Jolly Buoy Island is one the most popular tourists attractions in the vicinity of Port Blair. This beautiful and scenic island is situated 15 miles from Wandoor jetty, which is part of Mahatma Gandhi National Park
Wandoor beach is 30 kilometers from Port Blair by road, and from there it will take a one hour boat ride (15 miles) to Jolly Buoy Island. The journey is an unforgettable experience that takes you through a luxuriant forest surrounded by clear, immaculate sea water.
The boat to the island leaves at around 9 a.m. Therefore you need to start your journey from Port Blair early. You will need to be at Wandoor beach some time before 8 a.m since you require to get an entry permit before you visit the island. You must submit a list of all the plastic items you are carrying at Wandoor beach, and a deposit will be needed for each plastic item. This will be refunded when you come back and produce the items again. This is meant to ensure that you do not leave any plastics on the island since it is a no-plastic zone. In case you are carrying cameras you will pay an extra amount. The process of getting the entry permit is not easy due to the long queues. If you are using a tour operator they will arrange the whole process for you. The number of permits available everyday is limited, so you need to check with the tourist office at Port Blair a day prior to your visit.
You also need to plan for food and drinks since these are not available for sale on the island. There are hotels at Wandoor where you can get food. It is recommended that you carry some bed sheets or newspapers which will assist you to relax as you enjoy your food while on the island. Littering is strictly prohibited and you must collect and clean any waste before you leave.
The name Jolly Buoy is an apt description of this delightful island with its spotless, shimmering white sands and turquoise-blue clear waters masterfully adorned by vibrant corals. It is one of only two islands (together with Red Skin Island) that are open to tourists within Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Jolly Buoy is a veritable diver’s paradise, whether you are a beginner or an experienced snorkeler. There is a tourist center as you enter the island where you will be given ample information so you can plan your activities seamlessly.
Immediately you arrive at the island you will be mesmerized by the serenity and awe-inspiring beauty of the place. This divine island is all about colors- with lovely shades of the sea and vividly-colored corals dotting the tranquil waters. The white sand is soothing and perfect for making sandcastles. With the strict littering policies, the beaches are litter-free. Because of limitations on the number of visitors at any one time, Jolly Buoy Island is still in pristine condition. This means visitors are treated to an atmosphere like that of a private beach. It is gloriously rich in corals and has an amazing variety of fauna. The underwater marine environment with its brilliantly-colored fishes will leave you awestruck. The nearby islands boast of lush thick forests and you will enjoy the stunning sea view between the islands.
You can view the underwater environment using snorkels or you can scuba dive to explore it in greater detail. There are also glass bottom boats available which will give you a panoramic view of the fauna and flora underneath. The water is also perfect for swimming-crystal clear and waist-deep. You can also take a relaxing walk to the lush forests or sunbathe on the white sand. Remember to carry the relevant gear for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.
The island is not accessible to tourists throughout the year. This is because it is a protected area for live corals. In addition, it is usually closed when there is bad weather since it is situated in an area under open sea. Tourists can visit the island between the months of October and March. When planning to visit Jolly Buoy Island, you should avoid there during the rainy season. The island is not open to visitors on Mondays.
All in all, a visit to Jolly Buoy Island is must when you are in the Andamans and you want to experience the real bounty of nature.
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