If you are a nature lover, and are up for a short drive to experience a relatively untouched ecological conservation in Goa; one of the rare places that has escaped commercialization is the Sao Jacinto island.
Sao Jacinto Island is located on the Panaji-Vasco-da-Gama road. It is 7kms from Vasco Da Gama, 25kms from Margao and 23kms from Panaji, the state capital and 5kms from Bogmalo, in the Mormugao bay. One often passes the San Jacinto Island while on the way to or from the Dabolim airport.
One of the attractions of the island is the St Hyacinthi Cathedral, which celebrates its feast on the last Sunday of September. It is generally open for visits on Sundays. It is completely a residential zone and also has a picturesque chapel that has an underground tunnel to the other side of the river to Siridao.
Most of the island is covered with forests and just the south-western coast is dotted with old houses, among which a beautiful old white church is overlooked above. It can be viewed far away from the NH-17 Vasco – Panaji coastal highway.
Due to the legend, the underground tunnel connects the old chapel with Siridao Beach resort, which is located on the far bank of Mormugao Bay. The island is connected with the nearest part of the mainland by the bridge called Silver Gate Bridge. San Jacinto can be reached by a rented boat. Local Travel agencies organize different tours and excursions to the island at a regular basis.
On the San Jacinto Island you can also find a well-preserved old Portuguese lighthouse, from the top of which you can enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful views onto the Indian Ocean and the Goa coast.
A short boat ride on the choppy waters of Bogmalo Beach brings you to the beautiful island of Sao Jacinto. The coral sighting beneath the clear waters of this tiny island in the Mormugao Bay are almost magical.
The island is blessed with natural beauty and is alluring from a distance and endearing when you arrive. An old and picturesque chapel adds to the beauty of the island, which can also be sighted while travelling from the Dabolim airport.
The St Jacinto Island has a regular bus service from Panaji and Vasco-Da-Gama. You can disembark from bus at St Jacinto Island. You can also hire a taxi or motorbike to reach from any location in Goa.
In the year 1927 a vow was made by the inhabitants of the island who purchased the place not to sell or lease it out to any projects to any construction companies to build touristic or industrial facilities on their island. Therefore the island still has its natural charm.