Best Dive Sites in Havelock

By Articles
Best Dive Sites in Havelock

Best dive sites on Havelock Island – Updated Feb, 2023


Human beings!

Though we all are different in our own unique ways, the common feeling of curiosity makes us special and feels Human. It is wider than the sky and deeper than the ocean. We are constantly searching for new worlds and novel realms to experience something magical, feel something mystical and go beyond the frame of life where no one has been before. 

Well, while scientists try to prove this with experiments and filmmakers create their own fantasy worlds, let’s go on a journey underwater to explore the mega verse of marine life in Havelock Island. 

“Ask a diver, why do you dive?”

His answer will be complex. 

For some, it’s to see the fascinating fishes. 

For a few, it’s the feeling of liveliness and peace. 

For many is the adventure of exploration. 

The list goes on forever. 

Call it a Pandora from the movie Avatar or even a piece of paradise; Havelock from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, is one of the global hotspots for Scuba diving. It’s not just the home to exotic beaches and dense forests; it’s a marvel with copious amounts of dive sites and aquatic life. It is a safe haven and a diver’s dreamland to witness the wonders underwater and learn the craft of Scuba Diving with finesse. 


Now, gear up!



Here are the 10 best dive sites on Havelock.

1. Jhonny’s Gorge – 

Depth – 25- 30M

Type – Advanced 

If the divers of India and South East Asia have a bucket list of dive sites, the 3 names that will take the top spots are Jhonny’s Gorge, Dickson’s Pinnacle, and Jackson’s Bar. These world-class dive sites were discovered by the legendary masters of Scuba Diving from Andaman and Nicobar Islands – The Poayasay Brothers and our own team of pros led by Vandit “Vinnie” Kalia.

Speaking of Jhonny’s Gorge, it’s an unparalleled concert of marine life you cannot miss. While the schools of jackfishes, barracuda, and trevallies play their sweet melody in harmony, you can spot the rays resting on the sandy surface of the ocean bottom amidst a vast belt of coral reefs. The symphony occurs in a circular area where the showstopper and the master of ceremony are the reef sharks. The ambiance and vibe get even better with supple performers like the octopi, lionfish, and large groupers. A single dive here will grant you a natural song that will stay forever in your memory. 


2. Dickson’s Pinnacle – 

Depth – 20-30 M

Type – Advanced 

Behold the drama, fun, and action. 

It’s a wild west set up underwater. 

Instead of sand, we have vibrant corals. 

Instead of horses, we have some rare sea creatures. 

Instead of gunslingers, we have some photographers. 

The dive site harbors three colossal pinnacles adorned by soft, dense, and diverse coral reefs. The elevated podiums are a natural home for exotic and exquisite fishes like surgeons, banners, Napoleon Wrasse, and butterfly fish. The actual action begins when the rare visitors drop in – whale sharks and reef sharks. There is a lot of chasing, swimming, and even gliding. The intriguing location is also a cleaning spot where turtles, rays, groupers, puffer fish, etc., come to get cleansed with the help of other small organisms. It’s a symbiotic sight to savor. 

 A new story awaits you every time you dive here with some dramatic screenplay of nature. 


3. Jackson’s Bar – 

Depth – 25- 30M

Type – Advanced 

Imagine a bar with engaging personalities. There will be a storyteller, a music lover, and even a crazy person venting out his problems. Now imagine the fishes doing the same underwater. Yes, Jackson’s Bar is a classic site with interesting personalities of fish. The clouds of Bengal snappers, the nosy movements of fusiliers, and the funny expressions of sweet lips are a sight to relish and revisit. If you are a fan of the Dragons from Game of Thrones, you might love the short flight of majestic sting rays hovering over the flat rock bottom for fodder. 

Diver’s alert – The currents here are strong. If you are looking for a challenging site, this is your place. 


4. The Wall – 

Depth – 10-55 M

Type – Intermediate 

A masterpiece for havelock and DIVEIndia. Being our first and foremost find in 2004, The Wall is a crazy dive site with phenomenal topography, sandy beds, and coral rocks. The dive commencing from a ridge,  descends down to an enchanting drop off, introducing a wall where we can witness hues of camouflaging reef fish, octopus, cuttlefish, and squids. Look out for the floating ink; they resemble the falling feather of a bird.

The vibrant wall extends 80M with hydroids, light feather stars, and dark caves. Giant groupers, sweet lips, parrot fish, angel fish, moray eels, and scorpion fish are familiar residents here. The key highlight of the sight is when the trevallies and huge barracuda fish barge in to hunt scats and mackerel. It’s a breathtaking window of marvel to experience and explore. 


5. Pilot reef – 

Depth – 16-18M

Type – For all

Peek a Boo – I see you!

What if you get a chance to play hide and seek while diving? 

The rocky-tall reefs at the sandy bottoms of the dive site cover a variety of rich coral reefs on its surface. The true fun begins when we come across tiny caves and crevices. It holds some mysterious creatures like the white-eyed moray eels, sweepers, soldier fish, and sharks. If a diver passes by, they come out to take a sneak peek at who is entering their territory. The marine life that makes this site special and unique from the other sites are the orange spine unicorn fish, longnose butterflyfish, and trumpet fish. If you have attention to tiny things in life, the Pilot reef offers a vast range of macro life to observe, like crawfish, prawns, and shellfish. Overall, it’s a fulfilling site with loads of life forms to study. 


6. Broken Ledge – 

Depth – 16-25M

Type – Advanced 

The broken ledge is a deep-sea dive site with rifts, cracks, gaps, and openings. The fascinating topography of the site holds a landmark ridge with a broken tip, giving it the name Broken Ledge. Massive turtles, eels, and sea krait toggle between the gaps and rifts to scan for fresh crops and grass. Yellow Fin Tuna and marble rays are a few regular visitors you can often spot here. If you are in the vicinity of a turtle or an eel, remember to maintain a distance. They are shy and easily get scared by an external influence. 


