Do you love beaches? If you are longing for exotic beaches, look no further, Havelock is your one-stop destination. Crystal clear azure water, white powdery sand, and an abundance of nature. Havelock is a paradise on Earth.
Officially known as Swaraj Dweep, Havelock is the largest island in Ritchie’s Archipelago, in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With a total land area of 92.2km square, the island is stretched over 18 km in length and only 8 km in width. This makes it very much possible to explore every nook and corner of Havelock in a day or so. Read all you need to know about Havelock along with a perfect itinerary here.
We were lucky to visit this stunning island just before the second covid wave hit India. It was a memorable trip, and I wish to have spent a few more days on this delightful island. But Havelock is not only about idyllic beaches it has a lot more to offer. If you are planning to visit Havelock (post lockdown), Here is a list of things that you must do in Havelock for an ultimate experience.
12 Awesome things to do in Havelock
Witness the breathtaking sunset at Radhanagar Beach:
A narrow road lined with exceptionally tall trees, spreading their branches across the clear blue skies. Walk a little further, and you can see huge benches made of tree trunks. White sand beach lined with canopies, a backdrop of blue water that turns golden during the sunset. One of the 8 beaches in India to receive the prestigious blue flag certification, Radhanagar beach is popular for its mesmerizing sunset. Clean water and adequate waves also make it ideal for swimming. The timing for swimming in Radhanagar beach is till 5.30 pm
Do check out the small souvenir shops right outside the beach. Don’t forget to try the fruit chat at one of the stalls.
Cherish sunrise at Kalapathar beach:
Turquoise water and white soft sand at Kalapathar beach are a feast to the eyes. The beach gets its name owing to the presence of huge black rocks adding to its artistic beauty. Witnessing the sunrise at Kalapathar beach is one-of-a-kind experiences. A perfect place to laze around or just enjoy reading a good book or have a fun picnic with the family. Soothing blue water along with white and black contrast creates a visual delight
- If you are planning to see the sunrise, make sure you reach early as sunrises early in Havelock
- Kalapathar beach has many ideal spots for the photoshoot so don’t forget to carry a nice flowy dress or skirt along with you.
Enjoy water sports at Elephant Beach:
If you like adventure, this is one place you can’t miss. Elephant beach is a one-stop destination for all water sports. Snorkeling, sea walk, and glass boat ride are the special attractions here and a must-try. You don’t have to go too far to witness the vibrant coral colonies and colorful fishes, as the coral reef is present at the depth of just 1 meter itself. Other activities at Elephant beach include jet-skiing, banana boat rides, and parasailing. Even if you are not a fan of water sports, Elephant beach has an abundance of greenery to explore. I loved the way huge tree trunks are arranged on the beach.
- If you are an adventure lover, try trekking to the elephant beach instead of taking the ferry.
- Elephant beach is not inhibited and hence it’s open only till 5.30 pm. So do keep one day aside for this beach.
Laze around secluded beaches:
Sun, sand, and sea is the perfect recipe for rejuvenation. Apart from the above 3 popular beaches, Neil’s cove, Govindnagar, and Vijayanagar are the secluded beaches where you can enjoy nature’s glory in tranquility. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, head to one of these beaches. With white soft sand, lush green palm trees, and clear water these beaches are best to laze around and spend quality time with yourself or your loved ones. They also make for a great photography destination.
Tips: Do carry a change of clothes, beach towel, water, etc. while visiting these beaches.
Experience scuba diving at Nemo Reef:
One of the most special activities at Havelock is Scuba diving. The island is blessed with clear warm waters and abundant marine biodiversity including coral reefs making it a perfect diving site. The best thing is you don’t need a diving certification or prior training to try it for the first time. The discover scuba diving program is a recreational activity where a professional instructor accompanies you to a depth of up to 30 ft. At the Nemo reef, you can spot colorful Nemo (or clownfish) in their natural habitat. There are many agencies offering scuba diving services in Havelock
- You can negotiate the price for a scuba diving experience. Generally, charges are from INR 1500 – INR 3000
- If you have any medical conditions, do inform the agency in advance.
