Andaman Islands

ANDAMAN ISLANDS DIVE TRAVEL IN A NUTSHELL

India's Andaman Islands are located generally (roughly 800 miles) of the main country within the Andaman Sea.  They are technically closer to Myanmar and Thailand but owned by the India government.  The islands still remain relatively untouched, providing a very remote feeling which is so hard to find these days.  You really can see it all in the Andamans, from lush tropics and an active volcano, to beautiful reef and marine life, to black sandy bottoms perfect for underwater photography.  

Intro to ANDAMAN ISLANDS

The Andaman Islands, among the most remote islands in the world, are a relaxed tropical island outpost belonging to India. . One of India’s most fascinating water bodies, the archipelago comprises 572 virgin tropical islands with unique wildlife & lush forests; and with the Andaman Sea to the east between the islands and the coast of Burma, stretching across 6,400 sq. km.


Stunning, near-deserted beaches, remote volcanoes, gorgeous corals and marine life, an intriguing colonial past and the remnants of a Stone Age culture lure travellers to these mysterious islands in the warm, tropical waters. Visiting the Andaman Islands really is a special adventure. These islands are among the last places in the world with a minimum human footprint - only 26 of these 572 islands are inhabited!

 

ANDAMAN ISLANDS DIVE OVERVIEW

WhAT TO SEE

Some dive sites feature marvellous reefs with schools of fish and interesting underwater creatures such as pipefish, pufferfish and scorpionfish. You can also find moray eels, octopus and, from time to time, sea snakes. Triggerfish and batfish like to frequent the rip-offs and the walls along with the schools of snapper and large bumped parrotfish. Mantas and eagle rays are also frequent visitors of Barren Island.

ANDAMAN ISLANDS DIVE SITES

Andaman Islands is one of the rare diving destinations in the world that offers it all!place that offers it all. There are many diving destinations in the Andamans, here are some of the best dive areas:

Barren Island

Diving the surrounding waters of this remote island with the only active volcano in all of South Asia is simply stunning! With superb visibility, lush & fast growing coral gardens, Manta Rays & other pelagics, abundant & varied marine life, unique underwater stone & lava formations.. this is scuba diving at its most sublime! 

The Southern Islands 

Diving the surrounding waters of this remote island with the only active volcano in all of South Asia is simply stunning! With superb visibility, lush & fast growing coral gardens, Manta Rays & other pelagics, abundant & varied marine life, unique underwater stone & lava formations.. this is scuba diving at its most sublime! 

Duncan Island & Ritchie's Archipelago

Lying 25–30 km east of Great Andaman, Ritchie’s Archipelago consists of 4 larger islands, 7 smaller islands and several islets. There are several interesting dive sites here with world class diving at Johnny’s Gorge, Dixon’s Pinnacle. Duncan Island is an impossibly beautiful island with some gorgeous dive sites such as White House Rock & Inket Wreck ( a Japanese WWII shipwreck).

Narcondam

Narcondam's prime dive sites include rocky ridges and steep slopes like Chimneys, Ooh La La and Lighthouse Reef, where massive barrel sponges, huge gorgonian fans and lush soft corals thrive in often-vigorous currents. Fish life can include the big boys like Napoleon wrasse, bumphead parrotfish and mantas, as well as occasional whitetip and grey reef sharks.  There are several sites to dive around this area.

 

ANDAMAN ISLANDS DIVE INFORMATION

Best time to dive: The diving season in the Andaman Islands extends from Octoberb to May. June-September sees heavy rainfall  and monsoon storms. To dive the Barren Island, February to April would be the best period of time. 

Water temperature: 81-86°F (27 - 30°C)

Visibility: 16-131 ft (5-40m)

Depth Range: 16-98 ft (5-30m)

 

ANDAMAN ISLANDS TRAVEL INFORMATION

How to get there

The main airport is located at “Port Blair” and several good flights land here daily, from Chennai or Kolkata in mainland India (about a 2-hour flight). Some airlines that fly to Port Blair include Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Air India and GoAir. 

Visa requirements

For foreigners, a visa to India is required. As the islands are a “restricted area”, a special permit is also required which can be obtained at Port Blair airport on arrival (30 day stay allowed). 

Other Activities 

Most activities in the Andamans revolve around diving and the ocean. You can take time discovering seven of their beautiful beaches, such as Beach 7, also known as Radhanagar Beach. You can also enjoy a great reef snorkelling right off the shore. The other popular activity choices include fishing, mangrove safaris (to see saltwater crocodiles) and kayaking. Offshore, you can enjoy excellent jungle treks with the guides from local lodges. You can even take on a multi-day hiking tip.  

More Useful Facts 

Currency: INR (Indian Rupee)

International Phone Code: +91

Main Airport Code: IXZ

Time Zone: UTC +05:30

 

ANDAMAN ISLANDS PHOTO COLLECTION

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Barracuda

Large school of barracuda during a safety stop

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Blenny

An earspot blenny peers out of its hiding spot in the hard coral

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Reef

Beautiful hard and soft corals

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Sea Shrimp

Wire coral shrimp

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Sea Krait Sea kraits are often found free swimming in the Andamans

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Soft Corals

Stunning wall covered with soft coral 

Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Volcano


Andaman Islands Scuba Dive Volcano

The volcano at Barren island spewing smoke and ash which afforded amazing sunsets

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