Andaman Islands Dive Sites

Andaman Islands Dive Sites

Join a liveaboard cruise to the remote and relatively unexplored Andaman Islands where the dive sites offer great variety and visibility to all levels of guests.

Andaman Islands

The Andaman Islands dive sites have a diverse topography which includes lava tubes, ash beds and volcanic substrate. There are walls, wrecks, fringing reefs and coral gardens for divers to explore. Visibility is usually good in the turquoise waters and currents are mild.

The Andaman Islands dive sites contain over 750 species of fish, sharks, rays and turtles, many are endemic to the area. 

Some of the more accessible diving is around the Havelock, Neil, Long and South Andaman islands. If you join the liveaboard cruises they also include the remote and fascinating areas of Barren Island and Button island. The first still has an active volcano producing interesting dive sites with black sand.

In general, the dive sites are relatively easy and open to all levels of divers, with a few exceptions where some experience is required.

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Barren Island

Located on the edge of the Indo Burmese tectonic plate, this island is in an active volcanic region with black sand that is teeming with colourful life. Known for its larger pelagic marine life the walls are covered with reef fish. Coral life is limited due to lava flows and the resulting sand that can cover the area. Topography varies from walls that descend to over 700m in the south and gentle sloping reefs in the north.

Hammerheads, manta rays, Silvertips, grey and white tip reef sharks can all be seen here along with trevally, tuna and barracudas.

Narcondam island or South Button Island

Further out from Port Blair again you will find the islands of Narcadam, remote and pristine with an extinct volcano resulting in a healthy reef. The topography is rocky ridges with steep slopes and healthy reefs.

There are shallow waters in the north and east where some fantastic macro life can be found, but heading down the slope to the deeper waters can result in hammerhead sightings.

The barrel sponges here can be up to 4m in size, and gorgonian sea fans are enormous.

One of the big attractions here are the year-long sightings of the Manta rays and Mobula which can be found in both deep and shallow waters right up to the beach. Schools of up to 50 rays can be seen at any one time.

Massive dogtooth tuna, Napoleon wrasse and giant grouper are here along with schools of snappers, fusiliers and trevally.

Campbell Shoal off North Button Islands

This site is known to have some of the best hard coral formations in the Andaman islands, marine life here includes Manta rays, white tip reef sharks, stingrays and groupers.

Havelock Island.

Havelock is an island where the majority of the scuba diving in the Andaman islands takes place. It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful reefs and is rich in marine life. The sites are relatively untouched and many unexplored.

Aquarium

An ideal site for newer divers with mainly fringing hard coral reef that supports a variety of reef fish. Currents are usually calm and very predictable. As with any aquarium, reef life is stunning with butterfly fish, batfish, crocodile fish seen all around. Dolphins are often spotted on the surface.

Johnny’s Gorge

Only suitable for advanced divers this is one of the best dive sites in the Andaman islands named after a local who discovered it many years ago. The topography is two coral reefs which are separated by a shallow plane, a small site with some fantastic reef life.

There are regular visits from dolphins here with large schools of barracuda, giant groupers, snappers and eagle rays.

Shark sightings are what makes this site every divers favourite in the islands, and resting on the sandy bottom, there are often sightings of white tip reef sharks.

Dixon's Pinnacle

Dixon's Pinnacle was also named after its discoverer a local instructor and Johnny’s brother, and it is a very popular choice for experienced divers.

The giant rock pinnacles rise from the seabed at 30m and are coated in corals and barrel sponges. Here you can find batfish and trevally, stingrays, napoleon wrasse, moray eels and white-tip reef sharks.

Junior emperors are often seen with their distinctive, colourful markings. Look for turtles, and in the cleaning stations, manta rays are often seen.

Jackson's Bar

This large plateau was named after the third local diver brother who discovered it and is covered by hard and soft corals along with barrel sponges.

The site is known for a significant amount of Khules stingrays that are present here, and there are other rays and reef sharks that also are regularly seen. In the sandy areas are fields of garden eels and with  Napoleon wrasse circling the site.

Invisible Bank - Flat rock

This is a pinnacle dive with a flat rock that breaks the surface by around 8m before descending to 30m+, but the main area is less than 15m. There is not a huge amount of coral formations here, but there is a multitude of marine life.

