Arambol (Harmal)

Arambol is a peaceful, friendly village with a beautiful unspoiled beach spreading both north and south from the village. It is 32km northwest of Mapusa. It has not been hit hard by development as yet. Many of the people who come here come year after year, renting houses. North of the village, along the beach, is a freshwater lagoon. There is the occasional party in the Arambol area.

There are two beaches here. The main beach is lined with cafes and is good for bathing. The smaller and less populated beach in the north is more scenic and is a good place to swim. This second beach has white sand and is flanked by steep cliffs on both sides. Behind the second bay is a freshwater lake fed by a small stream. The sulfurous mud of the lake is said to have a healing effect if you cover yourself with it and let it dry on you. Most people walk along the path for a few minutes back into the jungle behind the lake and take mud from the stream there. If you walk about 500m (about 10 min) further back into the jungle, you come to a large, beautiful, banyan tree with a Siva-linga temple under it. It is an interesting place.

You can change money at several travel agencies in Arambol. Travelcash (274-362) at the Ganpat Tea Shop, on the main road south of the village, changes money at a good rate.

Buses to and from Panaji via Mapusa depart every half-hour until noon. After noon, they depart every hour and a half. Buses from Mapusa let off passengers on the main road where there are a few shops. The village is 1km down the road toward the beach. From the village, the beach is another half a km.

Most people travel from Chapora, Vagator, or Anjuna to Arambol by motorbike. You must first go to the ferry crossing at Siolem (10 min). The ferry between Siolem and Chopdem runs every 30 minutes between 6 am and 10 pm. You then cross the river on the ferry (20 min). From the ferry crossing it takes less than an hour to reach Arambol. From Chapora, you can take a bus to Mapusa (20 min) and from there catch a bus to Arambol (1 hr). You can also take a motorbike taxi to the ferry crossing (10 min), cross on the ferry, and then catch the bus waiting on the other side to Arambol. On the return journey, the bus goes only to Mapusa. To travel directly to Chapora or Anjuna, you will have to take a taxi.
You can also take a boat across the river at Chapora to Morjim beach. From there you can walk along the beach to Arambol. It is a nice, two-hour, secluded walk.

A bus departs every Wednesday morning for the Anjuna flea market (90 min). Tickets can be booked in advance at the Welcome Restaurant by the beach (daily except Mon 8 to 9 am and 8 to 9 pm; Rs 125). Welcome Restaurant also rents motorcycles.