The remote, secluded Andaman Islands offer breathtaking snorkeling and diving with views of turtles, eels, Octopus and schools of vibrant, diverse tropical fish. This diving and snorkeling paradise will make you want to stay forever!
Best Spots for Snorkeling in Andamans
There are many different spots for diving and snorkeling in Andamans, but here are the top spots.
The best spot for snorkeling in Andaman Islands Archipelago is Elephant Beach. The beach is about a 40-minute boat ride from shore, but worth it for the calm, clear shallows it offers. The reef is just offshore at a depth of around 1 meter. It is comprised of mostly hard corals, but has plenty of marine life. Snorkeling Elephant Beach you can see Morray Eels, Squid, Starfish, Clams and tropical fish, such as Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Wrasse and Parrotfish. After spending some time snorkeling, Elephant Beach is a great spot to just enjoy the white sand and relax for a day.
The Lighthouse is another great hard coral reef located by the Lighthouse of Havelock. There is no beach here, so you will need to rent or charter a boat and put your gear on before entering the water. The shallow reef lying at the base of the lighthouse offers a variety of marine life, such as Sweetlips, Snappers, Humphead Parrot Fish, and Lion Fish. Lucky snorkelers may even catch a glimpse of turtles or a stingray, which occasionally frequent the area.
South Button is the best snorkeling site of Havelock Island and is located about an hour and forty minutes from the shore by boat. The eastern side of the beautiful Islet has a fantastic coral garden and diverse marine life that is suitable for snorkelers of any expertise level. There is no beach inlet so you will again gear up on the boat. The reef here starts at around a meter and provides rocky cliffs and cracks that enhance the beauty. South Button is home to surgeonfish, schools of Snapper, Barracudas, Parrotfish, Angelfish and even Crocodile fish. There are also devil and manta rays playing in the shallow water, as well as Octopuses and shrimp.
Tamarind Camp is located off the Henry Lawrence beach. The wall reef provides for great snorkeling at a variety of depths. There is plenty of coral along the surface, but at 15-20 meters of depth, you can see small wedges made entirely of coral that stretch up to the surface. Keep an eye out for snakes in the little cracks and crevices! When the full moon approaches, you can also occasionally hear the Humphead Parrotfish munching on the coral. On a normal day, you can see Lion Fish, schools of Cardinal fish, and many other tropical fish.
Conditions for Snorkeling in Andamans
December through April is the prime time to visit the islands. You will experience beautiful sunny days and great water conditions. An average temperature around +25C (77F) and water temperatures ranging from +26 to +30C (79 to 86F) will provide for fantastic snorkeling. Water visibility ranges from 5 to 40 meters (16 to 131 feet), and is best during the months of February, March and April. It is also turtle nesting season from December to March, so you might catch an amazing experience!
How to Get to Andaman Islands
Andaman is an archipelago of islands that while accessible by boat, is not worth the horror three to four-day ride filled with choppy seas and swarms of cockroaches. Your best bet is to take a daily flight from Delhi, Chennai or Kolkata to Port Blair, which is the capital of the Andaman Islands. Round trip tickets from these areas usually run between US$200 and US$600, depending on which airline you book from which airport and how early you make the reservation.
Visiting Andaman Islands for snorkeling is not an experience that you will soon forget. A wide variety of sea life and the beautiful, lush tropical scenery will keep you wanting to come back for more.