Sharks found here are grey and white tips along with occasional hammerhead sightings. bumphead parrotfish and napoleons are regular visitors along with giant barracuda, mackerel, tuna and trevally.

Lighthouse

This site is mainly used for night dives as it has perfect conditions and topography. The submerged rocky reef has good coral coverage with many sponges and gorgonian sea fans. Marine life here includes bumphead parrotfish, octopus, lobster, lionfish as well as a multitude of macro life.

Passage Island, Fish Rock

This is a pinnacle dive which is a rocky, sloping reef formation descending to around 30m with fingers, ridges and shallow walls. There can be some strong currents here, but divers are rewarded with incredible marine life sightings. The substrate is covered in soft corals, sponges and sea fans but hard corals are not present in significant numbers. This remote site attracts many pelagics and other marine life. Schools of snappers, fusiliers, barracuda, and tuna. Reef fish include Napoleon wrasse, bumped parrotfish, moray eels and groupers. There are turtles here and sharks such as grey and white tip reef sharks along with eagle rays.

Minerva Ledge

One of the larger sites this is a narrow rock with ridges and shallow coral gardens, it is surrounded by a sandy area in the deeper parts with interesting marine life. There is a wreck here and a mangrove area, some of the site is still relatively unexplored since Jacques Cousteau discovered the site in the 1970s.

There is an excellent chance to see the bigger marine life here with Napoleon wrasse, many rays including eagle, white tip reef sharks and even a chance to see a tiger shark.

Dives can be spent in one location where the fish life quickly overcome any shyness and come close to divers in their hundreds.

Look for stingrays, tuna, barracuda and all the usual marine life along with many nudibranchs.

S.S. Inchkett

This large wreck has now become home to a multitude of marine life which becomes evident as you descend down the line.

Coral is scattered across the structure which is home to many nudibranchs, ghost pipefish and other amazing macro life. Sweetlips hide on the structure, and there is a blind giant puffer fish that calls it home. Around the primary structure are many objects including an algae-covered toilet.

Mac Point

Mac Point is one of the most famous dive sites in the Andaman islands. This has a great hard coral coverage and regular dugong encounters.

Seduction Point

A huge rock formation named as it will seduce divers with the multitude of marine life found on it. Staghorn coral is prevalent here along with its usual residents, and Napoleon wrasse can be found all over the site.

Barracuda City

Baracuda City is suitable for intermediate and experienced divers due to the depth. This is a place to dive with many turtles and vibrantly coloured hard corals. Stingrays, reef fish and surgeonfish are plentiful here.

MV Mars

This is a small wooden cargo ship that sunk in 2006 during a storm and sits upright at 15m of depth close to the reef so both can be dived together. Visibility can be lower here but marine life swarms over the structure. Parrotfish, triggerfish, batfish, sweetlips and seahorses can be found here.

The Wall

A popular dive site close to the jetty, this is a small wall from 10 to 55m covered in soft corals and sea fans with a friendly Napoleon wrasse. Prolific fish life is found here with puffers, lionfish, tuna, trevally, fusilier and Moorish idols. Octopus and nudibranchs are also seen along with stingrays.

Neil Island

This is a small island that can be explored in two hours by foot but offers some great biodiversity in the relatively unexplored area.

Margherita’s Mischief

Despite the name, this is an easy dive open to all levels with a maximum depth of 16m and relatively little current. Dugongs are often seen here around the boulder formations in the clear water along with batfish, puffers, stingrays and snapper.

K Rock

This large volcanic formation is suitable for all divers and sits on a sandy seabed. Marine life includes sweepers, butterflyfish, snappers and soldierfish.

Other dive sites include Bus stop, Neil's cove and Junction.

Junction is a reef between Havelock and Neil Island in a finger formation ideal for adventurous divers as it can have some currents. There are many reef sharks found amid the colourful soft corals.

Other Activities

There are island visits to see the beaches and jungle. Havelock has Elephant beach where the famous swimming elephants can be seen.

Marine Park and Conservation in The Andaman Islands

There is one marine park called Mahatma Gandhi which was created in 1983 and covers 281.5 km 2.

Located south of the Andaman islands there are 17 islands and waterways under its protection, the two major groups being Labyrinth Islands and the Twin Islands which are situated 16km south of Port Blair.

Birds, fish, coral and nesting sea turtles are protected, and most of the area is off-limits to visitors.