We at Aqua Nomad believe this completely! Scuba diving is something that can offer you life-changing rewards. The first dive is the most special and unforgettable; no one can stop you after that. Diving is like meditation and once you have realized that, the oceans become a lot more in your life. The underwater world is like a paradise that promises to leave you spellbound with its hidden treasures. And that’s why diving is an extraordinary passion.
The Andaman Islands have world-class dive sites that offer incredible experiences, whether you are a beginner or an expert. Especially Havelock Island (now known as Swaraj Dweep officially) is one of the best locations across the island when it comes to scuba diving. The dive sites are easy to access and one can reach there between 10 minutes and 1 hour via boat. These spots vary depending on the topography and aquatic life.
For Aqua Nomad, the safety of scuba divers is of utmost importance and for that, our instructors adhere to the specified depth limits of diver certification. They also ensure that you have a lot of fun during your entire time under the water surface. Diving in the waters of the Andaman Islands that you should not miss for the world! It is breath-taking, magical, mystical, and everything else that gives you immense joy and absolute happiness. You will never forget the first breath that you will take under the water.
Dive sites in the Andaman Islands for everyone
There are some wonderful sites in Havelock Island that are perfect for beginners as well as experts. Here, you can witness even little critters in crystal-clear, shallow waters. Even deep divers enjoy diving in these sites. These reefs start from 10 feet and go down beyond 60 feet. Therefore, these are ideal for Open Water Divers and Advanced Open Water Divers both.
- The Slope- One of the best shallow dive sites, The Slope in the Andaman Islands is very much popular. Its topography is quite interesting. It is like an amphitheatre with parallel sandy ridges that are placed like cascading rows of seats sloping downwards. The ridges are interspersed every now and then with corals. The Slope is a large dive site and to see it fully, you need to dive more than one time. However, you can see a lot even without covering the whole extent of it. One can spot echinoderms (sea stars, cushion stars, brittle stars, sea cucumbers), molluscs, crustaceans, damselfish, fusiliers, cardinalfish, etc.
- The Wall- Suitable for all conditions and all diver levels, The Wall is a dive site for all seasons. It is located very close to Havelock Island and you can reach there in just 10-15 minutes by boat. It is one of the most popular dive sites across the island. Its topography is extraordinary and unlike any other dive site in the same vicinity. The ridge lies between 10-12 meters below the surface. It has coral rocks and sandy beds. One can witness here schooling, territorial or camouflaging reef fish, octopus, cuttlefish, squids, and a lot more. The Wall is perfect for your fun dive, open water dives, advanced open water dives, or a speciality dive.
- White House Rock- This dive site in the Andaman Islands is easy to access and has variable conditions. It is a circular reef that offers several vantage points. The depth ranges from 8 meters to 50 meters. The weather conditions and water currents here are ideal for scuba diving. There are hard as well soft corals such as gorgonian soft corals, fan corals, and branch-like whip corals in vibrant hues. One can easily spot large schools of tuna, trevally, and barracudas. You can always expect more here as the marine life here is simply awesome. That is why it is a sought-after diving site in the Andamans.
- Inchkeith Wreck- A wreck covered in scorpionfish, cleaner shrimp, and patches of soft corals, this diving site is quite popular among beginner divers in the Andaman Islands. SS Inchkeith was a cargo vessel that sank at the mouth of the inlet near Duncan Island in March 1955. It carried coal and timber, and struck a rock. It is a sought-after dive site and has low visibility. Thus, scuba divers feel an air of mystery around the wreck. One can see the huge propellor at the stern that sits upright in 60 feet of water. Great barracuda sometimes emerge from the shadows.
- Pilot Reef- Recommended for all divers, this is a long strip of the underwater canyon, which is nearly 24 meters deep. Pilot Reef is known for having abundant hard corals along with unique fish such as leopard and whitetip sharks among others. When you are diving here, look in all the tiny caves and crevices for hidden surprises– lobsters, giant and white-eyed moray eels, sweepers, soldierfish, the orange-spine unicornfish, longnose butterflyfish, trumpetfish, scorpionfish, flatheads, stonefish, and the infrequent resting shark. As you can see, the marine life at this dive site is super-cool. Scuba diving here is an experience to remember!
Dive sites in the Andaman Islands for advanced divers
Take a boat ride, jump into the ocean, and descend to the deeper depths–this is what the following dive sites are all about. And what you will see under the water is a world straight out of a fairy tale. There are some locations that are challenging and thus, more suitable for experienced scuba divers. However, you should know that the challenging conditions offer ethereal beauty as well as mind-boggling experiences in the marine world.
- Broken Ledge- Discovered in 2010, this dive site has relatively low depths and sheltered conditions. As a result, it is sought-after among scuba divers having different experience levels. It is made up of low-lying rocky outcrops resembling a broken ledge. It emerges from the bottom at nearly 24 meters. The ledge is surrounded by sand. The site is inhabited by a diverse variety of reef fish such as Moorish idols, lionfish, Napoleon wrasse, and shoals of snappers. Other in-house residents include turtles, schooling longfin bannerfish, and marbled groupers. One can also spot bigger fish like white tip reef sharks, marbled rays, manta rays, dogtooth, and yellowfin tunas here.
