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Arambol

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Arambol

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Arambol is a village in North Goa, India.

Arambol beach
The "money stone" sculpture at the banyan tree by Jacek Tylicki

Understand[edit]

Arambol first emerged in the 1960s as a mellow paradise for long-haired long-stayers, and ever since, travellers attracted to the hippy atmosphere have been drifting up to this blissed-out corner of Goa, setting up camp and, in some cases, never leaving. As a result, in the high season the beach and the road leading down to it (the town is basically one road) can get pretty crowded – with huts, people and nonstop stalls selling the usual tourist stuff.

Arambol Beach attracts many international tourists, mainly during the winter season between November and March. Arambol has a distinct bohemian feel which is no longer found in other areas, such as Calangute and this inevitably attracts many alternative travellers. Arambol beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, amongst many other popular locations including Vagator, Anjuna and Palolem.

A short walk north off the main beach is a smaller beach with a "fresh water lake" close to the sea. The water here is a mixture of fresh water and sea water. The jungle valley, enclosed between low hills hide a spectacular banyan tree. Adjoining the banyan tree there is a stone sculpture created by an American Conceptual and Land art artist Jacek Tylicki "Give if you can - Take if you have to" also called The Money Stone. It has become a pilgrimage destination.

Arambol is expanding at an exceedingly fast pace and prices are rising for real estate, rent, foods and services.

Get in[edit]

From Vasco De Gama train station, walk straight out from the exit and follow the road to the end, past the parked private buses, and on the right will be a bus stand with local buses to Panaji, 37 rs. From Panaji bus station, catch the local bus to Mapusa (the bus guys will be yelling it, pronounced "Mapsa") 15 rs. From Mapusa bus stand, ask for the bus to Arambol (likely to be no English signs), it will cost 30 rs. The bus from Mapusa will drop you off in front of the HDFC bank ATM, the ticket guy will likely shoo you off here - from there it's a short walk into the heart of Arambol beach.

Arambol is located approximately a two-hour drive from the Dabolim Airport.

Buses go from Pernem a few times every day.

Buses go from Mapusa about every hour until 18:00.

The nearest bus stand is a 2km walk away from the beach. There are two bus stops, one near a fruit stall right at the exit from the beach road and the other is near the 4 road junction.

Get around[edit]

Scooters and motorcycles can be rented from nearly every guesthouse or from the taxi guys who hang around street corners and near the beach parking lot. In high season, scooters can be had for 150-300 and royal enfields for 400-800 depending on the duration of the rental. Be sure to haggle. Helmets are not provided but they might procure some on request if you let them know you'll be heading further afield such as to Panaji. Police are few and far between and they won't hassle you in the local vicinity of Arambol - Vagator - Anjuna - etc.

Beware of drunk/high drivers, you'll be sure to see one smashing in to things if you're here long enough in high season. Please don't BE one!!

Taxi guys are everywhere, sure to find you if you're on foot. Rickshaws are fairly uncommon in the area.

See[edit]

  • Sweet Water Lake - On the North end of Arambol beach is a lake with a few surrounding guesthouses and restaurants. Good swimming. Lounge chairs can be rented.
  • Banyan Tree - To the left of Sweet Water Lake is an easy-going trail which will take you into the bush along a stream and up to a lovely banyan tree. Though in high season there is the "Tourist Baba" who sits around there and other people who have set up camp in the tree. Not as beautiful with the litter, clothes hanging, and ash piles of burnt out cooking fires.
  • Viewpoints - Near Sweet Water Lake are a few little trails leading up the hills to overlook the beach.

Do[edit]

Enjoy the beach. Arambol has a long beach, both rocky and sandy, with a nice headland where you can climb and find a nice view, and small altars. Its main draws are the paragliding and relative quietude. The experienced Anjuna travellers like to stay here and move to Anjuna area only for parties and markets.

Flyers are posted up everywhere advertising different events and services such as psytrance and reggae parties, reiki sessions, yoga classes, and circus art workshops.

