Johns Boat Cruises do the usual croc or dolphin watching trips...but they also do a great two day trip down the Mandovi River in an authentique Keralan Rice Boat. Its about 40 pounds per person...but that does include all meals.
WE went with the same guys who took us croc watching. Again we had a spectacular show of dolphins, we were chuffed to bits, but apparantly we didnt see enough the first time so they took us out again the next day for free!
Tarkarli is 2hrs drive from Goa. 6kms from Malvan. Its in Maharashtra State, District Sindhudurga. Nearest town is Malvan. Nearest railway station is Kudal and Nearest airport is Panjim Airport, Goa.. From Mumbai its almost 500Km. It’s a place for nature lovers and for people who wants to escape from busy city life.
Best place to stay at Tarkarli is MTDC simply because of its location. Since it is managed by our government don’t expect 5 star service. But the location itself is so beautiful that it will take your breath away. Its almost on the beach with lots of hammocks for you to ease yourself and relax. Other than the regular cottages they also have bamboo boat house which is on the beach and boat house which is in the back waters. By the way Tarkali has the only back waters in Maharashtra. I stayed in the a regular cottage (What they say as a Konkani cottage) for one day and the next day I shifted to bamboo boat house. Its an experience in itself . Beach is clean and water is clear
You can go for a boat ride where you can spot Dolphins. Best time to see Dolphins is before 9am because as Sun rises over head they go deep in the sea. These boats cost you Rs 800 per boat. So if you are in a group per head cost comes down drastically and if you are a couple you can pay Rs 800 and have privacy .They show you around 5-6 points. The boat ride is for 2 – 3hrs including visit to Tsunami Island
Tsunami Island is in the back waters. It’s a small cute little island with clear waters. Its isolated and might be approximately just 20,000sq.ft in size. It was created overnight because of the Tsunami. Hence it is named as Tsunami Island. It has clear waters so don’t forget to carry your swimming goggles if not a snorkeling gear. When I say clear waters don’t compare it with Phuket or Langkawi beaches. Though the water is equally clean and clear the sand here is not as white as South East Asia beaches hence the under water visibility is not as high as those beaches.
Local boatmen can also organize a camp fire and dinner at Tsunami Island specially for your group/family at reasonable rates. They pick you up at 6.00pm. You go to the island have fun and party with your group/family, followed by the dinner. They get you back to the hotel by 11.pm
The highlight of my trip to Tarkarli was snorkeling. It is managed by State Government hence is very cheap, just Rs 250 per head (including snorkeling gear). It is conducted near Sindhudurg fort. 1 diver is assigned to 2 people. He gives you all the information related to corals and fishes. He also tow’s you through the ride so it is practically effortless. Actual snorkeling is for 20mins which I feel is too less of a time. It’s a beautiful experience. I am happy that we can get this experience in Maharashtra itself and government is doing something different to promote tourism in the region. I have heard they may also start scuba diving…
You can also visit Sindhudurg fort. It’s a sea fort, Maratha Naval Command (!7th -18th Century) . I wonder how did they built this fort in 17th Centaury with the limited technology of olden times.
Overall Tarkarli is good to stay for 2 nights 3days stay. People are good and friendly. Don’t forget to try out authentic Malvani cuisine. I enjoyed Tarkarli very much and strongly recommend it to everyone.
In all the places I have been to I have only ever seen captive dolphins, so when we were more or less guaranteed to see the wild dolphins we couldn't miss out on the opportunity.
We got ourselves a small boat with a couple of the locals and were taken out past coco baech to look for our dolphins. We joined several other small boats also looking for dolphins and we didn't have to wait long before someone shouted over here! Next minute all the boat motors roared into action and we headed off to where the dolphins were seen-clever things these dolphins- they knew we were after a photograph and by the time we got there they had gone under water laughing at us.
Its quite difficult trying to take pictures of dolphins when you don't know wgere they are going to surface next. Anyway I eventually got some pictures although not very good ones (you need to view this as a big picture) and I did see my wild dolphins!
Why not go out on one of the many boat trips whilst you are in Goa , and see if you can spot any dolphins i am sure you will.
These are beautiful creatures and here is a chance to see them naturally, in their own environment.