Planning a holiday in Goa and would like to dive? Then read this guide to Indian scuba diving holidays in Goa, as not only is it a great holiday destination, but there is good diving and plenty of variety beneath the waves.
Travellers have long been fascinated by the tiny Indian state of Goa. In the 1960s, hippies came for enlightenment. In the 1980s, DJs and clubbers came for its party scene. These days, Goa is one of South Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, but this hasn’t compromised its beauty.
The 105 km Goan coastline features pinnacles, shipwrecks and healthy coral that is attracting scuba divers from all over the globe. The dive season in Goa begins in October and ends in May. At 27 to 30 degrees, the water is hospitably warm year round.
There are around 12 dive sites within a short boat journey from Bogmalo. Including St. Georges Island which is just 15 minutes away.
With its 6-12m of visibility, Goa’s coastal waters don’t exactly suit deep diving, but that’s OK because most of interesting sea life here can be found in the top 15m. Fish such as groupers, angelfish, sweepers and batfish abound. Nurse sharks, stingrays and turtles are rarer but still spotted fairly regularly.
There are 10 dive sites around the picturesque Grande Island. Unfortunately people are not permitted on the island, but there is plenty of varied diving around it. At some sites you’ll see whip and table corals, other marine life includes groupers, puffers, blenny, butterflyfish, banner fish, stingray, crabs and lobster.
Most of the sites have a max depth of under 15m with minimal currents, although in some conditions surges can make the diving more challenging. There are also a couple of wrecks (see below), but the top dive spot is Sail Rock. At 16-24m you’ll see barracuda, red tooth triggers, red snapper, blue ringed angers and lots of groupers.
About 220km off the coast is Netrani Island where visibility can reach 30m. It’s a wonderland of multicoloured coral reefs and humbling rock walls.
You’re likely to share the water with jacks, snappers, red tooth trigger fish, Indian banner fish, large shark-like cobia, groupers, honeycomb moray eels, puffer fish, napoleon wrasse and both white and black tip sharks. A highlight of diving here are the schools of barracuda and occasional whale spotting.
Various scuba tour operators will whisk you from Goa to Netrani. The boat journey takes about 1 hour from Murudeshwar. But getting to Murudeshwar will take 3 to 6 hours depending on where you are in Goa – further south is closer.
This is the best diving area within reach of Goa, however a dispute with fisherman meant diving was banned here for a while. But we’ve read reviews of of diving Netrani from 2017, so we assume the ban has been lifted. But check with a local scuba operator before planning your Indian scuba diving holidays in Goa.
As with most coastlines there are a few sunken ships to explore during scuba diving holidays in Goa.
In the 1930s the British cargo ship SS Rita sank off the coast of Grande Island. Today it offers 130m of mollusc-attracting metal where corals shelter delights such as tiger cowries and baby lobsters.
With its calm conditions, single tank requirement and 13m max depth, Suzy’s Wreck is perfect for all skill levels. The wreck is split in two with the other half, called Davy Jones Locker, located around 600m away
Goliath is a mammoth spread of steamer wreckage that includes a giant propeller and a deck squatted on by Groupers. The 11m high-point is perfect for nudibranch-spotting.
Absolute beginners beware, the current is moderate to fast and there’s a medium surge risk. The sheer size of this wreck may convince you to use split fins to propel you round it quicker.
Goa is a built for tourism so there is no shortage of beds ranging from budget backpackers to five star. Many of the resorts offer simple beach huts for rental and there’s plenty of cheap Goan hotels in the popular beachside villages of Palolem, Agonda, Baga, Bogmalo and Anjuna.
A great place to unwind on the beach is Club Ivy in Baga in North Goa. It is renowned for its al-fresco cocktail bar and chilled atmosphere. You can also catch live football on the big screen TVs.
A more raucous alternative is Paradiso in Anjuna. With half dozen dance floors, is the largest and noisiest club in Goa – you have to visit at least once during Indian scuba diving holidays in Goa. Just be careful to visit the night after diving rather than before, as hungover diving is a very bad idea.
We hope you found this guide to Indian scuba diving holidays in Goa useful. Be sure to check out our scuba diving discounts as you could save a fortune.