7. Nemo Reef – 

Depth –   5-15M

Type – For all 

It’s a common mission for all divers and water enthusiasts worldwide to find Nemo. Your search ends and enhances at the Nemo Reef near Havelock. Nemo Reef is the perfect training ground not just for beginners but also for experienced divers to relax, glide and have a fun dive. Because of its controlled conditions, the perfectly sheltered site offers a safe, f, and peaceful ambiance for divers. The shallow waters provide a swimming pool-like setup where torrents of banner fish, rabbit fish, sweetlips queen fish, needlefish, and chubs flow in stimulating patterns. 

Did you know there are five varieties of Clown Fishes here? 

Yes, you can spot all of them in Nemo Reef. (Biological name – Anemonefish)

A few of the other astonishing natives of this reef are the popular cephalopods like octopus, squids, and cuttlefish. So, a delightful shore diving experience and a relaxed reef with pulsating life forms welcome you at Nemo Reef. 


8. Peel Light House – 

Depth – 12 M

Type – For all 

Peel Light House is a mysterious and spherical dive site with a titanic red-light house amidst pastel-grey sands on all sides. During the full moon and new moon, we can experience the gushing force of strong currents here. Mesmerizing corals like barrel sponges, soft coral, and fan corals will cast an everlasting spell of wonder on your five senses. Like the famous TV series Temple of Doom, divers experience the thrill of finning beneath the gaps of the fallen pillars. The lush ecosystem grips our attention with captivating creatures like feather duster worms, cowries, slugs, and puffers. Fortunate divers even get a rare chance to meet and greet the Kuhl’s sting ray from a distance. Peel Light House is one of the adventurous dive sites of Havelock. 


9. White House Rock – 

Depth – 10- 50 M

Type – Advance 

When a barrage of schooling fishes revolves around, above, and beneath you, where will you see? 

The White House rock is an incredible spot that offers an immersive experience with its copious amounts of snappers, tunas, elegant white corals, and much more. A fascinating fact about the White House Rock is that it’s actually made of black corals. Over the years, the black corals slowly developed glimmering snow-white polyps around its body, retaining the black shade on its stem. If we look into the captivating topography of the site, about 10 M into the depth, a straight-vertical drop-off extends for 50 M on one side, and a gradual 60-degree slope outspreads on the other side with gorgonian fans. 

A rare sight you may encounter here is the mating ritual of the trevallies. Don’t worry; if you don’t get to see it, you can always see the fast-paced scenes of trevallies hunting fusiliers. Barracudas and trevallies go on a roller coaster ride through the diverse collars and suspended particles here, giving the whole place a lively vibe, just like a crowded carnival in cities. A fun activity you can do here is trying to spot the scorpionfish. Their body is naturally designed to be cloaked within the dense ecology of corals. They vary in color, and they are masters in hiding.


10. SS Inchkett – 

Depth – 6-18 M

Type – For all

Tune in to your goth music and get ready to experience a pleasant yet ghostly site. In 1950, a whopping Japanese cargo ship hit a rock and sank down near Havelock Island. Over the years, marine life gradually covered the entire ship making it one of the famous and most desired wreck sites of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Deep sea molluscs and reef fishes lurk around the rusty slits and cracks of the ship, creating a montage of cinematic sceneries. The massive ship is broken into two parts where the bow and stern are slightly separated for a few meters with a giant rock between them. The mysterious ambiance gets more intense when lobsters, turtles, and Pufferfish suddenly pop out from the ship’s chambers. 

We hope you enjoyed the above list. Honestly, this is just a teaser. Havelock has more than 25 dive sites, and our experts are searching for more. So, if you are interested in them, feel free to reach us.

Scuba diving in Neil

By Scuba Diving Andamans

Scuba diving in Neil – All you need to know in 2023

Why should you Scuba Dive in Neil Island? 

Beyond the clutters of modern cities lies a tiny abode for peace, serenity, and tranquility deep within the lap of the pristine oceans – The Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep).

Located in the south of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this tiny utopia is unique and untouched with massive coral reefs, sparkling sandy-rocky beaches, lush green forests, stunning marine life, and a soothing tropical climate. This tiny island is a concise dose of nature that fits in with a circumference of 10-13km, and it’s just a 2.5-hour ferry ride away from Port Blair. 

Hold on!

It’s different from Goa, Hawaii, or Maldives. 

It’s different. 

Neil Islands is remarkably diverse and distinct from the Populus island destinations of the world because of the lesser crowd and calming silence, and it’s still uninfluenced by tourists. Yes, it’s a cut above the rest when it comes to peace and nature. Speaking of vibes, Neil offers the best of both adventure and comfort. If you just want to lean back on a handmade wooden chair, sip some fresh coconut water and watch the simmering sunset in high definition or venture into thrilling water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving, this is the perfect spot for you. 

Now, if you are an underwater enthusiast and love to dive,

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should dive in Neil Island – 

1. Clear blue waters – 

As soon as you land at Neil, you can notice a spectrum of blue shades surrounding the entire island. Be it Bharatpur, Sitapur, or even Laxmanpur beach, the lively blues are a constant you can never miss. The topography around the island has lower sedimentation runoff. Because of this natural phenomenon, the vibrant blues are untainted by the blacks and browns of the sand. 


2. Unexplored coral reefs – 

The vast and massive coral reefs of Neil Island are still unexplored by the masses. It’s fresh, dynamic, and unaffected by population and pollution. As soon as you take a dive and observe them from a distance, you can see the patterns, textures, and picturesque forms they come in. Overall, it’s an art and part of the island’s ecosystem. They live in unison with the aquatic fishes providing them shelter, fodder, and protection. The antique coral reefs extend for several kilometers from the coastal lines to the depths of the oceans with cinematic sceneries and vibrant colors. 


3. Marine life – 

Expert divers, researchers, and aqua lovers from around the world visit Neil Island for its diverse and dense marine life. The iconic waters of Neil give us several opportunities to witness rare flora and fauna underwater. To name a few, do not miss the sight of a school of snappers, the flight of a gliding marble ray, unicorn fish piercing through the current, the graceful dance of the turtles, and the goofy movements of the goat fishes. If you are lucky, you can witness the gentle giant in action – Dugong. To sum it up, it has a plethora of options to explore. 


