Among the spots on the island to do snorkeling in Andaman, Elephant Beach in Havelock Island is the remarkable one to indulge in utmost thrilling snorkeling. Right off the white sandy beaches, the crystal clear water that showcases the magical underwater world is so special to anyone who visits Havelock. One of the visitor friendly beaches in Andaman, Elephant Beach boasts of the undamaged array of colourful coral reefs in a great extent.
The coral reefs here are not much explored and thus preserve the original beauty intact it had during its formation. This is why, the snorkeling on Elephant Beach becomes more pleasant and pristine. You can arrive at the beach via a boat or by trekking. Elephant Beach is the most sought after beach after Radhanagar Beach in Havelock. Snorkeling here would be done with the help of an experienced guide who will explain everything you have to know about the activity. If you are a beginner, then do some practice snorkeling for some time and then start enjoying the proper activity.
Location: Elephant Beach is located about 20 minutes from the Havelock Island dock if you are going by a boat.
Attractions: Must do things in Andaman
Jolly Buoy Island and Red Skin Island
Jolly Buoy Island is yet another celebrated tourist destination. It is near to Port Blair and there are hundreds of natural visuals to see and plenty of water based activities. Red, sponge and blue coral reefs are the exciting sights under water here at Jolly Buoy Island and thus snorkeling is a favourite activity for the tourists coming to this island. In between the corals, the beautiful marine animals will come to meet the snorkelers. Zebra Fish is the mostly seen fish underwater and it makes the sea world so pristine and flamboyant.
Along with Jolly Buoy Island, another important island is the Red Skin Island. Both of these islands will be open alternatively for six months a year. The tourists arrive here will get the opportunity to enjoy a glass bottom boat ride on the crystal clear water which enables everyone to see the magnificent scenery inside the water, beautifully. Despite that, snorkeling and diving are the extremely adventurous yet blissful activity available on Jolly Buoy Island. You should add visit to this place on your bucket list if you are planning for Andaman and Nicobar tours.
As the coral reefs of North Island are spread across a vast region, the entire island shines throughout but snorkeling would be limited to an extent. A guide will be accompanying you during the activity. Since the water here is crystal clear and shallow, it is not necessary that you should know swimming.
The Best Time to do Snorkeling in Andaman
Apart from monsoon that happens during the months of June and July, any other time is best to visit places in Andaman and do snorkeling or diving.
January to May is the period when the sea appears calm and the surface of the sea would be relaxing. During this time, diving or snorkeling would be done smoothly. The crystal clear water will make your way easier.
From the month of September to November, the natives call it new season, the conditions would be highly favourable to do diving and snorkeling. The winds are unpredictable this time and also regular showers will happen which lead you to limit the activity to certain limits but still most of the day in these months, the climatic conditions are preferably good to do snorkeling.
December also is considered to be a favourable time to do the water based activities though wind and us ual showers will be there. This period is called the transition time but still helps tourists to have a great time on the water.
Anytime you visit, you will be able to take part in snorkeling in Andaman unless the climatic conditions are so rough. If you are visiting the island during on-season, the days would be sunny and the beaches will be filled with tourists. But during the off season, the shores are quiet but the climate would be unpredictable.
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Things to Know About Snorkeling in Andaman
The providers of snorkeling in Andaman have PADI certified guides and instructors and they are very strict about that as well. Mostly, you can reach the beaches or the spot where the activity can be done by boat. Guides will also accompany you throughout the time you indulge in the activity.
A snorkel, an important equipment used in the activity is a tube around 30 cm long and the inside diameter is between 1.5 and 2.5 centimeters. The shape of it is generally L or J and at the lower end, there would be a mouth piece designed of rubber or plastic usually. Along with this, swim fins will also be provided by most of the snorkel clubs in Andaman.
In short, the places or beaches which favours snorkeling are very rare and one among them is Andaman. The clean beaches, the turquoise water which is completely clean and the umpteen number of resorts and beachside accommodation options make Andaman Islands an astounding spot to do water based activities.
Other Activities to do in Andaman
Enjoy Walking Underwater While Sea Walking
The Underwater Sea Walk is one of the most unique attractions that one must experience when visiting Andaman Island. It truly is a true once in a lifetime experience for all the non-diving visitors. It is a safe and secure activity with lots of exciting moments. Underwater walk on the sea bed at the depth of about 6 to 7 meters is an experience worth witnessing in the magnificent marine life of Andaman. One gets to be a part of the wonderful fauna, corals, and a wide range of fish, all in their natural home. In this activity, certified experienced guides accompany you for maximum protection.
Cost: INR 2000 per head
Visit the Famous Cellular Jail
Cellular Jail is a national memorial that is worth adding on your must visit attractions list. This places reminds us of the hardship our freedom fighters had to go through for the freedom that we are enjoying today. The jail has many cells that can be well observed along with the architecture that was well thought of when constructed. To understand the history and depth of the jail, you can avail the services of a guide inside. Moreover, post this, the light and sound show that is conducted is the highlight of the evening. Location: Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Entry Fee (INR): INR 30, Camera: INR 200, Video Camera: INR 1000, Film shooting per day with prior permission INR 10000
Visit the Limestone Caves, Baratang Island
The journey to Limestone Caves is mesmerizing which covers all the way through Tribal reserves. These caves are nearer to Baratang Jetty so you can start your journey from here. December to March is the peak season when the caves are crowded and flooded with tourists. As the entry and exit is same, people will be asked to stay outside the cave to clear the crowd inside the cave. There are small huts to take rest and to have refreshments on the way to the caves.
