renting bikes and traveling around goa is the best way to get around. however, i found rs 250 for a gearless scooter a bit high...i was able to bargain for a 100cc geared motorcycle for rs150...u also do the same
Goa Bus Services:
Taxis in Goa are NOT cheap, and in peak season they are quite costly (I am talking in terms of INR, for USDs/EUROs they are quite cheap :)). I was there for xMas and from Colva beach (south goa) if I had to go to Baga beach(north goa), they would charge me minimum 1600 to 1800 Rs. Return fare would be 2000 to 2500 Rs.
Because its ~60 KMs. Easier approach is to take city buses. Few facts about them
1. they operate till 8 pm only.
2. From south goa , you have to go to Madgaon bus Station to catch bus.
3. From north goa , you can catch bus on major roads, near beaches. Ask any shopkeeper/police man there and they would tell you. There are NO dedicated bus stops as such. Just raise your hand and they would stop the bus.
4. There are NO buses directly from North to South goa or Vice versa. You have to go to Panjim and change there.
5. If you are in South Goa , go to Madgaon by Auto/Taxi or Local Bus , go to counter which says NonStop buses to Panjim. Take a ticket and reach Panjim in 30-40 mins .From Panjim , take bus going to Calangate beach , chandolim beach would come on the way. Last stop is Calangate and Baga beach.
6. If you are in North Goa , catch a Bus going to Panjim from the road, reach Panjim bus stop in 20 mins time. From there go counter which says non-stop service tp Madgaon , grab a ticket ( ~22 Rs) and reach Madgaon. From there , ask for local buses at enquiry to go to place of interest.
Buses are cheap and quite fast.
About Goa Bus Sectors:::Goa is actually a state and not a city. Its got two districts, North Goa and South Goa. River Mandovi does the bifurcation.
South goa is more for family and leisure kind of place like temples, churches, ancient and historical buildings(Old Goa), museums etc though its got beaches also like Colva ( Kind of beaches in Goa ). Panjim which is capital of Goa is also part of south Goa though its almost at boundary of it.Major casinos of Goa are in Panjim. Main city of south goa is Madgaon which has got railway and bus
stations. If you are reaching Goa by train or bus, mostly you will land to Madgaon .
North Goa is more youth and happenig with beaches like Baga, Chandolim , Calangatge( queen of beaches ). Most of the night clubs are near Baga beach.
Firstly avoid driving in South Goa as the roads are narrow and almost all bikers seem to ride like a bat out of hell. It was a very wise decision for me to hire a cab for the day. I found that the roads to be narrow, crowded and a lot of pot holes too.. Many of the short routes takes by our driver was un signed. So Unless you have a GPS you will most likely be lost.
The Bike riders specially are very rash. The driver did confirm this, he also pointed out spots on the bridge where the cops speed trap.
So I would say.. drive at your own risk.
Taxis and tuk-tuks are everywhere where hotels and tourists are.
2008, we paid about 100 rupees for a trip of 5 km and to rent a taxi for a half day up to northern Goa was about 600. Short trips with Tuk-tuk, maybe 40-50 rs.
Calangute has a large bus station, but unfortunately the buses only go to and from other parts of Goa. If you are traveling on a longer distance you have to change bus in the province capital Panaji first.
We found that most big hotels in Goa, have a taxi service. It costs around £15 to hire an air-conditioned taxi for the day. We used this extensively during our stay, it is a great way see things, and remain in relative comfort
A lot of people take the train to Goa.. There are 2-3 train stations and if you need to take a taxi theres a pre paid counter which is sort of reasonable.
However if you are taking pre paid taxi from "inside" you are getting a bad deal. We took a taxi from inside the airport.. pre paid with the guys screaming to get attention of passengers to be fooled.. They charged us Rs 850 one way from airport to Candolim.. abt 45-50 km or I hour journey. This we later found to be 30-35% more than what we bargained while getting from Candolim to airport on our return journey. The only difference was a relatively better car while going to Candolim but an atrocius driver, the guy just didnt listen to us.. he was in such a hurry that atleast 3-4 times we felt our holiday is ending even before it started with a road accident. The driver's name was Salauddin(short guy somewhat dark with specs).. if you end up with him just make sure you let him go and take another one. I think the better option while getting down to town from airport is to go out and take one of the black and yello taxis which I am sure would charge at least 100-150 bucks($2.5-3.75 less).
From Candolim general taxi guys would ask for about Rs 750 but can be easily bargained down to Rs 650 for an airport drop.. if you drive harder you may be able to knock off another 50-100 bucks I think.
The best way to xplore Goa on your own is on a two wheeler. U can get either a scooter(geared as well as ungeared-- the latter being the more popular and easy to use) or the relatively heavier motorcycles. I got the gearless Honda Activa scooter for Rs 250 bucks a day without fuel.. I guess if you are hiring for a long time.. more than 2-3 days you can bargain off say another 50 bucks from it.
The bikes are available all around once u are on the road. Usually the taxi guys keep the numbers of people who have bikes available for hire.. I think out of the Rs 250 per day that I paid 50 bucks would have gone to him. Heres a mobile number of one of the guys who rents his own scooter.. maybe you can get a better deal.. 09764269014.. Pratap(name)
These light scooters ride about 30-40 km on 1 litre of petrol. So fuel it according to needs. Usually..the guys renting it to you would give it to you almost empty.. at times just enuf to reach the gas station:-)
Gas stations are at pretty distances(by Goan standards). For instance theres no gas station at Candolim/Calungate the two most touristy places in Goa. Theres one about 5 km from Candolim and theres one which is close to Vagator. Prices are around Rs 45 for a litre or about $1.1 per litre.. its also available at some shops in bottles who obviously charge more(abt Rs 60 or $1.5 a litre) and are half spurious... mixed with other fuels(not gud for the engine)
Taxis are everwhere in Goa they will find you they are inexpensive and they will take you just about anywhere,that includes further a field e.g the waterfalls , palolem or any other beach in the region and wait for you all in the cost. Always a agree price. you will probably find you may use the same driver during most of your stay.The buses are mad they get packed and are hustle and bustle but fun.Preffered choice is motor scooter A to B its up to me. Petrol is cheap aswell. Pomp your horn when you overtake another road user ...The trains I believe are a must,very popular and you will probably find you will need to book a seat in advance of your visit to Goa, on the internet. I am going by train Goa to Hampi in April and booked my tickets on the internet.Its fairly simple. www.seat61.com is a good site for information on indian rail for beginners.
If you happen to be travelling solo (like most of us). You can avoid having to pay for a taxi from the airport/ station/bus stand to your hotel.
If all you have is a back pack you can jump on a taxi bike.
The riders are called pilots and they will take you anywhere in goa you'd like for atleast 1/3 what a taxi would cost.
The best part is you get to take in the sights sounds and smells of goa without sitting in some pissy taxi with tacky upholstery.
You can rent a taxi for specified tour or you can rent a taxi for a whole day at your hotel desk. For the ones good with directions, you can rent a self driven car though you should know that in india driving is on the left side of the road, and the more adventerous ones can rent a motorcycle.
There are taxis everywhere in Goa. They are generally little white mini vans and you can pick them up from anywhere to go anywhere!
They are really cheap, but as with all taxis anywhere, confirm the price before your journey starts and make sure they know where they are going. If they get lost, they probably won't charge you anyway, but the suspension can play havoc on your bum!!
One more thing...I guarantee one day you will actually be asked if you want a taxi even though the questioning driver has just seen you get out of another one!!!