From 3rd August 2021 Tourism activities re-open in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In view of the steady decline in cases of COVID-19 in Andaman Nicobar Islands an order has been issued by the Director of Tourism Department today regarding reopening of all Tourism activities in South Andaman and North Middle Andaman District from today.
The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman subject to compulsory RAT testing for Andaman Trunk Road commuters which will be carried out at Forest check post on the spot / same day on payment of applicable charges
A negative RT PCR report has to be presented by all passengers on arrival.
General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :
What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?
On arrival at Port Blair :
1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).
2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.
3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.
What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?
If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.
If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:
a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.
Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.
Straight out of a fairytale, South Button Island is located southwest of Havelock Island. The stunning islet is a part of the Rani Jhansi Marine National Park, and is popular for snorkeling as well as scuba diving owing to rich marine life, healthy coral population, and shallow depths. If you are lucky, then you can spot here Snappers, Barracuda, Trevally, Sweetlips, Groupers, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Turtles, Devil Rays and Manta Rays. Tourists are not allowed to climb the rocky outcrops on this island. You can spot white-bellied Sea Eagles flying high. You can visit this awe-inspiring island as a day trip from Havelock Island.
If you are looking for dreamlike natural surprises, then your search ends at South Button Island. Its thriving biodiversity, unexploited coral reefs, white sandy beach, adventurous experiences, a notable population of marine life, etc. are a few reasons why you should include this island in your beach vacation. Before you start planning your holiday, let us get you familiarised with its fabulous beauty.
How to reach South Button Island?
It’s a two-hour journey via a motorboat from Havelock Island to this island. Boats can also be hired from Port Blair.
What to see and do in South Button Island?
The island has an oceanic climate moderated by the surrounding sea. Its average temperature varies between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F). It receives heavy rain during the southwesterly monsoon season between June and October. Travellers visit this place from December to April.
Shallow-water coral reefs with high visibility are one of the major attractions around the tiny Island. These tropical coral reefs are at depths as shallow as 6 feet (1.8 meters). South Button Island is a popular site for snorkeling and scuba diving. During your vacations in the stunning Andaman Island, don’t forget to go for one of the finest scuba diving experiences in India that you can have on this island. It promises an extraordinary diving experience for certified divers as well as beginners.
It’s a quiet beach having white sand, turquoise water and coconut trees. It is so calm and you can actually feel the sea breeze flowing around you. You won’t find many people there. It is perfect for nature lovers and photographers. It offers everyone an altogether different experience.
Flora and fauna in South Button Island
Some of the trees and shrubs present on the island are as follows:
Rattan palm Calamus palustris, the climbing bamboo Dinochloa andamanica and Parishia insignis, Calophyllum soulattri, Artocarpus, Canarium, Dipterocarpus grandiflorus, Dipterocarpus pilosus, Endospermum chinensis, Hopea odorata, Salmalia insignis, Sideroxylon, Aprosa villosula, Baccaurea sapida, Caryota mitis and Dinochloa palustris.
The sea is full of life here but the island is too small to support large terrestrial mammals. Dugongs, water lizards, sea turtles, dolphins, and blue whales make their homes here. The fishes to be seen off-shore include snappers, sweetlips, lion fish, angel fish, butterflyfish, devil rays, manta rays and barracuda, as well as nudibranchs, octopuses and shrimps. Sea turtles breed on the island along with the endemic subspecies of the edible-nest swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus) and the distinctive white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster).
About South Button Island National
Along with the neighboring islands of North Button and Middle Button, both also national parks, it forms part of the Rani Jhansi Marine National Park off the coast of South Andaman Island. This national park in Andaman and Nicobar islands is the smallest national park in the country.
Situated in South Button Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, South Button Island National Park (SBINP) is nearly 73 kilometers (45 miles) far from Port Blair, the capital city. The national park is topographically found northeast of Port Blair city in the Andaman archipelago. In South Button Island, the SBINP covers a zone of five square kilometers (two square miles). This national park is popular for its sandy shorelines and ocean waters with clear visibility.
Encompassed by sandy shorelines and ocean waters, the national park territory is home to shallow-water coral reefs. Coral reefs can be discovered by tourists at the profundity of 1.8 meters (six feet) in the ocean water. In the recreation center range, marine life scientists have spotted dugongs, dolphins, and water reptiles. Vacationers specifically travel to this island as it is the most loved scuba jumping spot. SBINP encompassed via ocean water with clear visibility. The excellence of South Button Island National Park is further enhanced with chromatic blue water and abundant green trees and shrubs. Under the water, you can see various kinds of hued fish and reeds of different shapes. It is an altogether new world under the water.
