Arambol beach in Goa, India, is a special place for many reasons. Not least, the Arambol beach party every sunset. Here, you can lose yourself in the freestyle drum beats and meet free-spirited people. Read my Arambol beach review to find out everything you need to know.
About Arambol beach
Goa’s Arambol beach is creating a buzz with visitors from around the world. In and around Arambol village you can find a popular hippie flea market, yoga classes and tasty vegan restaurants. And every day there’s an Arambol beach party, as a drum circle gathers to play music, dance and celebrate Goa’s spectacular sunsets.
Since it first gained popularity as a hippie beach resort in the 1960s, Arambol has kept its mellow atmosphere. The government’s restrictions on local development have helped it retain its laid-back charm. Instead of major hotels chains, the 16km (10 mile) shore is lined with independent wooden bars, restaurants and beach shacks.
As well as wide sands and choppy waves, there are usually interesting things happening everywhere you look on Arambol beach. The sunshine brings everyone to the shore – jugglers, traders, yogis and even nonchalantly strolling cows.
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Arambol beach location in Goa
Arambol beach is in the very north of Goa, close to the border with Maharashtra state. The only beaches further north in Goa are the remote Kalacha beach, close to the Arambol Sweet Water Lake, and Querim beach, also known as Keri beach. Just over the border in Maharashtra is Paradise beach, another popular beach attraction for Goa backpackers.
Discover all the best beaches of North Goa in this one day tour.
South of Arambol beach in Goa is Mandrem beach, Ashwem beach and Morjim. All the beaches join together so you can easily walk along them and visit them all. From Morjim beach to Arambol beach the distance is around 6 miles (10 km).
Further south are the popular North Goa beach resorts of Anjuna and Calangute. The distance from Calangute to Arambol beach is around 19 miles (31 km). To travel from Arambol beach to Calangute beach or the nearby Baga beach takes around an hour by car or 2.5 hours by bus via Mapusa Bus Stand.
Exploring more of Goa? Don’t forget to take a copy of Lonely Planet’s essential Goa guide book with you.
How to find the Arambol beach party
One afternoon, I took the path from behind the Magic Park resort that leads to the beach.
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As I relaxed nearby on the sand and watched the practising juggler, I spotted people start to gather on a bench a few metres away. I didn’t think much of it and continued to watch the sun getting hazy and ready to retire for the day.
As the amassed crowd of Arambol beach hippies and hangers-on got larger, my ears picked up the beat of tribal drums riding on the breeze. I was intrigued.
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About the Arambol sunset party
Locals and tourists from around the world were gathered in a circle on the beach to play musical instruments and dance as the sun goes down. As I heard trumpets, tambourines, harmonicas and other instruments join in, I realised it was a jam, a free-for-all where anyone can pick up an instrument and play along.
Others started dancing close to the drummers and musicians, with hula hoops or just moving their hips to the hypnotic rhythm. Everyone became a part of the party – even the juggler joined in. I moved closer, still sitting and watching, taking in every minute of it, as the beach dogs ran around and wagged their tails in excitement.
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The sun dipped towards the horizon amid a rainbow of vivid colours – oranges, pinks and purples – and I breathed in the salty sea air. People whooped and cheered along to the infectious heartbeat rhythm and playful melodies, which steadily grew louder and more intense as the sun approached the sea.
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Against the multi-hued backdrop I could see the silhouettes of everyone I had seen that day: the jugglers, the healers, the young and the old. Everyone was freely dancing to the pulsing beats.
The drummers were tapping their hands on the skins and generating a throbbing, vital heartbeat. Everyone had the widest smiles and I’m sure some new friendships were made.
The last of the sun’s rays finally disappeared behind the horizon and, at this moment, the entire group cheered with delight and appreciation for the end of another wonderful day. Arambol has a heartbeat and everyone is welcome.
Discovering the Arambol beach nightlife
If you are looking for an Arambol beach rave party, you may find one on certain nights at venues such as the Cocoloco Club towards the north of the beach and ASH to the south. The most happening place for beach bars near Arambol beach is further south in Morjim. Check out the party nights at Bora Bora, Marbela Beach resort and Re:Fresh.
However, the local government is clamping down on drinking alcohol on Goa’s beaches, so over the years the rave parties have moved underground to more discreet inland locations. Look out for posters and flyers around Arambol beach or check out What’s Up Goa for the latest listings.
The best Arambol beach accommodation
For Goa’s authentic Arambol beach shacks, the best thing is to check them out when you get there and reserve the shacks at Arambol beach that you like. Some Arambol beach cottages you can book in advance for at least your first couple of nights, like the superb Sweet Valley Cottages. For more upmarket Arambol beach huts, check out the fabulous Palmco Beach Huts, which all come with free WiFi and a balcony with garden views. With an on-site restaurant it is only a 3 minute walk to the beach.
Arambol beach hostels with rave reviews include the cool and sociable Happy Panda Hostel, the chilled-out Silly Potatoes Hostel, the super-clean and spacious new Homie’s Hostel and the bohemian ImagiNation Artists’ Hostel, where they make you feel like family.
To browse and book more Arambol beach rooms and accommodation, click here.
For everything you need to know about the Arambol parties and more fun places to go in Goa, check out the comprehensive eBook, The Insider’s Guide to Goa, written by Rachel Jones, an American who lived in Goa for five years.
Click here to buy the eBook and get all the details you need before you arrive in Arambol
Next up, read about all the best things to do in Arambol.