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Havelock (Andamans): A Visual Feast

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''Pristine beaches, beautiful coral reefs, rich marine life, water sports - you name it & you have it.''

Why Visit It : Havelock, with its blue crystal clear water and pristine beaches, is a visual feast, literally.
Surrounded by some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, Havelock in Andamans is rich in marine life. What’s more, if you are adventurous enough and like water sports, this is surely the place to be in.
Scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing are some of the adventure sports which are run by certified operators here. Not only do you get the equipment from these operators, you also get required instructions. So, no worries even if you are a novice. You just need to be adventurous. Besides, trekking is another activity here that you can explore in different parts of the island.

Beaches to Visit : The most beautiful one is undoubtedly Radhanagar Beach (beach #7). It has gorgeous white sand and green water, literally. The view here is to die for as it is at the backdrop of a forest. Make sure you see the sunset; it is just SPECTACULAR. Other beaches that you could visit are Elephant Beach and Vijaynagar Beach (beach #5).
Vijaynagar Beach is a little isolated and it’s perfect for those of you who want to spend time by yourselves and your loved ones. Elephant Beach is where you should head if you want to explore snorkelling. Many resorts here provide snorkeling and diving trips. Besides, the vibrant coral reef here is to die for.

CONNECTIVITY : First you have to reach PORT BLAIR, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. You can reach Havelock from here by the sea or air. According to me, ferries are the best way to reach the island. The schedule timing varies as per season. The public ferries take about 2.5 hrs to reach Havelock with a frequency of 2 ferries a day. There are some private ferries like the M.V Makruzz which takes 90 mins to reach the island.

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL : Havelock Island should be avoided during the monsoon months from August to November. The best time to visit Havelock Island is between January and May when the weather is most favourable for diving and other activities.

FOR STAY : There are options galore from beach huts to so called luxury hotels. Since Havelock follows the concept of eco-tourism, please note that the hotels are kept quite close to basics but the beauty compensates for all that you miss. Most of the budget hotels are found near beach number 3. There are some very good hotels at Vijaynagar Beach, but some of them are expensive. The good hotels arrange for water sports and other tourist activities.
Barefoot is arguably the best resort in Havelock. I stayed at The Wild Orchid and had a pleasant time. Great ambience, fantastic sea food and a well stocked bar. And if you are lucky enough, you may also experience a beach wedding.

SOME DIVING SCHOOLS : • Andaman Bubbles Dive Centre
• Barefoot Scuba
• DIVE India
• Andaman Dive Club
I personally tried Barefoot Scuba and Dive India. Both were great.

GETTING AROUND : • Local buses and shared jeeps
• Auto-rickshaws
• Hiring Bicycles,
• Renting scooters and motorcycles. Though petrol is little expensive here
• Private taxi A/c and non-a/c

FOOD : There are many places in Havelock Island where you get seafood. Beach number three has the widest option when it comes to eating out. Beach # 5 has some good restaurant and cafes, too. I tried out Red Snapper at the Wild Orchid Resort. It is the one of the better and most expensive restaurants on the island.

SHOPPING : • Bracelets, earrings and necklaces made from shells.
• Other seashell souvenirs are also available.
• Coral of different colours are available.

TRAVEL TIPS : • Flight times from Port Blair to mainland India sometimes are changed without warning - including being brought forward. So keep some buffer time in hand if you have a connecting flight onward home or when u land in Port blair, keep some time gap between the flight landing and the ferry boarding time.
• Most hotels and restaurants do not accept credit cards and prefer to deal in the old way.
• Do remember to withdraw cash before leaving Port Blair as there are only two ATMs in Havelock which are often out of order.
• Availability of stuff in Havelock is little difficult and usually expensive. So do carry along stuff that you need.
• Must carry Mosquito repellents and creams.
• Carry your sunscreen.
• Beaware of stray dogs.


Source / Review By : Deepshikha Sarkar

A travel buff, Deepshikha lives in Cameroon

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