Spice Plantation, Goa
This plantation is lesser known and slightly off the beaten track (they have not put up signboards and you need to call in advance to visit). We visited after spending the morning at the waterfall. On arrival, we were treated to some delicious herbal tea and the owner gave us an introduction to the plantation. We were treated to a vegetarian goan lunch cooked with local butter oil (ghee) and local spices – very delicious. After lunch we were shown around the plantation where we saw cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and many other spices grow. We were also shown the distillery which is used to produce the popular cashew feni. The plantation has a very down to earth atmosphere and I recommend a visit.
It is located on the way to Dudhsagar Waterfall and driving directions can be found on their website (www.dudhsagarplantation.com).
Around 6km from Ponda is the Tropical Spice Plantation which is worth a visit. Reached by a wooden foot bridge which makes for a great photo opportunity especially if the water buffalo is there. You're welcomed with a floral garland and a warm lemon and ginger tea. The tour around the plantation lasted around 45 minutes but can also be combined with an elephant ride. Lunch is also provided.
We ended up here by default when our cab driver who was supposed to be just dropping us off in Old Goa suggested the plantation - not sure if they get commission for bringing people here but it was well worth it anyway.
This is also in the Ponda area...so you could bolt it on to the temple trip. Most people arrive here on tour groups...but get your taxi driver to drop you off...then you can look around at your own pace! Its called the Tropical Spice Plantation and a two hour tour is only 300 Rupees...or about four quid! Included in this price is a one hour guided tour, a glass of fenny, and a buffet indian lunch!
We got a local taxi to take us out for a day and show us some sights and we stopped at the spice plantation just around lunch time. We were greeted in traditional Goan style showered with petals before being shown to our seats for the great buffet lunch of traditional Goan fare. After lunch we went on the escorted tour of the plantation where we were shown vanilla, cardamon, nutmeg, cashews, jack fruits and lots more of the spice you would only see in the supermarket back home.
The whole plantation experience only cost around 300 rupees each (around £4.50)-great value for money
the tropical spice plantation at arla-keri ponda is a lesser known entity.
the plantation is a very big area which grows spices and exotic herbs and fragrances vanilla pods etc, a small part of it has been promoted for eco tourism.
it offers packages of 300 rupees per person including lunch served with mild hoorack or the fiery feni(local liquor from cashew nuts)
the lunch has a very basic earthern flavor to it and is unlike the cosmetic food u end up eating at most restaurants.
on arrival u get a welcome softdrink/coconut water. thereafter a guide/educator takes you through the plantation which is very dense, but shields you from the heat.
various local produces like fruits of all types canning betelnuts jackfruit and feni distillation by traditional method is shown to you including some scientific information.
the entrance has a very good wooden bridge which seems to have been taken straight out of the sets of indiana jones. if you visit the plantation in october you may have water under the bridge with buffaloes lazing around underneath. in summer the estuary dries up.
the plantation is closed during months of rain viz june to oct.
i would recommend a half day trip beginning in the morning. by the time you finish the tour and lunch the heat has started abating and you can easily proceed to your next destination of interest.
Our visit to the Spice Plantation proved to be excellant, it was fun guessing what each bush / tree provided from tasting the leaves, the guide was very funny and informative, he informed us that there was no waste at all from the Coconut Tree. The cost was only 300 rupees and lunch was included. A first for us was seeing the pineapple bushes !! At the end of the tour we watched a local man climbing the coconut trees and swinging from one tree to another, complete with the Tarzan cry ! After the tour you were given the option of buying made up pastes and medicines at very reasonable prices.
We spent a pleasant morning at a spice plantation. On arrival we were given a traditional welcome with garland around our necks and a snack. We were then shown around the plantation by a very knowledgable guide who told us all about the homeopathic uses of the various spices. We finished off with a generous lunch. And it all cost only a fiver.
Goa, is famous for its sea food and also its spices. They grow many of the different spices you can buy here (this is why the portugese took over the state for a while). I didn't know much about how spices grew so took a tour at the Savoi plantation (although there are many to choose from and are probably the same). We had an excellent guide that showed us round and then we got a meal to sample all the different spices we had seen. All this for about US$5.
Try and get a tour to the spice plantation arranged by your hotel desk and try the Goan Lunch they serve too.