4. Less crowd – 

Imagine a dive where you are alone with your group and have the entire dive site just for you. This diver’s dream can happen only in the waters of Neil Island. There are just a few boats on the shore and fewer people on the dive sites. What else does a diver need? With a mix of deep and shallow waters, Neil Island is an ideal option for advanced divers to learn and hone their skills. 


5. A partial offline life – 

A video call or maybe a YouTube video in low res is easy in Neil. But if you think of streaming an OTT platform, it’s a big no. The network on Neil Island is not as strong as the mainland’s network. This gives you the luxury of time to finish that favorite book, take a long walk along the sunset, ponder upon valuable memories or make some new memories on the beach. It’s a place just to chill, relax and let the ocean breeze take away all your stress. 


Suppose Havelock Island is the heart of Scuba Diving in India. The Neil Island is for your mind’s space. It provides a calm, composed, rich, and less crowded diving environment. You get extra focus and attention for extra fun. 

PS – A soul-string experience awaits you at Neil Island.

Scuba Diving in Havelock

By Articles, Scuba Diving Andamans, scuba diving in india

Scuba Diving in Havelock – All you need to know in 2023 

Why should you Scuba Dive in Havelock Island? 

In the world of adventure in India – 

The Himalayas is famous for Mountaineering. 

Rishikesh and Zanskar are famous for Kayaking. 

Gulmarg is famous for Skiing. 

And for Scuba Diving? 

It’s Havelock Island – The heart of Scuba diving in India and home to millions and billions of dazzling marine life. 

But, ever wondered how Havelock became so popular? Where did this craze for Scuba Diving come from? 

The answer lay in 2003. So, let’s rewind a bit!

The Poayassay brothers – Jackson, Dickson, and Jhonny from the Karen community in Andaman- are one-of-a-kind, born-to-dive professionals in the industry. When they joined hands with Vinnie from DIVEIndia (The Pioneers of Diving in Havelock), they unlocked a whole new world of opportunities for Scuba Diving with their exploratory dives and underwater recces. Gradually, in 2006, they unfolded the 3 iconic world-class dive sites – Dickson’s Pinnacle, Jhonny’s George, and Jackson’s Bar. Over the years, by word of mouth and with the power of social media, the discovery of the 3 sites elevated Havelock’s identity and embedded it in the world’s radar. Today, experts and people who intend to venture into Scuba Diving aim to land at Havelock to experience at least these 3 famous dive sites apart from the surplus options to be explored.

And that’s how Havelock became India’s most demanding hub and a haven for Scuba Diving. 

Coming back to the narrative, nestled in the south east corner of the Great Andaman, Havelock is one of the largest islands in the Ritchie’s Archipelago within the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This small wonder extends 18 kms long and 8 kms wide, with lush flora and fauna, and has something for everyone. If you have a taste for comfort and luxury, you can find star hotels with exotic packages. If you are a backpacker and an adventure buff, it has affordable accommodations with customized itinerates. If you are not able to decide, settle down for a “workcation” and experience comfort and thrill at the same time. It has all the conveniences of a city and more. 

The entire island is adorned with one of nature’s finest and most intricate underwater architecture, the colossal coral reefs. With a blend of rich green forests, serene beaches, and crystal-clear blue waters, the vibe here offers an enlightening experience to our mind, body, and soul. Apart from the massive number of exotic dive sites, one of the key highlights is the charming Radhanagar beach – renowned for its name as Asia’s best beach. Also, do not miss the lip-smacking and tongue-tingling tasty seafood here. It has a variety of options and flavors to choose from. 

Still curious why you should be scuba diving in Havelock? 

Here are the top 5 reasons to scuba dive in Havelock

1. Controlled conditions – 

The diverse dive sites of Havelock are burrowed and perfectly sheltered between a group of islands, making way for cambelts in and around the landscape. This paves the way for both shallow and deep waters for divers, accessible under controlled conditions offering a stress-free and safe atmosphere. 


2. Training Reefs – 

The training reef near the shores of Havelock Island is the ideal key to unlocking the next level of diving. The reef provides access for instructors and students to conduct, practice and learn several integrated courses and skills to begin or even continue your journey as a scuba diver. 


3. 20+ dive sites – 

Deep or Shallow. 

Dense or light. 

Compact or open. 

You name the type you want, and you will get it. Havelock is the treasure trove of magical dive sites. Apart from the 3 famous hotspots mentioned above, Havelock offers an array of charming underwater sites. Aquarium, Slope, Turtle Beach, K-Rock, Lighthouse, J-Table, Minerva’s, The Wall, and Vinnie’s Wreck are a few of the never-ending list. Keep your fingers crossed; our dive pros are on the lookout for more. 


4. Marine life – 

The marine life of Havelock is similar to Neil Island. If you are diving for the first time, keep your eyes peeled for the roaring lionfish, tiny barnacles playing hide and seek, gothic cuttlefish with tentacles, elegant feather dusters, groups of Tuna moving in sync, and hungry parrot fishes. Neither a single dive nor a 100 would suffice to spot the splendors of these mesmerizing sea creatures and their eco systems. 


5. Work-life balance – 

Maintaining a perfect balance between work and life is a herculean task. What if you get a chance to ace it? 

Here in Havelock, with nature at its best, people get some much-needed positive vibes to focus on their work with ease and peace. No matter the stress, the beaches are just a few minutes away. Every day is pleasant, and every weekend is a vacation in Havelock. To make it simple, your search for bliss ends here. 

So, if the oceans are calling out to you or you have an unquenchable thirst for diving and exploring the marvels of marine life, you now know where to go or, better yet, perhaps call a 2nd home.



Warm regards, 


Tusa Paragon Mask Review

By Articles, Gear, Reviews


Tusa is a line that we started carrying recently – a Japanese brand well known for making sensible, reliable products at sensible pricing.     I have also been on the look-out for a mask to replace my current one (a Mares Ultravision LS, which, while a fantastic mask, is starting to show the effect of age and abuse).    My eye was caught by the Tusa Paragon masks – on seeing them, I was reminded that one of our instructors had been raving about them a couple of years ago, so I decided to look up the pricing.

