Coco Beach, Goa
Most of the beach shacks on Coco beach will offer you a boat trip round the bay. They will call this a 'Dolphin spotting trip'. This is a nice trip to do if you are on Coco Beach all day. It breaks up the day of sun bathing. New safety regulations on the beach means that you must be in a regulated boat and wear a life jacket. This means that only a few boats go out now, but there are regular hourly trips.
You get to see some dolphins, then have a trip round to the Old Fort, which is now the Goan Jail. Some European people are in this jail, mainly for Drug offences.
You are on the boat for about 1 hour and can cost approx between 350 - 550 rupees. Its worth doing once.
Coco Beach is another nice beach that seems to be mainly frequented by boats for lunch...but then the dolphin spotting boats move off...so for most of the day its a fairly quiet place. Nice to get away from the hustle of Calangute.
If you fancy something different get a tuktuk to Coco Beach and pop into 'Luvvly Jubbly' beach shack. Alex organises various dolphin watching and seafishing trips, but his backwater trip up a branch of the local Mandovi is great fun. Theres not much to see, its just a great way to while away a couple of hours - very peaceful!
This is a relatively quiet beach about a ten minute drive from Candolim. Can be busy in the mornings as quite a lot of boat trips leave from here. But in the afternoons and evenings its really quiet. I use a shack called 'Lovely Jubbly', run by a great guy called Alex, his right hand man Sonny, and a few backroom boys...and I reccommend the fish!
In North Goa, just jump in a taxi and head to Coco Beach. Negotiate your price first, and get the taxi driver to come back at the end of the day around 4 or 5pm.
I have been to Coco Beach a few times, but each time I have been, it is busier than the last.
Plus points : No Hawkers. No one trying to sell you anything. No big groups of Male Indian tourists, trying get a picture of your girlfriend/ wife/daughter in their swim suit.
The sea is a lot calmer and you can safely walk out a long distance or casually relax on an airbed or rubber ring.
Although frowned upon in Goa, you can get away with sunbathing topless here.
Cons: Full of British Tourists. It has been taken over by the British, which is OK if you like home from home.
Directly across from Panaji, quiet Coco beach was located at the mouth of the Nerul River on the Mandovi Estuary. Beautiful tall palm tress framed the beach. The water here was calm - and therefore, excellent for swimming. Plenty of beach shacks for lunch or cold Kingfishers. Boat trips (fishing, dolphin watching) and watersports were organized from here. All written in the "past" tense since I have sadly read that most of the beach was washed away in a monsoon. I don't know if this is true or not so I'll have to check it out on my next trip to India and report back.
This is a estuary beach, A few shacks north of the beach south side fishing bouts lined along the beach with the smell of dead fish and discarded sea snakes when we were thier some were still alive.
Not very clean, not a place to lie out in the sun, you can spend a nice 4/5 hours before you get bored.
We did meet and talk to some people who love it and stayed most of thier time on this beach.
To be fair it was Hassle free and Quieter than most, with a long walk down to the beach.