Calangute and Baga
This is the most developed beach in Goa. It is popular with backpackers, college students, and package tourists coming for a Christmas vacation. It is also popular with middle-class Indian tourists. Most of the hotels here are small, double-storey buildings.
Baga is just north of Calangute and they are connected. They seem to be the same beach. Calangute is a 45-minute bus ride north of Panaji and 10km west of Mapusa.
There are many Kashmiri-run handicraft and Tibetan shops along the beach. The quality of what is sold is usually good, although the prices are high. Bargain hard and expect an extremely heavy sales pitch. If you want to buy something, leave and return in twenty minutes to settle the sale. Many of the same items are sold at the Anjuna flea market on Wednesdays for much less.
The beach around the main congregation of hotels in Calangute can be busy with gawkers and hawkers. For more privacy, head south for about fifteen minutes.
Topless bathing is strictly prohibited on this beach and this rule is strictly enforced. Women should be careful of sexual harassment in secluded areas.
Where to Stay
There are many places to stay here. Except for the high Christmasxe “Calangute” -New Years season, there are usually plenty of hotels available. You can often bargain for a lower price, especially after January. Most of the cheaper hotels are in family houses or concrete blocks connected to family houses. Nicer places may have a verandah or balcony and an attached bathroom. The higher-priced hotels have pools and are right on the beach.
As many of the hotels in Baga are booked during the high season by chartered tours, it is harder to find a room there than in Calangute. If you want to stay in Baga, you could get a room in Calangute the first night and then find a room in Baga the next day.
Prices in this section are for double rooms during the high season.
The main party place is Tito’s at the Baga end of the beach. It has a powerful sound system and is right on the beach. It stays open late in December and January.