Havelock Island (new official name: Swaraj Dweep), the most popular island among tourists, is located about 70 km north of the capital city, Port Blair. Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island) has white sandy beaches, blue waters, and some of the best diving in the continent. Havelock(Swaraj) has well-justified fame for being a wonderland for travellers. Laze around on its secluded beaches, or explore its dense and serene mangroves; swim among exotic corals while you indulge in scuba diving or go out there and explore the wilderness on long jungle treks – Havelock has it all!
- Thanks to the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, Havelock is the most visited island in the Andamans.
- Has the best infrastructure for Scuba Diving to ensure everyone gets the best experience.
- A relaxing atmosphere with a relaxed vibe is what the island has to offer. Cafes, resorts (both bamboo huts and luxury hotels), and dive centres line the beaches.
- A wide range of activities like Snorkeling, Diving, water sports, Game fishing, jungle trekking and kayaking are available here
- Around 1.5-2 hours away from Port Blair (by boat).
- Best for all budgets. One can opt for small beach huts which cost around INR 1000 per night to luxury cottages and villas that range from INR 9,000 to 25,000 per night. Mid-budget accommodations are also available which range between INR 3000-5000.
How long to stay?
As a part of most travel itineraries, the place is known for the magnificent Radhanagar Beach, Elephanta Beach, Kalapathar beach, and water sports like scuba diving, snorkelling, Kayaking. Hence, we recommend a minimum of a two-night stay at Swaraj Dweep(Havelock Island) and a comfortable three nights too if time permits.
When to visit Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island)
The tourist season falls between November and mid-May and the peak season is between December- March. Monsoon season is between June and September. One should always expect light rains even during other seasons since its a tropical island.
Feb and March are considered the best for water sports due to low tides and better visibility.
How to get there?
Havelock Island can be reached by sea and air, however easiest way to travel to Havelock would be by the sea. Private and Government ferries operate from neighbouring islands (Port Blair and Neil Island). However, we recommend private ferries, as the booking is hassle-free and doesn’t require waiting in line, the same can be booked through us for an easy and worry-free experience. A few private ferry companies that sail to havelock Island been listed below:
- M.V. Makruzz
- ITT Majestic
- Green Ocean
- Bhagya Express
Directorate of Shipping Services
Government-run boats are the lifeline of Andaman. They connect almost all islands in the Andaman Islands (including the Nicobar group of islands). Bookings can only be made from the counters mentioned below.
Port Blair – Phoenix Bay Jetty & Common Service Centers located around the town
Havelock Island – Havelock Jetty
Neil Island – Neil Jetty
Local transport in Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island) is fairly simple. Roads are well set and straight. It is almost impossible to get lost as everything is just by the road and the locals are all very helpful. It also helps that Havelock’s beaches and villages are categorized with the help of numbers. These are a few options we recommend:
- Tourist taxis: Tourist taxis can be rented from Havelock jetty, there will be drivers waiting at the jetty, please be aware that they might be overpriced and you might have to bargain. If you are part of a package tour, it will be included in the package.
- Bike rentals: The easiest local transport in Havelock Island is by renting a scooter. You can hire them on a daily basis at approximately INR 500 per day. Fuel Stations shut by 5 pm, please make sure you have enough fuel. Avoid during monsoons as roads can get slippery.
- Auto rickshaws: Auto rickshaws are also available and cost around INR 50 to 200 for short rides & 700-1000 for a trip to Radhanagar Beach.
- Public transport: Budget travellers can opt for shared jeeps and public buses for the commute within Swaraj Dweep(Havelock Island).
Top things to do in Swaraj Dweep(Havelock Island)
Havelock is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and a variety of water sports that it has to offer. All thanks to the variety of activities the island has to offer, Havelock Island is a fun magnet that attracts anybody paying a visit to the Andaman Islands. Here are a few more things to do in Havelock Island.
