The Andaman Islands have escaped the notice of most divers. This chain of volcanic islands offer the opportunity to dive largely unexplored waters where new reefs and fish species continue to be discovered.
The archipelago is a jigsaw of over 500 volcanic islands scattered in the Bay of Bengal. Less than 10% are inhabited. The islands share history and traditions with each other and are inhabited by ancient tribes that today remain some of the most traditional in the world. The capital Port Blair is steeped in history and the gateway to these pristine islands; home to a vibrant community of just over 100,000 people with local restaurants and hotels available for short stays.
Visitors to this remote destination enjoy the unspoilt beaches and the tropical rainforests, home to a plethora of endemic wildlife and a world away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. For those seeking that tranquillity Havelock Island is home to intimate eco-resorts and offers daily diving and snorkelling amongst other activities. More experienced divers will find a liveaboard trip more rewarding.
Amongst the attractions of the Andaman’s are over 800 recorded species of fish and some of the healthiest and most diverse coral on the planet. Ritchie’s Archipelago offers a great range of sites suitable for snorkellers and divers; shallow fringing reefs, wall dives and Johnny’s Gorge, famous for it’s biodiversity of fish life from small anemone fish to schools of barracuda, rays and patrolling sharks.
Farther afield and reached by liveaboard only, there are two other fantastic areas for diving, the southern islands of North Cinque, Sisters and Passage, famous for shark encounters and bioluminescent diving, and the remote Barren Island, an active volcano. Here you’ll be dazzled by the soft corals of Purple Haze, enjoy manta ray encounters at the cleaning station and experience some unique topography.
The Andaman Islands offer plenty of attractions both topside and underwater. Best visited between December and April, the visibility ranges from five to 40 metres and the average water temperature is 28C.
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