In Goa there are nine large rivers, all of them flow out Western Ghat and flow into the Arabian Sea. 42 smaller tributaries join them, forming a large system of inland waters of Goa called here “backwaters”.
The biggest rivers are Sal, Tiracol, Chapora, Baga, Mandovi, Zuari, Saleri, Talpona, Galgibaga. Among them only basins of the rivers Mandovi and Zuari occupy the area of 2553 square kilometers that makes about 70% of the general geographical zone of Goa. The navigable rivers of Goa with a general length of 253 km are the main blood vessels of the state and the integral part of its life.
To “backwaters” system of Goa belong also some large and great numbers of small lakes. The best known are Mayem, Carmbolim, Cutorim.
For tourists “backwaters” of Goa offer an unforgettable adventure in the form of cruise by the boat. So-called houseboats are widespread in this part of India. These are the real floating houses; there are bedrooms with a bathroom, living room and all necessary rooms, including office for crew. These vessels have very original structure. They are produced from a tree of anjili and only natural materials as a bamboo and palm leaves. The houseboat is constructed without nails and other metal holding elements.
Many local and foreign travel agencies offer cruises on houseboats on water channels of Goa which can last from several hours to one day. For tourists there are various arrangements onboard.
Such excursions are ideal opportunity to communicate with real local residents from near villages or with tribes occupying the deep jungle, and to spend some time in an unusual situation among the tropical nature. In the rivers of Goa lives incalculable quantity of bird species. Some manage to observe the crocodiles. The opportunities for fishing are improbable, and then the personnel may cook your catch at your desire and taste. Also there are romantic dinners and nights in the floating house.