Palolem beach is largely unspoiled and is inhabited by both local fishermen and by foreign tourists who live in shacks along the shore. It is about one mile long and is crescent-shaped - one can view the whole beach from either end. Both ends of the beach consist of rocks jutting out into the sea. The depth of the sea increases gradually, it being shallowest at the northern ends of the beach, making it safe for average swimmers, and the currents are not fast.
The beach is featured as the Indian residence of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in the film The Bourne Supremacy. The initial footage in the movie gives a good idea of the natural beauty of the beach - the distinctive tree covered rocks at one end (known locally as Green Island - to which dolphin tours are run) and beach shacks. At the top of the island adjoining Palolem beach there is a stone sculpture created by an American Conceptual and Land art artist Jacek Tylicki called "Give if you can - Take if you have to" also called "the money stone". It became a pilgrimage destination. At the low tide it is an easy jungle walk. People can leave or take money at will at the money stone.