Try snorkeling and swim amongst fishes:
Snorkeling is one the most enchanting and fun activities at Havelock. Clean water allows a clear vision and rich marine biodiversity will amaze you for sure. If you have snorkeled before (do it only if you know how to), you can try it on any of the beaches especially Kala Patthar beach. However, if you are new to it, you can enjoy an assisted snorkeling at Elephant beach. If you visit Elephant beach by ferry, 10-15 minutes of complimentary snorkeling activity is included in the package.
- Do carry your own snorkeling set and swimsuit
- Opt for a full-face snorkel where you can breathe or talk easily underwater. They charge INR 1000 per person for it. You also get underwater pictures and video
Take a stroll or ride: Explore the natural beauty of Havelock Island
Rent a bike or just walk around carelessly exploring the beauty of this incredible paradise. I am sure you will be surprised by the diversity that it offers. We loved the drive to Kalapathar beach. One side of the road was the magnificent blue ocean and another side lush green mountain, occasional paddy fields, and small huts. The whole experience was so soothing.
Bikes are easily available for rent at INR 500 for a day.
Do take a stroll from one beach to another, specially early morning or in the evening and you may come across some amazing spots to shoot photographs.
Trek to the Elephant Beach:
If you are feeling like having some adventure, you ditch the boat and choose to trek to the beach. The trek is covered with tropical green forest, marshland, and mangroves. It takes around 45 minutes to complete the trek and reach the beach.
Tips: Don’t forget to carry trekking shoes, water, etc. along with you in addition to beachwear and slippers.
Go kayaking – Explore the Mangroves & Bioluminescence:
Kayaking around the mangroves is a surreal experience. A must-try activity for all nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Many operators conduct this tour which usually takes 2-2.5 hours and starts early in the morning. The best part is you don’t need any professional training or previous experience to kayak around the mangroves. Do a prior booking to avoid inconvenience.
Tips: Kids below 5 are not allowed, so plan accordingly
Night kayaking tours are also available where you get an opportunity to spot magnificent bioluminescence (depending on the season and climate conditions)
Explore the Local Restaurants:
As Havelock promotes eco-tourism, you won’t find the usual beach destination fun vibes during the night. Most of the streets are deserted by late evening. But it certainly doesn’t mean that Havelock lacks good cafes & restaurants. There are a lot of cafes and open-air restaurants where you can enjoy delicious meals with a great view and laid back beach vibes.
Many restaurants offer a romantic dinner by the beach under the stars. If you are looking for a breathtaking experience, do go for it.
Photograph nature & wildlife:
Scenic vistas and rich biodiversity certainly make Havelock a perfect destination for photography. Be it nature photography, capturing birds, underwater photography, or a couple of photoshoots, Havelock will not disappoint you at all. So, take out your camera and start shooting because every place in Havelock offers a great photo opportunity.
If you are looking for a professional photo shoot, you can book a photographer in advance.
Explore Neil Island:
If you have a day or 2 to spare, do visit another gem of Andamans, The Neil Island. Less frequented by tourists, Neil island offers unparalleled biodiversity and natural resources to focus on. Situated at a distance of 89 kms or 55 miles from Havelock, It takes around 1 hour 45 minutes reach to Neil Island by Ferry. Both government and private ferries are available. Although it’s possible to do a day trip to Neil island it’s too hectic and you hardly get time to explore the island. So, it’s recommended to plan a night’s stay and enjoy the tranquility that this small island has to offer.
- Book your ferry and hotel in advance
- Carry snorkelling and swimming gears along with you
To conclude, with so many things to do, Havelock is a paradise waiting to be explored. So, get ready to put on your swimsuit, take your gears along, and go explore this incredible little island, a hidden treasure of India.
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