I visited Goa for the first time in 2022 from Bangalore and we stayed in Arambol. Though super far from the center of Goa towards the north, it was worth it all. The primary reason for us choosing Arambol was because it was no doubt cheaper with its budget shacks for accommodation.
But it turns out, there’s so much more to Arambol. It’s tiny, there isn’t much to do here. But the experience here is something worth the trip. Its clean beaches, seafood by the sea, lively nights, and its people. This post is about all the things to do in Arambol – a budget travel guide to Arambol.
Top Things to Do in Arambol
The best part about Arambol is that you needn’t worry about the things to do in Arambol. What sets Arambol apart from most of Goa is the hippie culture. I’ve taken a rented scooter to other parts of Goa riding 20-30 kilometers around, only to find Arambol has the highest number of foreign visitors.
And most of them aren’t tourists visiting for 3 days. No, they’re there to settle for weeks and months’ end! The first thing to do in Arambol when you get here is to simply relax. Though this post is ironically on things to do here, I’d say do less. Arambol, a sleepy north-Goan village, is where you take your time to explore, talk to strangers, bargain on handicrafts, and sit by the beach.
Ask people around what you can do. Most locals will offer you their referrals for homestays, diving activities, and trek groups. But kindly decline if it’s not what you’re looking for. Most people are friendly to talk to here, they won’t push too hard.
Now back on track, here are the top things to do in Arambol.
1. Shop at the local markets
One of the first things you witness entering Arambol from the main road is its handicraft shops. Most narrow roads (beach roads) and pathways are filled with handicraft local street shops, tattoo studios, homestays, liquor stores, and even yoga workshops. The best part is the end of these pathways – they get narrower as you go and finally open out to the infamous Arambol Beach.
I got myself a hat bargaining with a local lady for a good while at a local store just before the beach and settled to buying myself a cold drink and sitting by the waves.
While shopping even in the afternoon shouldn’t be a problem under the shade nets throughout the markets, the evenings are the best time to shop here. This is when most of the hippies and live guitar venues and cafes come to life. The whole market shimmers with vibrant music, people enjoying, and pleasant yellow store lights throughout.
2. Take a dip in the Beach
I’d recommend the evenings again when the waves are moderate and when a lot of other people are around too along with a lifeguard touring buggy rolling on the beach. But waking up early one morning here, I trodded down to the beach steps away from my homestay barefoot.
The water’s cool in the morning and though it isn’t ideal for a swim, it’s perfect for a walk with the pleasant breeze. Many people take walks here and it’s ideal for pictures in the morning.
Keep in mind not to swim when the water is over your chest for safety. If you do, there’s a good chance the lifeguard car will call out if spotted.
3. Check out live music venues
In the evenings, there are live music cafes and restaurants around every corner here. I live in Bangalore and we’ve got a lot of that here too. But it’s the people that make it different in Arambol. Live music venues are vibrant with foreign strangers around the world laughing, drinking, and dancing all together in this tiny village.
Many play guitar, sing and laugh their hearts out to people they’ll probably never meet again. That’s what makes the evenings unique here. The homely vibe. Thus again, setting Arambol apart from the rest of Goan beaches.
You’ll find the live venue spots here on the beach road with the local markets, Arambol trail, and the beach shores itself.
Another post for you to read: Places to Visit in Chirala: Striking Hues by the Beach
4. Arambol Trail and Sweet Lake
This was our day 2 itinerary in Arambol. We didn’t want to rent out scooters in the afternoon only to go away from the beach, so we decided to lazily explore Arambol beach. It turns out, there are some quite great spots to check out.
Towards the north end of Arambol beach is the Arambol trail with narrow cool pathways through beach cafes and yoga workshops, local Goan clothing retailers, souvenirs, and even classical instruments. Taking a slow stroll through the friendly non-crowded market, towards the end of the pathway, the trail continued on the sands and waves splashing on large rocks.
Carefully tread past the rocks and voila! You’ll find Arambol’s sweet lake opposite the beach. We took a dip in the cool sweet water lake and stayed there for a good hour or two. There were tiny fishes swimming around us.
Note: Visit in the daytime or evenings. The trail gets completely dark at night and can get dangerous.
5. Stay by the beach
With Arambol, one of the most popular destinations in Goa aside from Calangute and Panjim, I don’t recommend getting there just for a day, and returning is worth the long ride. Arambol lies on the north end of Goa and getting there is either expensive with a cab or tiresome on a public bus. So it’s best to spend a night here in Arambol.
Moreover, staying in Arambol with its nightlife, and its hippie culture is quite something to experience. The best part is that the local homestays here are pretty cheap. Though we’d booked our stay prior to our arrival, we didn’t like the place. So we strolled the alleys and found a cozy spot to stay.
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For a single room, it costs anywhere between Rs. 400 to Rs. 700. Keep your bargaining power handy, it’s all about how well you get along with the Arambol residents!
6. Spot Fire Juggles in the Evening
While the evenings are perfect for a dip, taking a stroll by the beach after sun sets is quite a feeling in Arambol. You’ll find free-spirited hippies laughing, singing, and dancing, at the open resto-bars. The most interesting of them all is the fire jugglers or fire performers.
