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.
A family trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a dream come true to those who long for a relaxing vacation in the lap of nature in comparative solitude. Among the many attractions in the Andaman Islands, a short trip to Baratang Island is an opportunity to explore virgin territory that has been opened to visitors only recently. Rest assured, a trip to Baratang Island will be an enriching experience to the discerning traveler, with ample scope for lazing indulgence as well as adventure in uncharted terrain.
Where is Baratang Island located?
Baratang Island is the gateway to Middle and North Andaman for reaching places like Rangat, Mayabunder, and Diglipur. The 100 km journey from Port Blair to Baratang Island is a study in exploration through one of the maximum-security Andaman Trunk Road, which bisects the Jarawa Tribe Reserve. Registered vehicles are allowed to drive non-stop in convoys in a strictly monitored schedule. Lucky ones may fancy their chances of sighting a few members of the ancient tribe on the way, but any interaction with them is prohibited.
Culture and Traditions of Baratang Island:
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to people in two broad categories - indigenous and outsider settlers. The culture and traditions have emerged as a blend, rooted in the origin of these people. The Islands are home to six tribes, while the settlers are mainly Bengali and South Indians. The influence of the outsiders is amply reflected in the cuisine, languages of communication, and celebration of festivals. Baratang Island is the abode of the elusive Jarawa, is special which has remained unspoiled by the onslaught of civilization.
Key attractions in Baratang Island:
An abundance of the evergreen rainforest, meandering mangrove creeks, secluded golden sand beaches - where blue of sea and sky merge on the horizon in pristine glory, provide ample ideas for things to do at Baratang Island, like anywhere else in Andaman Island. What makes it special is the sight of unique natural wonders of Limestone Caves, Mud Volcano, and an evening amidst thousands of multicolored Parakeets returning to roost in the uninhabited Parrot Island. The spectacle of a riot of colors patterned by the Parakeets in the backdrop of Crimson Sky painted by the setting sun; is a breathtaking experience in the company of the noisy din, awakening the otherwise sedate Island to life. Not to mention the Speed Boat ride in the Mangrove Forest, which ranks among the top activities in Baratang Island. It transports the traveler to a world of light and shade, amid exotic wildlife and birds rekindling the curiosity of shutterbugs.
Why try out speed boating?
The Andaman Islands is a haven of water sports activities, a range awaiting visitors of all ages, from pushing up adrenaline rush to fun and frolic activities suitable for the entire family. While Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, and Sea Walking provide a ringside view of vibrant marine life, others like Speed boat ride in Andamans and Banana Boat ride is designed for entertainment and fun. That Baratang Island speed boat ride serves the dual purpose of an eventful journey of exploration, culminating in a visit to the Limestone caves is a bonus. The sheer thrill of cruising through the winding waterways under a thick canopy of the mangrove, with light and shade playing hide and seek, raises the bar with the melody of birds tickling the senses. It is enticing for travelers with a penchant for capturing images to play with the natural chiaroscuro's challenges, creating patterns every free moment.
Best opportunities for speed boating at Baratang Island:
The pristine Baratang Island is dotted with the thickest of Mangroves found anywhere in the Andaman Islands. Maybe it is for the bitter water source, and the still unknown charms of the Islands, the best water sports at Baratang Island revolves around the Mangrove Forests, combined with a visit to the Limestone Caves. Speedboat ride through the Mangroves on the way to the natural architecture of the caves is as rewarding as the awe-inspiring shapes of stalagmites and stalactites within the prehistoric caves.
Speed boat ride in the mangrove forest in Baratang Island:
A trip to Baratang Island is conjured by the traveler as a package tour from Port Blair. Starting at 3 AM, the journey is planned as a single day affair covering visits to all the top activities in Baratang Island, which includes a speed boat ride in the mangrove forest on the way to Limestone Caves. Cost of Speed boat ride in Baratang Island is included in the package price, in the range of Rs.3900/- per head approximately. However, it is incumbent upon the traveler to check out the inclusions and exclusions in the tour itinerary, for which the prices may vary.
Location: Speedboat safari through the biologically critical Baratang Mangrove is the most popular approach to the Limestone cave. The ride commences at the Baratang jetty, where both the tickets and permission are granted for a visit to the caves. It also entails a short trek of 1.5 Kms after the speed boat ride takes the visitor to the landing point, symbolized by a wooden platform for easy disembarkation. The visitor has to retrace the same route for the return journey.
Experience: The speedboat carries five to ten passengers for the winding ride through the shimmering narrow mangrove creeks, for an experience of a lifetime. Bird watching exotic species and a rare sighting of saltwater crocodile basking in the sun can be the icing on the cake for the lucky ones. At the other end near the caves, visitors can refresh with "Nimbu Pani" and tender Cucumber to quench their thirst on a hot sunny day.
Fare: Though the Baratang Island speed boat ride fare is included in the package from Port Blair, those on their own can purchase tickets at the office counter at the Baratang jetty at Rs.600 per head. However, it may vary, and it is best determined on actual visits to the site.
Best time to visit: Other than the monsoon months, Andaman Islands can be visited at any time of the year. But the trip assumes ethereal proportions during the months of November to February when the sea is serenely calm, the waters a bright turquoise blue merging with the azure blue of the sky. It renders a heavenly aura to Baratang Island for an unforgettable vacation when the soul is in sublime harmony with nature.
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