- Kayaking: Kayak your way through the beautiful mangrove forests, one can also club kayaking with snorkelling or take a night kayaking tour. One doesn’t have to be a swimming expert, any beginner can enjoy this fun activity. We recommend Kayaking with a certified instructor, Tanaz for a fun-filled experience. This activity costs around INR 3000 onwards. Click here to book
- Candlelight dinner: Treat your loved one with a romantic candlelight dinner under the stars. Havelock Island beach resort, wild orchid resort, Munjoh resort offer a magical candlelight dinner experience.
- Scuba Diving: Havelock Island is very well known for its scuba diving experience with the best infrastructure. Andamans is one of the best spots for Scuba Diving. For an amazing experience, do book with us. Click here to book
- Shopping: Shop some lovely souvenirs for your loved ones back home at Seven Heaven, this lifestyle store is a shoppers paradise. Handpicked, designer clothing and jewellery make for perfect gifts.
- Elephant Beach: This place is a shallow water haven for snorkelers. All thanks to an impressive number of Scuba divers who have educated the locals on the importance of reef conservation, the reefs here are increasing, unlike most islands where reefs are drastically decreasing. One can reach here either by a speedboat ride or by a short 1.8 km trek through the beautiful mangrove forest to reach Elephanta beach. This trek is guided by a professional guide and usually takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. Water sports are also conducted at this beach.
- Game fishing: Set off on an exclusive fishing adventure in the great Andaman Sea. Duration of this activity is around 2-4 hours. Cruise along the sea and learn how to fish, right from scratch.
Where to stay in Swaraj Dweep(Havelock Island)
Tourist infrastructure in Havelock is the best among all the islands in the Andamans. You can find beach resorts at budget rates or more luxurious cottages at a premium cost. Prices range from INR 1000 a night for a budget stay, INR 3000 for mid-budget stays and INR 25,000 for luxurious stays. However, fares vary between peak and low depending on the tourist seasons. During peak season, prices can shoot up and the best places fill up fast. It is advisable to book ahead. Camping is not permitted on public land or beaches.
Low Budget: INR 500- 3000
Mid-range: INR 4000- 8000
Premium stays: INR 15000- 25000
List of some of the recommended places to stay in Havelock
- Taj Exotica: Located on the RadhaNagar Beach in Havelock, this place needs no introduction. Luxurious rooms with beautiful views and amazing restaurants in the property is the best way to pamper yourself.
- Barefoot at Radhanagar: Located right next to Radhanagar beach, Barefoot offers a luxurious jungle stay. They can also arrange all the activities for families and friends. This luxurious stay is priced around INR 10000-10500.
- Seashell resort: This beach facing paradise is designed keeping a high-end luxury traveller in mind. This resort offers a spa, infinity pool and candlelight dinners under the stars. This luxurious stay is priced around INR 9000
- Jalakara: This beautiful boutique hotel amidst rainforest of the Havelock island comes with a wide range of tastefully designed rooms and a beautiful villa with a pool. Making it one of the best places to stay in Havelock.
- Havelock Island Beach resort: Located a stone throw away from the beach, Havelock island beach resort is a beautiful place to unwind and relax. Accommodation falls in Mid-range budget pricing from INR 3000-5000.
- The flying elephant: Inspired by Indian culture and decor, this stay is inspired by Yoga and one can expect well-ventilated bamboo cottages, an open-air shower area and positive vibes. This yoga stay is priced around INR 3000-3500.
Here is a list of other stays which we also recommend.
- TSG Blue
- Silver sand beach resort
- Dolphin resort
- Wild Orchid beach resort
- Symphony palms beach resort
- Aparupa Sands Marina
Eat/Dine/NightLife in Havelock
Havelock provides various cuisines for the comfort of its guests from India and all over the world. From Indian cuisines with various dietary restrictions to scrumptious continental cuisine – nothing is amiss. And lest we forget, the seafood options are plenty and everywhere! Grilled fish is a must-have, especially at some local eateries in the market. For cheaper meals, some hotels will let you buy bread, which you can toast in their kitchens. You can even try simple vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis – cheap meals of plain rice, vegetables, dal(lentil soup) and meat at INR 150 – INR 200 per plate.
