3-Day Havelock Island Trip Itinerary

If you plan to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a vacation, Havelock Island is a must-see. 

However, you won’t want to waste time since you could waste money. It’s definitely not the cheapest place in India.  

I enjoyed a short trip to Havelock and learned what to do and what to skip. That’s why I’ll show you how to plan an epic 3-day trip to see the hotspots and not stress yourself out. Plus, I’ll cover places to stay, restaurants, how to get around, how to reach Havelock, and short trips you can take.

Planning a trip to India at some point? Check out my free ebook to help you save time and money, and avoid headaches. After +4 years in India, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and this guide shares what I’ve learned so you can have a smoother trip.

The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary for Havelock Island

Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island taken by Ben Jenks

Day 1

  • Morning: Arrive at Havelock Island and head to your hotel.
  • Afternoon: Head to Radhanagar Beach for a swim when it’s not too crowded.
  • Evening: Head back to Radhangar Beach to take sunset pics. Then have a relaxed, delicious meal at the Full Moon Cafe

Day 2

  • Morning: Book a scuba diving session to explore the vibrant coral reefs Havelock is famous for. Beginners and experienced divers alike can enjoy the rich underwater life.
  • Afternoon: After diving, head to Elephant Beach for a snorkeling adventure. The beach is accessible by boat, and the ride offers picturesque views.
  • Evening: Return to your accommodation and relax. Then get a luxury spa treatment at the Barefoot at Havelock or a more budget-friendly option at My Ayurveda Massage & Spa, which is a perfect way to unwind after an active beach day. Finally, head to Nemo Cafe for a fun night of music and dancing. 

Day 3

  • Morning: Spend a leisurely morning at Kala Pathar Beach to watch the sunrise. Vijaynagar Beach is also close and serene for long walks and peaceful relaxation. 
  • Afternoon: Experience kayaking through Havelock’s dense mangrove forests. This eco-friendly activity offers a unique perspective of the island’s lush flora and fauna.
  • Evening: Conclude your Havelock visit with a fine dinner at Something Different by the beach. Enjoy the local cuisine and reflect on the unforgettable experiences of the past three days.

If you’re traveling solo, check out other great destinations that are perfect for solitude or meeting people.

Places To Visit on Havelock Island

Swim at Radhanagar Beach & Take Sunset Pics 

Heading to Radhanagar Beach for a swim around midday is smart if you’re not keen on sharing the beach with too many folks. However, the sun will be strong so you’ll have about an hour to enjoy before it gets too much. 

I suggest heading north (to the left if facing the water) towards the point. If you walk for 5 to 10 minutes past the Taj Exotica Hotel’s private beach, you should find yourself alone on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Not a bad start!

You’ll only have about an hour to swim before it’s too hot, but then I suggest trying some delicious seafood before coming back for sunset for those Insta-worthy shots. 

Now, it’ll be packed with people, so again, head left (north) and walk until it gets less crowded. The point behind you will make a solid backdrop. 

Pro Tip: There’s a booth with photographers near the beach who will make sure you get the shot. They know all the right spots and angles to get photos you’ll never forget. 

Morjim was my favorite beach in Goa, so if you like beaches, you’ll want to check out the full travel guide.

Scuba Diving From a Boat or Shore

Havelock Island is the best place in India to scuba dive because the water is very clear. Thanks to minimal pollution, these spots are known for their healthy reefs, teeming with marine life.

You have two types of dives to consider: Shore dive or boat dive. 

  • A shore dive at Nemo Reef is faster, and for those who aren’t quite sure about this, you don’t need to know how to swim. It takes less than two hours. 
  • A boat dive is at Tribe Gate or the Lighthouse and is the better option for those who want to see colorful reefs and fish. 

There are 5-6 reputable dive centers, like Seahawks Scuba and Barefoot Scuba, and the experience should take less than 3 hours. If you haven’t gone scuba diving, this is the place to do it. You won’t regret it as you see fish up close, and I think it feels like I’m flying. 

Key Points:

  • No swimming skills required; you must be over 10 years old.
  • Training and boarding point: Nemo Beach.
  • Includes: Personal PADI licensed diver and photographer.
  • Health requirements: No recent major surgery, heart issues, blood pressure problems, or sinus conditions.

