Canacona, Goa

Canacona in Goa (pronounced as Kan-Khon) is a beautiful town in South Goa, and is famous for its gorgeous beach and serene landscape. Although the city is not much crowded as the northern cities and towns of Goa, this township has its beautiful cultural natural beauty. The Talpon River flows through the southern end of the city and meets the Arabian Sea close to the stunning Durgeshwar Temple.

Overall, if you are not party person or want to avoid crowded places, then it is the place to be. Relax at Palolem or explore the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary – the entire Canacona is open for solitary exploration and peaceful musings. You can even discover virgin beaches, ideal for some thinking and relaxation.

Keynotes on Canacona, Goa

Famous for: golden beaches and serene landscape

Visit Duration: one to two days

Ideal for: day or weekend trips  

Ideal Time to Visit: October to March is recommended

Best Visited with: solo, group, couple, or family

Accommodation: shacks, app-based homestays, guest houses, and resorts available  

Languages Spoken: Kanada and Marathi is widely spoken – English and Hindi is understood by most

Places to Visit at Canacona, Goa

1. Palolem Beach

One of the most stunning beaches of South Goa, the Palolem Beach attracts a huge crowd of international tourists – especially during the winter season. A postcard-perfect seascape, during the peak tourist season you can find several makeshift shacks and restaurants. Staying in these places is an extremely invigorating experience, and must be visited by nature lovers.

2. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

Address: Canacona Taluka, Khotigao, Goa 403702

Opening time: 7:00 am to 5:30 pm

Located along the Goa-Karnataka border, the place is a natural haven for exotic Indian trees, birds, and animals. Very close to the Palolem Beach, the wildlife sanctuary has government bungalows that can be pre-booked. The entire sanctuary has eight moderately difficulty hiking trails, and an observation deck providing excellent view of the local water holes. 

P.S: For overnight stay at the Cotigao Sanctuary, you have to get permission from the Deputy Conservator of Forests at Margao. Visitors can camp within the area for a nighttime adventure as well.  

3. Patnem Beach

Another beautiful beach of Canacona is Patnem. Home to several yoga retreats, the place attracts several enthusiasts who are keen on learning the exercise routine. The beach has a laid-back nightlife; however, you can find live bands playing at several beach shacks. The street side shopping is quite popular here, and you can find several shops selling clothes and accessories. For some high-end stuff, you can head to the up-market boutiques.   

4. Mallikarjuna Temple

Address: Shristhal Village, Canacona

Shri Mallikarjuna Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is believed to be the oldest temple of Goa. The place is revered by the locals, and is home to several legends and stories.

According to historical records the temple was constructed in 16th century, and the architecture has elements of Dravidian style. Apart from Shiva, there are smaller shrines dedicated to several other Hindu gods and goddess.      

P.S: Annual festivals like Shisharani and Veeramel attracts devotes from the region. 

5. Galgibaga / Turtle Beach

A remote beach on the outskirts of Canacona Township, the place is one of the hidden gems of Goa. The place rose to popularity after it was discovered as the nesting place for the Olive Ridley Turtle. To experience the stunning beauty of the region, visit Galgibaga during winters. Nature lovers and people looking for some solitude can visit the place.

P.S: Since the place is a protective reserve, there are no shacks available for night stay. Also, the sea is rough and it is not recommended to swim.   

Eating and Drinking

Several Canacona restaurants and shacks offer exotic European and Goan cuisines at a faction of the cost. There are smaller stalls and stores that sell cocktails and beers.

How to reach

Nearest Airport: Dabolim (60 km)

From the Dabolim Airport, you can board several buses running from the airport to Cancona or the nearby places. Few of the buses run between the routes, Harbour Vasco - Honnavar via Margao. Usually, the buses take close to two hours and thirty minutes to complete the journey. The tickets would cost approximately INR 180 to 220. To purchase the tickets, you can approach the ticket booth at the bus depot or bus ticket checker.

Nearest Railway Station: Canacona Railway Station (although fast trains do not stop here) 

From the railway station, you can hire a taxi to reach your hotel.