Scuba Diving in Andamans: Best Time, Dive Sites, Cost

The clear waters of Andaman island host incredible marine life and state-of-the-art equipment and expertise. Over the years, scuba diving in the Andaman Islands has seen tourists flocking from different parts of the world, and this tradition never ceases to provide anything short of an awestruck experience. Indonesia, Micronesia, Cayman Islands, are some of the internationally acclaimed sites for scuba diving sites, however, being a little heavy on the pocket which is where scuba diving in Andamans is a more preferred option.  Here are more insights on the same.  

Top 13 Dive Sites in Andamans

Wikipedia

According to Barefoot Scuba divemaster Steve Barreto, there are 25 dive sites within Havelock. Please note that, non-certified divers can only go up to 12 metres in Andaman and have to be accompanied by a certified diver

A. Scuba Diving in Havelock Islands

Havelock Island is the most ideal place in South Andaman where you can go diving. You can reach here from Port Blair in a catamaran ferry that takes 90 min, or also in government ferries that take 2.5 hours. 

Diving Charges: The diving starts at 1500 for a shore dive and PADI's one day course costs around INR 4500 (You can take one dive under the course and do the remaining course of 3 more dives anywhere within one year to complete the certification)
Charges for a boat: If they take you on a boat for dive, it costs around INR 5500

1. Night Diving at Lighthouse
Night Diving
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Night Diving at Lighthouse is known to be one of the most thrilling experiences in Andaman. Although it is known for diving by PADI/ SSI certified divers, but it is considered ideal for all. Among the various underwater beings that you can encounter, the most common ones are Humpback Parrot Fish, Lobsters, Lionfish, Octopus, Fusiliers and more.
Depth: 6 - 18 metres
Suitable for: All
2. Easy Peasy at Aquarium
Aquarium
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The aquarium is shallow water, a low current spot which is mostly strewn about with hard corals. Mostly frequented by beginners, the spot is equally popular.
Depth: 10 - 12 metres
Suitable for: Beginners
3. Spot the Dugongs at Mac Point
Mac Point
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Dugong is an underwater animal that is mostly found in Australia and Eastern America. But you can spot this rare creature here in Andaman at the Mac Point.
Depth: 10 - 14 metres
Suitable for: All
4. Swim with the Sea Turtles at Barracuda City
Sea Turtles
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Barracuda is one of the most unexplored diving spots in the Andaman. Here you can spot the sea turtles and swim amidst the colourful corals and vibrant fish. Some of the common creatures include Blue-spotted stingrays, Coralfish, Surgeonfish and more.
Depth: 25 - 30 metres
Suitable for: Intermediates and Experts
5. Dive up to the Staghorn Corals at Seduction Point
Staghorn Corals
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Seduction Point is one of the most popular diving points in Andaman. It is basically a huge rock that has several sea organisms and staghorn corals attached to it. A lot of people come here to see this rock.

B. Scuba Diving in Neil Island

Neil Island is one of the most beautiful and tranquil places in Andaman. The tiny island can be completely explored in two hours long stroll along the coastline. Other than abundant natural beauty on land, it also boasts of flourishing underwater sea life. Neil Island is known for spotting Dugong. You can reach here in an early morning boat from Port Blair. Among the top organizers are India Scuba Explorers.

1. Enjoy the underwater vibrance at Margherita’s Mischief
Underwater
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Margherita’s Mischief is ironically one of the quietest diving spots in Neil Island that has a smooth and soft current. Boasting of crystal clear water, the most common creatures here are Batfish, Pufferfish, Blue-spotted stingrays, Yellow Snappers, Angelfish, Soldierfish and more.
Depth: 7 - 16 metres
Suitable for: All
2. Explore the Volcanic Rock at K Rock
Underwater Diving
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Contrary to its name, K Rock is also one of the low current and safe place to dive at. The volcanic rock lies on the seabed and the most common fish to be found here are Butterflyfish, Snappers, Soldierfish, Sweetlips and more.
Depth: 12 - 19 metres
Suitable for: All
3. Sloping Seabed at Bus Stop
Underwater
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Located on the Western end of Neil Islands, Bus Stop has some of the best underwater wildlife and also the most colourful. It has a sandy bottom and is sprinkled with tiny reefs.
Depth: 14 - 20 metres
Suitable for: All
4. Get Adventurous at Junction
Underwater
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Junction is situated at the junction between Neil Island and Havelock Island and is known for an adventurous diving spot. Especially visited by the experts, the common fish that can be spotted here include Marlin, Lionfish, Reef Sharks, Trevally and Barracudas etc.
Depth: 22 - 30 metres
Suitable for: All

C. Scuba Diving in Port Blair

Port Blair is the most convenient and the most common diving spot in Andaman as most tourists tend to stay here and the airport is also situated here. Among popular organizers are Dive Manta and Sinclairs Bayview Hotel etc.

1. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
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Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is one of a kind national park where you can experience scuba diving. Here you can encounter beautiful livid corals and flowers other than regular fish. One other tiny is Jolly Buoy which is also situated within the premises of the park. In case you don’t want to dive, you can also enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride here.

D. Other Spots

There are also other spots scattered here and there where you can try scuba diving. Have a look:

1. North Island, Cinque Island
Underwater
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Cinque Island is the most sought after place in Andaman that can only be visited on chartered boats. Other than corals and fish, you can also find varied sponges here. What’s more? You can also find sharks and black corals here.

2. Bala Reef, Little Andaman
Underwater
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A kaleidoscope of colours and vibrant sea life, Bala Reef is a popular diving spot that is located on Little Andaman. Here you can discover varied corals and other mesmerising creatures. You can reach here in ferries from Phoenix Bay and Haddo Wharf in Port Blair.

3. Corruption Rock
Underwater
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Boasting of a plethora of canyons, gullies, channels, ridges, fish and corals, Corruption Point is situated on Rutland Island and Chidiya Tapu. Here you can also spot dolphins, tuna and shipwrecks.

Cost of Scuba Diving in Andaman

Havelock Island: the diving starts at 1500 for a shore dive and PADI's one day course costs around INR 4500 (You can take one dive under the course and do the remaining course of 3 more dives anywhere within one year to complete the certification)
If they take you on a boat for dive, it costs around INR 5500
Neil Island: Known for the chances of spotting (Dugong)
North Bay: Scuba in North Bay also costs around INR 4000
(Scuba doesn't happen at Ross Island)

Scuba Diving in Andamans for non-certified amateurs begins at INR 1500 per dive. Shore dives in Havelock around Nemo Reef is the most popular. You can also opt for Discover Scuba dive which gives you a certificate and is counted as the first dive if you plan to pursue a PADI certification in the next year.

It requires 4 to 5 successful open dives to get a certification, and the cost estimates are between INR 18.000 – INR 28,000. For those who want to get your scuba diving gear, you will shell out over INR 70,000 which includes BCD, dive computer and scuba regulator; of which the quality of the regulator ensures a safe and unforgettable memory. Other accessories are wetsuits, watches, dive bags, mask, snorkel and fins.

Best Dive Schools in Andamans

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), Scuba Schools International (SSI)  are some of the internationally acclaimed diving institutions. Their certifications vary as follows depending on the level of difficulty - Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster, Adaptive Support Diver, Adventure Diver. SSI and PADI are the recognised schools for diving in Andamans.  Most of them are in Havelock Island. The smaller diving schools tutor shallow dives that are perfect for novice divers.

 

Here are some Diving Schools in Andamans that will help you in your underwater endeavours here: 
1. Barefoot Scuba
Address: Beach No.3, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744211
Phone: 09566088560
Timings: 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM

2. DIVEIndia Scuba & Resorts Pvt. Ltd
Address: Havelock Island, Andamans, SH5, 744211Timings: 6:45 AM – 7:00 PM
Phone: 080011 22205

3. Best Scuba Diving in Andaman India-Scubalov.in Dive Resort 
Address: Sea Shell Resort, Beach # 2, Govind Nagar, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744211
Timings: 6:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Phone: 095319 45340

4. Ocean Dive Centre
Address: SH4, Havelock, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744211
Timings: 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Phone: 094742 99413

There are 3 phases of learning:

Phase 1: Being knowledge development - Underwater signals and other diving procedures
Phase 2: Confined water dives - Setting up the scuba gear, entering and exiting the water, buoyancy control, primary underwater navigation
Phase 3: Open Water Dives - four jumps, usually over two days with the instructor.

Best Time For Scuba Diving in Andamans


January - May presents an ideal scuba diving scenario. The waters are warm, tides are low, and the marina has colourful planktons. The temperatures range between 24°C and 37°C. June – August sees short yet a sudden downpour and ideally not the best time for scuba diving. The climate is humid with precipitation. During September – November the shore has beautiful corals lined up powered by strong winds, which is not the best time as the winds cause the seas to rage. Overall, the waters are all, and the cluster of beaches add to the majesty.

Scuba Diving in Andaman is an enriching activity. It relaxes sore muscles and gives an adrenaline rush to the tired work souls. Andamans is the best place to encounter this experience without burning a hole in your pocket. With swimming as the base for diving, Andaman offers expertise from professionals and fetches you a diving certification that is internationally accredited and has life long validity. Come to this Indian Archipelago for a phenomenal holiday!

This post was published by Prithika Maria

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