If you love spending time in the water then Andaman Islands are your dream destination. Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands are perfect for people seeking some thrill under water! And when you venture into the ocean depths of Andaman, you would be thrilled by the colorful assortment of marine life existing in these islands. You come across fleets of fishes and some corals that leave you awestruck with their beauty. Going by the recent Andaman tourism trends, it would not be an exaggeration to call Andaman & Nicobar Islands the “Scuba diving capital of India”. Andaman is truly blessed with numerous beautiful diving sites and that itself possess a problem for the first time tourists. So, we would like to help you by providing a short list of the best places for Scuba diving in Andaman. Read on…
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North Bay Beach near Port Blair
An Andaman trip, in the recent years, cannot be complete without a visit to the scenic North Bay Beach. But there is more to this ever crowded beach than meets the eyes. It is one of the hubs for scuba diving in Andamans. A short 45 minutes’ boat ride from the Aberdeen Jetty (in Port Blair) will reach you to the North Bay Beach. Though the beach is constantly under the pressure of heavy tourist footfalls, yet it is one of the cleanest beaches in India. There is also a grand Lighthouse overlooking the beach. But a adventure seeker like you is interested in the actual sea. So, you can pre-book or book on the spot your scuba diving seasons. There are many diving operators who would be glad to pick you up. You would have a short training wherein you get to learn about the various breathing techniques and the sign languages that are followed underwater. Once you are through, you can board a boat and venture into the clear blue waters. The waters near North Bay Beach remain shallow, and a dive into them allows you to see the corals and the varied marine life. Each Scuba diving session here lasts for 30-45 minutes, depending on expertise of the diver.
- Costs: INR 3500–4000 for one dive (includes training and briefing)
- Other water activities: Dolphin ride, glass bottom boat ride and Half Submarine ride
Elephant Beach near Havelock Island
Havelock Island is a paradise for Scuba lovers and is filled with many great diving sites. The most popular among them is situated near Elephant Beach. This beautiful beach can be reached in 20 minutes from Havelock Island. The first thing that strikes your imagination at the Elephant beach is the white sand and the azure waters. But the real beauty of the beach lies inside the water, rather than outside it! Diving sites near the beach are blessed with rich coral reef structure and amazing underwater marine life. Some of the popular diving sites in the area include The Nursery, Aquarium, Pilot Reef, Neil’s Cove, White House Rock, Lighthouse, The Wall, etc. Among these a special mention should be made of The Wall. This diving site is located near the Havelock shipping channel and has a small wall of about 50 meters (thus the name). But the area here is teeming with marine life and yellow, red or purple colored soft corals. A dive in The Wall allows you to view Napoleon Wrasse, Puffer Fishes, Lionfishes, Nudibranchs, Octopuses, Scorpion Fishes and Anglerfishes. In the sandy parts of the site, you can find Kulhs Rays emerging out of their secret hideouts. It is essential that you choose a PADI certified operator for the scuba diving session and some such reputed names include Barefoot Scuba, DIVEIndia, India Scuba Explorers, Scuba Adventures, etc. Once the diving session is complete, discussions are held regarding the marine life spotted and photographs are shared for the entire outing.
- Costs: INR 4500-6500
- Other water activities: Underwater walking, snorkeling, kayaking
The tiny Neil Island, located 37 KM south of the main Andaman Islands, with its less crowded beaches is the perfect destination to enjoy the tranquil beauty of Andaman’s beaches. And if you venture into the sea you can uncover a whole new underwater world! The waters near the Neil Island are shallow offering great underwater visibility. And the sea here is teeming with varied marine life as well as colorful corals. There are many attractive diving sites near Neil Island and some of them include Junction (at a depth of 22-30m), K-Rock (depth of 12-19m), Margherita’s Mischief (depth of 7-16m) and Bus Stop (depth of 14-20m). If you want to see some lionfishes, blue-spotted stingrays, sea stars and large napoleon wrasses, then take a dive at the Junction. While at Margherita’s Mischief you can keep a date with dugongs, yellow snappers, soldier fishes, pufferfishes, angelfishes, batfishes, and dozens of blue spotted stingrays. The choice is yours! All these diving sites are decorated with colorful coral structures.
- Costs: INR 3500-6500
- Other water activities: Jet ski ride, game fishing, glass bottom boat ride.
- Tip: There is no Internet connectivity in Neil Islands, so keep that in mind before you leave for the island.
So, when are you venturing on this underwater adventure?