And that’s where I had my first shock – these things had an MRP of Rs 15,200 for the double-pane version and Rs 16,000 for the single pane version (we sell it for a lot less, but still…).       That’s over twice the price of my Ultravision, which was one of our most premium masks.

My first response was to laugh in disbelief.    Had this been any other brand, I would have written this off as a halo product and moved on to something else.   But this was Tusa – as grounded a brand as it gets.    And I remembered our instructor and how excited he had been about this mask (it takes a lot to get a dive pro excited about gear – for most of us, these are tools and we want the product that is reliable and good value, not the fanciest/most expensive).

So rather than jump to a hasty conclusion, I decided to order one of these masks to try out for myself.


Let’s start by taking a look at the mask:

(Yes, I was so shocked by the price that I actually got it wrong in the video.   You might say i lost my head for the bulk of the video)


As mentioned in the video, all you need to do is look at the mask and you can tell that this is an ultra-premium, high-end product.    Visually, it has a combination of aesthetics, solidity and finishing that just screams “high end”

Let’s start with the frame.   Made of three materials – actual, honest-to-goodness metal, polyurethane and polycarbonate – it has a rigidity that is leagues apart from the polycarbonate frames of other masks on the market.     Tusa claims this frame is designed for professional use – and that is very obvious when you hold it in your hand.

The frame is a discreet unit, as opposed to one that has been molded together along with the skirt as a cost-saving measure.

Another area where you can see the emphasis on quality is the silicon skirt.     Not all silicon is the same – thicker silicon tends to be more robust but less pliable, whereas thinner silicon tends to be more flexible (read: better able to form a seal) but also more liable to cuts.      And of course, a higher grade silicon will be more flexible and/or more robust for a given thickness than cheaper silicon.     One of the reasons why I am a fan of the Liquidvision silicon of Mares skirts is that it is very soft and pliable to fit well, but also robust enough to not get damaged too easily.

The Tusa silicon follows the same principle – the material is of different thickness at different places, adding robustness or flexibility where needed.     It also has rolled edges, which takes the pressure off the face and improves comfort.     In addition, Tusa uses varied surfaces on the silicon to add structure and stability to the overall skirt.     There is obviously a lot of detail that has gone into the materials here.

You can see the dots and the ridge on the silicone, meant to add structure to skirt.    Also visible is the thinner layer of silicon below the nose pocket, which would contact your upper lip, just below the nose.

Lastly, even the mask strap has been contoured to take into account the curvature of the human head against which it will rest.   Rather than trying to describe it, I will just borrow this graphic from Tusa that illustrates the point:Mask strap

As you can see, there is a near-obsessive amount of attention being paid to details that most people would not even notice.


I tend to get very excited about small touches which improve the diver’s usage experience.   With the mighty Shearwaters, it is the ability to color code the display as per your preference.      With BCDs it is a sensibly-designed octo holder that allows the user to deploy it with the mouthpiece in the proper orientation.   And with masks, it is swivel clips.

What these simple things do is allow you to move your strap up and down on your head without causing the mask itself to get pulled up or down.    A very small touch but once that adds that extra touch of comfort that can cause the mask to “disappear” on your face.     Personally, I am at the point where I simply do not buy a mask where the clips do not swivel.

Tusa Paragon ClipsSwivel clips, which are neatly tucked in behind the frame and do not stick out.

The mask fits very comfortably – the silicon truly is very soft and grippy, and feels very comfortable against the skin.   Even the mask strap wraps the head, as opposed to feeling stretched around it, if that makes any sense.    The nose pocket is large and roomy, even for my lumpy, twice-broken nose and allows a good comfortable grip on the nose for equalization.

About the only negative I can think in terms of fit and ergonomics is that it is not particularly low volume.   It sits a little further from my face than the Mares Ultravision, and so will require perhaps a little more effort to clear, if you were to flood it completely.   There is a reason for this, however – the sligthtly greater distance means that the frame of the mask is less likely to come in contact with the bridge of your nose, thereby increasing comfort.

Lastly, fit is a very personal issue – I personally had absolutely no issues with water coming into my mask, even when i made faces and moved my jaws around.    Given the stickiness and suppleness of the silicon of this mask, it wouldn’t surprise me if this mask fit a better percentage of people than most others.


And now we get to what really sets this mask apart:  it is the quality of the optical lenses.     Tusa calls them Crystalview and touts their light transmission and sharpness:

CrystalviewPIC courtesy Tusa and presented for illustrative reasons only

For starters, they are a lot sharper/clearer than other mask lenses that I have used and also come with an anti-reflective coating meant to improve contrast, clarity and sharpness.     Tusa uses the term “Crystalview” to describe their optics – buzzwords aside, this was certainly noticeable when I did an A/B test with other masks that we had lying around the shop and tried to look at fine details in front of me.    It isnt as if the Tusa Paragon lets me see more detail – but the detail is just a little crisper/sharper/brighter.

Another very under-rated plus of the mask – it comes with UV protection.     That may not be so useful when you are diving, but what about the 5-10 minutes before and after each dive, when you are floating on the surface, doing a surface swim and/or waiting to get off/on the boat?    As someone who is very sensitive to harsh light, this is a feature that I am definitely willing to pay for.

However, there is one downside – due to the larger volume that I spoke of in the previous section (ie, the mask sitting further away from the face), the angle of view is good but not class-leading.   As its name would imply, when it comes to 2-window masks, my Mares Ultravision has a very large angle of view of approx 110 degrees and I would estimate the Tusa Paragon to have a field of view that is approx 5 degrees less (these are approximate estimates, btw).


Sooo… after all these words, what is the verdict?   Is it worth it or no?

Let’s first make it clear what this mask is NOT – it is not a “value for money” mask.     If you want to get the most utility per dollar, the entry level Mares Rover masks wins:  you can get 6 of those for the price of  this one and it will keep the water out of your eyes.   Or if you want something high end but still sensibly priced, the various Mares Liquidskin models in the Rs 5000+ range offer very good comfort for less than half the price.