  • Ashta Yoga Valley (Yoga Teachers Training, Yoga Courses, Reiki Courses, NLP Courses and Therapies), Arambol Goa, 9882862475, [1]. The center offers Yoga Alliance International Certified 200hrs & 500hrs Yoga Teacher Training course. Amit Namdev is the Director of Ashta Yoga Valley. He has completed his Masters Science in Yoga. Astanga Vinyasa/Hatha Yoga Teacher, Reiki Teacher, IN Ceritified NLP Master Practitioner & Therapist. Amit has been involved with holistic and natural healing for 11 years, and is a qualified teacher and practitioner of the healing arts.  edit

Buy[edit]

During the high season many traders from all over India come to Arambol to sell their goods and merchandise. The streets are lined with many vendors selling mostly the same stuff, haggle hard. Lots of leather bags, sandals, tapestries, jewelry, crystals, and psy/boho clothing. Some shops will custom make clothing.

On the beach, near the drum circle, many foreign vendors will set up on blankets on the sand. Prices are certainly higher here but many of them have unique, handmade items.

Eat[edit]

Cafés and restaurants have mushroomed all along the shoreline, from the small "Sweet Water Lake" beach all the way to Mandrem.

  • Shiva Moon, Arambol (Mid Way, on the main arambol market). 9 Am to 1:30 AM. Local and Western food, best place to hang out in Arambol  edit
  • Bee's Knee's, Arambol (Beginning of the main arambol market). 10 Am to 11:30 AM. Best mexican place around in this area  edit
  • Double Dutch, Arambol. Steak and western food.  edit
  • Fellini's, Arambol. Pizza.  edit
  • Pajis, Arambol, +919823523436, [2]. All Day. Multi Cuisine  edit
  • WA Blue, Arambol (heading toward Twice In Nature, turn left at Shanti Guesthouse and follow the small street, on right). All Day. Multi cuisine, good WiFi. Great naan and aloo ghobi, the veg enchiladas, fried rice, and omelettes are also good. Good teas, even an iced tea. 30-200 rs.  edit
  • Sri Ganesh, Arambol (directly in front of the entry to beach parking lot, line of chairs in front). All Day. Small place where the seating is mostly plastic chairs set up in a line in front, with stools used for little tables. Great people-watching. Good Potato Bhaji, tea, and cheesey omelettes with bread. 15-60 rs. Friendly owners!  edit
  • Cafe Annapurna, Arambol (Heading towards the beach from the main road, turn left toward Arcan Bar, on this street on the right). Indian / Nepalese food. Tasty and fairly priced for the area. Veg Thali for 100 rs.  edit
  • Shanti, Arambol (Same street as Wa Blue, just a bit further down). Breakfast and lunch. Good, cheap-for-the-area food. 70 rs. Veg Thali  edit

Drink[edit]

There are a few liquor shops dotted around town. Most restaurants around stock beer and serve cocktails.

A couple coconut vendors serve small (30rs.), medium (40rs.), and large (50rs.) coconuts for drinking and eating. Liter bottles of cold coconut water can be bought from them for 120rs.

Sleep[edit]

Currently no major hotels exist in this area due to local pressure. Room rates are available at reasonable rates when compared to tourist laden beaches such as Baga and Candolim.

Accommodation in Arambol is almost all of the budget variety, and it pays to travel the cliffside to the north and south of Arambol’s main beach stretch for the best hut options.

  • Om Ganesh Guesthouse.  edit Located in the cliff area with approximately 20 rooms, it is a quiet area and many people practice yoga there. It’s almost impossible to book in advance: simply turn up early in the day to check out who’s checking out. The area around the Na- rayan temple (take a left turn off the main road as you enter town) also has several guesthouses of similar quality.
  • Om Lake Resort, Near New Bridge Main Road Arambol, [3]. checkin: 10 am; checkout: 9 am. The budget cottages in Arambol. (15.684227,73.711776) edit

Get out[edit]

Buses leave for the Mapusa station frequently, stand near the HDFC bank ATM on the main road and wait.

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