Scuba Diving in the Andaman Islands

Scuba Diving in the Andaman Islands
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Scuba diving in the Andaman Islands
The Andaman archipelago is one of the best destinations in the world for scuba diving. It’s no wonder then that many scuba divers from India and across the world flock to the island to explore scuba diving or to at least test their diving skills. The islands offer an enchanting underwater experience full of deep waters and stunning coral reefs. Whether you are a seasoned scuba diver or a beginner looking to explore the world beneath the waves, the Andaman Islands provide an ideal setting for your diving adventures.

Why should you go for scuba diving in the Andaman Islands?

Biodiversity: One of the main attractions of scuba diving in the Andaman Islands is the incredible biodiversity found in its waters. The islands are home to over 500 species of coral, making it one of the most diverse coral ecosystems in the world. These coral reefs provide a vibrant and colourful backdrop for divers, with an array of hard and soft corals that create a vibrant underwater landscape.

Marine life: Diving in the Andaman Islands offers the opportunity to encounter a wide variety of marine life. From graceful manta rays gliding through the water to playful dolphins and majestic sea turtles, the islands are teeming with fascinating creatures and you can see it all if you go for Scuba diving in the Andaman Islands. Divers can also spot a plethora of tropical fish species, such as angelfish, butterflyfish, and parrotfish, as they navigate through the coral gardens. If you're lucky, you might even come across some larger inhabitants of the deep, including reef sharks and barracudas.

Perfect underwater temperature: The warm waters surrounding the Andaman Islands make diving a comfortable and enjoyable experience. With water temperatures ranging from 27 to 30 degrees Celsius (80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year, divers can explore the underwater world without the need for thick wetsuits. Additionally, the excellent visibility in these crystal-clear waters often exceeds 30 meters (100 feet), allowing divers to fully appreciate the beauty and intricate details of the marine life and coral formations.

Best places to go for scuba diving in the Andaman Islands

There are many islands around the Andaman archipelago where you can explore scuba diving. Havelock and Neil Islands are two of the most famous islands that people flock to for scuba diving. 

Havelock Island: Havelock Island, the largest of the Andaman Islands, is a mecca for scuba diving enthusiasts. It is one of the top diving destinations in the Andaman Islands and boasts some of the best dive sites in the region. Here are some scuba diving sites in Havelock Island: 

  1. Barracuda City: Dive into the heart of excitement at Barracuda City, where schools of barracudas patrol the area. Be prepared to witness the awe-inspiring sight of these sleek and silvery predators gliding through the water.
  2. Dixon's Pinnacle: Explore the breathtaking Dixon's Pinnacle, a submerged pinnacle teeming with vibrant coral formations. Dive amidst the mesmerizing sea fans, soft corals, and hard corals as you encounter a myriad of colourful fish species.
  3. Jackson's Bar: Brace yourself for an adventure through underwater caves and swim-throughs at Jackson's Bar. This site offers thrilling dives amidst rocky outcrops, where you can spot intriguing marine life such as lionfish, groupers, and moray eels.
  4. The Aquarium: Dive into a kaleidoscope of colours at the Aquarium, a site that lives up to its name. Be prepared to be surrounded by an abundance of tropical fish, as well as vibrant coral formations that create an enchanting underwater spectacle.
  5. Lighthouse: Discover the wonders of Lighthouse, a site known for its magnificent hard coral gardens. Swim alongside schools of fish and keep an eye out for hawksbill turtles and reef sharks that occasionally grace these waters.


Neil Island: Known for its tranquil ambience and pristine beaches, Neil Island is a paradise for those seeking a more relaxed and secluded diving experience.

  1. Neil Cove: Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Neil Cove, where gentle sloping reefs provide a perfect backdrop for underwater exploration. Discover vibrant coral gardens and encounter a diverse range of marine species, including angelfish, butterflyfish, and turtles.
  2. Margherita's Mischief: Immerse yourself in the playful atmosphere of Margherita's Mischief. This site offers an up-close encounter with friendly creatures like playful dolphins, making for an unforgettable diving experience.
  3. Bus Stop: Step into the vibrant world of Bus Stop, a lively dive site known for its thriving marine life. Swim alongside schools of colourful fish, encounter octopuses, and marvel at the beauty of the coral reefs that adorn this site.

South Andaman: The southern part of the Andaman archipelago offers excellent diving opportunities, with sites known for their stunning coral reefs and impressive marine biodiversity.

  1. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Located near Port Blair, the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park encompasses several islands and offers an array of dive sites. Explore the underwater world around Jolly Buoy Island or Red Skin Island, where you can encounter vibrant corals and a variety of fish species.
  2. Chidiya Tapu: Dive into the waters of Chidiya Tapu and be greeted by an abundance of marine life. This site is known for its stunning coral formations, which attract diverse species such as surgeonfish, snappers, and sea turtles. If you are a beginner, you can try diving at the fish point or Parrot’s Back. Experienced scuba divers should explore Corruption Rock or The Wreck. 
  3. Snake Island: If you're up for an adventure, Snake Island is the place to be. This site offers exciting drift dives where you can observe marine life in its natural habitat. Keep an eye out for reef sharks, eagle rays, and other pelagic species that frequent these waters.

Barren Island: Located in the Andaman Sea, Barren Island is a captivating destination for scuba diving enthusiasts seeking an extraordinary underwater experience. What sets this island apart is its active volcano. The underwater landscape around Barren Island is awe-inspiring, with dramatic rock formations, volcanic slopes, and rugged terrain. The volcanic vents release gases, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. One of the highlights of scuba diving near Barren Island is encountering the majestic manta rays that inhabit these waters. 