Diving Spot Details:

  • Depth: 12m, suitable for beginners and semi-pros.
  • Reef Locations: Tribe Gate, Lighthouse, The Wreck.
  • Type: Boat Dive.

Session Duration:

  • Training: 20-30 minutes.
  • Sailing: 15+15 minutes to/from the dive spots.
  • Underwater Time: 40-45 minutes.
  • Total Time: Approximately 3 hours.

Best Time Slots for Diving:

  • Early Morning: 6:00 am – 9:00 am.
  • Morning: 8:00 am – 11:00 am.
  • Before Noon: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

You can also scuba dive in Pondicherry and here are more things to do on a one-day trip.

Snorkeling and Eco-Sports At Elephant Beach

Elephant Beach, located on the stunning Havelock Island, is a hub for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, the beach offers a plethora of activities:

  • Snorkeling: With shallow waters and rich marine life, snorkeling is a top activity here, suitable for all ages.
  • Sea Walking: Experience the underwater world without the need for scuba diving training.
  • Jet Skiing: For those seeking a thrill, jet skiing offers an adrenaline-pumping ride on the waves.
  • Banana Boat Rides: A fun group activity that’s sure to evoke laughter and excitement.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Rides: Explore the coral reef without getting wet, perfect for families with small children or non-swimmers.
  • Kayaking: Paddle through the calm waters at your own pace, exploring the coastline and its natural beauty.

Getting to Elephant Beach

  • By Boat: The most popular way to reach Elephant Beach is by speedboat from Havelock Island’s main jetty. The ride takes about 20 minutes and offers stunning views along the way. Boat tickets can vary, but expect to pay around INR 950-1050 per person for a round trip. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak season.
  • By Trek: For the more adventurous, a trek through the island’s dense forest is an alternative way to reach Elephant Beach. The hike takes about 30-40 minutes and is‌ moderately difficult. It’s a scenic route, offering a closer look at the island’s flora and fauna. The path starts from a point close to the main road, but do be aware that you’ll be walking through some water depending on tides so don’t wear your nice shoes.

While Elephant Beach is a must-visit for its activities and natural beauty, it’s worth noting that it can become quite crowded, especially in the afternoons. The various activities attract many visitors, which might detract from a peaceful beach experience. 

To avoid the crowds and enjoy a more serene setting, aim to visit in the morning, just as I did. This timing allows for a quieter experience, letting you fully appreciate the beauty and tranquility of Elephant Beach before many tourists arrive.

Here are more of the best off-the-beaten path destinations to relax and chill out in India.

Sunrise at Kala Pathar Beach & Vijaynagar Beach

Havelock Trip Itinerary Kalapather Beach Sign and road taken by Ben Jenks

The Andaman Islands are famed for their stunning sunrises, and two spots that stand out are Kala Pathar Beach and Vijaynagar Beach on Havelock Island. These beaches offer tranquil settings for witnessing the dawn in a spectacular display of colors.

The serene ambiance at both Kala Pathar and Vijaynagar Beach, especially during sunrise, is unmatched. As the first rays of the sun hit the horizon, the sky turns into a canvas of vibrant hues, from soft pinks to fiery oranges, reflecting over the clear waters and creating a mesmerizing scene. The peacefulness of these moments, with the gentle sound of the waves and the absence of crowds, makes for a profoundly soulful experience.

Both beaches are easily accessible by road from the main areas of Havelock Island. Renting a scooter or a bicycle is the best way to get there, offering the flexibility to arrive early in the morning and explore the surrounding areas at your own pace. For those who prefer not to drive, auto-rickshaws are available, but be sure to arrange the night before to ensure an early start.

Kayaking through Mangroves

Havelock Island offers an enchanting kayaking experience through its dense mangrove forests, a serene journey that combines adventure with the tranquility of nature. Gliding silently through the narrow creeks, surrounded by lush greenery, you’ll witness the mangroves’ unique ecosystem, home to various birds and aquatic life.

