Text by PADI
Getting to Goa
Goa is situated in the middle of India’s west coast, which offers a convenient airport (Dabolim) with flights from most major Indian cities, making it a key portal to the country’s west coast diving. Goa can also be reached by train, and by the many buses connecting the state with Indian cities (primarily Mumbai, Mangalore and Bangalore).
The coastline of Goa stretches along the Arabian Sea and boasts pristine beaches such as Baga Beach and Calangute Beach, exciting nightlife, places of worship and architectural gems that are part of the World Heritage List. Goa is also home to incredible dive sites that have made it a staple on any dive vacation to Western India.
Located south of Goa, Grande Island, otherwise known as Bat Island, is the region’s epicentre of water sports. Scuba divers can expect to swim with barracuda, batfish, angelfish, lionfish, sweetlips, scorpionfish, parrotfish, moorish idols, moray eels, flounders, stargazers, squid, and rays. Aside from the unbelievable array of marine life, you can look forward to spectacular underwater pinnacles and shipwrecks, such as the famous Suzy’s Wreck.
Alternatively, head to the sleepy fishing harbor of Malvan, located just north of Goa. Due to how secluded Malvan is, its majestic coral gardens and marine life have flourished relatively untouched by humans. Expect excellent visibility near Sindhudurg Fort and the island of Trakali.
South of Goa, further down the coast of Karnataka and situated about 20 kilometres off the temple town of Murudeshwa, is Netrani Island. From shallow dives in The Nursery and Grand Central Station to deeper ventures into The Abyss, Netrani Island is open to all divers, no matter the experience level.
On the southwest coast is the rich landscape of Kerala and the gateway to the Lakshadweep Islands, which boasts rich marine life and unspoilt reefs. The dive sites at Lakshadweep include sloping reefs, caves, coral gardens, overhangs and shipwrecks.
Goa’s operators offer a wide variety of scuba diving courses, including for those looking to experience diving for the first time. Through courses like PADI’s Discover Scuba Diving programme, first-time and beginner divers can widen their skillset while exploring the underwater wonders Goa has to offer. There are also courses suitable for experienced divers looking to further their experience with more advanced diving techniques and training.
DIVE EXPERIENCE = All levels, from beginner upwards
BEST TIME TO DIVE = Late October to early May
WATER TEMPERATURE = 27-30°C
VISIBILITY = Up to 5 metres
DEPTH = 16 to 24 metres
For your essential guide to West and South Asia Dive Destinations, seek no further than our no.159 Collector’s edition!
Pick up your copy here