Exotic, stunning, adventurous, and unbelievable: these are the correct descriptions of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The archipelago boasts over 500 islands, but sadly, only some of them are open to the public. Nevertheless, you can explore a plethora of beautiful wonders in the Andamans with beaches being the main attraction. The dense forest coverage in the Andamans is also home to much exotic flora and fauna. Not just that, you can also explore a volcanic island in the Andamans. Yes, you heard it right. The Andamans is home to Barren Island, an active volcanic island.
Whether you want to just witness a volcano or enjoy fun activities like fishing and snorkelling, you can indulge in a luxurious trip onboard a charter boat to Barren Island.
Advantage of taking a charter boat to Barren Island
First, taking a charter boat is the only way to visit Barren Island. The Barren Island volcano sits in a remote location, so regular ferries do not go to the island. Also, if you want to engage in water activities, taking a charter boat makes sense. Another reason you need to take a charter boat is that Barren Island is an uninhabited island. As such, you cannot go to the island and take a separate ferry from there for any activity.
Also, if you want some luxury out of your Andamans trip, hiring a boat charter is your best bet. Charter boats are great for sailing on the high seas. You can enjoy a view of the beautiful and velvety sea travelling towards the horizon. Since going to and from the Barren Island volcano is a day-long trip, all your meals and beverages and other requirements will be provided on the boat itself. Doesn’t that just sound fantastic?
How to take a charter boat to Barren Island
As mentioned earlier, Barren Island trips are only possible by charter boat. Each boat accommodates up to 8 people excluding boat staff and is available only from Port Blair and Havelock Island. Barren Island is around 140 km away from Port Blair, so it would take you 4-5 hours to reach your destination from the capital.
From Havelock, Barren Island is 100 km away that can be covered in 2-3 hours. Note that Havelock can only be accessed from Port Blair by ferry which takes around 2-3 hours also. If you plan to take a charter boat to Barren Island from Havelock Island, it would be good to have planned to explore Havelock Island as well. Havelock Island is one of the most popular and beautiful travel destinations in Port Blair, so don’t worry about finding places to explore there.
Some people do go on cruise trips towards Barren Island, but these trips only offer a distant view of the volcanic island. Also, you cannot explore any water activity if you go on a cruise.
Cost of taking a charter boat to Barren Island
The cost of taking a charter boat to Barren Island can be a bit expensive. However, the ease and experience make up for the cost. You should also take a boat charter to Barren Island if you want to enjoy luxury and adventure out in the sea. Most charter boats to Barren Island accommodate up to 8 people and can cost you around INR 130,000 to INR 150,000. However, all your meals will be covered in the package. You’ll also get a guide and gear for fishing or snorkelling as a part of the package.
Apart from the cost of hiring a charter boat, you also have to get a tourist permit to visit Barren Island. The cost of the tourist permit is INR 1000 for Indian nationals while foreign nationals are usually required to pay INR 3500.
Top things to do at Barren Island
Barren Island is a majestic volcanic island just 140 km away from the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. While many people go to the island just to witness the beautiful volcano, you can also indulge in some water activities while you are there. The most common of all the activities that you can do at Barren Island is snorkelling. Your snorkelling gear will come with the charter boat along with a guide. Anyone can go snorkelling in Barren Island as you don’t have to know how to swim or dive.
Fishing in Barren Island is another popular activity. The area surrounding the volcanic island attracts massive fish like marlins, tuna, dorado, and sailfish. You may even be able to catch a trophy.
Barren Island is a sought-after destination for scuba diving among experienced divers from across the world. The fact that the diving spots are close to a volcano that lends to unique underwater terrain makes the island attractive to divers across the world. Note that only advanced-level scuba divers can dive near Barren Island as the dives are difficult.
Charter Boat to Barren Island: FAQ
1. How to travel to Barren Island?
Answer: You can take a charter boat to travel to Barren Island. If you want to do any activity near the island then taking a boat charter to Barren Island is the only way.
2. Where will I get a charter boat to Barren Island?
Answer: Port Blair and Havelock Island are the only two places from you can get charter boats to Barren Island.
3. Can I stay at Barren Island?
Answer: Barren Island is an uninhabited island. The only creatures that live on the island are goats, bats, rodents, and a few birds. Tourists are not allowed to live on the island.
4. What is the cost of taking a charter boat to Barren Island?
Answer: You’ll have to pay anything between INR 130,000 to 150,000 to visit the Barren Island volcano. There’s an additional cost for getting a tourist permit which is INR 1000 for Indian nationals and INR 3500 for foreign nationals.
5. What is the best time to travel to Barren Island?
Answer: November to February is the best time to take a trip to Barren Island. You can also visit the Andamans in October and even in March; although, the weather will be a bit hot and humid.