Improving Your Kayaking Experience

  • Timing is Key: Opt for an early morning or late afternoon slot when the weather is cooler and the wildlife is more active. These times also offer softer light for photography.
  • Silence Enhances Observations: Paddle gently and keep noise to a minimum to not disturb the wildlife. This allows for closer observations and a more immersive experience.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: Lightweight, long-sleeved clothing protects you from the sun and insects while keeping you cool.
  • Sun Protection: Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect against the intense sun, even in the shade of the mangroves.

Booking Your Kayaking Adventure

For those looking to book a kayaking tour on a budget, here are some strategies:

  • Direct Bookings: Contacting local operators directly once you arrive at Havelock Island can often result in better deals than pre-booking online. Many small operators don’t list their services on large platforms, so you might find hidden gems at a lower cost.
  • Negotiate: You can negotiate the price in person, especially if you’re booking for a larger group or multiple activities.
  • Pre-Booking on Viator: While pre-booking on platforms like Viator guarantees your spot and provides reviews to gauge the quality of the tour, it can be more expensive due to added fees and less room for negotiation. If you prefer the assurance of pre-booking, look for offers with free cancellation to keep your options open.

Spa Treatments and Ayurvedic Massages

Havelock Trip Itinerary Massage place taken by Ben Jenks

Havelock Island isn’t just about sun, sea, and sand; it’s also a place where you can indulge in serious relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly massage to ease those kayaking muscles or a full-on luxury spa day, Havelock has you covered.

Budget-Friendly Options

For those looking to unwind without breaking the bank, many guesthouses and smaller hotels on Havelock Island offer basic yet satisfying spa services. These typically include traditional Indian massages and Ayurvedic treatments designed to relieve stress and improve circulation. While they may not come with the frills of a luxury spa, the quality of treatment is often high, providing great value for money.

Luxury Spa Experiences

For the ultimate in relaxation, Havelock Island is home to several high-end resorts that feature full-service spas. These luxurious facilities offer a wide range of treatments in a serene setting, from aromatherapy and Swedish massages to more specialized services like reflexology, body wraps, and facials using premium, organic products.

  • The Barefoot at Havelock is renowned for its Andaman-inspired spa treatments, utilizing natural ingredients found on the islands.
  • Taj Exotica Resort & Spa offers an opulent spa experience focusing on holistic wellness, combining ancient Indian techniques with contemporary therapies.

Types of Treatments Available:

  • Ayurvedic Treatments: Utilizing centuries-old Indian healing practices, these treatments are designed to balance the body and mind.
  • Body Wraps and Scrubs: Often using local ingredients like coconut, sea salt, and tropical fruits, these treatments exfoliate and nourish the skin.
  • Massages: From deep tissue to gentle aromatherapy massages, there’s a style for every preference, focusing on relaxation and muscle relief.
  • Facials: Tailored to your skin type, facials can include everything from deep cleansing to hydration, leaving your skin glowing.
  • Reflexology: This therapy applies pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears, believed to correspond with different body organs.

Best Restaurants on Havelock Island

Full Moon Café

Located right on the beach, Full Moon Café is the epitome of relaxed dining. Its friendly, smiling staff and an open, welcoming atmosphere make it a perfect place for lunch and dinner. The café offers a diverse menu that caters to various tastes, including fresh seafood, Indian dishes, and Western options. Dining with the sound of waves in the background is an experience‌. 

However, being close to nature means mosquitoes can be a nuisance, especially in the evenings, so it’s wise to come prepared with a repellent. I returned to Full Moon Café multiple nights during my stay, drawn back by the combination of good food and the serene beachside setting.

Nemo Café: Nightlife and Dining on Havelock Island

Nemo Café stands out as Havelock Island’s go-to spot for those looking to enjoy nightlife and dancing under the stars. With its prime location on the beach, the café offers an unbeatable ambiance that perfectly captures the island’s laid-back yet vibrant spirit. The food here is decent, serving various dishes catering to different palates. I had the butter chicken with naan, which was flavorful and made for a satisfying meal. Beyond the cuisine, what really sets Nemo Café apart is its lively atmosphere, especially as the evening progresses. It’s a fantastic place to let loose, dance, and mingle with both locals and travelers alike, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the social side of Havelock Island.

