Snorkeling in India

Snorkeling in India

India is home to fantastic snorkeling destinations teeming w...  Read more

India is home to fantastic snorkeling destinations teeming with exotic species of aquatic life. Choose to explore the underwater world of Goa, the Andaman Islands and even Tharkarli in Maharashtra.

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Snorkeling in India overview

Snorkeling in India

You’ll be surprised by how many snorkeling destinations there are in India. Thanks to the expansive coastline and good weather, it is a fun and exciting adventure activity that you can do for most of the year. Imagine swimming with schools of colourful fish and coral and immersing yourself in a completely different world underwater.

One of the ultimate vacation spots, ideal for both snorkeling and diving, is Goa. Explore marine life in the hidden pockets of Goa, and lounge on the beaches to relax as well. Other popular destinations include the Andaman Islands and Tarkarli in Maharashtra.

Goa

With its warm water and pristine yellow beaches, Goa is always a beautiful place to go to. It’s one of India’s favourite holiday destinations. But under the surface of the sea lies a whole new world filled with stunning marine life.

One of the most popular destinations is Grande Island in North Goa. If you’re staying around Calangute, Baga, Arpora or Candolim, you’ll be picked up and taken to a boat for your dive.

The boat ride out to the island takes you past sites like Millionaire’s Palace, Aguada Jail, and more. You might even spot some dolphins if things are going your way.

When you stop at Grande Island, you can spend some time at the deserted beach. After that, adjust your snorkel and mask, and step out into the warm tropical waters.

You’ll float over beautiful coral formations and some of the most magnificent marine life ever. You’ll spot parrotfish, angelfish, snappers, Moorish idols, and barracudas.

End your trip with a delicious Goan-style lunch and a beer at hand as you relax on the beach. Other islands to explore in Goa include the Wreck of Suzy, Cove of Shelter, and Bay of Bounty.

Andamans

The crystal clear turquoise waters of the Andaman Islands make for a perfect snorkeling destination in India. You can head over to Havelock Island where you’ll be sure to find breathtaking marine life, remnants of sea vessels, and stunning coral reefs.

Other spots include the Cinque Islands and the Passage Island, known especially for reef shark sightings.

Tarkarli, Maharashtra

On the Konkan coast, you will discover this gem of a destination for those who want to explore the underwater world. Tarkarli is accessible by road if you are coming from Mumbai or Goa. It's a new spot for the dives, so it’s far cheaper than most other destinations.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner in water activities, these dives are a fun activity that you’ll enjoy.

Best season

Wherever you choose to go for your trip, make sure the weather is warm. The summer months are the best bet, but you can also choose the months of October and November.

Avoid snorkeling in India during the monsoon months, or just before the rains arrive because visibility is usually lower at this time.

Snorkelling in India Summary

  • Total days: 1
  • Grade: Easy
  • Max altitude: 6 feet
  • Total Duration: 30 - 120 mins
  • Season: Summer
  • Avg temperature: 20 to 35 degree Celsius

Snorkeling Trip in Grande Island - 1 day

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1:

  • Start point: Sinquerim
  • Endpoint: Sinquerim
  • Day start time: 08:30 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

Underwater adventures await you on this trip at Grande Island. The itinerary includes a pick-up from your hotel at 08:30 hrs, so make sure you are ready on time.

Upon reaching the start point, you will take a boat out into the sea towards the island. Fuel up with a light snack while the boat cuts through the water. Be on the lookout for dolphins.

You will be on the island by 10:00 hrs. Put on the equipment and dive into the marine world underneath. You can also have a go at fishing if you are so inclined.

Two hours of open water fun is sure to leave you famished. The boat will depart for a deserted beach where a delicious Goan meal and barbeque awaits. You can relax on the beach or in the water.

Sip on unlimited rum and beer in addition to other beverages as you spend some quality time post your adventures. The boat will take you back by 15:00 hrs. From there, take the transport back to the hotel.

Inclusions:

The costs include transportation to and from your hotel. Kindly confirm with your operator about the same before booking any adventure. The boat ride to and from Grande Island is also a part of the inclusions.

All the equipment and gear along with the life jackets are covered in the expenses and will be provided by the operators. Fishing gear is also available on request.

Depending on the package selected, your meals and beverages may be included. There may be unlimited beverages in addition to rum and beer (after the dive). Snacks before the underwater adventure and Goan-style lunch after may also be included in the overall costs. Make sure you check the inclusions and the details with the operator at the time of booking.

Exclusions:

Any personal expenses such as beverages, extra meals, tips etc. are not included in the meals, nor are any kind of expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, strikes, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, as used.

Snorkelling Trip in Grande Island
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Boat Snorkeling in Havelock - 1 day

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1:

  • Start point: Beach 2, Havelock
  • Endpoint: Beach 2, Havelock
  • Day start time: 09:00 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

The reporting time at the dive centre is 09:00 hrs. Make sure you arrive in time as the rest of the snorkelers will be waiting for you. You will take a shared boat to the dive site from the center.

Under the expertise and guidance of the dive instructor, you will dive into the cerulean waters of the Andamans for a 45-minute session. After the enthralling experience, you board the boat and head back to the dive centre, bringing the underwater adventure to an end.

