The deepest immersion in nature can be found in the largest of Goa's four protected wildlife areas, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in the town of Mollem.
Although small, the state is among India's richest, largely thanks to tourism.
The big attraction is more than 80 miles of coastline, and India's most sophisticated mass-market tourist industry: Indian culture is given a Goan twist, and strange foreign practices are tolerated more readily in Goa than in the rest of India.
On a far hill, the church of St Augustine has degenerated beyond the point of no return, but in the valley a selection of grand structures remains.
The most haunting is St Cajetan's church, which is a lofty imitation of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
The resumption of Indian rule coincided with the development of the image of Goa as a hippy haven in the 1960s, and its allure has continued. Most visitors – including those on charter flights from Britain – arrive at the busy and confusing airport of Dabolim.