BUT this mask has a bunch of features that are absolutely unique in the market:   optical-quality lenses.   UV protection.   Anti-reflective coating.   Highly engineered silicone skirt for more comfort.   Robust frame.     High quality finishing/visual appeal that no other mask can match.        Yes, we are entering the realm of diminishing returns here, but these are areas where this mask is tangibly better than the competition.

At the top end of the range of pretty much any product, it is not about getting value for money, but getting the best possible quality.    And when it comes to quality, I do not know of any mask that rivals the Tusa Paragon so far.

Luckily, in this case, getting the best is relatively affordable.   In my case, my gushing praise of the mask was not just for the purposes of this article:   the UV protection and the super-soft silicone were compelling enough reasons for me, and I have ended up getting this mask for myself.


We do not get paid for these reviews and our reviews represent our true beliefs about these products.   Life is too short for us to push mediocre dive gear (there is a lot of other stuff that we also try out which does NOT make our review sections).

We do have these masks for sale.    You can purchase them here:
Tusa Paragon
Tusa Paragon S (single lens version of this same mask)

However, before doing so, please drop us an email to check stock as our inventory system is not online yet.

Scuba Diving Prices in the Andamans

By Articles

Scuba Diving Prices in the Andamans  – All you need to know


The following is our price list for the 2021-2022 season.

A word of pricing – while I know it seems self-serving to say so, we really do not recommend choosing dive centers purely on the basis of price.   While diving does follow common standards set by a central agency, so do schools.   Yet we don’t pick schools purely on the basis of price, do we?

How to pick a dive center is going to be the basis of a different post soon, but the short answer is – the experience of the instructors, their commitment to making sure that you are having a good time, the way diving is conducted, the group sizes, etc:  all of these play a big role in determining the “Fun” factor of your dive trip.

And here, we have a very simple philosophy for you on how we run our operations:  our approach is to run a dive center in a way that would make us happy if we or our friends/family were the customers here.

In any case, here are the prices.

They are valid until September 2022, they can be revised at any time prior if we choose, they are not binding unless quoted over email, blahblah-more-lawyer-talk.   You know how that goes.   Also note that 18% GST extra applies on all diving prices – other than that, the prices are inclusive, with no hidden catches or surprises.

Intro Programs For Beginners / Scuba Diving Prices for Beginners in the Andamans

The following half-day programs are designed for beginners who want to get a taste of scuba.   No swimming skills needed!

Program Havelock Neil
Half-day boat trip and Discover Scuba Diving session, consisting of in-water training, one guided dive with an instructor, dive log and registration with PADI
Rs. 6,500 Rs. 6,500
PADI DSD / Shore
Half-day introductory Discover Scuba Diving session, consisting of in-water training, one guided dive with an instructor, dive log and registration with PADI
Rs. 4,500 n/a
Single Day / 2 Dive DSD Program
Full day session, starting with a PADI Shore DSD program in the morning, followed by a PADI boat DSD in the afternoon (subject to instructor discretion)
Rs. 10,000 n/a
Additional Boat DSDs
Additional boat DSDs conducted within a week of the initial boat or shore DSD
Rs. 5,000 Rs. 5,000
Upgrade to Scuba Diver certification
For boat/shore DSD participants only
Rs. 14,000 Rs. 14,000
Also, please note that in Neil, we only offer intro programs off the boat - shore programs are not possible (well, they are possible, but not worth it).

More information on the Try Diving / Intro to Scuba programs.

 Diving Courses / Scuba Diving Prices in the Andamans to get certified

As a PADI 5-star dive center, we are proud to present a full array of training courses, all the way from a beginner to an instructor.

Course prices include everything needed for your training – equipment rental, mandatory materials, certification charges, boat fees, etc.    There are no hidden surprises.   And with all our training, the course duration is determined by the student and their pace of learning – if you need more training time, that is included at no extra charge.


COURSE # of dives # of days Prices – Havelock Prices –Neil
Intermediate certification program – up to 12m
2 1.5 Rs, 17,000 Rs, 17,000
Full entry-level diver certification – up to 18m
4 4 Rs. 27,500 Rs. 27,500
Completion of 4 OW dives, cost of certification not included
4 2 Rs. 16,000 Rs. 16,000
Second level of certification – up to 30m
9 5-6 Rs. 49,500 Rs. 49,500

Note: The price of the Advanced course is discounted substantially – this price is only available for divers who have completed the Open Water course with us and want to do the Advanced course immediately after.




# of dives

# of days

Prices – Havelock

Prices –Neil

Second certification level – up to 30m



Rs, 26,500

Rs, 26,500

Non-diving program, reqd for Rescue training



Rs. 11,000

Rs. 11,000

Third level of certification



Rs. 20,000

Rs. 20,000

Combo Rescue + CPR/First Aid program covering both courses






Rs 27,000


Rs 27,000

More information on continued education programs for certified divers.



# of dives # of days Prices – Havelock Prices –Neil

Our custom & extensive u/w Marine Ecology training program.



Rs, 14,000

Rs, 14,000

Advanced buoyancy and trim master class



Rs. 8,000

Rs. 8,000

Certification to dive up to 40m



Rs. 18,000

Rs. 18,000




Rs. 18,000

Rs. 18,000

Extend your bottom dive – use of gas mixes up to 40% Oxygen



Rs. 9,000

Rs. 9,000

Buoyancy, Deep & Nitrox specialties combo



Rs. 39,000

Rs. 39,000

Add Rs 4000 for certification
4 2 Rs. 12,500

Rs. 12,500

We also offer NIGHT, NAVIGATION and SEARCH & RECOVERY specialties (as well as BOAT DIVING, COMPUTER DIVING and DRIFT DIVING, if you want). Please contact us for more info on these programs.

More information on continued education programs for certified divers.

Scuba Diving Prices in the Andamans for Fun Diving

For certified divers only.  Prices include gear rental, boat fees, snacks on the boat and group sizes of 4 divers or less per guide, typically.

