INTRODUCTION TO HAVELOCK ISLAND
Think of white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and some of the best diving in the continent, Havelock has a 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!
HAVELOCK ISLAND AT A GLANCE
- Thanks to the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, Havelock is the most visited island in the Andaman Archipelago.
- The best Scuba Diving resorts in the Andaman Islands are based here
- A relaxing atmosphere with a laid-back vibe is what the island has to offer. Cafes, resorts (both bamboo huts and luxury hotels), and dive centers line the beaches.
- A wide range of activities like Sea Walk, Snorkeling, Diving, water sports, Game fishing, jungle trekking and kayaking are available here
- Only 2 hours away from Port Blair (by boat).
- Best for all budgets. One can opt for small beach huts ranging between INR 500-800 per night to luxury cottages and villas that range from INR 9,000 to 25,000 per night. Mid-budget accommodations are also available.
- Radhanagar Beach: A white sandy beach shaded by tall green trees; was voted as one of the best beaches in Asia by Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet, and Time Magazine, among many others. It is also the sunset point of the island.
- Elephant Beach: is a shallow water haven for snorkelers. All thanks to an impressing 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 forest. Water sports are also conducted at this beach.
- Kalapathar Beach: the name suggests is a shallow water rocky beach and can be reached by road. A beautiful scenic drive takes you to one of the best sunrise points in the Andaman Islands.
- Bioluminescence in the Mangroves: Take a kayak tour and get out into the mangroves on a moonless night and witness this nature’s magic. A highly recommend experience in Havelock which is only possible on certain days in a month.
Havelock mainly has three main seasons: summer, winter, and monsoon. Owing to its location in the Bay of Bengal, it experiences heavy winds during the monsoon and a tropical climate otherwise. Early November until mid-May sees the best weather in the 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.
Island 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 favorable law and and order. Bribing an officer on duty is out of question.
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, Telgu, 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.
HOW TO REACH HAVELOCK
Havelock Island can only be reached by sea. Government and private ferries operate from neighboring islands and connect Havelock to the rest of the world.
M.V. Makruzz – a popular private ferry connects Port Blair, Havelock and Neil Island. here
Green Ocean – a popular private ferry that connects Port Blair with Havelock. here
You can read more about Ferry Services in the Andaman Islands here.
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 counter.
If you are not an Indian citizen, make sure you are carrying your Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to each of these booking counters, without which booking will not be allowed.
Getting around Havelock is fairly simple. Roads are narrow 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.
The easiest way to move around is by renting a scooter. You can hire them on a daily basis at approximately INR 400 per day. Fuel Stations shuts by 5 pm. Auto rickshaws are also available and cost around INR 50 to 200 depending on where you have to go. You can even try to negotiate with an auto driver to take you to far-off Radhanagar for about INR 500.
HOW LONG TO STAY IN HAVELOCK?
A vacation to Andaman is incomplete without a visit to the Havelock Island. A must-see and a part of most travel itineraries, the place is known for the magnificent Radhanagar Beach and the islands chilled café culture. Keeping this in mind, many stay for one night in Havelock. However the island is also the hub for adventure water activities like scuba diving and kayaking – we thus suggest a minimum of a two-night stay at Havelock and a comfortable three nights too if time permits. You can explore the beaches one day and try a few water sports on others.
A suggested itinerary would be:
- Day 1: Take a morning ferry to Havelock. Visit the Radhanagar Beach in the evening
- Day 2: Try Scuba Diving and Kayaking
- Day 3: Trek to Elephant Beach and try snorkeling
- Day 4: Return back to Port Blair or go to Neil Island
WHAT WILL IT COST IN HAVELOCK ISLAND?
There are 4 main costs that one incurs in Havelock:
Starts from INR 700 per night and goes all the way up to INR 25,000 per night. A good luxury accommodation will cost around INR 9,000 and up. While a good backpacking basic shack will cost around INR 1000 per day. here
Car transfers for a six-seater can cost up to INR 400 for a drop from the jetty to Beach No. 5 and autorickshaws 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 keep 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 candle light dinner for two costs about INR 5,000.
WHAT TO SEE IN HAVELOCK
Havelock is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and a variety of water sports that it has to offer. Laze around on sandy shore or go diving at exclusive sites; kayak your way through dense mangroves or go game fishing in the Andaman Sea – Havelock is nothing short of a delight.
Following are the prominent sites of Havelock
Radhanagar Beach or Beach No. 7
Govindnagar Beach or Beach No. 1
Nemo Beach or Beach no 2
Vijaynagar Beach or Beach No. 5
THINGS TO DO IN HAVELOCK
All thanks to the variety of activity 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 things to do in Havelock Island:
WHERE TO STAY IN HAVELOCK
Tourist infrastructure in Havelock is the best among all the islands in the Andaman archipelago. You can find beach resorts at budget rates or more luxurious cottages at a premium cost. Prices range from INR 500 a night to INR 25,000. However, fares vary between peak and low depending on the tourist seasons. During peak season, prices can double and the best places fill up fast. It is advisable to book ahead. Camping is not permitted on public land or beaches and, only a few places allow travellers to pitch a tent or hammock on their land (for a fee).
Related Links- Stay in Havelock
WHERE TO EAT IN HAVELOCK
Havelock provides various cuisines for the comfort of its guests from all over the world. From Italian pizzas and pastas, to Thai curries, Nepali dumplings, delicious Indian cuisine and American pancakes – 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, lentil soup and meat at INR 150 – INR 200 per plate.