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About Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar are a large group of nearly 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal. Andaman and Nicobar islands are India's secret paradise that offers stunning beaches, pristine coral reefs, active volcanoes, swimming elephants, elusive dugongs and big fish all in one place. The seas here are some of the world’s most unspoiled. The coastal waters surrounding these islands are the abode of one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world. Marine life is abundant, with an estimated 750 species of fish, including parrot fish, angel fish, manta rays, nurse and leopard sharks, schools of hammerhead and loggerhead turtles; silvertip and white tips also appear sometimes. Many of the islands are surrounded by fringing reefs, often several hundred meters wide, and separated from the shore by a lagoon of similar width. Volcanic mountains and underwater ridges may make it a trying experience for even an expert diver. Though, beginners as well as experienced divers can find a lot of places to dive. There are plenty of shallow reefs suitable for snorkeling. The best dive sites in the Andamans are in very remote locations and can be accessed via a liveaboard. Havelock Island is considered the main diving destination with its beautiful beaches, great snorkeling and scuba diving. Among the dive sites in the area, which depth ranges between 20-35m/65-114ft are Johnny's Gorge, Jackson's Bar and Dixon's Pinnacle. Sites suitable for all levels include Lighthouse, which is also great at night, The Wall, Elephant Beach, Minerva Ledge and Inket Wreck. Other wonderful dive spots include Barren Island, which is an active volcano that offers crystal clear visibility and a series of wall dives, with the main one dropping down to over 90m/295ft. The site also features fast growing coral gardens sparkling with contrasting colors of bright fish set against the jet-black background of the wall making the whole diving experience almost psychedelic. South Andaman island has a Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park with its 50 types of corals. Narcondam Island is an extinct volcano described in tourist guides as ‘a wondrous realm of stunning marine life and coral reefs'. Cinque island is ideal for divers of all experience levels. Its best dive sites include North Point and Southeast Reef, great for novices and Invisible Bank, a fantastic dive spot with plenty of big fish. Neil island is especially famous for its hard and soft coral gardens considered the loveliest in the whole of Andamans. Rutland island features shallow waters that offer a good spot for training, there is also a good wreck dive for more experienced visitors, located just south of North Brother.

When to go to Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Best diving conditions are from November through April. The monsoon usually hits around late May, lasting until August and bringing strong winds, frequent rain and low underwater visibility. Post Monsoon period is from September till November and diving can still be good at this time of year. The temperature through the year ranges between 23C/73F and 31C/87F. Underwater visibility in the area ranges between 10-45m/30-150ft.