DIVES (Days / Dives)



1 day / 2 dives

Rs. 7,000

Rs. 7,000

2 days / 4 dives

Rs. 14,000

Rs. 14,000

3 days / 6 dives

Rs. 20,500

Rs. 20,500

4 days / 8 dives

Rs. 27,000

Rs. 27,000

5 days / 10 dives

Rs. 33,500

Rs. 33,500

6 days / 12 dives

Rs. 40,000

Rs. 40,000

Additional Diving (After 6 days)

Rs. 6,300

Rs. 6,300

A discount of 10% on the above prices is applicable for people that have their own equipment (BCD and regulator).




Afternoon Dive

Rs 5,000

Rs 4,500

Night Dive

Rs. 4,000


Dawn Dive

Rs 5,000

Rs 5,000

Remote Trip surcharge



Barren Isl/Invis Banks


Rs 25,000

Quick refresher



Full refresher + 1 dive

Rs 5000

Rs 5000

Private instructor - per day/part

Rs. 2,000

Rs 2,000

Private guide - per day/part

Rs 1,500

Rs 1,500

For people who have their own gear (BCD/regulator), there is a discount of Rs 300 for dawn/afternoon/night dives and a discount of Rs 1,000 for Barren Island/Invisible Banks/Expedition Trips.

More info on our dive trips for certified divers.

Professional Training

As India’s first/oldest instructor training facility, we offer PADI Divemaster and PADI Assistant Instructor training courses all year long.   In addition, we also offer PADI Instructor Development Courses (PADI IDCs) several times a year.

Please contact us for more information on professional training / more information on Scuba Diving Prices in the Andamans (Havelock and Neil)

Become a PADI Instructor – PADI IDC 2021

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Divemasters interested in becoming PADI instructors – we have good news for you. After a pandemic-related delay, we are finally glad to announced dates for our next PADI Instructor Development Course in the Andamans:  December 1-10, 2021.

This program also has our usual IDC add-ons, designed to supplement your learning with valuable real-world experience:
– A 2 week prep program before the IDC, for you to go over your DM theory, dive skills and other pro fundamentals, for those of you who feel that they need a refresher and/or a tune-up
– A 2-4 week post-IDC instructor internship, where you work with our team of experienced dive pros and gain valuable teaching experience (and also log some certifications in the process) – this prepares you to work independently later.

There are a couple of different things to note about this IDC – the revised curriculum has made an already strong IDC program even stronger.

As per the new PADI curriculum, there is a greater emphasis on the students completing their prep work online, using digital materials. Candidates can start this at any time – they do not have to wait for the IDC itself to start cramming the materials (unlike back in my day, when we spent all day in classrooms/water sessions and then did homework at night). We will be conducting regular review sessions of this between September and November, so you can actually get cracking right away. This means that when you get to the Andamans to do your PADI IDC, the focus is on shaping your knowledge and skills, not teaching you background material. This allows for more efficient use of instructor time cand greater development of the candidate into an effective pro.

Second, we are offering an extensive PADI Assistant Instructor prep program for candidates who either do not want to do an IDC right away, or who want to split their training over a longer duration. The AI program will be conducted in Chennai and will also double as an extensive prep for the IDC. This will allow you to hit the ground running as an instructor, and give you greater confidence to teach independently. The AI Prep program is conducted by yours truly, Vinnie (I have been an instructor trainer since 2008).

We recognize this year has been hard on all of us. As a result, in conjunction with Dive-Careers, Platinum Course Director Mark Soworka and PADI, we are sponsoring a free IDC and free materials for one candidate. The candidate must be a PADI Divemaster already, must be an Indian national, must show genuine financial need, should have sincere environmental awareness and should be actively involved in the local diving community.

Email us for more information or to sign up.


Diving after COVID

By Articles

NOTE:   This article and the accompanying video are intended to provide a summary/top-level view of the risks associated with diving after COVID.     Many of these risks are theoretical;  further, the data as well as suggested best practices are in a state of evolution and so may be subject to change.     We will try our best to provide regular updates to this post, but please be aware that this is not intended to replace medical advice from a qualified doctor (Dr Google does not count – and yes, we are aware of the irony if you came across this article via Google!).



As the world starts to re-open, and we all start thinking of getting back under the water, please be aware that diving after Covid is not necessarily as simple as just “recover fully – go diving”.   Depending on the duration and degree of your symptoms, there may be associated risks that only make themselves known when you breathe pressurized air.

Now, keep in mind that at present, a lot of these risks are anecdotal, or at best, based on limited sample sizes.  So by nature, the recommendations made by the doctors are conservative in nature (and a list of references is provided at the end for those who want to dig deeper into the subject).

However, given the potential impact of these risks coming to pass, we strongly encourage you to spend the time and effort to get these tests done in advance before resuming diving.


There are several risks associated with COVID, each of which can have an impact on you when diving:

General loss of fitness

While diving is mostly an easy activity, there are times when you do need to work a little – eg, surface swims in choppy waters or swimming against the current.     Loss of fitness obviously makes the dive more challenging physically, but can also induce psychological stress/sense of losing control, which is not a lot of fun.

Fibrosis/scarring of lungs

This is a big one.    Fibrosis/scarring of the lungs has been observed in a significant number of people and one of the most common issues associated with it is reduced pulmonary function, which can result in exercise-induced dyspnea (shortage of breath) and the same physical/psychological stress discussed earlier.

However, there is also a potentially increased risk of DCS (due to uncertainty about how this affects gas absorption models).       And there is also the potentially increased risk of lung barotrauma, due to gas getting trapped in the alveoli of the affected areas.

At present, studies are still ongoing on the actual risk, but until there is firm data on what those risks are, it is better to play it safe and be extra cautious.

Cardiac issues

A very large fraction (up to 25%) of people who were hospitalized with COVID have also been affected by cardiovascular complications of some sort or the other.     And given that diving poses an incrementally greater load on the heart due to the pressure of the blood, this means that again, there is a potentially greater risk of cardiac issues when diving.

The same caveats apply – the signs clearly indicate a potential risk.   So until there is further study on where the safety line gets drawn, it is better to err on the side of caution.


This bears repeating again:  we are not doctors.   We are dive bums who refuse to confirm or deny whether we pee in our wetsuits.     This is not meant to be specific medical advice for you.    This is just a general guideline based on various sources online as well as recommendations of our own diving physician.     Treat this is a bare minimum but speak to your doctor.   If your doctor recommends a more rigorous test procedure, by all means listen to your doctor.   And remember – nothing prevents you from choosing a more rigorous set of tests either.    Better safe than sorry!

