HIDDEN JEWEL – ANDAMAN ISLANDS

Ocean lovers, snorkelers and eco warrior have long known about the beauty of the Andaman Islands. Located across the Bay of Bengal, approximately 620 miles from the mainland the island is pokes through aquamarine seas. Actually the submerged peaks of an underwater mountain range, the Andaman Islands are an ocean lover’s dream destination.

Visitors will require a permit to access most parts of the Andaman in order to protect its bio diversity and the six indigenous tribes that live in the area. Stepping into these areas is like stepping back in time, with most of the tribes being hunter gatherers who are fiercely hostile towards visitors to their area. The islands however, are fascinating and the surrounding natural environment and oceans are untouched by human destruction.  

Where to Stay
On Havelock Island a five star hotel resort has recently opened for those more interested in a luxury experience. The resort has 72 villas surrounded by banana plantations, coconut groves, mango and jackfruit trees. A fifty meter infinity pool, a spa and some five star restaurants are scattered throughout the resort. Outside of the resort, smaller, less luxury options are available for travelers on a budget, of for those who do not wish to splurge on accommodation. 

What to Eat
The Andaman Islands is a fertile and exotic  area that consists of three ecosystems that can be explored by nature lovers. The forests, mangroves and coral reefs support a massive abundance of marine and plant life. Arguably the best crab in the world comes from this area as well as large lobsters. Fruit is abundant and coconut is used in some way shape or form in almost every dish. The resort has three top restaurant offering a variety of western and local dishes while other smaller but no less skilled restaurants can be found throughout the island.

The Marine Life
Perhaps one of the main reason travelers come to this area is to explore the magnificent, colourful coral reefs. More than 89% of India’s coral diversity can be found in the oceans around the Andaman Islands. The accompanying sea life is a sight to behold with Staghorn coral, sea fans and plate coral for the fish to hide in. There are four types of turtles indigenous to the area as well, the green, olive Ridley, leatherback and hawksbill. Snorkelers can spend hours exploring the unspoiled beauty of the area.

Star Gazing
The area is almost completely unpolluted by light and it makes for some of the most beautiful star gazing in the world. On the secluded Neil Island, approximate 40 kilometers from the closest port the ocean is transformed into a sea of stars on a clear night.

The Nature
No visit to the Andaman’s would be complete without walking through the jungled islands. The forests are teaming with wildlife from reptiles to crabs and birds. Guided forest tours can be arranged for travelers who come to the island to experience its unspoiled beauty. 

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