Welcome to Loutolim
The centre of the village is the brooding whitewashed Church of Salvador do Mundo. Walk downhill from there to reach Ancestral Goa, a high kitsch park with a series of sculptures depicting traditional Goan lifestyle. Follow the numbered trail to the mysterious ‘Big Foot,’ a footprint in the rock that you can touch and make a wish on, and Sant Mirabai, the largest laterite sculpture in India.
The village hosts a number of impressive Portuguese mansions but just one, Casa Araujo Alvares, opposite Ancestral Goa, is officially open to the public. You can tour the interior of the 250-year-old house on an automated half-hour ‘sound-and-light show’ which illuminates rooms and furnishings to accompanying commentary.
Though Loutolim’s other mansion masterpieces (Miranda House, Roque Caetan House and Salvador Costs House among them) aren’t officially open to the public, you can always peer through the great wrought gates.
About 1km from the church, you find British-run Casa Susegad. With just five lovely, antique-filled rooms, it makes a wonderful upmarket retreat. An organic vegetable garden supplies the ingredients for delicious dinners, and a menagerie of parakeets, monkeys, cats and dogs inhabit the extensive gardens, complete with terrace swimming pool.
Without your own wheels, Loutolim is best accessed by taxi from Margao; a one-way fare should be about ₹180.