In addition to the numerous beaches, parties, and food shacks the sunshine state is renowned for, Goa is steeped in heritage and culture with an abundance of natural beauty and rich experiences to enjoy. Below is a list of travel brands that have thoughtfully designed experiences that give a glimpse of the lesser-known or “real” Goa, from forest swims to Feni trails.

Lets b:live

Lets b:live is an e-biking tour agency that curates experiential tours to discover the state's hidden gems on e-bikes. It offers a variety of experiences that range from touring the quaint churches of old Goa, interacting with locals and exploring village life in Cansaulim, taking a ferry ride to the serene Divar Island, and pedalling through the lively Panjim streets. It is an incredible experience to ride through the expansive paddy fields and lush meadows, bypassing tiny springs. Additionally, while riding, you can switch between using the pedals and the electronic mode.

Head to their website or Instagram for more information. 


The Local Beat Goa

An experience with The Local Beat Goa equates to living the susegad life in the true sense. Born out of the desire to showcase old Goa, the eco-tour agency has put together experiential outings at hand-picked locations away from the bustling streets. Island hopping, a trip to a secret waterfall, tavern trails, and forest swims where you can jump off the cliffs are some of the many experiences the brand has to offer. Enjoy food, feni, and folklore at their picnics, feast on a traditional home-cooked meal, dive into natural pools, and unwind in the backwaters.

Head to Instagram for more information.


Soul Travelling

At Soul Travelling, which specialises in offbeat experiences, there is something for everyone. Culinary enthusiasts can sign up for the food tours, while those interested in art and culture can explore old Goan homes influenced by Portuguese elements, or board a boat to discover the many islands or soak in the views of the greenery through their best-selling nature trails. They also offer guided tours in South Goa, one of which is the Hinterland experience which leads you past caves, carvings, and tiny streams. 

Head to their website or Instagram for more information. 


Khoj-aao! Adventures Goa

Khoj-aao! offers thoughtfully crafted outdoor experiences for explorers of all ages. They offer a diverse range of nature trails, picnics, jungle walks, forest, and river adventures, alongside studying the flora in their backyard to help people connect with nature and understand the ecosystem. Little ones can partake in an immersive session to learn about the birds of Goa, and adventure seekers can book an overnight camp in the greenery. 

Head to their website or Instagram for more information. 


Make It Happen

The travel agency works closely with the local communities to create distinctive local experiences while also providing them with a livelihood. It specialises in cultural excursions and heritage trails, which range from dining at renowned neighbourhood restaurants to experiencing village life. Learn about the locally brewed liquor - feni in their feni trail; take in an interactive art trail at Panjim or partake in a tea appreciation session in the serene village of Olaulim. 

Head to their website or Instagram for more information. 


Ya Mare 

Ya Mare is a Carambolim-based adventure travel company that specialises in treks. Pick from offbeat hikes through verdant scenery, exploring secret waterfalls and jumping into natural pools, peaceful forest walks, and waterfall treks that conclude with a traditional Goan meal. And no, you need not be an expert hiker to take on these treks. Additionally, the brand also offers select culinary experiences featuring Goan cuisine. 

Head to their website or Instagram for more information.


Urbanaut Travel & Experience

Urbanaut is a travel guide that highlights offbeat locations as well as carefully chosen popular spots in various cities, alongside hidden gems and insider tips. For things to do in Goa, their signature event, Feast in the Fields, is worth attending for the local cuisine, feni cocktails, and live music set amidst vast coconut groves and paddy fields. Another of their top sellers is the Floating Feni experience, where one partakes in a feni tasting amid a natural spring.

Head to their website or Instagram for more information.


NativeFolks India 

The experiences by NativeFolks are centred around a community’s culture, art, and way of life. In addition to immersive experiences, they also help connect with local homestays in off-beat locations. Depending on your itinerary, choose from their short-day experiences, immersive journeys or week-long getaway that include staying in Goan homestays, exploring fishing villages, hiking through the forests of Netravali, and soaking in the quiet of Divar Island. 

Head to their website  or Instagram for more information. 


Images are sourced from brand websites

Published on: Feb. 21, 2023, midnight Last modified on: Feb. 5, 2023, 10:17 a.m.
Himani Sona
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Himani Sona

I’m a Bangalore based Culinary Chronicler who finds joy in food storytelling and photography. I like to research and document food narratives through writings, illustrations and photographs. When I’m away from the lens and pen, I’m mostly hiking in the woods.