Arrival at Panjim and our great expectations – Goa Trek – Day 1

Day one of the National Trekking Expedition in Goa with Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) consists mostly of reporting at the Youth Hostels base camp, which is located near the Swimming Pool in Campal, Panaji, and is approximately 3 to 4 kilometers from the Panjim Bus Stand. If you have already booked this excursion online or over the phone, you may arrive at the campground at any time of day.

Panjim - YHA Goa trekking

Where is YHAI Panjim Campsite located?

The campground is in a fantastic location, near to the Mandovi River, and offers good connectivity. Just outside the campground is a shop where you may get any last-minute supplies. It takes around 5 to 10 minutes to go to the campground from the Panjim bus station, and they charge about 8 to 10 rupees. Get out at the Swimming Pool station or shortly before the Times of India building. Cross the road and go about 50 meters to the YHAI campground on the right.

Exploring Panjim Campsite

If you arrive early, you will have the entire day to yourself. The market, which is located between the campsite and the Panjim bus terminal, is a great spot to wander around near to the campsite. You may take the bus or go for a long stroll along the Mandovi River. You will be able to watch the casino and cruise as they prepare for the late-night festivities.

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On the other side is Miramar beach. Visit in the evening and enjoy the low tide walk along the coastline and the sunset. You can spend more time till it’s dark at Miramar beach which is at a walkable distance from the campsite. Or, you can be at the senior citizen park next to our campsite and enjoy the evening view of sailboats.

view from Senior Citizen park

It’s worth noting that there’s a swimming pool immediately behind the campground. You may visit this location on day one since you will have plenty of time to explore while we wait for another trekker to join us. You may also enjoy Goa’s nightlife on a boat party tour, which is not far away.

Where to stay in Panjim?

Hotels in Panjim? – Because Goa is a tourist destination, staying there should not be an issue. Even during peak season, especially around the holidays, hotel prices can rise. The cheapest option is to get a dorm room at a hostel, of which there are several, but you must plan ahead of time. Last-minute booking is a flat No, else be ready to pay more.

If you are coming directly to the YHAI campsite, you do not need to worry about a hotel stay before or after because your booking with YHAI trekking, cycling, sailing expeditions, family events, or nature study will cover your stay, but if you want to explore Goa, which you should, you may need a few more days.

Also, if you are a YHAI participant, you can extend your stay before or after the program by speaking with the local staff or the camp leader. We received assistance from them and stayed at the campsite for one more day, paying only 300 rupees more for meals and celebrating the New Year after finishing the hike. Hotels in Goa will undoubtedly be much more expensive at this time of year.

Keep things ready for the next day – day 2 where we go for an acclimatizing hike from the campsite to Raj Bhavan via Miramar beach. Then to Dona Paula and back to the campsite for lunch. Post lunch you may go for a river walk. Check Goa Trek – Day 2 – Miramar Beach to Dona Paula for more details.

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