Best restaurants in Havelock
- Anju Coco: This place is very well known for its Barbeque. Try their big breakfast and grilled BBQ fish here right by the beautiful sea.
- Something different: This beautiful beachside cafe offers the best food with the best view. We highly recommend this place for a chill evening.
- Nemo cafe: A beachside cafe offering memorable candlelight dinners and beachside DJ parties. Head to this cafe for a fun-filled beachside evening.
- Shakahaar: This is one of the first and best pure vegetarian restaurant in Swaraj Dweep. The setup is pretty basic and service here is quick and is also budget-friendly.
- Bo No Va: This place has something for everyone. This a cafe and a pub which offers delicious seafood, dance floor and an evening DJ party inside the popular seashell resort.
- Golden Spoon: A small street-side joint, offers the best seafood in Swaraj Dweep. We recommend trying their grilled fish in Banana leaf.
- Venom Bar: This bar has a groovy jungle vibe located at symphony palms resorts. Best time of the day to visit this place is in the evening.
- Full moon cafe: This is a beach facing Bistro, one of the most recommended restaurants in Havelock. Great place to hang out with divers as its placed inside the Dive India property.
Here is a list of other places to eat in Havelock Island
- Fat Martin’s cafe
- Kathmandu Restaurant
- Squid restaurant
- Cafe Del Mar
Important info about Havelock Islands
Like the rest of the island in Andaman, the Indian Rupee is the currency used. Havelock has two ATM’s:
We recommend you carry cash to the islands
Communication and Internet
Phones on the BSNL network work best, but Airtel and Vodafone also have towers here. Many cafes offer WiFi facility, but it can be slow and expensive.
Hi-land Supermarket (Kunju’s supermarket) is the largest one-stop-shop at the market in Village No. 3. Basic supplies can be bought in the bazaar stores – do not forget your tube of insect and mosquito repellent. One can even buy a hammock in the bazaar, beach accessories, and artificial jewellery among others can be found in the souvenir shops.
Government-run Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) is located at the village No. 3, which has basic treatment facilities and a pharmacy. Special treatment and emergency cases are transferred to Port Blair Hospital.
Havelock is arguably one of the safest places in the whole of India. The Andaman and Nicobar Police(ANP) force is an efficient one maintaining a favourable law and order. Bribing an officer on duty is out of the question.
Please avoid swimming where the beaches are rocky
Please don’t take a flight the same day you dive.
Go2andaman strongly discourages the use of narcotics and drugs.
ANP Havelock number: 03192-282405
Fire Station Havelock: 03192-282400
Coastal Security helpline: 1093
Like elsewhere in India, knowing Hindi and English will get you by in Havelock. Some of the other languages spoken here are Bengali, Telugu, and Tamil.
All entry is to the island is reserved and made only through the DSS inter Island Port. (Is this all?)
Government-run Helicopter is available for emergencies and inter-island transportation. The preferences are for Medical emergency followed by other emergencies, VIP transportation, Local islanders transportation and the least preference for general tourists
Cost in Havelock Island(Swaraj Dweep)
There are 4 main costs that one incurs in Havelock:
Basic accommodation costs around Rs.1000 per night.
Mid Range accommodation costs around Rs.3000
Premium accommodation can cost anywhere between Rs.15000-30000.
Car transfers for a six-seater can cost up to INR 400 for a drop from the jetty to Beach No. 5 and auto-rickshaws charge about INR 100 for the same. You can also scooter at about 500 per day. Bicycle rentals are cheapest at INR 100 to 150 per day. here
A Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) costs about INR 3,500 and a kayak trip about 2,500. If you are the adventurous kind, we suggest keeping aside a cost of at least INR 5,000 per person for activities in Havelock. here
Food in Havelock, though more expensive than Port Blair is still very affordable. A basic meal for 2 would cost around INR 400 and at a luxury resort about INR 1,400. A candlelight dinner for two costs about INR 5,000.
Thus a day in Havelock could cost anywhere between INR 2,500 to INR 10,000 per person.