Andamans are beyond sun and sand—the azure waters are ideal for water sports like diving, scuba diving, snorkelling and much more. The biggest lure for travellers is undoubtedly the marine life, which has made it one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Over the years, a number of diving schools have come up that offer long- and short-term courses. The warm waters are also perfect for an afternoon of snorkelling. Other active water sports like windsurfing and sailing are slowly gaining popularity.
While searching for water sports companies, visitors must make sure to sign up with credible organisations. For diving, look for PADI certification before signing up for any of the courses. PADI refers to Professional Association of Diving Instructors, a worldwide certification associated with recreational diving. A PADI certification ensures that the establishment is a credible organisation, which uses standard systems of learning.
With a plethora of diving companies coming up every season, it is difficult to choose the perfect one for dive. Some of the popular ones are Barefoot Scuba, Andaman Bubbles and Lacadives. With an earthy resort of the same name, Barefoot is a trusted name ever since diving became popular in Andamans. Guests, staying at the resort or outside, can sign up for long- and short-term courses. The groups are small and personalised attention is guaranteed. Associated with two of the best resorts in the islands, Andaman Bubbles offers a large number of variations for diving. The spots chosen by the team allow divers to go in as deep as 30 metres. Besides, if you are heading to Wandoor, sign up with Lacadives. The Lacadives team collaborates with the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Environmental Team (ANET) to offer environment conscious and educative dives off Wandoor.
Along with scuba diving, visitors can opt for snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing and gamefishing as per their preference.
Wandoor and Havelock are two major diving centres of the islands. Barracudas, snappers, sweetlips and an array of other species inhabit the clear waters. Myriad colours absorb both seasoned and first time divers. A standard experience includes a classroom session, gear, practice with instructors, diving with an instructor and other add-ons such as underwater photographs and videos. Some of the most famous diving spots in Andamans are Bala Reef, Snake Island, Corruption Rock, Havelock, Fish Rock near Passage Island, Rutland Island, Cinque Island and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park in Wandoor.
Though snorkelling is less technical, it allows travellers to get a peek into the underwater wonders as well. Snorkelling does not allow participants to go as deep but they can still see a wide variety of marine life in Andamans’ clear waters.
Few companies offer kayaking in the calm sections of the sea. It is one of popular activitiesamong families visiting Andamans as even the younger members can participate in kayaking.
Windsurfing with a board and a small sail to make cruise through the sea is ideal for the slightly more adventurous. This needs some amount of skill, but if you are planning to stay on for long, it may not be difficult to master.
Though ecologically, this is a controversial sport; some companies offer game fishing off the coasts of Havelock Island, Neil Island, Long Island and Ritchie’s Archipelago. Over the years, the catch and release concept has reduced the risk to marine life.