Pequeno Island meaning small island in Portuguese located just a kilometre away from Vasco’s Baina beach in Goa. Also known as Bat Island, it consists of small rocky beaches and patches of green. The Island is almost round and provides a very interesting stopover along the South Goan coast. It can be reached by a 30-minute ride into the sea by boat. This Island belongs to the Indian Navy and it was used to house their officers. However, now no more used by the Navy, the houses are abandoned.
Pequeno Island is the perfect destination for snorkelers
Surrounded by striking coral reefs and marine life, Pequeno Island would be a delightful experience for divers and snorkellers. Magnificent star coral, brain coral, sea fans, sea whips and many other sea creatures can be spotted amidst the coral. Apart from these, hundreds of colourful shoals can be seen swimming just near you. There are parrot fish, angel fish, squirrel fish, butterfly fish, groupers, snappers, triggerfish, lobsters, hawksbill turtle, sea cucumbers and sea urchins that one will see while exploring the seabed.
Book a boat and spend the day at the Island
At the Pequeno Island, one can also enjoy a day off as there are numerous boatmen who moor themselves off Vasco. A vessel can be hired from them or they can be asked to ferry you to the island and pick you up the next day. Many of the North Goa beaches have boat operators who organise special day trips to the Island as well.
Lots to explore on the island too
There is a helipad on top of the island. A broken shipwreck also meets the eye. This wreck has become a divers paradise and people also use it for fishing. There are two big crosses on the island both on two separate beaches. There is also one temple that people throng to on the auspicious day of Tulsi-Vivah.
The Hindus celebrate the tulsi puja and the Christians offer litany to the cross simultaneously on this day. After the prayers, everyone gets together and they exchange sugarcane and puffed rice and gram or ‘chone’ with each other. This shows the love and unity among the communities.
A visit to this beautiful Island will definitely be a fascinating and an unforgettable experience.
Information and picture credits: Celvina Mendis