- Minerva Ledge- It is an enormous block of hard corals in clear waters, with sea dwellers including sharks. This large shallow ledge of multi-hued corals and rocks is located northeast of Havelock Island. This site is so vast that you cannot explore it in a single dive. A wide range of corals and almost all types of native reef fish can be spotted here. The colourful panorama here comprises big schools of fusilier, unicornfish, snappers, surgeonfish, barracuda, and trevally. Under rocky outcrops, you can see infrequent moray eel and giant groupers seeking shelter. Minerva Ledge tapers down into deeper waters towards the east.
- Johnny’s Gorge- This site was named after Johnny, a local dive master, who discovered it. The topography of this dive site in the Andaman Islands comprises low-lying rocky outcrops at a depth of 98 feet. The sea bed is dotted by gorgonians and multicoloured soft corals. Bustling with life and activity, it is surrounded by sands from everywhere. A variety of small angelfish, anemone and surgeonfish take refuge at the rocks of Johnny’s Gorge. One can spot magnificent schools of mackerel, trevally, snapper, Andaman sweetlips, barracuda, giant groupers, batfish, tuna, queenfish, unicorn fish, and so much more here. And if you are lucky, friendly dolphins may also greet you.
- Dixon’s Pinnacle- Dixon’s Pinnacle comprise 3 giant rock pinnacles emerging from a dim bottom. A local instructor discovered it and the site was named after him. A happening place, it is popular for its rich and colourful marine life. Continuous frenetic activity can be seen at the top of the pinnacles as it is a cleaning station for giant groupers. One can spot clouds of barracuda waiting for their turn. White-tip reef sharks can also be seen there. Other inhabitants consist of large Napoleon wrasse, titan triggerfish, moray eels, shrimps, tunas, green turtles, red-toothed triggerfish, manta ray, trevally, lionfish, sting rays and batfish.
- Jackson’s Bar- A horizontal rocky reef, Jackson’s Bar is good for spotting manta rays, eagle rays, and white-tip reef sharks. It is in the form of a shelf. Sloping down towards the sandy area from 20 meters, it reaches 30 meters to meet the bottom from where a big strip of rock protrudes. This dive site is home to plentiful barrel sponges and a variety of spectacular soft corals. The brother of legendary Johnny, Jackson, discovered this site. That’s how this site got its name. The area is mostly populated by large pelagic fish. This is because of the location of this site and the strong currents flowing over it.
Dive sites in the Andaman Islands for Open Water Divers
If you are a newly certified diver, who is seeking more scuba diving experience in favourable conditions, then these dive sites in the Andamans are the best. A myriad of marine life can be seen at these shallow sites. Therefore, whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you are sure to get amazed. And if you are an underwater photographer, then the calmer underwater conditions present here are ideal for you.
- Nemo Reef- It is a shore entry site having shallow water that opens into a swimming pool-like setup. The reef has white sand and a baby reef. Nemo Reef is a protected bay area having little to no current as well as good visibility. Extremely favourable dive conditions are offered at this shallow coral reef. First-timers can learn a lot here. As a result, this location is a good choice for a Try or Discover Scuba Dive experience as well as for confined water training. Native reef fish like angelfish, anemonefish, parrotfish, damselfish, and butterflyfish can be seen here.
- Red Lighthouse- This dive site is a shallow reef that is part of the continuous fringing reef running along the north-eastern coast of Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep). If you want to witness the perfect balance of vibrant fish and soft & hard corals, then this is your one-stop destination. Clownfish, tiger fish, angelfish, along with so many other colourful fish can be spotted in its clear waters. The underwater world of Havelock Island is considered the best in the country, and that’s why it would be absolutely great if you could have your first dive here.
- Oval Reef- This dive site in the Andaman Islands comprises patches of the reef surrounding a large central reef that is oval. For snorkelers and beginner scuba divers, this site is pretty good as the shallowest point is just 3 meters. The sand surrounding Oval Reef is at a maximum depth of 14-15 metres. The highlight of this site is barracudas.
- Turtle Beach- As evident from the name, Turtle Beach has plenty of sea turtles. Moreover, you can also spot corals and Rays in abundance here. This spot is perfect for you if you are a true lover of natural marine life. The depth of water doesn’t exceed fourteen meters, thus making it a decent destination for inexperienced divers. Overall, you can definitely pick this spot for your first diving experience.
- Aquarium- Promising a lot to beginners, this spot is a bit offshore at a distance of three kilometres from Elephant Beach. It houses fringing reefs that are crowded with large groups of colourful fishes. You can see hard corals here in its clear water which is perfect for a good view of marine life.
Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) in the Andaman Islands promises an extraordinary diving experience for certified divers as well as beginners. Thanks to the preserved marine life and alive corals around the shore and beyond. The shoreline of the island offers crystal clear, blue waters. Its rich population of corals is sure to take away your breath! The medium water currents and safe depth offer an optimal underwater adventure. To tick a memorable underwater experience off your bucket list, choose Havelock Island as your next travel destination. The corals are well-preserved and in abundance here. The waters are clear enough for an excellent view of the underwater world.