Known as one of the most beautiful islands in the Andaman archipelago, Havelock Island is truly one of a kind among the 572 islands of the Andaman. Located only a half hour boat ride from the capital town of Port Blair, Havelock Island is endowed with pristine beaches and world famous dive spots, which makes it a favourite among tourists. The beaches on the island are named according to a numbering system, but some of the more popular ones are named by the locals.
At Havelock you will also find some luxurious resorts that will offer you all the seaside comforts you will need. All in all, Havelock island is a perfect beach holiday waiting just for you. Here are some of the best places to see and things to do in and around Havelock island.
Places to See
Also known as Beach no. 7, Radhanagar beach is counted among the most scenic beaches in all of Asia. Known for its powdery white sand that offers the perfect contrast to the turquoise blue waters, the warm sun shines through the palm shades of the Radhanagar beach to give you the perfect sandy spot for your vacation. The beach is best known for its exquisite sunsets and tourists throng here in the evenings to witness them. The other great part about Radhanagar beach is that it is ideal for both swimming and snorkelling, due to its sandy bottom punctuated by coral reefs. Most shacks on the beach offer snorkels and fins on rent.
Just a half an hour walk up north from the Radhanagar beach gets you to the best snorkeling spot on the Havelock island – Elephant beach. Once a witness to the devastating tsunami of 2004, the Elephant beach today is a sight to behold. The most unique characteristic about Elephant beach is that the coral reef here starts at the depth of just one meter below the water. This means that you do not need to have expensive scuba diving equipment to witness the beautiful corals. The other attraction is the beautiful lighthouse that you encounter on the way to the beach from the Havelock island dock.
So called because of the black rocks that pepper the white sand on the beach, Kalapathar beach is one of the hidden gems of Havelock island. One of the few secluded beaches on the island, Kalapathar beach is flanked by the deep blue sea on one side and a deep emerald forest on the other. It is the perfect spot if you are looking for a relaxing time and privacy.
Also known as Beach no. 5, the Vijaynagar beach is another spot on our list that is nestled in solitude and tranquility. As opposed to the other more popular beaches, Vijaynagar is much quieter and gives the impression of a beach within the wilderness. It is no wonder that birdwatching and game fishing are the two most popular activities that take place here, apart from kayaking and snorkeling.
Things to Do
Deep Sea Diving
The Andaman islands are a premier deep sea diving spot in the whole world, and Havelock island takes the crown when it comes to some of the most beautiful diving spots in the Andamans. The best part about the island is that we have only scratched the surface when it comes to the diving spots discovered, and the vast underwater world yet undiscovered lies beckoning to the adventurous divers.
The top diving schools on Havelock are Andaman Dive Club, Andaman Bubbles Dive Center, DIVE India and Doongi Dives, all of which are SSI and PADI certified. You can either do short term or long term certification courses at these dive centers or just go along for a day long assisted diving trip. Some of the best dive spots around Havelock are:
- Minerva Ledge (10-18m): A huge diving site that offers the possibility of seeing sharks.
- Aquarium (12-15m): So called because of the sheer variety of fish that you will get to see here.
- Johnny’s Gorge (25-30m): One of the most popular dive sites. Here you can witness dolphins, white tipped sharks, eels and stingrays among other exotic fish.
- Jackson’s bar (25-30m): a site for the more experienced divers who want to enjoy drift diving. Mantas, stingrays, turtles, barracudas, eagle rays can be spotted.
A fun underwater activity that doesn’t require you to go through the rigorous process of dive training, snorkeling allows you to swim below the water surface with the help of a mask with an attached windpipe. Snorkeling around the Havelock island is especially amazing because of the island’s unique biodiversity that allows coral reefs to grow even in the shallow sea waters. The Elephant island especially is an ideal spot for snorkeling. Snorkeling equipment can be usually taken on rent at most beachside shacks.
Riding in a Sea Plane
Flying over the gorgeous Andaman archipelago and then scooting over the water to land sounds like something straight out of a Bond film, but it is reality around the Havelock island. Flights are between Port Blair and Havelock by a carrier known as Pawan Hans. Although the flying time is just fifteen minutes, it is the thrill of landing on water that has to be experienced at least once.
Sea walking is a fun activity that takes you down all the way to the seafloor for a walk. You don’t need to know how to swim and it can be done by people from age 7 to 60. A watertight helmet with an attached windpipe ensures that you can walk around ten meters below the sea level. Best places to try Sea walking on Havelock are Radhanagar beach and Elephant beach.
If you want to take a break from all the sea activity, trekking is your best option. As you walk further inland in Havelock, you will encounter dense mangroves, rainforests and small hillocks. Organizers like Barefoot Eco Tours and various resorts like Wild Orchid and Emerald Gecko conduct overnight camping trips on the island, sometimes coupled with other activities like kayaking and bird watching.
Game fishing is another popular activity that is organized on Havelock Island. A fishing boat can be hired to double up as a way for sightseeing around the island’s waters. You can also visit the nearby uninhabited islands like Peel Island, Wilson Island, South Button Island on a fishing day trip.
This is just a taste of the things that you can do on Havelock Island in the Andamans. To know more, get in touch with TripFactory!