Also, let’s define “COVID recovery” for the purposes of this section – it is defined as the time when you have (a) finally tested negative AND (b) are fully recovered with no lingering symptoms AND (c) have reached your normal baseline level of fitness.      All 3 conditions have to be met for you to consider yourself as having recovered.

With that out of the way, these are the current broad guidelines on when you can resume diving after Covid.   In all cases, please speak to the doctor who was treating you, and get his/her clearance – if s/he recommends a follow-up with a specialist, get that done.

Asymptomatic Patients

Asymptomatic COVID patients should wait a minimum of 30 days after COVID recovery (as defined above) before getting back in the water.

Mildly Symptomatic Patients

It is recommended that patients suffering from very mild symptoms wait for a period of 30 days to 3 months after full recovery, depending on the severity of their symptoms and then get, at minimum (or more if recommended by your doctor), the following tests done and reviewed by a specialist before getting back in the water:

  • Chest XRay/ECG
  • Clearance from a pulmonary specialist

Moderate to Severely Symptomatic Patients

If a diver has suffered severe symptoms, including hospitalization, s/he should wait a period of 3-6 months after full recovery (again, depending on the severity of the symptoms) and then undergo the following tests at minimum (or more, if recommended by your doctor) before getting getting back in the water:

  • Complete pulmonary testing
  • CT scan of lungs
  • Exercise/cardiac stress test, preferably with spO2
  • Clearance by both a cardiac and a pulmonary specialist

If you have been on a respirator, my personal recommendation is that you do not dive for now and wait for more detailed studies to be completed first.   It isn’t worth taking the risk!   Similarly, a few cases of people with long Covid also have reported issues of neurological or cognitive dysfunction – that has to be addressed/resolved before they are to be considered as  fully recovered.

In each of the cases above, note that you wait the appropriate duration and THEN undergo the appropriate tests.

If your doctor recommends a waiting period that is shorter than what is suggested above, we will still recommend you play it safe and wait for longer (obviously, if your doctor does have experience with diving medicine, that’s a different story).       This is not to impugn on the doctor’s credentials – but more to do with risk management as a diver.   Remember:   not many establishments in India have the expertise to deal with diving-related issues, and your typical dive destination is also further away from the top medical facilities.   So better to be safe.

Also, if you would like a consult with a diving specialist, please contact us and we will put you in touch with Dr Partha, our diving specialist.  


So you have done your tests, you have cleared the recommended tests, waited the appropriate amount of time (and then a bit longer, as befitting a conservative diver) and finally, it is time to go diving.

Be aware of a couple of things, especially initially:   the first is extra fatigue after diving, which could be a sign of sub-clinical DCS or a sign that something is not kosher with your cardio-pulmonary functions.    Also be very careful about shortness of breath – if you feel even remotely out of breath, abort the dive immediately and get back to the surface.

And be extra careful about your typical diving parameters – the first dive trip may be a good time to increase your computer’s conservative setting by one level, or to be extra cautious about staying within your NDLS.   Make sure you do a slow ascent and perhaps throw in a longer safety stop.   Hydrate well between dives.   Etc. etc.   You know the drill – you have learned it in Open Water.     Time to play it by the book, if you aren’t already doing so.

We understand the eagerness to get back in the water – we are itching to do so, as well.   But this is a sport for a lifetime – don’t ruin it for yourself by being a little too hasty initially.

Safe diving!



The following is a list of useful articles to read.   When reading, please note the dates of publication and be aware that some of the info may be replaced by more recent findings.    This is very much an evolving science right now.

What divers need to know about cardiac health (general article on cardiac health for divers
AHA:  What COVID is doing to the heart, even after recovery (cardiac risks after COVID)
DAN Europe’s flowchart for resuming diving (based on current best practices – may be subject to change as the science and knowledge evolves)
USC San Diego Guidelines for Evaluating Divers during the COVID-19 pandemic (a leading report from May 2020 that is driving the direction of current thinking/research)
What you should know about diving after COVID-19 (an Apr 2021 summary, has links to additional studies as well)
DAN Europe Physicians’ Field Experience Regarding Diving after COVID-19 (an Apr 2021 report with more anecdotal info on the risks flagged by the USC report, and more)
NIH:  Fitness to Dive and Medical Assessment Guidelines (from Sep 2020)
Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society – Return to Diving Post Covid-19 (older paper from April 2020)

Scuba Diving in Bangalore

By Articles, Blogs, scuba diving in india

Learn Scuba Diving in Bengaluru (Pool Training)

One of the most common questions we get is – “why would we dive in Bangalore? What is there to see?”
The answer to the second question, of course, is nothing. But the answer to the first is, quite simply, because it is a great way to get started with the sport.

Typically, people associate diving with going on holiday, diving in colorful reefs amidst large schools of fish, etc.  And yes, that is indeed correct – that is why we dive, after all. But before you get to diving on reefs, you have to complete some theory (online learning and sessions with an instructor) and also some skills training (aka, confined water training).

Yes, you can choose to do it all while on vacation – a lot of people do just that. You can also choose to complete this training in one of our @Home centers, such as Bangalore. What are the benefits of doing so?

Here is a list:

– You don’t waste your precious vacation time in training, but can use this time to get some additional dives in – so you maximize your diving/leisure time while on holiday

– You can learn at your own pace, without the time pressure of a holiday

– You can even use this time to decide if diving is the sport for you (fair warning – for most people, the answer is “yes”).

Even if you are not planning to get certified, but just want to do an Intro to Scuba, doing a pool session first gets you comfortable with scuba diving in a familiar environment, and you are more likely to enjoy your diving experience, as opposed to going diving straight away.

And pool training is not just for beginners.

Perhaps you are a newly certified diver who wants to get more comfortable with some skills, or you want to familiarize yourself with new equipment. Or perhaps it simply has been some time since you dived last and you want a refresher? Again, why waste one of your precious holiday days with refreshers, when you can do that at your convenience at home?

