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By: Seenu Mathew
The Andamans boast of some exquisite beaches, wondrous natural sites, amazing animals, rich forests and magnificent sunsets. But as beautiful as the islands are, the amazing world that awaits visitors underwater is even more mesmerising. Here are two ways you can explore this treasure trove of natural beauty during your Andaman tour.

The Andamans are home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world that harbour many rare and endangered types of coral as well. Snorkelling is a popular adventure activity that allows people to witness the beauty of the marine plant and animal life around the islands, right off breathtaking white sand beaches. For snorkelling, all you need is a mask with a snorkel tube and flippers, and of course, a spirit of adventure. There are many places, especially on Havelock Island, where you can rent snorkelling gear. While a good lung capacity and experience holding your breath underwater helps, it’s not really necessary since you can always swim right on the surface with your head underwater, and still take in air through the breathing tube that remains just above the waterline. However, even for experienced swimmers, snorkelling doesn’t allow one to go deeper than 20 to 30 feet. If that doesn’t seem like enough, you may want to try...

Scuba Diving:
If you really want to get deeper and explore the wonders of the underwater world, then scuba diving is a better, and more exciting, option. Of course, you need more gear and at least a few hours’ worth of training, but assisted dives that include an instructor who dives along with you and guides you, are available through a number of diving centres. While diving in itself is considered a life-changing experience, diving around the Andamans with its rich marine life makes for a memory you won’t ever forget, so make sure you try it at least once during your Andaman tour Popular dive sites include those around Havelock Island, Snake Island off Corbyn’s Cove beach, Bala Reef and Mahatma Gandhi National Park. The dive sites around the national park especially are home to amazing varieties of bright tropical fish such as surgeons, barracuda, snappers, sweetlips, Giant Trevally and Bumphead Parrotfish. Almost every dive around the Andamans is guaranteed to let you spot a range of wonderful marine life, beautiful corals and sponges and even endemic species like the Andaman Damselfish, Andaman Sweetlips, and the distinctive Indian-Ocean Spinecheek Anemonefish. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with all the species yet, your diving instructor will point out most of them and brief you before and after every dive.

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