|Havelock Islands Pristine Beauty in the Andamans|
Havelock Island is the most visited of the Andaman Islands. Itís becoming
popular for its pristine beaches, coral reefs and great scuba diving. The pace
of life is slow and relaxed, the locals are friendly and still not too affected
by tourism, and the facilities are moderately basic for the most part.
Sunsets here are often spectacular and itís a popular time to be at the beach, but be careful not to miss the last trucks back if youíre not staying here. A man with an elephant walks through the forest occasionally, offering rides for a fee. Buses run throughout the day until sunset, as do auto-rickshaws and shared 4 wheel-drive trucks. There are a few food shacks where the road hits the beach, all of which rent snorkels and fins.
Elephant Beach is further north from Radhanagar and is popular with Indian tourists. The shoreline here was largely swept away by the 2004 tsunami and the beach is a fraction of what it used to be; however, the coral here is probably the best on the island, making this an excellent spot for snorkeling. Itís reachable on foot from Beach #7 or by fishing boat from the east side of the island; many resorts arrange snorkeling and diving trips here.
Scuba diving is probably the biggest activity on the island other than lying around and eating great seafood. Both operators on Havelock, Barefoot Scuba and Dive India are PADI certified dive centers, provide good equipment and offer training up to instructor. They share pretty much all of the same discovered dive sites, and prices are more or less standardized at Rs.4000 for discover fun dive for non-certified divers, with a 10-15% discount for your own equipment.
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