Best things to do in Havelock Island

Image courtesy: ©Flickr/Codex41/CC BY 2.0

With sublime silken beaches, twinkling teal shallows and some of the best diving in South Asia, Havelock has the well-deserved reputation of being a traveller’s paradise. Indeed for many, Havelock is the Andamans, and it’s what lures most tourists across the Bay of Bengal. Explore the best of Havelock with us.

Beaches

Havelock island is known for some of the best beaches of India, where watching the sunrise and sunset can give you a memory to last your lifetime. Radhanagar Beach is one of the prettiest beaches where one can laze all day watching the spiralled waves, backed by a native forest. Northwest of Radhanagar is the gorgeous ‘lagoon’ at Neils Cove, a gem of sheltered sand and crystalline water. Kalapathar is another pristine beach where you can find some privacy to spend time alone.

Diving & Snorkelling

Havelock is the premier spot for diving in the Andamans. It’s famed for its crystal-clear waters, deep-sea corals and kaleidoscope of marine life, including turtles. Diving here is suitable for all levels. The main dive season is roughly November to April, but trips run year-round. Popular sites include Dixon’s Pinnacle and Pilot Reef with colourful soft coral, South Button for macro dives (to see small critters) and rock formations, Jackson Bar or Johnny’s Gorge for deeper dives with schools of snapper, sharks, rays and turtles, and Minerva’s Delight for a bit of everything.

Also Read: Best beaches in Andaman Islands

Also Read: Best family vacation destinations in India

Also Read: Top six Indian monuments built by women

Trekking

Some resorts organise guided jungle treks for keen walkers or birdwatchers, though the forest floor turns to mush after rain. The inside rainforest is a spectacular, emerald- coloured hinterland cavern, and birdwatching is rewarding (especially on the forest fringes); look out for the blueblack racket-tailed drongo or golden oriole.

Eating & Drinking

Most people eat at, or near, their hotel but there are dhabas (snack bars) near the jetty or you can head to the main bazaar for local meals. The best restaurants are Fat Martin’s for Indian food, Anju-coco Resto for Indian and continental food, and Red Snapper for special seafood and beer. For live music, head to Cicada, which has a groovy jungle location accessed down a path off the main road across from Beach 5.

Top Tip:

There’s also a wreck dive to SS Incheket, a 1950s cargo carrier. Keep an eye out for trips further afield such as Barren Island, home to India’s only active volcano, whose ash produces an eerie underwater spectacle for divers. Dive companies arrange snorkelling trips, but it can be cheaper to organise a boat through your hotel or guesthouse. Snorkelling gear is widely available on Havelock but is generally mediocre quality, so consider bringing your own if you intend doing a lot of snorkelling.