Backpacking in India: Staying at the Jungle Hostel by The Hostel Crowd in Vagator, Goa

Backpacking in India: Staying at the Jungle Hostel by The Hostel Crowd in Vagator, Goa

Backpacking in India: Staying at the Jungle Hostel by The Hostel Crowd in Vagator, Goa

Goa could just be a backpackers paradise. It’s like the India I never thought existed, only because I was too lazy to come here earlier in life. Even two days before my trip south to North Goa, I was in a hotel in Ahmedabad trying to secure a permit to buy alcohol. Here in Goa, alcohol is everywhere. Beach parties are every night and you get a crazy mix of Indian tourists, Indian local vendors and of course tourists from all over the world.

Arrival in Goa, after all these years.

Arrival in Goa, after all these years.

Some might be surprised that I didn’t visit Goa until I was 35. But it’s a big world to see. I was busy in other places, and suddenly here I was in the village of Vagator in North Goa. First things first – get somewhere good to stay and simply, this place will live long in my memory and I’m sure those of many other travellers who have been and gone from these shores – The Jungle Hostel by the Hostel Crowd. It’s the place to be.

Jungle Hostel, Vagator, North Goa

Jungle Hostel, Vagator, North Goa

I have to thank one of the readers of my blog though, Liam who told me about Jungle hostel about 10 days before my arrival in Goa. I checked their website and knew this was the place for me. I got time-warped back to my early backpacking days as well and I felt a new sense of freedom here, in what I term personally as “hippy Goa”.

Sunfall at Vagator Beach in "Hippy Goa"

Sunfall at Vagator Beach in “Hippy Goa”

Whether you like that moniker or not, it’s likely you will love Goa. The only issue with Goa is…you might not want to leave. Check your visa dates just in case, once you’ve checked into the Jungle Hostel, the party begins and madness ensues.

Night fall in the Jungle

Night fall in the Jungle

“and he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger” – Survivor

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

Herer are 5 Easy reasons to stay here for you all!

1.Meeting New People
For some first time backpackers, everything can be daunting. You become shy, you wander aimlessly on your own, not sure how to introduce yourself to others, or to join a crowd. Don’t worry about all that. Get yourself a chilled beer and saunter over to anyone at the hostel, in the common outdoor area. Most of the time they are in the same boat, they want to talk to you. It reminded me of some of my early backpacking days in Los Angeles, Prague and Syndey, notoriously the Chili Blue Hostel (never to be forgotten).

A huge party at Jungle Hostel

A huge party at Jungle Hostel

You will make new friends here. Almost everyone I met had arrived here alone, but yet were now travelling with others, new friends they met at the Jungle Hostel.

Party crowd at the Jungle Hostel, Goa

Party crowd at the Jungle Hostel, Goa

I met so many cool and crazy people including:

– Wesam – a Syrian dude now living in Norway, backpacks the world, owned and sold his own business, lives a philosophy of life to the full yet chills out in Norway with a coffee by a lake.
– Nora – an interesting young backpacker, born in Norway, grew up in London to a Northern Irish father. Even cooler, her father edits a poetry magazine in Ireland.

Party night out - Jungle Hostel

Party night out – Jungle Hostel

– Aiden – an English lad from Bradford, big time traveller like me who also was out in Guatemala for a few months.
– Cristina and Will – quirky worldly couple who grew up in England yet have a really cool family background.

Cristina and I

Cristina and I

Ilona Skladzien from Poland – a first time visitor to India and a successful artist with an enchanting mind and manner.

Partying with the Jungle Hostel Crowd

Partying with the Jungle Hostel Crowd

It was cool being here with my friend Katia from Brazil as well – as we had party nights out in Paris and Recife, in days gone by. You’ll meet lots of new people here!

On the rip with the Hostel crowd

On the rip with the Hostel crowd

2.Beach and Jungle
A perfect mix is evident here surely. Out my bedroom window is a “jungle”, twenty minutes walk and you’re on Vagator Beach. Stunning!

Sunfall in Goa

Sunfall in Goa

The best hostel in Goa! Jungle Hostel

The best hostel in Goa! Jungle Hostel

Jungle!

Jungle!

My dorm

My dorm

Jungle Hostel

Jungle Hostel

Anjuna beach is another brilliant local beach and it is a mere 40 minute walk (or hire a scooter).

Admiring Anjuna Beach

Admiring Anjuna Beach

3.Backpacker Vibe
Think about what you want from a backpacker place? Cool people, cosy rooms, night time activities, day time activities, guess what I even started a yoga class here! It was my first time experiencing yoga. There is a free class once a week.

Learning Yoga for the first time!

Learning Yoga for the first time!

With Rakhi my yoga teacher

With Rakhi my yoga teacher

You also get a free map on arrival, so you are sorted!

Backpacking in India: Staying at the Jungle Hostel by The Hostel Crowd in Vagator, Goa

Backpacking in India: Staying at the Jungle Hostel by The Hostel Crowd in Vagator, Goa

4.Tours and Other Hostels: The Hostel Crowd
Jungle Hostel is part of a cool chain of hostels called The Hostel Crowd. They can organise all sorts of tours here for you. Tours to Old Goa, waterfalls, caves, night market (Saturdays), invites to parties.

Backpacking in North Goa: Harvali Caves

Backpacking in North Goa: Harvali Caves

And there are even transfers to three other hostels in Goa, all run by the Hostel Crowd. Plus they have another hostel in Kerala. This is when travel gets addictive. Remember I only left my hometown 13 years ago, oops…I never returned. The same might happen to you.

Sunset on Vagator beach

Sunset on Vagator beach

5.Free Breakfast
Always the budget backpacker recovery session. A cup of coffee, eggs on toast and a bowl of Cornflakes in the morning and you’re ready for another hippy day on the beach.

Free breakfast in the Jungle

Free breakfast in the Jungle

Here are the details for booking the Jungle Hostel in Vagator, Goa, India:

486(2) Vagator Beach Road, Vagator, Goa
jungle [at] thehostelcrowd.com
+91 832 6518606

Backpacking in Goa: Harvali Temple

Backpacking in Goa: Harvali Temple

Here are some videos from my time at the Jungle Hostel in Vagator, Goa, India:

(to be uploaded when internet is fast enough!)

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