Located on the west side of Mormugao, in South Goa, the Monkey Island (Grand Island) is a perfect place to enjoy the sea at its best. This island is one of the most sought-after vacation getaways by Indian tourists and that too at pocket-friendly rates. One can reach the island in a boat ride. There are many tour operators which will provide budgeted trip to the island and this will be an all-inclusive trip which is a package of sightseeing, Dolphin Spotting, Fishing, Snorkeling, Food and Drinks.
So when you are in Goa, The Grand Island trip should be in your must-visit list. It is a half-day retreat in the middle of the Arabian Sea.
Also known by several other names like Ilha Grande or Bat Island or Monkey Beach, this trip to Grand Island will be your once in a lifetime experience as many surprises await you in the middle of the sea.
So contain your excitement because you are going to witness marvels throughout your journey to an exotic destination.
The Grand Island Trip:
One has to travel in a boat to reach the island which is an experience in itself. Sailing in the sea with your beloved, the breeze brushing your hairs gently, light waves of the sea dashing against the boat giving you thrills and wallpaper-perfect surrounding for your profile photos. Can you ask anything more than this?
Well, yes, even if you don’t ask, the Grand Island tour will give you surprises along the way.
Now behold because you are going to see something which will keep your eyes fixed on it – Dolphins!
While sailing through the sea, before reaching the island, you will be lucky to spot dolphins in their natural habitat, performing their cue like artists, twisting and flipping through the sea. Get ready with your camera to capture these beauties.
And how can we forget mouth-watering delight for our stomach – Barbeque(both Veg/Non-Veg) served as lunch in authentic Goan style with the drink of your choice.
There are many tour operators who offer this trip but the price varies, so before you book your ride, check the price provided by all the tour operators and then decide the best fit for you. Usually, the price of a cumulative trip starts from Rs. 1599/- and includes food, beverages, sightseeing, dolphin watching, fishing, swimming, snorkeling depending on the services provided.
This tour is active from October – March and there are chances that you might get discount for a large group!
After booking your trip, get geared for your adventure to begin.
The much-awaited journey begins:
Snorkeling at Grand Island Goa – Photo: Prashant Patil
After reaching the jetty and occupying your seats on the boat, be ready to rejuvenate yourself. This boat ride offers a different view of the places you might have already visited like the Aguada Fort, the Central Jail and the bungalow of a rich merchant so keep clicking these views. While on the boat, the spot will come where you will be thrilled to see the sight of the playful dolphins. Take back memories from here into your camera.
After your excitement of having seen the dolphins subsides, another adventure sport is in store for you. You can swim in the middle of the sea and the sea lovers can do snorkeling and be awe-struck by the diverse underwater life. Feel the life beyond land and under the sea and be thankful to God for creating such beautiful creatures.
Scuba Diving Training at Grand Island – Goa Photo: Vishal Vaghela
Even if you don’t know how to swim, don’t worry, you’ll be clad in life-jackets and you are completely out of danger, so enjoy some sunbath amid the sea. Just close your eyes, float with the help of life-jacket and feel the tranquility.
The boat will make another stop in the middle of the sea and you will be given fishing rope and bait so you can enjoy a good sport here. If you are lucky, you might catch some fish and if not, you can still cheer up because you tried!
Another interesting water sport for which the Grand Island is famous is Scuba Diving due to its rich underwater life. The water depths here, support the scuba diving for both, entry level and expert divers. One can book the cheapest package for Scuba Diving in Grand Island through various tour operators.
After savoring the fun activities, the air surrounding you will be filled with the heavenly aroma of food as you reach the island. Barbequed Veg and Non-Veg (Chicken/Fish) Goan delicacies are waiting to find their way to your stomach. And you get beer/rum, what else does one need to be happy!
After enjoying the lunch, you can have fun on the beach, swim there or take photos or talk to strangers who will eventually become your friends.
Grand Island View from Light House( Monkey Beach, Goa ) – Photo: Gavin Fernandes
Pickup facilities will be provided by the tour operators from your hotel in a shared vehicle. The journey starts in the early morning around 8:00 or 8:30 and you will be back on the jetty by 3:30 pm.
Things to keep in mind:
Wear comfortable clothes so you can enjoy the adventure journey to the fullest
If possible wear swim-suit because you may want to take a dip in the wonderful sea
Carry a towel and an extra pair of clothes(no changing facility is available though)
Carry appropriate medicine if you have sea-sickness
Bring along your camera for capturing the moments
Don’t carry any valuables
You can bring caps and sunglasses as per your comfort
Things which are included in the Grand Island Package:
Pick up and Drop from your Hotel in an A/C Shared Vehicle