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Snorkel at Elephant Beach

South Andaman, India



3 miles

Route Type



Added by John Chau

Explore a typically empty, pristine beach hidden beyond the jungle on the northwestern coast of Havelock Island. Clear waters, loads of fish, fresh coconuts, and beautiful coral make this spot well worth the trek!

Assuming that you made the ferry from Port Blair to Havelock Island, the best way to reach the trailhead would be to either rent a bicycle ($2/day typically) or a scooter/motorcycle ($8/day) and pedal or drive to the small sheltered bus station at the foot of the jungle. Leave your bike there and start your trek to the beach. It's only about 1.5 miles to get there, but it can be a little sketchy so bring a friend if you can (and besides, you'll want someone to share the view with!). You'll follow the main trail all the way to the beach, but be warned: it can be extremely muddy (but if it is, there's probably no one at the beach), there can be leeches on the grass or jungle floor, there are snakes, and lastly, there are elephants in the jungle.After trekking past several small village huts, you'll go over a wooden bridge, through a small clearing, and back into the jungle. As long as you stay on the main path, you should be fine. There are huge towering vines and paduak trees all around, and don't be surprised to see bright colorful birds dart overhead. You also might see many small lizards scurrying around.

Eventually, you'll exit the jungle with a large mangrove-like sandy beach in front of you that is typically dotted with small crabs running around. Keep walking towards the ocean, and upon reaching it, go left. Follow the ocean left and see if you can pick up the trail that the locals use. If not, stay along the beach and you'll cross over a small creek flowing into the ocean. Continue another 200 yards and there will be several huts and benches. Hide your gear somewhere around here and wade out into the water.

There is a "swimming" zone that is mostly encircled with buoys, and that's where a lot of the pretty coral is. Depending on whether or not the beach is staffed, your options might be limited as to where exactly you can go. Swim around, snorkel, fish, harpoon-fish (spearfishing with a pole-spear since spearfishing with a speargun is illegal on the island), or meet the local village boys who sometimes come out to swim and fish. If you make friends with them, they might even get you some coconuts for free!

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