Due to its remote location and the need for specialized guides and equipment, scuba diving in Barren Island is typically organised as part of a live-aboard trip or specialised dive expedition. These trips often include multiple dives over several days to fully explore the island's underwater treasures.

What is the cost of scuba diving in the Andaman Islands

The cost of scuba diving in the Andaman Islands can vary depending on several factors. The biggest factor is the course or certification you want to pursue. There is a difference between recreational and course-led diving also. Even non-swimmers can dive from some spots in the Andamans; however, you need to know how to swim to be able to get a PADI scuba certification. Here’s how much scuba diving certificate courses can cost you in the Andamans. 

  1.  PADI Open Water Diver Course: The PADI Open Water Diver course is the most popular entry-level certification for diving enthusiasts. It provides you with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to dive safely in open water environments. The course usually lasts for 4-5 days and includes theory sessions, confined water dives, and open water dives. In the Andaman Islands, the cost of the PADI Open Water Diver course ranges from approximately INR 29000-58000, depending on the dive centre and any additional services included. Premium courses usually cost higher; although, they offer extra dives and even personal training. 
  2. PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course: For those who have already obtained the Open Water Diver certification, the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is the next step. This course expands your diving knowledge and skills, allowing you to explore new underwater adventures and dive to greater depths. The course includes five adventure dives, including options such as deep diving, navigation, and underwater photography and may take you around 3 days to complete. The cost of the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course in the Andaman Islands ranges from approximately INR 24,500-INR 49,050.
  3. PADI Rescue Diver Course: The PADI Rescue Diver course is designed to enhance your diving skills and teach you how to prevent and manage diving emergencies. It focuses on building your confidence as a diver and developing your ability to assist others in need. The course includes theory sessions, practical exercises, and scenario-based rescue simulations. The cost of the PADI Rescue Diver course in the Andaman Islands typically ranges from approximately INR 24,500 to INR 34,500. 
  4. PADI Divemaster Course: If you're serious about pursuing a career in scuba diving, the PADI Divemaster course is the first professional level of training. It prepares you to work as a dive professional and supervise diving activities. The course involves an intensive program that includes theoretical knowledge, practical training, and practical application in real diving situations. The cost of the PADI Divemaster course in the Andaman Islands varies depending on the duration and specific requirements of the program. It typically ranges from approximately INR 30,000-85,000.

Dive Type

Cost (INR)

Duration (Days)

PADI Open Water Diver Course (Basic)



PADI Open Water Diver Course (Premium)


PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (Basic)



PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (Premium)



Open Water + Advanced Open Water Diver



PADI Rescue Diver



Emergency First Responder (EFR)



EFR + Rescue Diver



PADI Divemaster (course dives only)


Depends on the dive centre and course

PADI Assistant Instructor


Depends on the dive centre and course

Apart from the above, you can also try different short courses like PADI Discover Scuba Diving and PADI Scuba Diver course that you can get before you get the PADI Open Water Diver certification. You can also pursue some certifications to add value to your scuba skills or take some refresher courses if you have lost touch with scuba diving completely after getting a certification. 

Dive type

Cost (INR)

Duration (number of days)

PADI Discover Scuba Diving Shore dive (Compact Program/Mini DSD)



PADI Discover Scuba Diving Boat dive (Compact Program/Mini DSD)



PADI Discover Scuba Diving Shore dive



PADI Discover Scuba Diving Boat dive



Extra dive



PADI Scuba Diver Course 



Full Scuba Review (with 1 shore dive)



Lite Scuba Review (with 2 boat dives)




Snorkelling in the Andaman Islands
If diving into the depths of the ocean isn’t your cup of tea, don't worry! Snorkelling in the Andaman Islands offers a fantastic alternative to exploring the mesmerizing underwater world. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, snorkelling allows you to witness the beauty of the Andaman Islands from just below the surface.

One of the most popular snorkelling destinations is North Bay Island, often referred to as the “Coral Island”. Here, you can don your snorkel gear and immerse yourself in the calm, shallow waters to witness the vibrant coral formations and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Havelock Island is another snorkelling paradise, offering an array of stunning sites. Radhanagar Beach presents a picturesque setting where you can explore shallow coral reefs teeming with marine life. Neil Island, known for its tranquillity, offers snorkelling opportunities at Bharatpur Beach. The shallow lagoon-like waters here are perfect for snorkelers to discover colourful coral gardens and encounter a variety of fish species.

Cost of snorkelling in the Andaman Islands: 

Snorkelling type

Cost (INR)

Snorkelling excursion (2 sites, boat)


Snorkelling off the boat (1 site)


Snorkelling off the shore (1 site)



Best time to go for scuba diving in the Andaman Islands
The best time to scuba dive in the Andaman Islands is during the dry season, which typically extends from November to April. During this period, the weather is generally calm, with clear skies and excellent visibility underwater. The water temperature remains pleasant, ranging from 27°C to 30°C (80°F to 86°F), making it comfortable for divers. The monsoon season, from May to September, brings rough seas and reduced visibility, limiting diving opportunities. However, certain areas like Havelock Island and Neil Island may still offer diving options during the monsoon. You should check the weather conditions and consult with local dive operators before booking your scuba diving appointment.

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