Snorkelling in Havelock Island close to the shore of its tropical beaches is an opportunity to experience a magical underwater world for the uninitiated. An array of shoals of exotic fishes and vivid corals from marine species that include manta rays, clownfish, peacock mantis, reef sharks, jellyfish, etc. along with massive coral reefs including black corals, fire corals, gorgonians, etc. Exploring and swimming in this amazing ecosystem is truly a mesmerizing experience that should not be missed, and the easiest way to do so is going snorkelling in the waters of Havelock island.
If you’re thinking about snorkelling in the Andamans, you might also want to consider scuba diving in Havelock. There are some options that are perfect for beginners – you don’t even have to know how to swim. Check out our blog for more information: Scuba Diving in Andamans for Beginners.
Havelock Island, officially Swaraj Dweep, is one of the largest islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is located in the northeast of the capital city of Port Blair and belongs to the Ritchie's Archipelago, between Peel and Neil Island. The island is surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Andaman sea.
The island is a paradise of seven idyllic beaches, considered to be some of the best in Asia, famous for their swimming elephants and magnificent coral reefs. These white sand beaches are lined by sweeping coconut palms with many bamboo cottages peeking through, and various shacks along the shore that serve delicious seafood. Havelock Island is the perfect place for a tropical getaway.
Snorkelling in Andaman is a great experience for people of all age groups and it takes you closer to the rich aquatic life of Havelock without requiring any sort of certification or expensive gear. There are multiple snorkelling trips that are listed on The Great Next website starting from INR 1400 to INR 4000. These packages include all snorkelling equipment required for the activity and boat transfers to the dive site, along with an experienced instructor to help you.
For snorkelling in Havelock, you have to report to the dive centre and collect your gear after which you are taken to the dive site. If you're booking a shore dive, then you'll head to the shore and if you're booking a boat dive, then you'll be taken to the dive site via a boat. There, you engage in a snorkelling session of 45 mins and explore the exotic waters of Havelock. After the snorkelling session, you head back to the dive centre and return your gear, and depart for your hotel. The snorkelling trip ends here.
To get to Havelock, you first have to reach Port Blair which is connected to India by air and sea. Flying is the most convenient and easiest way to reach Port Blair, with regular flights from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc. However, if you have a few days to spare, then you can even take a cruise from Kolkata, Vizag or Chennai. These ships run on a monthly basis and take up to 70 hours to reach there.
From Port Blair, you can take a government run ferry or a catamaran ferry to reach Havelock. Catamaran ferries take 90 min to reach and government ferries take 2.5 hours, but are comparatively cheaper.
Pawan Hans also runs Cessna seaplane services between Port Blair and Havelock, but these are usually irregular and expensive.
The best way to get around in Havelock is walking; it is free and you don't have to rely on public transport. Apart from this, there are 2 rickety buses running across in Havelock along with few shared jeeps.
You can even hire a private taxi with driver which costs around INR 550 per 35 km or a motorcycle which costs around INR 300 to INR 400 for a day. All the prices are subjective and can change as per seasons.
The best time to go snorkelling in Havelock is during the months of winter and summer. In summer, the atmosphere is warm and the waters are calm, with temperatures ranging from 24 to 37 degrees Celsius. And during the months of winter, the weather is light and neutral with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. The water too is cool and calm with great visibility.
However, monsoons should be avoided if you want to do any kind of watersport in Havelock. During these months, the island faces heavy rainfall and strong winds, along with rough seas. Hence, most water sports including snorkelling are inaccessible during this season.
For snorkelling in Havelock, the tour operator will provide all the snorkelling equipment required for snorkelling. The snorkelling in Havelock costs include a snorkel, mask and fins, along with boat transfer fees to take you to the dive site and back.
So you only have to carry the essentials, starting with swimsuit/bikini/swimming trunks for the snorkelling session, extra pair of comfortable clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses and sun-cap to protect your skin from the sun.
It is also a good idea to always carry a daypack with personal toiletries, med kits, extra sunscreen and mosquito repellent with you all the time.
When you're not snorkelling in Havelock, you can embark on various other activities in Havelock. If you're feeling a bit adventurous, then you can head out for a short trek through the dense forests of the island or you can go kayaking or bumper boat rides, jet ski rides, etc. along the shores.
If you further want to explore the rich aquatic life and get close to the corals, you can sign up for one of the many scuba diving trips and courses in Havelock. These trips range from 45-min try dives to full-fledged PADI/SSI certified courses.
Havelock only has two ATMs of SBI and Axis banks, and most hotels and resorts do not perform card transactions. Do remember to carry sufficient cash when you're in Havelock.
As for mobile network, BSNL works best in Havelock. The island also has Airtel and Vodafone cell-towers but the connection is sporadic. Many cafes and hotels also have WiFi but it can be slow and expensive.
Day 1: Go snorkelling in Havelock
Report to the dive centre in the morning and collect your snorkelling gear. After that, you'll be taken to the dive site where you'll get to enjoy a 45-min snorkelling session in the tropical waters of the Andaman Sea. You'll get to explore the exotic marine life including colourful fish species and vivid corals. If you're lucky, you might even spot a manta ray or a reef shark. You'll then head back to the dive centre and return your gear before heading for your hotel. The trip ends here.
Your package includes one boat snorkelling session of 45 mins duration along with the boat transfers to and from the dive site. You will have an experienced dive instructor to guide you and all snorkelling equipment such as masks and fins and snorkels will be provided by the dive operator. All applicable taxes are included.
Accommodation of any kind and any meals or beverages are not included in the package. Transport to and from dive centre is not included. Personal expenses, any additional expenses incurred due to illness, injury, medical emergency evacuations, weather emergencies, etc. and insurance is not included. Anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be additional.
There are two seasons perfect for snorkelling in Havelock, summer and winter. In summer, the days are warm and the waters are calm, perfect for snorkelling. During these months, temperatures range from 24 to 37 degrees Celsius.
In winter, the days are cool and breezy and the waters are stable. During these months, temperatures range between 20-30 degrees Celsius.
On the contrary, monsoon is not the best season for snorkelling in Havelock. During these months, the islands face heavy rainfall and strong winds, leading to rough seas. Most of the watersports are inaccessible during these months.
No, there are no age restrictions for snorkelling in Havelock and it can be enjoyed by people of all age groups. It is a low-effort activity that does not require to know how to swim, as long as you're comfortable in the water, you can go snorkelling.
If you're coming directly from your home city, then to reach Havelock, you first need to get to Port Blair. The best way to reach Port Blair is by air. You can book your tickets to Veer Savarkar International Airport. It is connected to most major airports of India like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, etc.
If you have a few days to spare, you may even take a cruise to Port Blair that sail from Kolkata, Chennai and Vizag.
From Port Blair, you can either board a government run ferry which takes about 2.5 hours to reach Havelock or a catamaran ferry which takes up to 90 min.
Pawan Hans also runs 8-seater Cessna seaplanes between the two islands.
While snorkelling in Havelock, you only need to wear comfortable swimsuit/bikini/swimming trunks that are not heavily embellished. When you're not snorkelling, you can wear basic clothes like a comfortable t-shirt and shorts along with sandals/floaters. Do wear a sun cap and use sunblock when you are treading along the beaches.
The tour operator will provide all the snorkelling equipment like snorkel, mask, etc. All you need to carry is a pair of extra clothes, swimsuit/bikini/swimming trunks, personal med kit, sandals/floaters, sunscreen and sunglasses.
Snorkelling is a low-effort activity and requires only basic fitness and people of all age groups can go snorkelling. You can go snorkelling even if you can't swim, as long as you're comfortable being in the water.
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