More often than not, visitors may also catch a glimpse of a sun bathing crocodile with its jaws wide open and a stone like still that camouflaged in the mangroves. It is a cave with interesting limestone structures, stalactite and stalagmites are a splendid sight.
How to reach: These ancient caves are located about 30 minutes (by beautiful sea channel) away from Baratang Jetty. Boats are starting at 8am. The fare of boat is Rs. 300/- per head for both ways. It includes speed boat fare also which is required to reach Limestone Caves.
Travel in Sea Plane
A seaplane ride in Andaman can be enjoyed between Port Blair and Havelock Island. It flies up to Barren Island, India's only active volcano where tourists are offered the aerial view of the volcanic Islands. This experience of flying in a Seaplane is definitely worth it as the Amphibian Aircraft offers large individual windows to each and every passenger that gives fantastic aerial view of the scenic beauty of Andaman and Nicobar islands and particularly the thrill it offers while flying so low above the sea level combined with the excitement of landing and taking off in the sea.
In Port Blair the Seaplane operates from the Pawan Hans Helicopter base in the Airport. In Havelock and Diglipur, it lands and takes off from the earmarked water drones in the sea near the Shore or jetty.
Location: Port Blair and Havelock Island
Approximate Cost: INR 5000 per head
Fall in Love with the Viper Island
Viper Island was the location of old jail used by the British to keep political prisoners and harbour convicts. It is situated near Port Blair and is exceptionally exquisite and tranquil. This Lovely Island is swarmed by visitors as it truly serves a wonderful amalgamation of historically significant elements and grandeur of nature. To reach this island, you can use ferries that are available between Viper Island and Port Blair. During the boat journey, visitors can also see the main port and navy ships of Port Blair along with the panoramic view of seven points from the harbour.
Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit this island would be between November and February when the weather cools down a bit and the humidity is almost zero.
Mangrove Kayaking at Mayabunder
If you are looking for an activity that allows you to enjoy in the nature without much adrenaline rush then kayaking at Mayabunder is your thing. Mangrove kayaking in Mayabunder is another activity everyone must try. Sea Kayaking is one of the most desired activities by the tourists in the Andaman Islands. This ride is for about a total span of 2 and half hours. The sound of the birds chirping along with the serenity on your walk through the greenery steal your heart.
Location: Mayabunder, Andaman or Havelock Islands.
Approximate Cost: INR 2500 per head.
Head Out for a Barren Island Volcano Tour
Barren Island situated in the Andaman Sea lies 138 kilometers northeast of the territory's capital, Port Blair. It is the only active Volcano along the chain from Sumatra to Myanmar and also the only active volcano in India. Barren Island is a part of the Indian Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is well known as a Submarine emergent Volcano. It lies above the subduction zone of India and Burmese plate. Here, birds, bats like flying foxes and a few rodent species like rats are known to survive the severe conditions. As no one is allowed to land on the Barren Island, there is no chance of night stay here.
How to reach: The Island can be visited by chartered boats only with the approval of the forest department and after getting necessary permits but without getting down on land.
Go for a Helicopter Tour
Getting on a helicopter tour in Andaman is an experience of the lifetime. The views of this silky sand land and blue water from the top is one ride you should not miss. You can travel from South to North Andaman Islands in a Helicopter and ride above the beautiful coastline viewing dense tropical forests and the vast open seas. The trip takes you over some of the best destination at the islands within couple of hours. If you wish to see the very best of the Andaman Islands then this is one trip you should not miss.Cost: The Andaman and Nicobar Administration and Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited, in collaboration, operate regular Helicopter services for Inter Island Transport in Andaman. Flight sectors are Port Blair to Havelock and Port Blair to Neil Island.
Get a Bird’s Eye View While Parasailing
Parasailing is a sport that is a wonderful mix of water and air borne adventure. You are tied behind a motorboat and harnessed in a parachute. It is actually as if you fly like a kite behind the boat as it speeds off into the sea. The causal activity is best enjoyed far away from the coast to the beautiful view of the calm waters and the horizon. The driver of the boat is the only controller of the ride. You can even ask him to throw you into water and pick you again up to the heights for more adventure. The activity is very well organized, with secure areas where you can indulge in adventure without worrying about safety issues as all measure are taken care of under an expert’s supervision.
Location: All Islands
Approximate Cost: INR 250 per head
When in Andaman and Nicobar Islands , you surely have to make your way to Lalaji Bay Beach on Long Island, Jolly Buoy located in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Havelock Island, the North Button Island National Park, the South Button National Park, Red Skin Island and Neil Island for a fun activity called as dolphin spotting. Usually, there is no guarantee of spotting a dolphin and it is a matter of trying your luck, but when it comes to dolphin watching in the Andamans, you are most likely fortunate to spot this intelligent animal in comparison to any other coastal area of India.
You can take up the glass bottom boat ride at Port Blair to try out this fun activity with your loved ones.
Location: Port Blair and Havelock Island
Approximate Cost: INR 250 per head