For sure, Baga Beach in north Goa may be touristy and busy but for those who like action, it’s one of the most happening beaches on the coast. You'll find everything from water sports to fine dining restaurants there, along with a pulsating nightlife.
Baga Beach is located in North Goa, 9 kilometers (6 miles) from Mapusa and 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Panaji, the state capital. It's bordered by Calangute Beach to the south, and Anjuna Beach to the north on the other side of the river.
Baga Beach starts right where Calangute ends, although it's hard to pinpoint exactly where.
How to Get There
The closest railway station to Baga is Thivim. Expect to pay around 600 rupees in a taxi to get to Baga from the railway station. Alternatively, Goa's Dabolim airport is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) away, and the fare in a pre-paid taxi is 1,200 rupees. Luggage and late night charges are extra.
Climate and Weather
The weather at Baga is warm throughout the year. Temperatures rarely reach more than 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day or drop below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. Some winter nights can get a bit chilly from December to February though. Baga receives rain from the southwest monsoon from June to August. The beach huts close during this time, although many nightspots remain open. The tourist season kicks off in late October, and starts slowing down around March.
What to Do
Water sports are a huge attraction. You can go para sailing, wake boarding, windsurfing, kite surfing, or take a ride on a jet ski. Dolphin spotting trips and island trips are other popular options. However, many people are simply content lazing on the sun lounges in front of the beach shacks all day and feasting on a steady supply of food, beer, and cocktails.
Mackie's Saturday Night Bazaar is located by the river in Baga. The Wednesday flea market at Anjuna Beach and Saturday night market at Arpora are both close by as well, and will satisfy even the best shopaholics.
Where to Stay
The Keys Ronil Resort has double rooms for around 5,000 rupees per night and is centrally located, 5 minutes walk from the beach. Colonia Santa Maria is a bit more upmarket and has cottages leading to the beach for 6,500 rupees per night upwards. 16 Degrees North is a new boutique hotel by the river with rooms priced around 7,000 rupees per night, although cheap deals are often available. Baia Do Sol is also located on the riverfront, close to Baga Beach. Expect to pay around 4,500 rupees per night upwards. If you want to splurge, Acron Waterfront is recommended. Alternatively, Hotel Bonanza is a decent budget choice.
Where to Party
Baga is well known for its commercial nightlife, most of which can be found in and around Tito's Lane -- home to the infamous Club Tito and Cafe Mambo. Both hold regular events with interstate DJs. Many people don't think Tito's is worth the money though, despite the hype (expect to pay 2,000 rupees for single guys, and 1,500 rupees for a couple).
Cape Town Cafe is widely regarded as the best place to party on Tito's Lane. Also, head to hip Cocktails and Dreams to try an astonishing variety of cocktails and shooters, and be dazzled by barmen with impressive flame juggling skills. Guys will love the Sports Cafe. For those who prefer live music, Cavala caters to an older crowd and has retro performances on many nights of the week.
Where to Eat
Fiesta (opposite Club Titos) will take your breath away with its magical poolside setting and scrumptious European and Mediterranean cuisine. Britto's, a beach shack specializing in seafood, is a very popular tourist place that serves Goan cuisine that isn't too spicy for the western palate. Find it at the far northern end of the beach. You can dine on a table right on the beach. Go with the Flow, tucked away beside the river, has a lovely views and an international menu.
The restaurant donates its profits to charity. For an inexpensive but delicious Indian meal, head to Relish on Fahrenheit Lane.