It's one of India’s favourite holiday destinations, but most people don't know about scuba diving in Goa. Apart from the beaches, beer, and warm tropical waters, there are plenty of adventure things to do, thanks to the lush landscapes, rocky cliffs, thundering rivers, and sprawling beaches.
The adventure sports industry in on the rise in Goa, with snorkeling, scuba diving, rafting and kayaking being some of the many options offered by the state for people looking for adventures with a group of friends or their family.
Unlike snorkeling, which only allows you to be an onlooker in the vast underwater world, scuba diving in Goa enables you to participate in it. With the freedom of being able to breathe underwater, you’ll be able to swim along the bottom, see more interesting marine life, and get closer looks at the coral formations.
Where else can you go diving in India? Check out our page on scuba diving in India.
Learn scuba diving in Goa
If you’re a novice to scuba diving or have never been scuba diving in Goa, you can book a Try Dive, which is a single dive of about 45 minutes in open water. With this, you'll study some theory so you understand how your gear works, and then you'll take a dip in a pool to learn some basic techniques. Finally, when you're ready, you'll head out into the open seas to try out your newly acquired skills, with your instructor, of course.
You’ll only be able to go up to 12 metres/40 feet depth with this version of scuba diving in Goa. Try Dives are a good way to find out if you enjoy the experience of scuba, before you sign up for a full course.
If you’re attempting a course, you’ll spend more time on the theory, so that you understand the equipment better. You’ll also learn basic troubleshooting techniques and some nifty tricks that you can try out underwater. At the end of the course, if you’ve performed all your tasks to the satisfaction of the instructor, you’ll be awarded with the PADI or SSI certificate.
Special instructions for scuba diving in Goa
Most scuba diving companies will ask you to fill in a medical questionnaire and even a liability waiver form. Do make sure you are honest about your health issues, because your instructor should be prepared for all possibilities underwater. If you have a history of lung disorders, cardiac issues, asthma, diabetes, or if you have recently undergone surgery, you should talk to your doctor and the scuba diving provider before booking.
It is best to avoid scuba diving in Goa if you have a cough, cold, or allergy, especially if you are a beginner. Diving with these conditions can be uncomfortable and dangerous.
Best time to go scuba diving in Goa:
If you’re booking a scuba diving trip in Goa, you should plan to go in the summer months of March to June. This is when the water is comfortable, and the sea is calm. You’ll also be able to enjoy better visibility at this time of the year. It's also very sunny and warm, so the underwater adventures will be even more welcome.
If summer is not right for you, go in the winter months from November to March. Durign this time, the days are cooler and the water temperature will be cooler.
No matter when you go, don't forget the sunscreen when scuba diving in Goa! The sun is hot and tyou can get burned even under water.
Other adventures in Goa
Even though Goa is the smallest state in India, it is still a major tourist destination, with tourists arriving from all over the world. Goa is a place of diverse beauty including green forests, extensive coastline, rivers and cliffs, along with a rich cultural heritage.
Apart from scuba diving in Goa, there are many other adventures that you can do: like trekking, cycling and motorbiking trips, kayaking, etc. Visit our page on adventure activities in Goa to explore the options and make your visit to Goa even more adventurous, or check out these pages:
- Go snorkelling and explore shallower depths without extensive technical training or equipment. Find out more about snorkelling in Goa.
- Go kayaking in the Sal backwaters or take to the seas at Calangute, Baga, Morjim, and other beaches. Try your hand at night kayaking for an exciting ride under the moonlight. Find out more about kayaking in Goa.
- Go rafting on the Mhadei river in Panjim. Find out more about rafting in Goa.
- Go on ocean treks to secluded beaches like Arambol and Neuti, or to the infamous Dudhsagar waterfalls on the Goa-Karnataka border. Find out more about trekking in Goa.
- Explore Goa slowly, on two wheels. Find out more about cycling in Goa.
- Go on excursions and cruises to surrounding beaches and islands accessible by water. Find out more about cruises in Goa.
- Thunder through the streets of Goa with short motorbiking trips. Find out more about motorbiking in Goa.
- Try your hand at various other adventure sports like paramotoring, parasailing, paddle boarding, etc. Find out more about adventures in Goa.