Something Different – A Beachside Café

Fish with sauce at Something Different restaurant on Havelock Island taken by Ben Jenks

This place lives up to its name with a vibrant ambiance and an innovative approach to dining on Havelock. Thanks to their active marketing, you’re likely to be handed a flyer for Something Different as soon as you step off the boat or while lounging at the main beaches. 

The quality of food, which is indeed something different, matches the effort to bring in diners. The café is an excellent spot for an evening out with friends, offering a mix of cuisines in a lively setting. While the portions might lean on the smaller side and prices are above average, the overall dining experience—complete with creative dishes and a lively atmosphere‌ — ‌makes it worth a visit.

Places To Stay on Havelock Island

Pano Eco Resort: A fantastic choice for budget travelers and digital nomads, Pano Eco Resort boasts impressive Wi-Fi speeds of over 200 Mbps, making it ideal for those who need to stay connected. The resort offers a comfortable and eco-friendly stay without breaking the bank, providing the basic amenities needed for a pleasant stay.

Dolphin Beach Resort: Operated by the government, this mid-range option stands out for its spacious grounds and the rare feature of ocean views directly from your room. The rooms come with big windows and balconies, allowing for plenty of natural light and fresh air. While it may not offer the manicured perfection of more expensive resorts, its charm lies in its simplicity and the stunning natural beauty that surrounds it. My personal experience of staying here for a night was delightful, thanks to the unbeatable location and the laid-back vibe.

Barefoot at Havelock: For those dreaming of a beach resort experience, Barefoot at Havelock should be at the top of your list. Nestled in the forest, it offers beautifully crafted rooms that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Though the resort lacks Wi-Fi, it compensates with its proximity to Radhanagar Beach, arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. The short walk through the forest to the beach is an experience in itself, making it a perfect choice for travelers looking to disconnect and immerse themselves in nature.

Taj Exotica Resort: Representing the pinnacle of luxury on Havelock Island, the Taj Exotica Resort offers premium facilities and unparalleled service. The staff is attentive to every detail, ready to cater to your every whim. During a tour of a room, I was impressed by the thoughtful touches, such as a custom-made cake for an anniversary—a testament to the resort’s commitment to creating memorable experiences for their guests.

For more workation ideas, check out my full review of my 3 months working online in Goa.

Getting Around Havelock Island

Navigating Havelock Island offers various modes of transportation, each catering to different preferences and budget considerations. Here’s a quick guide to your options:

  • Rent a Scooter: The most liberating way to explore the island at your own pace. At around 500 INR per day, it’s economical and convenient for covering longer distances without the high costs associated with rickshaws. I found this to be the best option, offering both freedom and affordability.
  • Auto Rickshaws: While available, they can quickly become expensive, especially for trips across the island which can cost around 500 INR one way. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t recommend rickshaws for budget-conscious travelers or those planning to explore extensively.
  • Bicycles: An eco-friendly option but not the most practical due to Havelock’s hilly terrain and the distances between attractions. After a challenging experience with a poorly maintained bike from Barefoot Scuba, and the physical exertion required, I advise against it for lengthy explorations.
  • Walking: Suitable for short distances, especially within the vicinity of your accommodation or to nearby beaches. However, considering the island’s size and the climate, it’s not feasible for day-long explorations or reaching distant spots.

Check out if you need a license to drive a scooter in India in the quick post.

How To Reach Havelock Island

Navigating your way to Havelock Island, a gem in the Andaman archipelago, is the first step in your adventure. While the island’s secluded charm is its biggest draw, it does mean that getting there requires a bit of planning. Here’s how you can make your way to this tropical paradise:

1. Flight to Port Blair: The journey to Havelock Island begins with a flight to Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Direct flights to Port Blair are available from major Indian cities such as Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and New Delhi. 

2. Taxi from Port Blair to the Jetty: Once you’ve landed in Port Blair, I suggest getting a pre-paid taxi at the counter near the exit. I paid 200 INR to stop at the Cellular Jail (5km from the airport). You’ll need to catch a taxi to one of two jetties: Phoenix Bay Jetty and Haddo Jetty

  • Phoenix Bay Jetty: The primary departure point for most ferries to Havelock Island. It’s larger with more services, but can get crowded with longer lines. 
  • Haddo Jetty: Is used for private ferries and is smaller and more out of the way, but it’s less crowded. 