Lastly, want to try out some new gear? We regularly have tester kit available to try – you are welcome to try new masks, fins, BCD, etc in a pool and get familiar with it, before buying.

Pool sessions are a great way to stay involved in the sport and make it a sport that you engage in all the time, and not just once or twice a year on vacation!

Here are a few of our happy customers and their journey from the Bangalore Pool to a remote diving destinations

Scuba diving in Chennai

By Articles, scuba diving in india

Scuba Diving in Chennai

Ever imagined how it will be to wake up in your own bed, pack only a swimsuit, hop in a car, drive to the shore, get on a boat, kit up and dive? Scuba Diving in Chennai is exactly that. We are here to celebrate your love for diving, right in your backyard.

‘Is there life in the seas here? Can you see anything at all in these green waters? Can a new diver like me dive in Chennai?’, you may ask. The answer is yes, yes and yes.

Chennai is one of the big players in Indian fishing industry, owing to the rich faunal diversity all along Tamil Nadu coast. Yes, the visibility under water is not the greatest, and yes, we pray to the Wind Gods for a successful day everyday, but reefs off Chennai are some of the most prolific reefs we have come across along the coast of mainland India.

Scuba Diving in Chennai – Best Dive Sites:

#1 Thoondil Street: One of our deeper sites where the world changes at about 18 meters, where the visibility shifts from tens of meters to only a few. However, the murky waters don’t stop marine life to thrive down there. The flat bottom that sits at 26 meters is made of rocks covered with soft coral and sponges. Right as you enter the murky waters, you are met with schools of snappers and fusiliers leading their fast paced lives and schools of sweet lips swimming around like a parade of soldiers. The bottom is busy with the groupers having one of their Mafia sit-downs and random excursions by sea snakes.

Thoondil Street - Best dive site in chennai

Scuba Diving in Chennai – Best Dive Sites

#2 Castle Rock:
This dive site is a beautiful example of conservation efforts by people concerned about the insistent overfishing along Tamil Nadu coast. This is one of the artificial reefs built to promote the use of traditional fishing gear like hook and line over the more destructive trawlers and seines. Sitting at about 25 meters, these blocks of concrete house a variety of fish species. On a good day, you might find yourself stuck here in a traffic jam of fish. Starting from patient groups of groupers, goofy gobies and gliding lionfish at the bottom, you will see fish like longfin banners, oriental sweetlips, snappers, fusiliers and surgeons schooling in hundreds over the structures.

Scuba Diving in Chennai – Best Dive Sites:

#3 Vaddi Pop & Garden Rock: These are our shallow dive sites, perfect for beginners to apply the skills learnt in confined waters. Starting at 12 meters, the sites are built of big boulders running parallel to the shore and go down till about 16 meters. The rocks are laden with sea fans and whip coral, gardened by butterfly and longfin banner fishes. Feather duster worms and nudibranchs can be seen beautifying these fans and rocks frequently.

One of our most treasured dive sites in Chennai, however, is not in the sea. In the hills of Kanchipuram, we have found this abandoned quarry which is just perfect to experience diving in its purest form, and never again be bothered by bad visibility, swells, currents or any out-worldly distractions.

Scuba Diving in Chennai – Best Dive Sites:

#4 ShowCat Boneyard: The smaller, right side of the quarry has submerged, mostly dead trees and shrubs growing on a bed of sedimentary rocks, eventually falling down into a valley upto 27 meters. The curious placement of rocks makes it a ‘site’ to behold.

Scuba Diving in Chennai – Best Dive Sites:

#5 Mayajaal:
The much larger, left side of the quarry seems like a scene out of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas. After a gradual slope till 7 meters, the site drops straight to 27 meters along a humongous scarred wall of sedimentary rocks. Ideal for running deep scenarios, the flat bottom will keep you entertained with numerous crab gatherings, random appearances of truck headlights and tyres, TNT shells, fuse reels and scorch marks on the walls.

There is much more to diving in Chennai than what meets the eye. From rich marine ecosystems hidden in murky waters to new ecosystems sprouting in clear fresh waters, diving here is meant to change your perspective of the world underwater altogether. Contact us for more

Is Scuba Diving Safe in The Andamans

By Articles, Blogs, News

Is Scuba Diving Safe in The Andamans

As India (and most of the world) starts to open up and learn to live with COVID, a very common question we get asked is – is scuba diving safe in the Andamans, specifically from a COVID point of view.

To start with, let’s be clear on something – COVID hasn’t gone away and likely, will not for the foreseeable short/middle term. So the only way to maximize exposure to COVID is to stay at home and self-isolate.

When we go out and about – be it to the grocery store, be it to a restaurant, be it to work – we do have a certain additional risk that we are exposed to. So a more apt way of looking at things would be-  is that exposure greater or lower if we come to the Andamans for scuba diving?

In our opinion, coming for a trip to the Andamans does not pose a significant incremental risk – and in fact, is quite likely to result in a lower risk of exposure. This is for a bunch of reasons.

The first and foremost is that Andamans, at present, has negligible cases of COVID (4, at the time of writing this article on Feb 23, 2021). That means a very low risk of transmission by exposure.

Second, everyone who flies to the Andamans is required to get a COVID-negative test done within 48 hours of taking the flight. As is, the case load across the country has dropped significantly and by adding a COVID test, this minimizes the potential of exposure even further.

Thirdly, all tourist places are following regular safety protocols – sanitization, temperature checks, requiring people to wear a mask at all times.

Specifically to diving, we follow the protocols laid down by Divers Alert Network and PADI for sanitizing and disinfecting equipment between dives. We have also shifted much of our classroom training to online sessions, to minimize exposure and contact. Lastly, the fact that diving is conducted off a boat (ie, not in an enclosed space with recirculated air) also helps reduce the viral load, if any.

Look, we are not experts with complex mathematical models to determine risk. However, as people who live and dive in a place with no COVID cases (Havelock and Neil don’t have any recorded cases), we are acutely aware of the risk to ourselves, if nothing else. Based on the information available, we feel very confident that the risk – while not zero – is may actually be lower than what it would be based on just regular day-to-day life at home.

I am BLOG.



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