Agonda has a brilliant location, close to a virgin, tiny Butterfly Beach and pristine Cola Beach with its shallow, freshwater lagoon. Those places can be reached by scooter, by boat, or, if you’re very adventurous, by walking.
Getting to the Butterly Beach
The most popular way of getting to Butterfly Beach is by boat from Agonda or Palolem beach. Hawkers will offer a trip combining Butterfly Beach and a nearby Honeymoon Beach (accessible only by boat). The major downside of this option is that you get limited time on the beach.
Another option is to hire a scooter/ motorcycle and take a bumpy road to a parking place, just a few steps away from the beach.
We decided to walk over the jungle-covered hill as we found a walking path on maps.me app. The main road along the beach carries on to the last homes uphill and the Galaxy Jungle Huts. From there, the dirt road turns into a path through the forest. We hadn’t anticipated that this rarely used route got overgrown with thorny bushes. By the time we reached the beach, we had plenty of scratches on our legs and arms. The walk was picturesque, leading through a few clearings with a distant view of the Western Ghats. However, at times it was hard to find the path – without the app we would be certainly lost. The whole 3 kilometres walk took us more than an hour.
Eventually, we reached the parking place, where a group of Indians was collecting garbage into large sacks. It was a lovely volunteer initiative, so we eagerly joined in the efforts. After 2 hours of work, they collected 40 large bags of trash! We were lucky to arrive when they almost finished their job. I guess that normally this beach can be a bit dirty as there is nobody maintaining it.
The beach and the surroundings
Butterfly beach is a small patch of sand located in a bay, surrounded by large rocks. You can find some shade directly below the rocks closing the beach on both sides. Unlike any other place in Goa, the water is turquoise blue and very clear. Since the bay is enclosed, the water is still, making it safe and comfortable to swim. However, the water becomes deep very quickly and there is some pull. Whenever the sea becomes wavy, be cautious of the underwater rocks which are quite sharp.
The biggest downside of Butterfly Beach is the number of people visiting. We made the mistake of coming on a weekend when locals come for ‘picnics’. It was by far the most crowded beach we encountered in Goa. The constant coming and going of the boats foamed up the water and left the smell of petrol. I’m sure that a weekday would be much calmer.
Apart from swimming, you can also climb the cliff for a great view of the bay on one side and the rocky coastline on the other. It requires a bit of scrambling but it’s well worth the effort.
Getting to Cola Beach
The following day we decided to explore the northern neighbour of Agonda beach – Cola Beach, famous for its ‘Blue Lagoon’. Once again, we thought we could get there across the hill through narrow paths. We crossed the river at the end of the beach and searched for the start of the path. Maps me wasn’t of much help but the fishermen assured us we could get through. As it turned out, the path was again very hard to find. Eventually, we reached through the jungle to a large dirt road used by the scooters. The landscape was quite desolate and there was no trace of shade. Luckily, the walk was short. Soon, we reached the cliff with a spectacular view. From there, we descended the stairs straight into Cola Beach.
Cola Beach and the Blue Lagoon
Cola Beach is a narrow, steeply inclined stretch of golden sand with a scattering of red, porous boulders. The beach is lined with palm trees and closed by a cliff. There are only a few shacks along the coast and even fewer people. All the outside visitors concentrate around the lagoon and don’t venture further down the beach.
The main attraction of Cola Beach is the so-called Blue Lagoon. I’m not sure why is it called blue as the water is more greenish. The lagoon is in fact a very shallow river ends its course just before reaching the sea in a small pool. For me, this place was a bit of a disappointment. The water was too shallow to swim (about waist-shoulder high) and cold. Indian tourists rented kayaks to cover maybe a 100 meters stretch of the river. I found it a rather pointless pastime. The lagoon didn’t have any shade either: we sheltered under a lifeguard’s booth on the beach.
The return route to Agonda via dust road and a short stretch along the tarmac took us just 30 minutes.
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