Called “the land of headhunters” by Marco Polo, who was the first western visitor to these 572 islands, islets and rocks, now known as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands: these islands are a tropical paradise just waiting for you! Organize your surf holiday to the Andaman Islands now!
The British incorporated them into India in the 19th century and then they were used as a place to exile Indian prisoners executed for life. Geographical isolation, mysterious “Stone Age” culture and totally unexplored waters are the main characteristics of this area. Geographically more “Indonesian” than Indian, a trip to the Andaman Islands is on the wish list of many surfers but despite this, the first trip to this area, organized by photographer John Callahan, was made in 1998. While foreign tourists are allowed to visit these islands, the Nicobar Islands are only accessible to Indians. The Andaman Islands are known as the North, Central and South Andaman, which together with Baratang and Rut-Land make up a large land called “the Great Andaman”. With only 36 uninhabited islands, in this region you can find an infinity of species of exotic flowers and birds. Dense and tropical forests envelop the hilly and winding terrain and the sandy beaches are filled with by coconut palms, swaying to the rhythm of the monsoons. The South has been the most densely populated island for a long period, particularly around the capital Port Blair (80,000 inhabitants). This island has a weak ecosystem which, in order to preserve peace and protect the diverse array of flora and fauna, has established 96 sanctuaries and 9 national parks. Port Blair, a complex of buildings with tin roofs overlooking the sea, is only worth visiting for a short period of time. Nearby there are a number of spots that can be reached by land such as Butler’s Bay ; a beautiful beach with an external reef and a tourist hut right on the beach, lined with a coconut plantation. Corbyn’s Cove , 4km (6.5mi) north of Ramshackle airport, is another palm-fringed beach where waves can be found. Foreign tourists are only allowed to explore a part of the region to the south (Wandor), 56km (35mi). However, these are not the spots that are worth getting here. The first quality spot is Jarawa Point (also called Totem’s reef), a long left wave with steep and fast sections. This spot is located in the “Five Islands” where in the small Twin Islands , off Rutland, there are some pretty funny scattered peaks, while on the NW coast of the Sentinel Islands you can find right waves. In little Andaman, there are 2 other spots to check out if you want to sail around the west coast: Jackson Creek and Tochangeou . The real pearl of this area, as far as the quality of the surf is concerned, is hidden inside Sandy Point, in the SW tip of the island, usually known as Kumari Point . This is the longest and fastest right point in the area; if you can find a nice fit without SW wind, you will tell your grandchildren how beautiful and fun this wave is. Most of the waves in Andaman are quite easy and soft, surrounded by beautiful colors both on the shore and in the reef below. Further south in the 10th Channel, the Nicobar Islands aren’t suitable, as they protect their surfing potential and unique indigenous peoples from outside contact. Home of Stone Age, Pygmy tribes (Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese …), these aboriginal tribes live inside the impenetrable jungles, hunting wild boars and deers and still practicing old rituals (including some forms of cannibalism). Few charter boats operate in this area – Thaiwave’s SEAL sailing yacht: crescent , 65ft, suitable for no more than 8 passengers and Gaea , a 51ft long wooden trimaran, which in addition to being slower than the previous boat, is also more comfortable and cheap.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 305|
The same SW monsoon swells that hit Sumatra go towards the Andamans, about 10 ° above the equator line, but arrive with less power and consistency. Unfortunately, most spots get SW wind straight from the sea, so the really good season is from mid-March to mid-May. The best conditions are when the first swells of the season come accompanied by weak NE winds, which usually precede the entry of the monsoon swells (April or shortly before). Choose accurately the period to visit these places; April should be the most reliable month. When the monsoon wind from the southwest comes on, the sea gets rough and there are an average of 15-25 knots of wind that despite ruining the local surfing conditions, create small waves that can be used with windsurfing on the beaches of Phuket. The tidal range is minimal but always ask the captain about the depth of the seafloor.
How to get there: Foreigners require an Indian tourist visa and a 30 day tourist permit, both of which can be easily obtained from the immigration authorities upon arrival in Port Blair. Port Blair is reached weekly by Indian airline flights departing from Calcutta (5) and Madras (3). East-West jets and / or private companies have 4 flights from Chennai. Book as soon as possible. The ferries are very slow, it takes about 56h from Calcutta.
Getting around: Port Blair has buses, taxi service and some auto rickshaw. Boats from the mainland dock at Haddo Jetty, 1km north of Phoenix Jetty. SEAL is the most experienced operator. Get around Port Blair by renting mopeds, which can be rented for only $ 3 per day.
Accommodation and food: In Port Blair you can find a variety of accommodations: from elegant hotels (Bay Island hotel, 5 star) to more touristic resorts (Peerless resort at Corbyn’s Cove) to cheap lodges (with views of Sinclair’s bay). Try the samosas and saris food. Charter boats are the only way to reach the best spots – Crescent : $ 1973 / day for 8 people, Gaea : $ 1400.
Climate: The climate remains the typical tropical one throughout the year with temperatures ranging from 24 ° (78 ° F) to 35 ° (94 ° F). Due to the constant breezes that hit the area, the Andaman Islands have a rather humid climate. The SW monsoon first touches these islands, then heads towards the Indian mainland. From mid-May to October, heavy rains hit the islands, sometimes even bringing violent ones. In November and December, with the arrival of the NE monsoon, there is less rain. The best time to visit these areas is between mid-November and April. The level of rainfall in a year can reach 3180mm. The water temperature remains warm all year round; bring at least 2 swimsuits.
Nature and culture: In Port Blair, the prison is must-see place, as is Ross Island which will give you the ultimate impression of the British Empire. A nature trail leads to Mount Harriet (1095ft / 365m). The whole north area is a national park where elephants have been instructed to carry large wood. This is a diving area of superlative quality, there are species of pelagic fish and breathtaking seafloor. Fishing is also very good.
Dangers and annoyances: Given its remoteness, any emergency could take several days to resolve. Coral cuts may be the biggest cause. Sharks are abundant but well fed and there aren’t so many local surfers. Be patient during the boat trips, wherever you go, you will surf either alone or with very few people in the water (the density in the spots is much lower than those of the Maldives and Mentawai). These islands are wild – watch out for marine crocodiles and tribes.
Practical advice: Bring everything with you: 2 boards, reef shoes and repair kit. Entry permits for foreigners are released from a counter in an Angola in the arrivals area while baggage is being transferred. There are no beggars on the streets like in Calcutta.
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.08 USD
Exchange rate variations (more than 3%) will lead to an adjustment of costs. They will be communicated within 20 days of departure.
The tariff does not include