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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cafés and restaurants have mushroomed all along the shoreline, from the small "Sweet Water Lake" beach all the way to Mandrem.
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.
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.
Buses leave for the Mapusa station frequently, stand near the HDFC bank ATM on the main road and wait.