The national park is located on the south-west of Havelock Island. You can reach there via a speedboat. It will take around two hours. You can witness shallow-water coral reefs on the island which is the major attraction.
Scuba diving in South Button Island
Your vacation in Andaman Island is incomplete if you don’t go for scuba diving here. South Button Island is known for the best diving spots in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is popular for having the white sandy beach, hypnotising turquoise lagoons, colorful corals, tempting cobalt waters, and enthralling marine life. Imagine going into the depths of such a magical place! It would be an experience of a lifetime. People from all over the world come to the Andaman Islands to experience this amazing water adventure activity, and their preference is South Button Island because that’s the one-stop destination for enjoying so many water sports.
If you are a water enthusiast (or not), you are going to enjoy the incredible marine life offered by the emerald isles. Diving is an extremely thrilling and amazing activity for all the water babies. You will be provided with all the necessary equipment including an oxygen cylinder, water goggles, a pair of fins, regulator, weights (to keep you underwater), etc. To enjoy this life-changing experience, you don’t need to be an experienced swimmer; a beginner can also have a truly rewarding time under the water while exploring the unknown. You cannot afford to miss a glimpse of the underwater world in South Button Island. It is beyond your imagination for sure!
The topography of the diving site and fish life is incomparable here. The prescribed depth limits are strictly followed by all diving instructors for safety purposes. Scuba diving in South Island is strictly performed under the supervision of professional trainers. But those tourists, who are experienced and certified, can request to dive at a site that is deeper than their previous experiences.
There are more than 40 places to dive into this Indian union territory. Various factors that influence the perfect diving experience are as follows:
Keeping all these things in mind while picking up a place for your dive can be a little bit tough. Isn’t it? But you should know that South Button Island is counted among the best places for scuba diving in the Andaman Islands.
Witness the beauty of ocean depths
The unique topography of the Andaman Islands makes the diving experience hard to get anywhere else. Most of its beaches are enclosed by long stretches of reefs that are hundreds of meters wide and are separated by the shore with shallow waters. Some of them are complemented by volcanic lava hills as well! The alive and untouched corals are home to the world’s most vivacious marine dwellers and fish that may pop-out from the azure ocean and display a gorgeous scene around the scuba diver. The abundance of corals and fish often enclose the diver from all directions that is enough to leave him in wonder and awe. Thanks to the protection offered by the Andaman Administration.
In South Button Island, you can indulge yourself in the fascinating activity of scuba diving and make your trip unforgettable. The dives are conducted preferably early in the morning because of clear visibility and increased chances of finding breathing corals during that time of the day. Complete assistance is given by the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified scuba instructor. He would brief you about the “dos and don’ts” of scuba diving.
Once you reach the dive site, you will be required to wear the proper equipment for scuba diving and listen to all the instructions carefully before embarking on your underwater experience. The universal underwater signs for communication will be taught to you. You will be given a test dive session in the shallow waters so that you can become familiar with the gear. He will accompany you through the entire procedure. After making you do breathing practice and other techniques along with answering your questions (if any), the trainer will take you under the water. That would be the exact moment when you will forget everything else that is happening outside!
Please note: Consumption of alcohol or any other intoxicating products is strictly prohibited before scuba diving.
Things to carry for scuba diving
If you want to become a licensed or professional diver, then you will be happy to know that Andaman Island offers different certifications and licenses from certified schools. You can dive at basic dive sites around the world once you get the diving card.
We know that ticking off scuba diving from your bucket list is long due, and South Button Island is the best place in Andaman to do it. You don’t need to book your slot in advance. The hotel/resort where you are staying will take care of it. Apart from scuba diving, there is one more way to get indulged in marine life exploration in South Button Island. This includes snorkeling. The instructors will take care of all your requirements to ensure that you have a wonderful vacation.
Scuba diving is one of the most popular water activities in the world. In India, Andaman Islands are known for having the best diving spots. The Andamans are surrounded by the underwater coastal belts, which are home to a dense ecosystem of coral reefs and formations. A good chunk of visitors is attracted to the isles owing to excellent diving opportunities, along with calm and peaceful beaches, as well as delicious seafood.
Here’s what travellers have to say about their visit to South Button Island
Every year, people from all over the world get attracted to the pristine beauty and untouched sandy beaches of Andaman Island. It has some of the most scenic spots for travel and nature lovers. This archipelago is visited by travellers to uncover and explore its jewels. The entire island is amazingly striking but there is one place that nature lovers and beach bums never miss- South Button Island. It is known for some of the most unique sights. If Andaman Island is a crown, then South Button Island is its most precious gem! Nothing can beat this island in Andamans when it comes to surreal beauty. It would be the best place for your beach vacation.
So start planning and get set, go. South Button Island will be a great addition to your travel list.
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