After a day’s travel through the historic Port Blair, a new day called for a new journey. Next stop – Havelock Island. After a hefty history session in the capital city, the next day for Travelories called for a laid back getaway. With its blonde beaches, towering coconut trees, breezy surrounding and the clear blue diving lagoons have made Havelock Island a traveller’s paradise. Moreover, in December 2018, the islands were renamed Swaraj Dweep in honour of Subhas Chandra Bose. It is the Andamans you see on Instagram and the tropical nirvana you imagine. It is Sunil and Chandna’s story of the Andaman Islands exploration continued on Havelock Islands.
The next morning called for an early morning ferry ride from Port Blair to Havelock Island. The ferry is the primary mode of transport that could take you across the islands. However, there is no online booking offer for the ferry ticket. After a long wait in the queue, we got the earliest ferry tickets and made out way to Havelock Islands for a two days trip.
Where To Stay
Our ferry reached the island rather early, where we saw the dusky sunrise at 5:50 am. Admittedly, it was one of the earliest sunrise experience that we have had. The view couldn’t look better against the clean and clear beach we had landed upon. Without wasting any time, we headed to unpack at our accommodation. It has always been a dream to have a stay right next to the beach and hence, our stay at the Honeymoon Beach resort on Sunrise Beach.
However, if you are looking for a luxury stay, then we did recommend Taj Exotica Resort and Spa or Jalakara Boutique Hotel. For a secluded beach stay, one can explore Barefoot Resort with no wifi or TV. Moreover, Dive India provides some of the cheapest stays in the islands with meals and shared bathrooms. It is perfect for those who visit the islands exclusively for scuba diving.
Our first day at Havelock started with the Sunrise beach where we were welcomed with the view of the hued sunrise. After checking in and a breakfast stop, we played with a few dogs before renting a bike for 24 hours. Hiring a bike is the best way to explore the beaches of the island.
Many people might question our choice of beach visit when it comes to Kalapathar beach. However, it makes for the best of secluded experience for a couple like us. Vast lands filled with sand, clear waters and towering trees, it was the cleanest beach we had ever seen. As the name suggests, gigantic black rocks line the coast surrounded by dense forest on one side and silver lining beach on the other. Moreover, it makes for a calming picnic spot or for a lounge about to write a great story. We recommend trying out mango mixture while in Kalapathar.
On the way to Kalapathar, we discovered a small patch of beach with a gigantic canopied tree while hiking through the forest. We decided to name it the “Travelories beach”.
A lesser-known fact about the Radhanagar beach is that it was once named the best beach in Asia in 2004. More than being a doorway to the calm seas, it offers some of the crystal views of the coral reefs by the sea. Some suggest snorkelling is a must-do activity when you are here. However, snorkelling at the time of the day was not a possibility due to the hustle of the crowd. Furthermore, Radhanagar beach provided some of the best sunset views across the horizon and a competitive volleyball game. We suggest taking your bike through the forest and feel the evening air. It made us want to stay right there on the beach.
We had saved our last beach visit for our third day of the Andaman trip, and it did not disappoint. Elephant Beach has suffered the effects of the 2004 tsunami and reduced in size since then. However, that did not stop Indian tourists from flocking in here. Moreover, the legend says that the last elephants in Andaman had resided on this beach and hence the name. The beach was lined with a fantastic view of coral reefs and clear water perfect for water sports. We caught many in the act of snorkelling nearby. We parked our vehicle nearby and walked through the towering canopies of the forest for one and a half kilometre before reaching the beach. Furthermore, upon exploring, we decided to explore the waters with a glass-bottom boat which cot us Rs 450. The best part about taking the boat was a complimentary snorkelling experience. Swimming through the waters, the view of the underwater corals was a wonder more than our eyes could take. We must add what a great place for photography it was.
Water Sports In Havelock Islands
Havelock Island, with its pristine and clear beaches, is perfect for water sports. While the undisturbed marine life makes for a perfect snorkelling or scuba diving experience, the calm waves of the sea are perfect for kayaking or swimming. Moreover, many decide to explore the beach with a jet ski. The evening view against a jet ski is a photographer’s treat.
Scuba Diving Experience
Day 2 of our trip, we had made up our minds to tick off scuba diving from our bucket list. In contrast to our wanderlust souls, we are hydrophobic. The impulsive decision to dive underwater was a step over our fears. We headed to Nemo Beach for the same. Moreover, with not many people hurdling around, we had no chance of embarrassing ourselves on our first try. With that, a trainer was assigned to us.
Did we get training before we headed underwater?
Yes, of course, we did. The trainer reminded us that we need not be good swimmers to be scuba divers, but luckily for us, we were trained enough in swimming. With that, he gave us a five minutes session on breathing signs to communicate underwater. If you have seen Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, we are talking about the same finger signs that Katrina Kaif reminds the three before they head down. Furthermore, the trainer gave us a few reminders and body movements to move around underwater with ease.
Was it risky?
We were worried for nothing. The scuba diving experience was pretty safe, especially with the suit that was provided to us. The suit also came with goggles and a nose covering. The trainer had continuously reminded us to keep breathing through our mouth. Moreover, for the diving session inside, the trainer accompanied us underwater with an extra tank for an emergency.
How much time does a dive session take?
The scuba diving session had a cap of 30 minutes. Within that, it was the free will of the diver how much time he/she wanted to spend inside. At first, fear had us crippled. Once we had our breathing in control, the challenge laid in accepting the surrounding as our own. The experience inside was unimaginable. We came across more variety of coral reefs than we had seen in our snorkelling trip in the Elephant beach. It was a vivid and vibrant explosion of colours that came with the sea world new to us. Moreover, Chandna had even managed to spot an octopus. Before we knew it, our thirty minutes inside were done.
Our scuba diving experience marked the end of our time in Havelock. After our visit to the Elephant beach, we had befriended a couple who had accompanied us till the last day of our Andaman trip. As the day ended, it was time to head back to the resort and prepare for the next day’s trip to the Neil Islands.
Below are some travel tips, you need to follow for Havelock Islands:
- There is no online booking available for the ferry rides, so one has to wait in the queue to buy one as it is the cheapest and primary mode of transport.
- The government ferry ride to Havelock Islands costs Rs 850, and a private one costs Rs 1350. For the locals, it costs Rs 60.
- One can rent a bike for a day at Rs 500 without petrol, and it is the easiest way to explore the place.
- The timings for scuba diving at Nemo beach is from 5:30 am to 11:00 am.
- For scuba diving, one has to sign a waiver form of safety and identity proof.
- When you go for scuba diving, you get complimentary photography with it. However, we suggest carrying your action camera for the same as it may not be of great quality.
- Lastly, never be afraid to strike a conversation with fellow travellers or tourists. You never know you may make friends for life or inspire someone or be inspired.
Stay tuned with us as we take you through our trip in Neil Islands on Day 4, succeeded by other beautiful places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bookmark Woovly blog and stay updated with the latest happenings!
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