HAVELOCK ISLAND ANDAMAN INTRODUCTION
Havelock Island (In Hindi: हॅवलॉक द्वीप) is the largest & popular of the islands that comprise a chain of islands to the east of Great Andaman in the Andaman Islands. It belongs to the South Andaman administrative district, part of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The island is only 41 km northeast of the capital city, Port Blair. However, it takes roughly 2 hrs by a ferry to reach from Port Blair to Havelock.
HAVELOCK HOLIDAY: HOW GOOD IS IT?
Imagine yourself in a perfect tropical island vacation with clear ocean water and sand, & that’s precisely what I can tell you about pristine Havelock is all about in Indian context. The cover picture of the article was shot by me through my camera phone, and the havelock’s ocean water is much clear and clean like what you see in the shot.
HAVELOCK: HISTORY & MODERN DAY
Like the other numerous islands in Andaman Archipelago, Havelock Island remained virtually unknown to the rest of the world for many centuries till the 18th century when British marine surveyor named John Ritchie was given a job to travel the seas off the eastern coast of India and document the routes to any islands he may find.
Havelock started becoming a popular gateway in early 2000 and then after time magazine named Radhanagar beach, the most beautiful beaches of Asia, tourist & traveler started coming in numbers. So, Havelock has become massively popular for newlywed couples, divers or casual tourist
EXPLORING & EXPERIENCING
I would describe the island to be very simple to explore. The reason is simple the whole island has three main roads which connect to almost all tourist places and resort on the island. Take Havelock jetty as the reference point & plan your things to do from the jetty. Remember, you can even hire an Indian auto (three wheeler) or rent gearless scooter or bikes at a very nominal rate and they are easily available. Check out the interactive Havelock map and plan your travel accordingly.
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CLIMATE & LIVE TEMPERATURE
A typical tropical climate all through the year, however as per local late December till the end of February marks a pleasant weather in Havelock. From June until September is the month of Monsoon and brings in heavy rainfall. Sometime, the island might be largely impacted due to November hurricane in the Bay of Bengal
BEACHES OF HAVELOCK
Yes, most of the traveler or tourist come to Havelock for its beaches and relaxing environment. Home to a couple of great, clean and best beaches of India & Asia, Havelock won’t disappoint you and neither we were disappointed. In fact, we are planning again to visit the Indian tropical destination sooner with our family.
When in Havelock, you have to go & explore Radhanagar beach or beach number 7. Voted as one of the best beaches in Asia, this is a must visit to witness the beauty of the beach. Go, to Radhanagar beach to spend your morning or evening and the sunset in the ocean. There is a nice secluded tourist hotspot called Neil’s cove and enjoy the view from there.
Vijaynagar beach in the Havelock is the one you will often see and explore while in Havelock. Why? Because it was a long stretch of sand on the east coast of the island and situated ten mins from the Havelock jetty. I am sure if you are staying in one of those fancy sea facing resort, Vijaynagar beach is the one you are going to explore every morning and evening. The beach is perfect for long walks along the seashore. The Dolphin Resort is situated right in front of this beach. The varied color of the ocean as the sun rises or sets on the island is must watch and appreciated.
Best known for snorkeling & water sports (Jet Ski & Sea Walk), the elephant beach located west of the island & have no motorable road from the Radhanagar main road. An absence of road gives the beach a cleaner appearance. Elephant beach is only a short ferry ride from the Havelock jetty. The fare starts from Rs 750, and it takes roughly 15 mins. Adventure seekers can trek to the beach via a 2 Km moderate forest trail. It’s to you what type of traveler you are!
The beautiful silver sandy beach located 12 Km or 40 mins from Havelock jetty is slowly gaining footfalls and getting famous among the tourist. However, proper facilities are yet to found. The beach is small compared to Radhanagar, and the shores are a bit rocky too. However, if you don’t like the crowded Radhanagar beach, Kalapather beach should be your destination for sure
ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES AT HAVELOCK
After exploring the serene beaches of Havelock, I am sure doing a couple of adventure activities at Havelock is what attracts most of the tourist or traveler coming to the island. Whether you are planning a honeymoon trip, solo backpacking or even a family trip, I strongly recommend trying a couple of activities at Havelock.
Remember, you can explore and experience jet scooter ride, banana ride or something similar in any popular beaches in India, however below activities are limited to few places in India & Havelock is one of them. Moreover, the tour operators have years of experience in conducting these activities. Why not experience one in pristine Andaman!
SCUBA DIVE IN ANDAMAN
The remote & mysterious Andaman Island in the Bay of Bengal are considered the final undiscovered frontier for the ultimate scuba diving. The waters around Havelock Island are prestine and unexplored and the diving is exciting and easy, filled with coral and cusrious marine life. Dives are done in small groups and you are likely to have dive sites all to yourself.
I dived with Barefoot Scuba the only PADI 5 Star Dive Resort, is located at Beach No. 3 on Havelock Island and also offers PADI dive courses & dive trips. Come to Havelock and experience your first dive!
SNORKELING IN HAVELOCK
Relatively less exciting than Scuba dive but nevertheless a great activity to try out if you are new to these water-based adventure activities.Snorkelling is basically swimming or floating on the body of water while equipped with a diving mask, you still breadth with the help of breathing tube called a snorkel.Use of this snorkeling equipment allows you to observe underwater marine life and objects subject to a clear sky with sunlight.
No, you don’t need to be a swimmer for doing snorkeling. However, you need to show and know your comfort level with water and more in open ocean while doing this activity. Again, I strongly recommend you to enjoy the snorkeling in clear Andaman water
SEA WALK IN HAVELOCK
As the name suggests, sea walk allows one to go under the ocean water without the skills required for swimming or scuba diving and at the same time provide a magnificent view of seabed & marine life. You will be given a big helmet which would protect you and also you can breathe easily. Don’t worry; the sea walk is the safest and enjoyable activity all around the world.
ELEPHANT TRAINING CAMP
Havelock Island is famous for log carrying elephants. The spectacle of elephants working in the forest and bathing in the sea is a unique attraction. Unlike cruel elephant ride (which I don’t support), you can undoubtedly witness elephant training camp along with your kids
TREKKING ACTIVITIES IN HAVELOCK
The Island with its emerald lagoons & tropical evergreen forests is home to a wealth of wildlife and impressive landscape that is core to Havelock Island. These include white-headed Mynas, woodpeckers, etc. If you are on the solo backpacking trip to the Island, pick any trekking activities and venture out. However, I strongly recommend you to take the guided tour for trekking in Havelock. The reason is that Island trek could be exhaustive and also due to unknown territory.