It's surprising to see the David and Goliath style comparison often made between Varkala and Goa, in selecting the right destination. It's not a very fair comparison. Varkala is in its infancy as a tourism destination. Goa is a technically matured tourism destination.
In such reviews, you'll find it even more surprising when the balance tilt towards Varkala!
In 2015, National Geographic compared a the globe’s hottest party spots cater to all tastes and listed Goa at the 6th place among the 'Top 10 Nightlife Cities' in the world.
Two years before The Guardian called Varkala as the new Goa. And listed Varkala at the 9th position in the '30 of the best bargain adventures in 2013'. Well, note the word bargain, though Varkala is yet to be known as an adventure destination.
There are quite a few reasons why Varkala often ranks well compared to other popular beach destinations. Varkala still a sort of virgin destination, with all the clumsiness of a new arrival in the beach scene. Some like the rustic ambient of Varkala together with its unique natural backdrops.
See Also : Varkala or Goa
From a tourism perspective, the beaches of Varkala stand first.
Here in an interesting mythology about how Varkala got its name.