The Andaman archipelago boastfully claims to be the best diving in India.
The group of must-dive islands are located across the eponymous sea in the Indian Ocean.
They are found in the Bay of Bengal east of the Indian peninsula and south-west of Burma.
Recent world tourism facts suggest that some of the 300 isolated islands are among the least visited places on earth.
With a few exceptions they collectively form the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India.
The climate is tropically warm with refreshing sea-breezes and sporadic rain storms. The dry sunny season is typically from November to April.
The Nicobar Island chain is located in the eastern Indian Ocean region of South East Asia.
The archipelago is less than 150 kilometers from the north of Sumatra and separated by the Andaman Sea to the west of Thailand. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are situated southeast of India in the Bay of Bengal.
Diving and snorkeling in the Andaman Islands around Port Blair offers a unique opportunity to explore and experience virtually untouched marine ecosystems. They received World Heritage status in 2002. The Andamans are one of the newest diving destinations in this region of the Indian Ocean.
The off-shore dive sites around Passage Island and Barren Island are recognized for their unmatched marine bio-diversity and swimming pool-like water clarity up to 50 m viz. In fact Passage Island is home to some of the biggest fish species in the Indian Ocean.
Tuna, groupers, eagle rays and sharks patrol the nearby pinnacles and reefs. Barren Island is an active volcano which creates a distinctive landscape above and below the water line.
The sites dive down more than half a kilometer to the abyss below but this unusual terrain attracts Hammerhead Sharks to the area.
Travel further north and the dive spots are even more dramatic and diverse. The fish activity increases and the species are more wondrous. Clouds of manta rays, beer-barrel size sponge corals 4 meters high, and sea fans the size of a satellite dish are all reminiscent of diving in the world-famous Similan Islands in Thailand.
If there is a negative point to make it would be traveling by boat to the long distances necessary to reach the best dive sites. Nevertheless, frontier scuba diving in the Andaman Islands is developing fast and there has never been a better time to join the Andaman explorers.