Barefoot at Havelock, Andaman Islands, India

Explore the best beach in Asia

Barefoot at Havelock Elephant

The elephant, Rajan, on Beach No. 7     Photo: Barefoot at Havelock

Best For: Dive fanatics who think they’ve seen it all.

OK, so you’ve crossed every shark in the ocean off your diving life list, but have you ever swum with a dugong? The coral reefs surrounding Havelock Island teems with sea turtles, barracuda, tuna, stingrays, and, yes, even an occasional endangered dugong. The trouble will be gathering enough motivation to leave the comfort of legendary Beach No. 7, a 1.5-mile stretch of sand so pristine that Time magazine once rated it the best in Asia. The 18 bungalows, with hardwood floors and palm-thatch roofs, are nicely spaced on seven acres—each within spitting distance of the sand. Go austere and book one of the eight Nicobari villas, which have no television, Internet, or telephone. Fill your days with snorkeling, diving, jungle walks through 100-foot-tall maruma trees and wild orchids, expeditions to distant volcanic islands, and Ayurvedic treatments.

When to Go: December to May is the best time for scuba diving.

How to Get There:  Fly to Port Blair from Calcutta, Chennai, or New Delhi, then take a two-hour ferry to Havelock Island. The resort is a 30-minute drive from the ferry; from $91 per person, per night for a Nicobari villa; barefootindia.com

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