Getting there and around.
The best way to get around Goa is to hire a Motorbike. To ensure that your are not caught by the law and fined heavily, do carry the relevant papers – registration, driving licence, etc. International Driving licence holders will need to get their licence endorsed at the Directorate of Transport. In Panjim, it is located inside the Bus Terminus. If you don't know how to drive, than motorcycle taxis, black and yellow color, is the fun way of moving between towns. Then there's the typical Goan 'sardine' packed buses if you don't mind travelling at leisure coupled with the sometimes unbearable March to June summer heat. It is also a good opportunity of gossiping with local people also masquerading as sardines.
By Air: Goa's airport is Dabolim. The city is connected with Bombay, Bangalore, Cochin, Delhi, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram and all the major cities of India by Indian Airlines flights and by private airlines. All major airlines have their General Sales Agents at the airport. Goa is one of the few cities in India where international chartered flights are allowed to land.
Click here for the airlines timetable.
By Train: Goa is connected with Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mysore, Pune, Hyderabad with the new Konkan Railway which has started operations recently. Therefore, check the temporary timetables at the Indian Railways counter in Panjim's Kadamba bus stand, or at Vasco station, before making any travel plans. Bookings can be made at either of these places, and at Margao station; reservations on Indrail passes can only be made at Vasco. Click here – for the railways timetable, updated 'live' every 10 minutes..
By Road: Goa is connected by a somewhat good motorable road with Bombay, Bangalore, Mangalore, Pune. Many private A/C and non A/C luxury and ordinary buses operate from all the above places. The National Highways linking Goa are NH-4A, NH-17 and Nh-17A.
River Cruises: The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) runs a variety of river cruises on the Mandovi — daytime, sunset and moonlight. There are two types of day cruises — from the Panjim jetty, down the Mandovi into the Zuari bay and up the Mandovi to Aldona and a mineral water spring. A few private firms now offer a variety of imaginative cruises or boat tours usually for crocodile or dolphin spotting.
For more info on discovering Goa's natural habital, Visit Southern Bird Wing, run by enterpring duo, Harvey D'Souza and Neil Alvares, the local WWF experts.
Bus Service: Local services are operated by Kadamba Transport Corporation (Govt. of Goa undertaking) and private operators at regular intervals. Luxury coaches, mini buses, tourist taxis and autorickshaws are available on rent and hire. Apart from this, self-driven or chauffeur driven rent-a-car are also available. Click here for the Bus timetable.
By Ferry: Flat-bottomed ferries are the most common mode of transport. Though a little crammed with locals and tourists, these blue-painted hulks help you cross coastal backwaters where bridges have not yet been built. They're cheap and run from the crack of dawn until late in the evening. The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across the Mandovi (every 15min); Old Goa to Divar Island (every 15min); Siolim to Chopdem, across the Chapora River for Arambol and Pernem (every 15min); Querim to Terekol, over the Terekol River (every 30min); and Cavelossim, in the far south of Salcete taluka, to Assolna (every 20-30min).
Tourist Taxi: These are taxis run by private individuals, usuall the white Maruti vans idetified by white-background number plates. Fares per km. differ, so you need to ask around. One could ask the traffic police on duty. Traffic police are easily identified by their 'Wendell Rodricks' styled outfits of White shirts and navy blue pants. It's advisable to settle the deal before deciding to zip around Goa for half a day or all day. Expect haggling. They can be found outside all major hotels, resorts, tourist sights, and busy places. In Panjim, they are located opposite Hotel Mandovi by the river. In Margao, they can be found in front of the Municipal building, the southern end of the central garden. In Mapusa, Ponda and Vasco, by the main bus stands.
Yellow-Black cabs: These are cabs identified by Rental meters placed on the drivers side. Most of the Meters are faulty however and are just there as showpieces. They are supposed to charge a fare, fixed by the Directorate of Transport. One can demand so see the fare chart which is compulsory carried by the cab drivers.
By Motorcycle Taxi: Ideal for a quick jaunt to the beaches or into town from the resorts. Bona fide operators ride black bikes (usually Enfields) with yellow mudguards and white number plates. Fares – roughly Rs 10 per km. The deal should be settled in advance.
Car or Motorcyle Rental: Charges for a 2-wheeler range from Rs.100-Rs.250 per bike per day depending on the type. Cars can be rented, either chaffeur driven of self-driven from:
HERTZ, opposite Don Bosco's high school, Panjim market are. Tel # 224304.
WHEELS RENT-A-CAR, Panjim, Tel # 224304.
SAI SERVICE, Panjim-Mapusa Highway road, next to the New Goverment of Goa, Secretariat, Alto-Porvorim. Tel # 217775.