Keep walking on the beach and you’re bound to spot the fire performers moving incredibly with their blazing fire sticks. We spotted some performances at night and you can freely go and watch them.
I wished I had a professional camera for it was quite a picturesque show with their body tattoos, waves in the backdrop, and the orange flares being the only source of light.
7. Take up a Yoga Class
Not just Arambol, but many parts of Goa offers the privilege of countless workshops for yoga and meditation. Now, Arambol is a beachtown. It’s got some popular workshops. The rates are reasonable. Why not?
Traveling with my friends for a short period, I didn’t get to check out a Yoga Class, but I’m not missing out the next time. You usually have options to opt for a variety of meditation courses for so and so days. I read a blog by BackPacking Bella where she attends a course by Panda run by a Vancouver man. Read the full blog for yourself here.
8. Meet a fascinating variety of people!
If it isn’t obvious already, meet a fascinating variety of people from around the world. It’s the hippie world after all. The best part is that most people are minglers – lives and souls of the party where they’ll welcome you regardless of where you come from.
I’ve visited places where its people are hospitable. But here when you talk to them, they talk like old buds. In fact, I sat with a homestay owner, Sanjay who owned a guitar and played it along for a while. We talked of life, how different people see the world, the little world we live in – yada yada yada.
I made a good friend and couldn’t leave Arambol without hugging him goodbye!
Another post for you to read: Kiki Beach Resort Review in Batam
Arambol Things to Do: Itinerary Planning
Once again, there isn’t much to plan for Arambol. But to put it in an itinerary – an Arambol Itinerary here’s some plan to outline or things to expect on your visit. First, get yourself a place to stay. Both, online and offline booking should do good but for budget traveling, I’d recommend booking on the spot.
The hitch is when you book a cheap stay online, I can’t assure you of its cleanliness unless it’s a luxury stay or from HostelWorld with mid-range hostels. We booked our stay online only to find it super messy when we got there. The staff wasn’t very helpful either.
So we wandered around the alleys of the town to find a charming tiny spot stowed away between palm trees and small homes. Don’t bother booking online and keep some time away on your day 1 itinerary to find yourself your stay.
And if you’re staying for a week or more in Arambol, bargaining rates with the locals is a neat deal.
Explore on your own
Though you’ve got this list of things to do in this Arambol beach guide, it’s best to explore a bit on your own. The beach is beautiful. But the craft shops, alleys, and its people are quite interesting. Listen to the locals, and take their advice on some places to visit.
Our stay owner suggested a diving spot nearby. We got our rental scooters to get around Goa after looking around for a while – 3 new scooters with rental plates for a thousand bucks. It’s the people and the vibe itself that makes Arambol interesting.
The sweet lake was after all suggested to us by a local!
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Arambol Beach Guide: What to Pack
Less. Keep your clothing light with warm shirts, shorts, sunglasses, dresses, sandals, and flip-flops. Keep a sunscreen lotion handy for the beach and before diving in. I didn’t even bother getting a hat as I’d planned on buying it there.
Another reason to keep your packing light is that you’ll find creative arts of shirts, dresses, skirts, and an endless variety of clothing with colorful patterns – the ‘Goan vibe’ everywhere you go.
Though I had my best shirts packed, I couldn’t resist checking out the street markets for the things they had to offer.
Things to pack for Arambol:
- Beach shorts/ hiking shorts
- Sports shoes for small hikes (optional)
- Toiletries (Body soap, toothbrush, and paste, shampoo, moisturizer)
- Hats and sunglasses
- Sunscreen lotion
- Mosquito repellent (there weren’t any mosquitoes where we stayed, but keep it handy)
- First-aid kit
- Power bank(s). There are a lot of power cuts here.
- Cash (Some local markets mightn’t have card or UPI options due to bad internet connectivity.
- Driving license – helps you get a rental!
Internet Connectivity in Arambol
Goa is amazing for relaxing to the peak. But not so much as a ‘workation’ spot. The internet connectivity isn’t very reliable in Arambol. It works in certain places and it doesn’t at certain times – it’s unstable.
I carried a 4G Airtel sim card and it was fine for messages but not enough as a mobile hotspot to work on my laptop. Most homestays provide free wifi in here but that too is unreliable at times. With the frequent power cuts, getting reliable internet here is challenging.
The best option in such a case is to find a cafe that provides fast internet access with no power cut. There are many cafes, many foreign ones – Russian, German, and Portuguese restaurants that offer this facility.
Still, I wouldn’t say Arambol is a very great place for someone who needs strong network connectivity on their vacation.
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Arambol Things to do: Tailpiece
That sums up my Arambol Beach Guide, and my list of Arambol things to do. Here’s another fun fact about the place, people keep visiting Arambol again and again, year after year.
The locals even remember their customers and welcome them with open hearts! It’s the people themselves that bring people back. While I sat with Sanjay playing the guitar, a curly-haired man around 25 pulled up in a jeep and embraced Sanjay and said, “It’s been a while!”
Arambol is the perfect vacation spot while get a touch of home with its locals. We got pictures with our stay owners before we left as well. Without a doubt, I’m definitely visiting Arambol and the place I stayed again!
It’s the vibe that matters. And Arambol, with its beach, music, and high spirits, possesses that jewel!