The best things to do in Goa

The best things to do in Goa

(CNN) — Goa has been indelibly shaped by its 450 years of Portuguese rule, followed by an influx of hippies in the 1960s.

Today, it's the smallest state in India. A tropical paradise just an hour's flight south from Mumbai, it's often considered party central.

While that's certainly true of some of its northern beaches, pockets further north, south and inland are reminders of Goa's quieter past.

Juxtaposed throughout the region you'll find beach shack huts and five-star resorts, traditional Goan cuisine alongside modern Burmese, Catholic churches and Hindu temples, undeveloped beaches and bustling towns.

Unlike much of the country, meat, including beef, is common here.

Keep in mind that high season runs October through January, when temperatures are cooler (although they can still climb into the 90s).

Monsoon season, from June through September, brings soaking rains, so many hotels and restaurants close during this period.

Read more on CNN Travel.