Cost of scuba diving in Goa
Scuba diving in Goa usually costs between INR 2,500-INR 6,000 for a Try Dive/Discover Dive. PADI and SSI courses like the Scuba Diver Course, Open Water Diver Course, and the Advanced Open Water Diver Course start at approximately INR 23,500 to INR 30,000 depending on the course and dive location chosen.
Best places to go scuba diving in Goa
Goa has a long and beautiful coastline that is teeming with curious creatures just below the surface of the water. There are also several islands close to the shore where diving is popular. Here are some of the best places for scuba diving in Goa:
Grande Island: Unarguably the best spot for scuba diving in Goa (owing to great visibility and unique sights), Grande Island is located a short boat ride off the coast of South Goa. You will most likely take a boat from Candolim, Sinquerim, or Bogmalo beach.
You’re likely to spot pods of dolphins speeding through the crystal-clear waters. You’ll see gorgeous coral reefs that are home to turtles, lobsters, and many species of small fish. Experienced divers can also explore the ruins of World War II warships that have sunk to the sea floor.
Uma Guva Reef: Located close to Grande Island, this stunning reef can be found about 45ft below sea level. You’ll find a rich diversity of marine life, including tunas, surgeonfish, anglerfish, sharks, groupers, and more that thrive in the vast coral ecosystem present here.
Calangute Beach: This beach is popular amongst tourists not just for what’s on land, but also for what’s beneath the waters. This shoreline is blessed with colourful corals and a thriving marine ecosystem, good visibility, and gentle currents, making it an ideal location for beginners to learn scuba diving in Goa. Dolphins occasionally visit this area, so keep an eye out for them!
Lobster Avenue: Home to a large number of lobsters of varied species, Lobster Avenue is a fantastic dive spot that’s located about an hour of Candolim Beach in North Goa.
The region features soft white sand and enormous boulders that line the sea floor. As you get closer, you’ll find sea creatures thriving in the crevices. You’ll find nurse sharks, moray eels, reef rays, turtles, and cuttlefish along with lobsters. There is almost no undercurrent here, making it an easy spot for beginners.
Turbo Tunnel: Turbo Tunnel is a shallow area, a narrow channel near the coast of Vasco de Gama and is thriving with exotic marine life. This underwater ecosystem is nicknamed Surge City as many fish like damselfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and more congregate in the crevices of the boulders here. These boulders also break waves and can cause surges of underwater currents, so beginners are not usually allowed to dive here.
Best schools for scuba diving courses in Goa?
Goa is a popular location among scuba divers in India. This also means that there are many diving centres and schools that take you for Try Dives and Discover Dives, and also teach you the technicalities and skills with PADI and SSI certification courses.
Although it is difficult to pick a best school, choosing a vendor you like entirely depends on you. This can depend on the experience the dive school has, how renowned they are, what their charges are, and how qualified their instructors are.
All vendors associated with The Great Next strictly follow all diving guidelines and protocols and will give you a safe and comfortable scuba diving in Goa experience.
Tips for scuba diving in Goa
If you’re a beginner and are starting off with scuba diving in Goa, you’re already at the right place! Goa is an excellent place to learn diving with many beginner-friendly diving spots. Here are some tips on how you can make your scuba diving in Goa experience even better:
- Do breathing exercises before your scuba trip. Practise breathing slowly and steadily from your mouth as that is what you’ll be doing with your oxygen tank underwater. Diaphragmatic breathing and yoga are also good ways of gaining control over your breathing.
- Follow all instructions given by your scuba instructor. They are completely well-versed with all things scuba and know their way around the equipment and the underwater regions.
- Don’t eat a heavy breakfast on dive day. It can make you nauseous. Stick to something light like toast, cereal, oatmeal, etc.
- If you’re not keen on a course or aren’t sure if you’re ready to invest in one, opt for a Try Dive/Discover Dive. It gives you a taste of scuba diving at a depth of 40ft.
- If you’re still too afraid to go for a full-fledged scuba diving trip, try snorkelling instead. It’s a lot easier with lesser technicalities while still showing you a glimpse of the underwater world.