each other armed with loudest speakers.
Crowd also brings opportune group of beggars and thieves by dozens. It is not unusual for unsuspecting tourist to lose their valuable smartphones and other valuables to pickpockets.
Tourist Attraction Near Calangute Beach
Anjuna Flea Market