3. Ferry from Port Blair to Havelock Island: Upon reaching Port Blair, the next leg of your journey to Havelock Island is by sea. Several ferry services operate between Port Blair and Havelock Island, including government-run ferries (cheaper, more crowded, runs less often) and private operators like Makruzz, Green Ocean, and Nautika (more expensive, less crowded, runs more often). 

  • Ferry Schedule: Ferries usually run one to three times daily, but schedules can change due to weather conditions. It’s best to check the schedule and book your tickets in advance.
  • Ticket Booking: Tickets can be booked online through the official websites of private ferry operators or at the ticket counters in Port Blair. For government ferries, bookings typically open a few days before the sailing date, and it’s often easier to book through a local travel agent. You can also book right before at one of the vendors near the jetty.
  • Travel Time and Class: The ferry ride to Havelock Island takes about 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the service chosen. Private ferries offer different classes of service, from standard to deluxe, providing options for comfort and budget.
  • Arriving at Havelock: The ferry will dock at Havelock Island’s main jetty on the north side of the island, from where you can take a taxi or auto-rickshaw to your accommodation.

Pro Tip: You can search all the ferries on this site to book and save time. I recommend booking in advance and then choosing a seat 24-48 hours before booking. I choose a premium seat with amazing views and a table to set my lunch on. 

After years in India, here are the airport hacks I learned to improve my experience.

Best Time To Visit Havelock Island

Havelock Island, a jewel of the Andaman archipelago, is renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Choosing the right time to visit can significantly enhance your experience, allowing you to fully enjoy the natural beauty and plethora of activities the island offers. 

Peak Season: November to Mid-May

  • Weather: This period marks the dry season in Havelock Island, with temperatures ranging from a pleasant 20°C to 30°C. The skies are clear, the seas calm, and the humidity is lower, making it the ideal time for beach activities, snorkeling, and diving.
  • Activities: The clear weather allows for uninterrupted scuba diving, snorkeling, and sea-walking, offering excellent underwater visibility. It’s also the perfect time for trekking to Elephant Beach or relaxing at Radhanagar Beach.
  • Considerations: While this is undoubtedly the best time to visit, it’s also when the island sees the highest tourist influx. Accommodation prices can be higher, and popular spots more crowded. Booking in advance is highly recommended.

Local Tip: I went in March and I was surprised at how easy it was to book hotels. I booked a nice hotel just a day before after I had went around to get tours of teh best hotels on the island, so I wouldn’t worry about it being too crowded and not getting a room unless it’s a special holiday. 

Here are the best times to visit India. I have covered the most popular destinations.

Short Trips from Havelock Island

Venturing from Havelock Island opens up a myriad of opportunities to explore the enchanting Andaman Archipelago. Here’s a glance at some worthwhile destinations, including how to reach them:

  • Neil Island: A tranquil haven, Neil Island is a short ferry journey away, with departures from Havelock typically at 8:45 AM and return trips around 3:00 PM. Its untouched beauty and relaxed atmosphere make it an ideal spot for those looking to escape the crowd.
  • Ross Island: To explore the historical ruins of Ross Island, you’ll need to head back to Port Blair from Havelock. From there, ferries to Ross Island operate frequently, starting from 8:30 AM. It’s a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
  • Port Blair: As the gateway to the Andaman Islands, Port Blair itself is a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. From Havelock, you can take an early morning ferry back to Port Blair, which offers numerous attractions such as the Cellular Jail, Anthropological Museum, and Chidiya Tapu. Ferries to Port Blair depart in the morning around 6:30 AM and the journey provides a scenic view of the Andaman Sea, making the trip back not just a commute but an integral part of your Andaman adventure.

Benjamin Jenks

Traveler, Filmmaker, and Lover of India. I've been living, writing and sharing what I've learned about traveling in India since 2018. Learn more about me here or Youtube.

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