Inclusions:

A boat snorkeling session of 45 minutes is included in the cost. As is the boat transfer to and from the dive site. The expertise and services of the dive instructor is also covered in the expenses.

All the equipment that is needed for the water activity is provided. This includes the life jacket and all related gear. There are no hidden costs and all applicable taxes are included.

Exclusions:

Meals and refreshments will be served based on the packages selected. Accommodation, if provided, will be on a sharing basis in homestays or similar. Please check with your operator for the final details.

The costs do not provide for insurance of any kind. The same can be purchased individually. The transportation to and from the dive center is excluded and must be arranged independently.

Any personal expenses such as beverages, extra meals, tips, etc. are not included. Nor are any kind of expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, strikes, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, as used.

Snorkeling at Elephant Beach, Andamans - 1 day

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1:

  • Start point: Elephant Beach
  • Endpoint: Elephant Beach
  • Day start time: 09:30 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

Reach Havelock Jetty sharp at 09:30 hrs. Here, you will meet the rest of the divers and get on the boat that will take you to Elephant Beach. Cutting through the water, you will pass Havelock Island lighthouse and reach your destination.

Put on your gear and undertake a 30-minute session under the guidance of the expert instructors. Post the tiring yet thrilling activities, rest and take in the beauty of the beach.

You then board the boat which will take you back to the jetty while you gawk at the stunning views of the Andaman sea and the island shore. This brings the adventure to an end.

Inclusions:

The costs include the tickets for boat transfers between the jetty and the dive spot. They include a half-hour dive as well as all the equipment that will be required for the same.

The services and expertise of the instructors along with the support crew are also inclusive. You will have access to changing rooms at the beach. There are no hidden costs; all government permits and charges plus applicable taxes are included in the expenses.

Exclusions:

The operators do not provide travel services between your base city and the Havelock jetty and this will have to be arranged independently.

The costs do not provide for insurance of any kind. The same can be purchased individually. The transportation to and from the dive center is excluded and must be arranged independently.

Any personal expenses such as beverages, extra meals, tips, etc. are not included; nor are any kind of expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, strikes, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, as used.

Snorkelling at Elephant Beach, Andamans
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Shore Snorkelling in Havelock, Andamans
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Boat Snorkelling in Havelock (Andaman)
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Best time to go/Weather

The best time to go snorkeling in India is when the waters are warm. This makes summer the ideal choice. The time before winter sets in i.e. October and November are also a good choice.

During the monsoon months, diving is not advisable as the underwater visibility is poor, negatively affecting the experience.

Getting there

Most of the places that offer snorkeling are located at or near major tourist locations like Mumbai, Goa, etc. This ensures that they are well linked with the rest of the country.

You can choose either road, air or rail travel to reach your destination via any of the major tourist hubs. The only exception is the underwater adventures in Andaman.

You can reach the islands via air and ship. The airport is located at Port Blair and it offers direct flights to a few coastal cities from the mainland. You might need to carry some additional documents with you as well. Kindly inquire with your operator about the same.

What to wear

You will need to wear your swimwear. Choose to cover yourself with some non-restrictive clothes on top. For your feet, you can wear strap-on shoes. Remember to bring items like hats and sunglasses for protection against the sun in the open waters. Open footwear like sandals and flip-flops are not to be worn while diving.

Do not wear any loose clothing that will impede you in any manner while swimming. At the same time ensure that the clothing is not so tight so as to restrict your movement.

You should also not wear any expensive jewelry or have any wearable costly electronics on your person. Heavily embellished swimwear is also not permitted. This includes life jackets in order to ensure your safety. Fishing gear is also provided by some operators as an optional activity.

What to carry

All the gear and equipment that will be needed for the underwater adventure will be made available to you by the operators and guides. What you need to carry is your swimwear. For protection against the sun bring a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and waterproof sunscreen.

Carry a towel with you to dry yourself off after frolicking around in the waters. A change of clothes is optional but is recommended as part of the things to bring along with you.

Do not forget to bring along a govt. issued ID card. You should also carry a water-resistant backpack and fill it with your personal medications, first-aid kit, dry snacks, and water.

Preparation/Fitness

Snorkeling requires only a basic level of fitness and thus can be done by most individuals. It does require you to know swimming though and have no fear of the open water.

it is necessary for you to sign a medical questionnaire prior to the dive. Depending on how you answer, you might be required to get a signed certificate from your doctor stating you are fit. The final decision rests with the operators, always.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it is always best to consult your doctor before any activity that has an adventure element to it.

FAQs about Snorkeling in India

Is snorkeling a safe activity?

It is an ‘easy’ grade activity. It is relatively safe and requires no prior preparation and only a basic level of fitness. You do, however, need to have swimming experience and be comfortable with the open waters.

What is the best time to go for dives?

The most suitable time is when the weather and thus, the water is warm. This makes summer the obvious choice. The months before winter really begins are also ideal. Monsoons are not a good time because the visibility is remarkably poor.

How long does the entire activity take?

The duration of the dives depends on the packages that you have chosen and how far the spots are from the shore.

Most underwater sessions are anywhere between 30 - 120 mins but the overall duration can be much longer. It is best to inquire with your operators about the same.

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