I didn’t know that there was a large Catholic population in India.
I also didn’t know that India had been colonized by Portugal, France, and England. (I assume that means the Italians, Dutch, and Spanish were in India somewhere too – oh… I knew about the Ducth – East India Trading Company. Anyway…)
Goa, on the west coast of India, was colonized by the Portuguese, who brought with them unique architectural styles and Catholicism.
So nearly everywhere you go in Goa, you’ll see churches, crosses, red clay tile roofs, and mortar/stucco construction, which gives this place a feeling more like being in central America than in India.
Add to that the tourists (even in low season), influence of the English and Portuguese, and the wide variety of non-Indian restaurants, and it’s possible in some places to think you’re not even in India
As said, it feels a lot like it did in various parts of Central America. The breezes in the air and the architecture make it feel (to me) a lot like Costa Rica or northern Panama.
Goa is beautiful in all the details people put on the outsides of their homes, with the mosaic tiles and styling being quite different than what most people are used to seeing in suburban America.
Though Goa is definitely on the tourist map and has been for a number of years (our driver Paul said that Jimmy Carter had a home built here that a yacht can pull right into from the ocean), it still seems to be quiet kind of place and definitely worth a visit. There are beautiful beaches (we’ve heard – though not yet seen – and may not since we’re here during the monsoon).
Don’t expect regular Internet or regular electricity during the monsoon, and you’ll be good to go.